Meet your expert local guide near Plaza de España and set off to discover Madrid de Los Austrias. This incredible area of the city was built during the Habsburg dynasty, at a time when Spain was at its most extravagant. The Habsburg reign began with King Carlos I, who enriched the city with elaborate palaces and elegant Catholic churches.
While walking around the streets of Habsburg’s Madrid, your guide will tell you about the neighborhood’s history and point out the most interesting palaces and other beautiful Renaissance and Baroque architecture. Visit Plaza Mayor—the town’s massive stately square—to admire its glowing festive lights and browse its legendary Christmas market with your guide.
The Plaza Mayor market is more than 100 years old, and draws crowds of locals and tourists who come to browse its tantalizing wares. Shop for handmade Christmas gifts and seasonal trinkets, and then gaze in awe at the intricately designed Nativity scenes. Stop at the city’s oldest Spanish nougat shop to sample sweet local liquor and the turron, a festive nougat that locals eat as a Christmas treat.
Visit the Royal Palace of Madrid next and explore its ornate public rooms housed within the beautiful Italian Baroque building. Admire lavish velvet wall coverings in the Throne Room and stroll through the Gasparini Room with walls covered with gold and silk embroidery. Learn about the sumptuous lifestyles of the Bourbon kings who once lived here, and hear about the present-day royals who still count the palace as their official residence.
After touring this unforgettable palace with your guide, walk back through the bustling streets of Habsburg’s Madrid, soaking up the festive atmosphere. Your tour finishes back at the start point.