Beginning at the palace, your expert guide will make sure you skip the line, fast-tracking you to the ornate and over-the-top interiors that await. Since the royal family only uses it for official receptions, the Royal Palace and its over 3000 rooms are open to the public. Your engaging guide will how you the famous main staircase, designed by Sabatini, which includes over 70 steps. You’ll head into the Throne Room, and admire the ceiling painted by Tiepolo, and the Hall of Alabarderos, dedicated to the palace guards. You will be able to gaze at works of master artists along the way including Velázquez, Goya, and Caravaggio, learning about their involvement with the royal family. In the Royal Pharmacy, you’ll be able to browse cabinets featuring medicinal plants, ceramic pots, and formulas that once acted as cures for the royal family’s illnesses. Inside the Royal Chapel you’ll discover a complete set of stringed instruments made by the legendary Antonio Stradivari. After visiting all of the rooms available to you, you’ll have walked in the footsteps of royalty, experiencing Madrid at its most elegant.
Next, head out to continue your journey through the Old City. Your guide will begin at Puerta del Sol, Madrid’s principal square. From there, you’ll meander through the medieval streets to sites including Plaza Mayor, Santa Cruz Palace, and the awe-inducing Almudena Cathedral. You’ll explore the stories behind the curious Bakery House and the tapas-filled stalls at San Miguel Market. This district oozes with charm, thanks in part to the 16th and 17th century ruling powers known as the Habsburgs who leant their name to the quarter. You’ll even discover the world’s oldest restaurant here in the old city, and be sure to ask about their specialty.
Stroll through the 19th century as Madrid was changed by the Bourbon dynasty. Stroll the gardens of Plaza de Oriente designed by French emperor Napoleon´s brother. You’ll pass by the Royal Theater as the architectural beauty of the French-inspired buildings will keep your eyes darting from left to right. At the end, you’ll have gained a deeper appreciation for the history of these tangled streets, as well as the many notable characters that played roles in it all.