5 Best Tapas Tours in Madrid
Madrid is one of the best places to eat in the whole country Are you ready to lick your fingers?
Many tourists can't do without including gastronomy in their list of what to see and do in Madrid. If you are part of that group, the tours listed below will make you discover the gastronomic horizon of the city.
Since its founding, the capital of Spain has welcomed thousands of people who came to the center of the peninsula loaded with illusions and typical recipes of their city. As a result, Madrid is home to quality bars and restaurants and the tours below will take you to the best establishments.
1. Gastronomic tour of tapas, wine tasting and ham tasting
The pearl of the national gastronomy is the protagonist of this tour. The activity is designed for all those who want to deepen their knowledge about ham. You will learn to distinguish the different qualities and denominations of origin accompanying each bite with a glass of red wine.
In addition to ham, you will be able to taste salchichones, chorizos, lomo and Manchego cheese. These tours take place in the center of Madrid and touch the most outstanding bars in the area.
- Duration: between two and three hours
- Approximate price: between 50 € and 70 €.
2. Tapas tour and wine tasting in the old town of Madrid
This urban tour will take you to the best tapas bars in the old town. An expert guide will accompany you from restaurant to restaurant explaining the main characteristics of the place and each dish.
Normally, tours of this type include about 10 typical tapas (battered cod, cured ham, tortilla, boquerones en vinagre, etc.) accompanied by a beer or glass of wine. Generally, these excursions involve a maximum of 12 people.
- Duration: about three hours
- Approximate price: between 70 € and 90 €.
3. Historical Tour of Madrid with tapas tasting
This urban tour combines the explanations of an expert guide and the best of the national gastronomy. Choosing this activity you will discover the history of the capital in a fun way.
Below you can see the most common stops of this type of tour, where you can taste sausages, chorizo stewed in white wine, gazpachos, paella and juicy croquettes.
- Calle Preciados, the shopping street of the old town. It connects two central places: Sol and Gran Vía.
- Puerta del Sol, the kilometer zero of Spain. The guide will tell the main historical landmarks and interesting anecdotes. If you go to Madrid in December, specifically on the 30th and 31st, this urban space hosts the pre-New Year's Eve and New Year's Eve celebrations.
- Plaza de Isabel II, the space that pays homage to "La reina castiza". Her statue stands on a pedestal and overlooks the Royal Theater.
- Plaza Mayor, designed in the 17th century by Juan de Herrera and Juan Gómez de Mora. Once here, you will see the Casa de la Carnicería, the statue of Felipe III, the Casa de la Panadería and the Arco de Cuchilleros.
- Plaza de la Villa, the medieval corner of Madrid. This small esplanade is surrounded by three stately buildings: Casa de la Villa, Casa de los Cisneros and the Casas and Torre de los Lujanes.
- Royal Palace, the largest noble residence in Western Europe.
- Duration: between 3 and 4 hours
- Approximate price: between 70 € and 90 €.
4. Excursion to the wineries of the region with wine tasting
Although it may not be known, Madrid has a wine-growing area that includes the towns of Navalcarnero, San Martín de Valdeiglesias, Arganda and El Molar. In this environment, vines have been cultivated since ancient times and although production has suffered a decline after the sixties, in the last decade, the Madrid Designation of Origin has regained importance.
This tour will take you to visit the wineries of the region tasting a few glasses of red wine with the explanations of some winemakers. As usual, the bus stops in two villages:
- Chinchón, a town of 5,000 souls just under an hour's drive from the capital. It is known mainly for the Plaza Mayor, a place of celebrations, meals and bullfighting festivals. If you visit Madrid during the winter, I recommend hiring the tour. In February, this peaceful town comes alive thanks to the Medieval Market, an event that fills the streets with tournaments on horseback, children's attractions, theater, crafts and much more.
- Colmenar de Oreja, one of the most beautiful municipalities in the community. Its main attraction is the Church of Santa María la Mayor that houses in its walls a great organ built by the German Gerhard Grenzing. The town is also known for its limestone quarries; in fact, you will have seen the rocks taken from this environment during your visit to the Royal Palace of Madrid.
- Timetable: buses usually leave between 9:00 and 10:00 a.m.
- Duration: approximately 6 hours
- Price: between 130 € and 150 €.
5. Day trip to the Ribera del Duero, wine specialist
Ribera del Duero is a region on the banks of the Duero River. In this area, vine cultivation dates back to Roman times. In the Middle Ages, the Cistercian monks continued the tradition by producing higher quality wines, while the first subway cellars date back to the 16th century.
Today, cultivation has spread to four provinces - Soria, Valladolid, Burgos and Segovia, which can be easily reached from Madrid -and its harvests are recognized nationally and internationally for their quality.
The tours usually depart from a central point in Madrid, such as the Atocha train station. Once on the road, an air-conditioned van or coach will accompany you to the region. An expert guide will be available at all times and the total price includes wine tasting and snacks from the wineries. The tours usually stop at the following locations:
- Aranda de Duero, the capital of La Ribera. The most famous monuments are the Church of Santa María, the Berdugo Palace and the Puente Mayor. Hidden beneath the surface is a network of tunnels that house subway cellars dating back to the 15th and 14th centuries. If you want to take the tour during Holy Week, you should book this excursion from Madrid in advance. Locals and tourists flock to the streets to participate in the processions and see "La Bajada del Angel", a religious celebration held on Easter Sunday.
- Curiel de Duero, a riverside municipality in the Cuco Valley. The village is dominated by the Castillo de Arriba, the oldest fortress in the province of Valladolid. I recommend climbing to the top to enjoy the panorama over the old town, the vineyards and the river. Another interesting monument is the fortified Palace of the Zuñiga family, the seat of the town hall. In the past it was used for defensive purposes and as a noble residence.
- Roa, a town with a lot of history. The urban center stands on a rocky spur overlooking the river. Its privileged position is no coincidence: Roa was part of the border between the Muslim and Christian kingdoms. Its medieval walls were built by the will of Violante of Aragon, the wife of Alfonso X the Wise.
- Sotillo de la Ribera, a town with a lot of charm. The golden age of the town was reached during the reign of Charles III, which coincided with the commercial success of wine. Sotillo's opulent past is reflected in the elegant buildings of the old town.
Practical information about the Ribera del Duero
- Schedule: excursions usually start around 9:00 a.m.
- Duration: between 10 and 12 hours
- Price: between 150 € and 200 €.
Why is it advisable to take a gastronomic tour in Madrid?
The capital of Spain has its own recipes and over the centuries has attracted thousands of people from nearby communities. Therefore, its gastronomic offer is very extensive and a tour of this type will help you discover the main dishes. In addition, between restaurants you will be able to learn more about the history of the city thanks to the explanations of an expert guide.