During the last few years I’ve grown very fond of Spain’s capital because…well, it’s home. But leaving aside any patriotic feelings, which seems to be a worldwide trending topic these days, the city has so much to offer that you don’t need to be Spanish to fully appreciate its appeal.

During this trip I wanted to discover a new side to Madrid and booked a streetart tour with Javier from Cooltourspain. Javier, who is officially an english teacher, also happens to know quite a few things about streetart and  is friends with some of the artists; which we coincidentally met.

His tour led us at first to the Museo de la Neomudéjar, a self-managed art & creativity center, which is the biggest possible antipode to the Prado museum. Unless of course the staff at the Prado has suddenly started dyeing their hair and is into tattoos and piercings…

The next destination on the tour was the neighbourhood of Lavapiés that was formerly known as a sketchy area but is becoming cooler by the day. From there crossed to La Latina, a neighbourhood mostly know for the rastro and it’s bars (ok, there may be some churches and an old islamic citadel too, but recent history has proven that intellect and culture is not mandatory to become the most important man in the world). In La Latina we had exclusive access to the Plaza de la Cebada that you may have seen from outside on a previous trip and wondered how to enter. Let’s say it helps if your guide has the keys.

If you want to avoid the hidden paths and explore a lesser known art scene with its graffiti and also installations and exhibitions you may invest 3 hours of your journey and spend a little time with Javier. I’m sure he would be pleased.

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