Old Madrid Walk
Start at the baroque Basilica de San Isidro / Toledo, 37 / M: La Latina. Exit left out of the Basilica onto Toledo, shuffle down and right into Plaza de Cebada, which leads to Plaza Puerta de los Moros. Twirl left out of the plaza into Carretera San Francisco and straight to the Basilica San Francisco el Grande, with the largest dome in Spain and a chapel painted by Goya. Exit left from the Basilica onto Bailén and scamper along until you reach Mayor on your right ( Palacio Real is ahead on your left). Up Mayor you go, stopping at Plaza de la Villa (Town Square) on your right. The C.17th Casa de la Villa (old Town Hall), which was also a prison, is here, as is the C.16th Renaissance castle Casa de Cisneros and the C.15th, Moorish Torre de los Lujanes. Go another block up Mayor and you’ll see the iron and glass façade of the overhauled Mercado de San Miguel in little Plaza de San Miguel on your right / mercadodesanmiguel.es / unmissable for epicures. Back on Mayor at Plaza Mayor, swing left onto Bordadores until you come to Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales, with its staggering art collection, and yes, nuns in habits. Bet you could devour a wimple by now, but no need; either race back to the Mercado, or exit onto Flora, amble up to Plaza Isabel II ( Teatro Real is here) and go right into Campomanes for Chic at #5 (see Rest./Relaxed).