Although biking in the city can be risky because of the heavy traffic and madrileños’ disregard for regulations, the city parks and the surrounding towns are good for enjoyable rides.
Bike Spain. This company rents bikes and organizes guided tours in Madrid and all over Spain. Bike rentals cost from €12–€17 for half- and one-day bike rentals and €115 for a one-day guided trip to El Escorial. Bike Spain also organizes bike tours for the tourist office within the Official Guided Tours program every Saturday at 10 am and Sunday at 4 pm in English. Tours in Spanish take place Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. Pl. de la Villa 1, Palacio, Madrid, 28005. 91/559–0653; 677/356586; www.bikespain.info. From €12.
Bravo Bike. For guided biking tours in Madrid (€31) or to rent bikes (€20 a day, or less if you rent for a few days), check out Bravo Bike. It also offers multiday guided and self-guided bike tours near Madrid, in Toledo, Aranjuez, Chinchón, and Segovia, as well as tours along the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela and Andalusia, among others. Calle Juan Álvarez Mendizábal 19, Moncloa, Madrid, 28008. 91/758–2945; www.bravobike.com. From €31.
Julià Tours. This tour company offers half- and full-day trips to sites outside Madrid, including Toledo, El Escorial, and Segovia. 91/769–0707; www.juliatravel.com. From €50.
Madrid City Tours. These popular tourist buses make 1½-hour circuits of the city, allowing you to get on and off at various attractions (there is a Historic Madrid tour and a Modern Madrid tour) with recorded English commentary. There are one- and two-day passes. 902/024758; www.madridcitytour.es. From €21.
Plaza Mayor tourist office. Madrid's city hall tourist office runs about 40 popular bus, cycling, and walking tours a week, under the Madrid Guided Tours program. There are tours in English every day, with various departure points. Pl. Mayor 27, Sol, Madrid, 28012. 91/588–2906; www.esmadrid.com. From €5.90.
Asociación Nacional de Guías de Turismo. This tour operator offers custom history and art walks by certified travel guides. Calle Jacometrezo 4, 9º 13, Sol, Madrid, 28013. 91/542–1214; www.apit.es.
Carpetania Madrid. This company offers custom tours, as well as literary walks on the life and works of some of Spain's classical and contemporary authors. 91/531–1418; 657/847685; www.carpetaniamadrid.com. From €100 for up to 10 people (2-hr walk).