Walking History of Madrid Audio Guide: The Tale of the Old Town

Step back in time on a stroll through the city's royal past and golden age
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1 at US$20
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Audio Guide Details
1 hour 15 minutes
Product Type
Audio Guide
  • Corpus Christi Church
  • Royal Palace of Madrid (exterior)
  • Plaza Mayor
  • Puerta del Sol
Preview Walking History of Madrid Audio Guide: The Tale of the Old Town
Start: Statue of Isabel II
Royal Palace of Madrid
Plaza Ramales
Photos & Highlights
Audio Guide Description
  • Put your map away as you trace Madrid's evolution through the centuries, all on your own schedule
  • Hit play together and stroll the city or wander solo, but always with an expert in your ear as your personal guide

On this audio guide tour, Context Travel expert, Carlos Schwab, will guide you on a journey through the city's Habsburg and Bourbon periods. You'll hear how Charles III, the unparalleled Bourbon king, transformed Madrid's Old Town. He introduced public hospitals, illuminated the streets, and created architectural marvels like Puerta de Alcalá (Alcala Gate), the fountains of Neptune and Cibeles, and expansive avenues that continue to grace the cityscape. You'll also learn about the Habsburg Dynasty and why the monarchs in this era were called "the Austrias," during a time when Spain held vast territories and commanded empires. I'll also tell you about the Golden Age that followed, a period that was marked by opulence, despite political setbacks.

Starting in front of the statue of Isabel II next to Teatro Real opera house, you'll wind your way through the Old Town, taking in its monuments and architectural heritage. As you make your way past the Royal Palace of Madrid, you'll see some of the 20 sculptures representing the first goths and Visigoth kings in Spain, including the world's first equestrian statue, depicting Felipe IV. Carlos will show you the beautiful Catedral de la Almudena and its museum, Palacio de los Concejos (Count Uceda’s Palace), and the Church of Corpus Christi. He'll point out Centro Sefarad-Israel, an ancient palace now used for Sephardic studies. As you make your way to Chocolatería San Ginés, a 100-year-old chocolate store where our tour ends, you'll pass through historical squares including Plaza Ramales, Plaza de la Vila, and the popular Plaza Mayor.

On this self-paced tour of the historical center of Madrid, you'll:

• Learn about Charles III, considered the best Bourbon king that Spain ever had, thanks to all the work he did for the city 
• Gaze upon remnants of the Arabic walls, a symbol of Madrid's history atop the hill, and a testament to the city's resilience through the ages
• Visit Madrid's Times Square, the neoclassical Puerta del Sol, once a city gate and today a hub  for food merchants and social gatherings
• Indulge in local delights, from secret cookies made by cloistered nuns to calamari sandwiches, and find delicious tapas at Mercado de San Miguel, a fresh food market
• Discover a hidden art gallery in the Church of Saint Genesius
• Get a sneak preview into the treasures that can be discovered inside the Prado Museum, where Antonio Joli's masterpiece depicts the Spanish Fleet's departure from Naples
• Find out how the Royal Palace was reconstructed after a fire, inspired by French architecture and famous Italian architect, Filippo Juvara, who died before it was complete
• Delve into the tragic history of the Jews when Catholic rulers, King Fernando and Queen Isabelle, gave the order to expel the Jews from Spain unless they agreed to convert in 1492
• Decode the symbolism of Madrid's emblems, the bear and the tree

Join us on this odyssey, where history breathes, art resonates, and the pulse of Madrid's heritage echoes through time. On this audio guide tour, you’ll see how Spain's regal past and vibrant present have been artfully woven together. This is a voyage you won't want to miss!

This tour is wheelchair accessible and can be experienced by travelers of all capabilities. It has a total of nine steps and the distance of the audio tour is two miles.
Meet Your Expert

Carlos has been living in Madrid for more than 30 years. He studied tourism in Buenos Aires at the El Salvador University, and graduated with degrees in the Arts, History, and Geography. He originally came to Madrid to attend graduate school at the Official Madrid Tourism School, where he graduated with degrees in Madrid's Royal Palace and The Austrias city history. Since then, he has traveled all around the world, leading orchestras, ballet companies, opera companies, maestros, and top soloists on their world tours. Some of the events he's most proud to have managed include the Sun Festival in Singapore, the Canary Islands Music Festival, The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra with Maestro Kunzel, the Beijing Olympics Tour, and several world tours with The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Carlos loves discovering little known places in Madrid. From his Tales of the Old Town: A Madrid Walking Tour with Context audio guide to his in-person tours, Carlos' goal is to help visitors discover the Madrid they have dreamed about, as well also its secrets and its charms, and to pass on his passion for Madrid and its surroundings to all who come visit.

How do I access the audio guide and download it for offline use?
Once you complete your purchase, you will receive a voucher code for your Audio Guide. You must download the Voicemap app and enter the code. 
  1. Install VoiceMap from the Apple App Store or Google Play
  2. Create an account
  3. Select Tour Codes from the menu, then select Enter Codes
  4. Enter your Voucher Code
  5. Select Download Now
Is closed captioning (i.e. subtitles) available?
Yes! All of our audio guides have the option to turn on closed captioning should you have difficulty hearing the expert.

How long does each event last?
Our recorded audio guides typically run for 75 minutes.

How can I share this audio guide with friends or family?
You are welcome to listen together with friends or family, but each person listening to the guide on their own device will need to purchase the audio guide individually.

How long does my access to the audio guide last?
Once you purchase an audio guide, you are welcome to listen to it as many times as you would like. Your access to a purchased audio guide does not expire.

What is your cancellation and refund policy?
Sales for recorded audio guides are final upon purchase. Please contact us at digital@contexttravel.com if you have any questions or concerns about your purchase.

Can I purchase a gift card for a friend who is traveling?
Absolutely! Gift cards can be purchased here. Gift cards are good for 365 days from the date of purchase.

(4.5) 4 Reviews

Reviews can only be left by Context customers after they have completed a tour. For more information about our reviews, please see our FAQ.

The directions given in the audio guide were not always accurate, which caused some confusion.
This audio guide is excellent! It was a perfect way to begin our orientation in central Madrid. We followed the audio tour with the Spanish Civil War guided tour. We were thrilled to have Carlos as our guide once more as he elaborated on the walking tour in a very helpful way that helped orient us for the rest of our stay. Highly recommended.
The tour was well planned, great narration. Love the automatic on and off when you are near a point of interest. Best audio city walking tour I've ever done!