Madrid, like any other big European city doesn’t really need much publicity or advertising to attract large number of tourists. There’s always a good excuse to visit the city, a good exhibition, a good festival, an incredible sun or a welcoming atmosphere. But those traditional pre-formatted touristic guides and “must-visit” recommendations are always the same.
Take a Japanese, or an American, or a Korean.. they get 10 days to visit Spain, 2 in Madrid and what will they do? The Prado, The Reina Sofia, some gardens, some tapas, a Royal Palace… and that’s it (I maybe proposing too much for just a couple of days). For locals it’s easier to discover new alternatives, but even “new” cultural alternatives such as La Casa Encendida or CaixaForum are very often packed with tourists too making them less and less “alternative”.
And so… “Unoficial tourism” collective is born. Their latest on-line (and downloadable) guide is all about Madrid coordinated by Iñaki Larrimbe & produced by Madrid Abierto. An original approach that proposes DIY routes to enrich the already vast cultural Madrilian offer…. because Cultural institutions only think nowadays of how to best exploit the local cultural resources transforming museums in cash-cows (even if they loose money sometimes).
Beginning with the “stuffed animals” route which proposes to visit a great selection of local bars & petrol stations filled with crystal eyes and hunting trophies. The real city fauna which originally represented the owner pride and have now become mere decorative kitsch elements. The big street natural science museum.
Or the sun dials tour which revisits the more than 50 gnomons located in parks, buildings and fountains. You may as well feel more tempted to follow the street art tour, the fantastic Madrid one, the neon commercial signs or even a bowling alleys tour. 8 tours that can be downloaded here and with a comprehensive Google map here. Enjoy your visit!