Madrid, the capital of Spain, is situated in the geographic center of the Iberian Peninsula. It is the main communication link to the rest of the country. There are five million people living in Madrid and its outskirts. Its cultural wealth, with museums like Museo del Prado, Museo Thyssen; its monuments, like Palacio de Oriente; its architecture; its parks; its varied gastronomy and Spanish peopleīs kindness make Madrid one of the favourite European touristic destinations.
Madrid is the capital of Spain since 1562, itīs bigger than any other city in Spain. It is situated in the geographic centre of the Iberian Peninsula. It has a very pleasant climate during Autumn and Spring, with an average of 25š degrees centigrades, but the highest temperature can reach 40š degrees centigrades. Winters are relatively cold, and it can snow once or twice a year. In the mountains, 60Km away from the city, you can ski until April. We enjoy the sunshine and blue sky about 125 days a year. Itīs a very cosmopolitan city, with a huge variety of museums, monuments, shops, restaurants, parks and many other hobby places. Madrid is opened 24hours a day. Donīt be surprised if you find yourself in a traffic jam at 4 in the morning. Madrid is one of the best touristic cities for its cultural and artistic wealth.
Museo del Prado One of the most important art galleries in the world, where you can admire paintings from Goya, Velazquez, El Greco, Rubens, Tiziano, Zurbaran and Murillo, as well as Flemish painters.
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza It is near to Museo del Prado. Here you can find a magnificient collection from the early Flemish to contemporary art.
Museo Reina Sofia Contemporary art from Spanish and foreign artists. Picassoīs and Daliīs paintings are here!
Museo del Palacio Real Art, furniture and decoration from Austriaīs Age.
Museo Sorolla Paintings from Sorolla.
Museo Arqueologico Nacional Archeological treasures from excavations all over Spain.
And many other museums: Museo del Ferrocarril, Museo de la Ciudad...
Parque del Retiro Marvellous park, with plenty of statues and fountains, it is a pleasant shelter to scape from the crowded streets. Donīt forget to visit the Crystal Palace. If the weather is good you can hire a boat in the lake inside the park!
La Plaza Mayor (main square) Itīs the point of departure to walk around one of the most traditional areas of the city, including El Palacio de Santa Cruz, La Puerta del Sol, La Capilla de San Isidro and La Basilica de San Francisco "El Grande".
You canīt miss El Rastro, one of the biggest street markets in the world. Here youīll find a huge variety of things with low prices.
|Madrid offers a huge variety of cosmopolitan items. There are shopping-centers similar to Americans, and shops where you can find souvenirs, and internationally known shops, such as Gianni Versace, Escada, Loewe, Purificacion Garcia, Stephane Kelian, Cartier or Farrutx.|
|There are so many restaurants that we canīt make a list, but we are sure you can find restaurants for all tastes. We recommend the typical Madrid, where you can eat a good Spanish boiled dinner (cocido madrileņo), a garlic soup, or go on "tapas" and try the cheese and marquetry form the region. If you are looking for a bullfighting restaurant, visit La Taurina, Ctra.de San Jeronimo, 5 (next to Puerta del Sol); or La Taberna, Plaza de Sta, Ana, 3. In Madrid you will enjoy lunch time but remember it is later than in other European cities: from 14 to 16 and supper time starts at 22 hours.|
|We recommend Hotel Reina Victoria (****) in Plaza Sta. Ana, 14. It is the hotel that gives accomodation to bullfighters the day before bullfights. Itīs the best place to live the passion of bullfighting.|
|You will find anything you want. Discos, bars, theatres, folkloric dance shows, jazz and more. This city lives night life, and despite Madrid is a big city, it is relatively safe.|
|Subway is the fastest and most popular. It works form 6 in the morning to 1.30 at night. After this time, thereīs a nocturnal bus service called "Buho" (Owl) that departs from Cibeles. Taxis are white with a red strip and fares are not really expensive.|
|How to get to Madrid|
Municipal Tourism Office: Plaza Mayor, 3.(91) 3665477
Barajas Airport International Arrivals (91) 3058656.
Chamartin Train Station (91) 3159976