From the Inquisition to Multiculturalism: A Walk from Plaza Mayor to Lavapiés

    Plaza mayor
    Selfie 2
    02 Oct 2017
    Clock 60min      Length2mi
    9 ratings

    Tourdescription About the audio tour

    From the church to rebellion; from bandits to traders. As the capital of Spain, Madrid has always been a city of contrasts, attracting many newcomers throughout its complex history. And they have always found a home just outside the ancient city walls, in what is still one of the most vibrant and most multicultural neighbourhoods of Madrid. Join me, another newcomer, as we take in the rich culture and history of of Lavapiés. Along the way, you'll hear about the stories, characters and architecture that have helped define the spirit of Madrid.

    Majorlandmarks Major Landmarks

    Plaza Mayor; Plaza Puerta Cerrada; Church of San Isidro; The Rastro; Escuelas Pías; Mercado de San Fernando; Tabacalera; Plaza Lavapiés; Cine Doré

    Startingpoint Directions to starting point

    Leave Puerta del Sol, walking up Calle Mayor (to the left of the bakery La Mallorquina) and take the first entrance on the left, just opposite Calle Coloreros. Closest metro, Sol. From the metro, take the exit for Calle Mayor.

    Tips Tips

    Places to stop along the way:

    Church of San Isidro, The Rastro Market, El Pavón Cafe, Church of San Cayetano and San Millán, Mercado de San Fernando, La Tabacalera Art Gallery, La Falda Bar/ Restaurant, Juan Raro Bar/ Restaurant, Más Corazon Terrace Bar

    Best time of day:

    This tour is best taken earlier in the day, around 11am, especially if you want to avoid the crowds from the Sunday Rastro market. It is also a good time to gain access to churches, shops and bars, whilst avoiding the heat in the afternoon.

    The Mercado de San Fernando is open between 9am and 9pm on most days, apart from Sunday, when it closes at 5pm. It also closes between 2 - 5pm on Mondays, and at 5pm on Saturdays during August.

    Please be aware that during the month of August, smaller shops and bars may be closed whilst their owners take holidays. This shouldn't affect any of the places mentioned, however.


    During the day, especially, this is a safe and well-monitored neighbourhood. It is also home to a number of people. But please take all normal precautions to ensure personal belongings are kept out of easy reach of pickpockets.


    Plus Write a comment

    Pecha kucha

    This tour helped me make sense of why Lavapies is such an unusual, distinctively Madrileño neighbourhood. It’s a well chosen route and the directions make it easy to follow. I also really enjoyed the personal touches. Thanks Melissa!

    Posted by Iain Manley , about 2 months ago
    Selfie 2   

    That's great to hear. Thank you for your comment Iain!

    Melissa Route Creator , about 2 months ago

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