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Madrid's city hall (Plaza Mayor tourist office) runs popular bus, cycling, and walking tours called "Descubre Madrid/Discover Madrid"—there are tours in English every day, with various departure points (€3.90-€12.95). Madrid Vision used to have popular tourist buses that made 1½-hour circuits of the city (there was a Historic Madrid tour and a Modern Madrid tour) with recorded English commentary but at the time of writing, city hall had just awarded this concession to a new pool of companies and of this writing they do not have a name or contact information. Service is expected to resume by August 2011 and a one-day pass allowing you to get on and off at various attractions will go for €20.
The Asociación Profesional de Guías de Turismo has custom-made history and art walks. Carpetania Madrid also does custom tours, as well as literary walks on the life and works and life of some of Spain's classical and contemporary authors. Julià Tours has half- and one-day trips to sites outside Madrid, including Toledo, El Escorial, and Segovia.
Although biking in the city can be risky because of the heavy traffic and madrileños' disregard for regulations, the city parks and the surroundings towns are good for enjoyable rides. There are several bike-rental outlets by Retiro Park, including By Bike (€8 for 2 hours). Bravo Bike organizes one-day or multiday biking tours around Madrid (Toledo, Aranjuez, Chinchón, Segovia) and Spain (the pilgrimage to Santiago, the Andalucía route, and others). They have a guided Madrid tour (€25), and also rent bikes (€15 a day or less if you rent for a few days). Bike Spain also rents bikes and organizes guided tours (in Madrid and all over Spain); it's €10-€15 for half-day and one-day bike rentals and €75 for a one-day guided trip to El Escorial. Bike Spain also organizes bike tours for Discover Madrid: every Saturday (10 am) and Sunday afternoon (4 pm) in English (in Spanish they take place Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning).
Asociación Nacional de Guías de Turismo (91/542-1214. www.apit.es.)
Bike Spain (91/559-0653; 677/356586 ask for Pablo. www.bikespain.info.)
Bravo Bike (www.bravobike.com.)
Carpetania Madrid (91/531-1418 or 657/847685. www.carpetaniamadrid.com.)
Discover Madrid (91/588-2906 Patronato de Turismo; 902/221424. www.esmadrid.com/visitasguiadas.)
Julià Tours (93/402-6951. www.juliatours.es.)
Plaza Mayor tourist office (91/588-2906 www.esmadrid.com.)
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