Top 5 sightseeing sites in Madrid
This is the second article of my Madrid trip. We tried something different this time, a city tour on a Segway…
I can’t tell how much fun it was, the vehicle itself was super fun to drive and handle, and I think it’s the most efficient way to discover a city for the following reasons:
- FUN, we felt a little bit like Casey Neistat on his Boosted Board!
- You get a professional guide to tell you all you need to know about the places you visit
- It’s a quick way to move around the center of interests and avoid public transportation hustle
- You don’t waste time finding your way around with maps and GPS
I really recommend it! We did our tour with Segway trip, the team was welcoming and professional. They provided us with rain coats since it was raining a little bit (I know, not the best for taking pictures!). Our guide was very patient and informative, he started the tour with a Segway training on the plaza to make sure we were safe and confident before starting the tour.
Here is the itinerary of our tour, it works for a walking tour as well but it would take more time obviously.
Segway trip agency is located in Plaza San Miguel (San Miguel market), so we started our tour from there. First we had a safety briefing and some basic training before setting off on a route through central Madrid. I also felt the need to tag this post as a fashion post, because … Let me introduce this huge new trend to you: the neon safety helmet! (don’t laugh at me please….). Here are the stops we made during our tour:
1. Almudena Cathedral
Madrid architecture was very influenced by the Arab culture, the name “Almudena” sounds Arabic by the way. It’s a contemporary construction from the 90’s. Really beautiful construction! The cathedral is right across the famous Royal Palace for convenience reasons obviously 🙂
2.The Palacio Real (royal palace)
The palace was built by the first of the Bourbon Kings. His plan was to build an architectural masterpiece to rival its European counterparts. The architecture is Baroque and imposing. You will also see the beautiful Sabatini gardens that definitely rivals Versailles gardens. It is still used for official receptions, however the current King does not reside in the Palace.
3. Templo de Debod
A 4th Century-BC Egyptian temple which was saved from the rising waters of Lake Nasser and sent block by block to Spain in 1970 (I am still wondering what this temple is doing in Madrid??). Debod is located on the edge of a cliff with an amazing view of the palace and the cathedral. It is also a museum of ancient Egyptian culture, for the record all museums are free on Sundays in Madrid, but we were too busy having drinks in la Latina 😀
4. Plaza de Espana
Where you will see a statue of Spanish writer, Cervantes and his famous character Don Quijote and Sancho Panza. The huge building behind has anecdotic story behind it: this is a €265 million building that happen to be toxic. Now it has been sold to Chinese Wanda group for a luxury hotel project. I hope they will manage to disinfect it before. I am not sure I would stay there someday personally…
5. Plaza Mayor
Formerly a center for Royal festivities and Bull fighting, the square was burnt to the ground in 1790 but, was subsequently resurrected. Today the square is lined with shops and cafes. The tour lasted 2 hours and I would have easily added two more.