"El Montecillo" Youth Centre. Las Rozas, Madrid © arquirutas.com
The best way to appreciate a city's architecture is to discover it in the company of an architect. In Madrid there are a range of programmes of guided routes which offer the chance to learn more about the architectural heritage of Spain's capital from a different point of view. You'll be able to visit buildings which are not usually open to the public, and see city's most emblematic sites as you've never seen them before.
The architecture in Madrid's urban landscape offers a combination of functionality and aesthetics. Museums, hotels, cultural institutions, housing, offices, transport stations… they are all part of an architectural heritage which can be enjoyed to their best advantage on a guided route with an architect. "Pasear Madrid" programme (Strolling in Madrid) The "Pasear Madrid" programme is organised by the Official Architects' Association of Madrid (COAM) and offers tours with explanations by architects, including visits to the interiors of some of the buildings. They take place every Saturday, and there are three different itineraries on foot (the "Paseo del Arte" Art Avenue, the Castellana-Serrano axis and the Alcalá-Gran Vía axes), which are available in several languages. The Communications Building in Plaza Cibeles square, the Círculo de Bellas Artes academy, the Torre Picasso tower and the Edificio Telefónica building are just some of the buildings you can see inside. Contemporary architecture routes Arquirutas is another option for architectural tourism that you'll find in Madrid. This is a programme of themed routes on contemporary architecture which will enable you to discover a selection of the most modern and avant-garde constructions in the city. The tours, which are led by architects and architecture students, are available in several languages and take place on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The price includes breakfast and lunch. This is a good way to marvel at the interiors of architectural sites as distinctive as the Circo Price Theatre, the Spanish Cultural Heritage Institute, Torre Espacio tower and the Planetarium, among others. They also offer bus tours lasting three hours, as well as the opportunity to design customised routes. Architecture week A good time to enjoy the architectural landscape of Madrid is during Architecture Week, which is generally held in early October. The COAM foundation offers a range of different activities to coincide with this event: urban routes, guided visits to buildings, exhibitions, conferences, etc. More information on the web pages of Pasear Madrid and Arquirutas.