The 7 Best Unique Tours in Madrid

The most unique tours in Madrid show you a side of the city many visitors never get to see. From peeking into Spain’s dramatic past to getting a great workout on a fun bike tour, there’s an experience for everyone!

A tour group standing in a plaza in front of a metal statue of a man.

Plenty of travelers can claim to have taken a guided tour through the Prado or the Royal Palace, or even a walking tour of the city. But these unique tours in Madrid offer something truly special. Whether you’re a history buff, art aficionado, a foodie, or anything in between…there’s something for everyone!

1. Bike Tour

Want to get some fresh air and exercise while seeing the city in a unique way? A bike tour of the city may be just what you’re looking for. 

Bravo Bike offers tours of all the major sights in Madrid. Their routes show you sights such as the Royal Palace, Plaza Mayor and the Prado Museum. It’s a fun way to explore the city and get a bit of exercise in for the day.

If you have more time—and are up for a bit of a challenge—Bravo Bike also offers bike tours to popular day trip destinations from Madrid. Ride to Segovia to see the Roman aqueducts, or to Toledo to visit the Alcazar.

Group of people on a bike tour in a rural area.
A bike tour is such a fun way to explore beyond Madrid! Photo credit: Jose-Maria Moreno Garcia

2. Food & History Tour

As a city that went from a small farming village to the capital of a vast global empire in less than a century, you might say that Madrid’s story is one for the books. But we think we have an even better idea than reading about it. Join a walking history tour (complete with food!) to discover it for yourself!

As one of the most unique tours in Madrid, our Tapas, Taverns & History Tour brings Madrid’s fascinating past to life. You’ll learn the story of the Spanish capital on a walk through the historic center, discovering the secrets of Madrid’s most famous sights and discovering hidden spots you might not have noticed otherwise. Along the way, you’ll stop for tapas at four family-run bars that have earned their rightful place in Madrid’s story, and try the bites that have kept locals coming back to these spots for generations.

Tour group inside a historic tavern.
Step back in time at some of Madrid’s most historic bars.

3. Segway Tour

Segway tours have been popping up in cities all over the world, but this one from Segway Trip comes with a sweet Spanish treat at the end.

You’ll stop by popular landmarks across the city by Segway, moving swiftly and easily around town without breaking a sweat. The route takes you past the Almudena Cathedral, Royal Palace, and more breathtaking sights of Habsburg Madrid. To finish off the tour, you’ll indulge in a decadently sweet portion of churros con chocolate.

People standing on segways in a plaza surrounded by historic buildings.
A Segway tour is one of the coolest ways to experience Madrid!

4. Food Tour

Skip the touristy restaurants and eat where the locals eat!

If that sounds easier said than done, let us help you out. Our Ultimate Spanish Cuisine Tour is a crash course in how to eat like a local here in Madrid.

You’ll discover some of our favorite bakeries, restaurants, taverns and more on a food- and fun-filled morning exploring the heart of the city. Along the way, you’ll meet the passionate locals who have been lovingly preparing these dishes for years, in many cases keeping generations-old family traditions alive.

Take a look at some of the fun that awaits!

5. Spanish Civil War Tour

Less than a century ago, a brutal civil war ravaged Spain and marked a major turning point in Spanish history. It lasted for just three years but ended with more than half a million deaths, a dictator in power, and repercussions that can still be felt to this day.

This dramatic chapter in Spain’s story comes alive with Spanish Sites as they take you on a tour to key sites from the Spanish Civil War in and around Madrid. Take your pick from four different tours, each of which provides a different yet fascinating perspective as told through the eyes of one of the war’s key figures. It’s an incredibly eye-opening look at one of the darkest periods in Spanish history, and an experience that will stay with you long after it ends.

An old stone bunker from the Spanish Civil War.
The ruins of a Spanish Civil War bunker on the outskirts of Madrid. Photo credit: Contando Estrelas

6. Hot Air Balloon Tour

For an experience that will take your breath away, why not book a hot air balloon tour? 

Aerotours offers a unique view of Madrid’s natural surroundings. As you slowly ascend upwards towards the sky, enjoy a bird’s eye view of the mountains, the Guadarrama river and monuments like the Castle of La Mocha. Take advantage of the incredible photo op or simply sit back, relax, and enjoy the views on one of the most unique tours in Madrid!

View of the skyline of Madrid on a clear day.
Madrid is even more stunning when seen from above! Photo credit: Jo Kassis

7. Contemporary Art Tour

If you’re an art lover, you may already know that Madrid is home to a number of wonderful art museums, including the Prado and Reina Sofia. These museums house pieces from the most legendary Spanish artists that ever lived, and are well worth your time. However, if you want to discover the current art scene, then a Contemporary Art tour is your best bet.

The Art Gallery Tour takes guests to a number of contemporary art galleries showcasing the works of some of Spain’s most exciting current artists. Don’t know much about contemporary art? Art Gallery also offers an Initiation Tour, which explains how art galleries work, the different techniques and formats used, and how to appreciate contemporary art.

Tours in Madrid FAQs

Why should I take a tour in Madrid?

As fun as it can be to explore the city on your own, a tour (any kind!) will provide you with more context and a greater understanding of what you’re seeing. You’ll be able to appreciate the city much more with your newfound knowledge, and may even feel more comfortable experiencing some parts of local culture (like crowded tapas bars) that might have seemed intimidating beforehand!

When is the best time to take a tour in Madrid?

There’s no bad time to go on a tour, but if possible, try and work it in as close to the beginning of your stay as possible. That way, you’ll be able to appreciate and enjoy Madrid even more during the rest of your time.

Update Notice: This post was originally published on March 23, 2015 and was updated with new text and photos on April 28, 2021.

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