Posted by: travelrat | May 11, 2009

Walking Around Madrid

Madrid; 7th March 2009.

I came to Madrid a day early, but not missing any of Vaughantown’s tapas party was a bonus. I wanted to take part in the New Europe Free Walking Tour of Madrid. New Europe operates these tours in many cities in Europe … see … and you tip the guide at the end, according to what you can afford, and what you think the tour was worth

Shortly after I took the tour, they suspended it, although their evening ‘tapas and pub crawl’ tour is still operating, because of objections from the official Madrid guides organisation, the Comisiòn de Guias por la Excelencia de Madrid.

A small delegation from the official guides handed out a leaflet stating their objections, and a small party accompanied the tour, presumably, to see that our guide, Juan-Pablo, kept to the paths of righteousness.

I don’t want to take sides in this, but I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed the tour. The New Europe organisation set out their argument very well at , while the leaflet handed to me by the official guides seemed to contain a lot of unsubstantiated (and possibly libellous) ranting. And, if you can find their side of the story on the Web anywhere, please tell me, and I’ll post it here.

As far as I know, though, New Europe Tours aren’t having this problem in any other city in which they operate. So, just turn up at the appointed place and time, and look for the guy or gal in the red shirt. Here’s video … I hope it gives a small taste of what it (was) like!


  1. I’ve decided to go on a real vacation next year… something I haven’t done in two years and was going to do this year but since I start my new job in mid-June, it’s not an option. Anyway, the list is down to: Spain, Greece and Israel/Egypt. I’m trying to be a globetrekker… like you.

  2. I’d like to be a globetrekker like you too. First stop – Paris!

  3. Pam: Is that an either/or list, or are you going to ‘do’ the lot? If you’re going to Spain, I really recommend a look at; if it’s for you, five day’s free food & accommodation and the chance to talk with a real mix of interesting people, in exchange for your conversation …

    Both: Globetrekker puts me in mind of the Lonely Planet TV series of the same name. (Ian Wright, the main presenter, had a face like a box of frogs and absolutely no dress sense … but, he was a great presenter navertheless)

  4. I was in Madrid in March with a girlfriend (also for Vaughn Town! ) and we planned on doing the walking tour. We met with the tour guide in the square, who was a super nice, funny young man. We were immediately BOMBARDED by the picketers and tourist agents with fliers, screams, yelling, etc. Needless to say, it was a very uncomfortable situation. We couldn’t even hear the tour guide. We ended up leaving the drama and doing our own tour…

    • It would seem your tour happened within a few days of mine. As you can see, that was fairly subdued compared with yours; maybe the police car parked nearby had something to do with it?

      I’m told the suspension of the tour shortly afterwards was because two clients had, allegedly, been physically assaulted by the ‘official’ guides.

      But, I haven’t heard of any similar trouble in other cities where New Europe Guides operate.

  5. […] Spain Travelrat presents Walking Around Madrid posted at Travelrat’s […]

  6. […] Spain Travelrat presents Walking Around Madrid posted at Travelrat’s […]

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