This thriving modern city has plenty to offer from its trendy upmarket shopping, dining and nightlife scene to the cities rich history and culture which can be found around its every corner. The architecture is astounding with the Royal Palace being one of the most impressive alongside other favourites
the Royal Palace and Cathedral. Madrid also has several squares and parks that each offer their own unique charm and character, many of which are beautifully landscaped and dotted with fountains, statues and monuments offering a welcome break in the heart of this bustling cosmopolitan city.
Madrid has a Mediterranean climate with very hot summer months often reaching well into the 80's during the daytime. In contrast to its winter months which are very cold often averaging around 35 degrees Fahrenheit with snowfall and freezing temperatures also common due Madrid's altitude.
Madrid is located roughly within the centre of Spain.
Madrid has an excellent transport network that links to many areas of Spain as well to other countries throughout Europe.
Madrid-Barajas Airport is one of Spain's largest and busiest airports and is located within easy reach of the city and offers both national and international flights.
Madrid is also well served by rail and contains the large Madrid Atocha Railway Station which offers many commuter trains around the city as well as high speed links to Barcelona, Seville, Valencia and Saragosse. Madrid Chamartin is the city's other large train station which offers commuter links as well as high speed links to Valladolid and Segovia.
Madrid's metro service is quick and efficient and offers another great way to travel around much of the city.
Busses can be found throughout the city and are a relatively quick, cheap and easy means of getting around. Madrid also has several long distance busses available that link to many other areas of Spain.
Car hire is another great option if you plan on exploring the city and there are several car hire companies available and a vast road network within and surrounding the city limits.
Taxis are widely available either by hailing from the street, telephoning or from one of the many taxis ranks within the city. There are supplementary charges from certain areas such as the airport, train or bus stations as well as for the time of day or night that you travel.
Madrid offers a wide and varied selection of shopping opportunities for many different tastes and budgets. There are vast modern malls where you stroll around for hours visiting the many fashionable boutiques as well as bustling markets such as the long running El Rastro market where you'll find plenty of bargains and no end of souvenirs to take home.
The Salamanca District is a great area for upmarket boutiques and there are plenty of trendy shops found here as well as around the Chueca area which abounds with all the latest fashions.
There are also no shortage of well known international brand names which can be found in great numbers around the centre of the city.
Spanish food is bountiful in Madrid with classic favourites such as paella, tortillas and tapas served in cafes and restaurants throughout the city, with some of the most popular eateries found around the Royal Palace city centre area. International cuisine can also be enjoyed with a great selection of restaurants found especially around the Chueca area.
Popular dishes include stews such as cocido madrileno which is a vegetable and beef stew full of flavour. Patatas bravas are another favourite often being served with a spicy tomato sauce and oreja de cerdo which is fried pigs ears in garlic.
Other fried foods also include fried chorizo sausage, croquettes with various fillings and bocadillo de calamares which are fried squid rings as well as fried fish such as hake which are also widely enjoyed.
Ham is another favourite in Madrid and can be enjoyed at markets and restaurants throughout the city as well as the olive oil which is legendary.
Madrid Festivals And Events
Madrid has a great selection of festivals and events going on throughout the year that include both religious festivals as well as cultural events such as the ever popular and colourful carnival to music events, historic dates and even the popular book fair... more about Madrid Festivals and Events
Madrid Sites And Attractions
several striking areas of architecture found throughout the city which is also bursting with culture and history from the monuments and statues that can be found within the cities beautifully landscaped parks to the impressive Royal Palace, Royal Theatre and Cathedral and on to three of the cities most treasured art museums that contain many priceless works of art.
- Royal Palace (Palacio Real)
The Royal Palace is one of Madrid's finest buildings that was built around 1738
and features many areas of splendour from the Spanish marble interior and fine works of art and sculptures to the balconies, courtyards and landscaped gardens that surround the palace. There are regular guided tours available and a visit to the Royal Armoury and Royal Pharmacy is well worth the visit with several fine examples of weaponry and armour... more about the Royal Palace
- Almudena Cathedral (Santa Maria la Real de la Almudena)
This impressive Cathedral is located adjacent to the Royal Palace and dates back to around 1883 and features a classical design with a
striking central dome, two bell towers and many statues including one of Pope John-Paul II which stands in front of this beautiful cathedral... more about Almudena Cathedral
- Plaza de Espana
One of Madrid's largest squares is located close to the Royal Palace and features an impressive monument to Spanish novelist and playwright Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra which also contains two bronze equestrian sculptures of Sancho Panza and Don Quixote who were characters in his famous novel The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha. The main statue of Miguel de Cervantes is centrally located on the monument with statues of his true love Aldonza Lorenzo positioned on either side... more about the Plaza de Espana
- Plaza Mayor
The Plaza Mayor is a square located in the centre of the city and features a large bronze statue of King Philip III in the centre which was constructed by Giovanni de Bologna and Pietro Tacca in 1616 and which is surrounded by the symmetrically laid out buildings such as the Casa de la Panaderia that surround it neatly on all four sides. There are plenty of restaurants around the square which provide the perfect setting to relax and take in the many architectural features of the square... more about the Plaza Mayor
- Puerta del Sol
The famous plaza contains several areas of interest from the impressive equestrian monument to King Charles III which stands in front of the House of the Post Office to the symbolic statue of the Bear and the Madrono Tree as well as the well known sign for Tio Pepe
which has become something of a landmark... more about Puerta del Sol
- Golden Triangle Of Art
Madrid is blessed with three very impressive museums which make up the well known golden triangle of art each of which offers there own unique collections, they include the famous Museo del Prado, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum Of Art and the Reina Sofia National Museum... more about the Golden Triangle of Art
- Buen Retiro Park
One of Madrid's largest and most stunning public parks used to belong to the Spanish Monarchy and features several areas of interest from the striking glass pavilion known as the Palacio de Cristal
to the rose garden and Statue Walk (Paseo de las Argentina). There are various fountains and statues within the park and an impressive monument to King Alfono XII which was designed by Jose Grases Riera and which is beautifully located next to a large lake... more about the Buen Retiro Park
- Casa de Campo Park
The vast park of Casa de Campo is great place to relax with plenty of walks available around this former Royal hunting park which is over 6.6 square miles. Within the park is a large lake which is excellent for boating and there is also an amusement park and zoo which has a good selection of animals including dolphins, primates and birds... more about Casa de Campo Park
- Templo de Debod
This unique temple is located in the Parque del Oeste near to the Royal Palace and was originally built in Egypt close to Aswan before being donated to Spain by the Egyptian State after its existence became threatened by the construction of the Aswan Dam... more about Templo de Debod
- Royal Theatre (Teatro Real)
This superb Opera House which dates back to 1818 is located in front of the Royal Palace and has a seating capacity for well over 1,700 as well as several private boxes including the Royal Box. The theatre
is well known for its performances of ballet, opera, classical music and recitals as well as for its elaborate architecture and beautifully furnished interior... more about Royal Theatre
- National Auditorium of Music (Auditorio Nacional)
The modern National Auditorium of Music contains a large concert hall ( Sala Sinfonica) which can seat well over 2000 and regularly offers concerts with performances often including those from the Spanish National Orchestra... more about the National Auditorium Of Music
- Puerta de Alcala
This impressive neoclassical granite monument was inaugurated in 1778 and is located in Independence square. The monument was commissioned by King Carlos III and designed and built by Francesco Sabatini an Italian architect... more about the Puerta de Alcala