Artistic Vigilantism in Madrid: Come with me on the Cool Tour Spain Street Art Tour
Updated: Sep 29
The tour started like any other. I arrived at a meeting point and looked around at the people near me, wondering if they were guests on the tour. Eventually, someone amongst the scattered group of people timidly walked closer and announced that we were all waiting for the tour.
Strangely for Madrid, it was a cloudy Friday morning. The city is usually very sunny. Fifteen minutes after 11 a.m., our tour guide appeared in a black hooded sweatshirt and grey shorts with what appeared to be white and blue paint splatter near his pocket. He introduced himself as the tour guide and as a street artist. At that moment, his slightly stained clothes were like a thread that held his two identities together.
Although I’ve visited Madrid many times in my four years of living in Spain, this was the first time I did a tour. The street art tour fascinated me for many reasons. One, I appreciate the creativity, dedication, and rebellion that comes with street art. Second, while learning about the history of a city through traditional tours is essential, a street art tour allowed me to know a side of Madrid that often goes unnoticed and is an integral part of the city’s culture.
Why should you do a street art tour?
Street art has evolved from its gritty roots in graffiti to what is now seen as street art. It has developed to display the culture, attitudes, and thoughts of people who live in various communities. In Madrid, street artists are a part of the community. So, if you want to know more about the people of Madrid, a street art tour will give you that insight.
Why do a street art tour with Cool Tour Spain?
More than a tour guide walking you around the city to show you the murals so you can feel your Instagram feed, Cool Tour Spain does an excellent job of bringing history, storytelling, and relevance to the tour. Each design, whether made by a brush stroke or spray paint, has a story from the artist. Additionally, each piece of street art communicates a particular message to those who witness it.
Highlights of the Tour
What I appreciated about the tour was that it was led by someone from a part of the street art community. Because we were with someone who painted some of the artwork we saw, he was able to get into the first-hand details of the process instead of shoveling out shallow facts.
In addition to learning fun facts and details about the street art pieces, we learned about the city’s history and present-day events. However, the most impactful part of the tour for me was seeing how the community, the government, local businesses, and street artists unite in various ways to support one another. Sometimes, collaboration happens when a business owner hires artists to paint a mural or design on the front part of their building. Other times, it’s a collaboration of a street art competition.
Seeing how the city lives, functions, and supports different aspects of the community was excellent. Additionally, all the street art pieces were so unique and creative that they were enjoyable to see.
How to have the best tour experience
Although the tour is excellent on its own, if you want to have the best tour experience, there are a few things you should do.
Ask questions: Don’t be afraid to ask questions and get curious.
Ask for recommendations: Since you have a local tour guide, you have a fantastic opportunity to ask for recommendations on places to eat, where to get the best tapas, and other local tips.
Talk to other people on the tour: I’ve made quite a few friends by going on tours and talking to people on the tour with me. Even if it’s a short conversation, connecting with new people can be fun.
Recommend the tour: If you enjoyed the tour, post about it, share it, and recommend it to your friends and family. Sharing is a great way to help the tour company grow, and you can share the magic with others.
Leave behind any expectations: Whether you’ve done many tours before or this is your first one, it’s always best to leave any expectations at the hotel. By opening yourself up to what is, not focusing on how you think things should be, you’ll have a better experience.
Are you ready for your street art tour?
Whether you live in Madrid or are planning to visit soon, the street art tour by Cool Tour Spain is a must.
To find out more and to book your tour, check out Cool Tour Spain.
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