Madrid General Information
Located in the heart of the peninsula, Madrid, the capital of Spain, has a population of over 3 million inhabitants. Madrid is a very international and cosmopolitan city with an unlimited number of things to do. The city receives a lot of foreign students and tourists visiting the town. With points of interest including the Museo del Prado, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, the Palacio Real and the Parque del Retiro, Madrid is a city of great monuments, parks and museums. In addition to this rich cultural heritage, Madrid is a lively, festive, modern and artistic metropolis with warm people and vibrant street life. With its numerous tapas bars, festivals, music concerts, flamenco shows and jazz clubs, Madrid has something for everyone.
What to see and do
Eating outHaving chocolate con churros is very popular in Madrid. The most famous chocolatier of all Madrid is San Ginés, in a hidden alley between Puerta del Sol and Plaza de Opera. This place is a very popular meeting point. Other typical dishes include cocido (stew that is typical of Madrid's fare) and calamari sandwiches.
Cinema and theatreMadrid is a city of culture with numerous theatres and cinemas, most particularly in the strip from Plaza de Callao to Plaza de España. The Teatro Compac Gran Vía is one of the oldest theatres in the city, which hosts many dance performances and musicals. The Teatro Lope de Vega hosts the best and most successful musicals on the Madrid stage. Other famous theaters include the Rialto and the Teatro Coliseum.
Brand-name shopsWalk along the Gran Vía, where shops line the wide street that stretches for more than a kilometer. In Calle Fuencarral, the city centre's high street, you will find all the brand name-shops as well as costume jewelry and affordable cosmetics. In the middle of this street, the Mercado is an urban market offering alternative groundbreaking fashion. In Calle Serrano, known as the golden Mile, visitors will find exclusive and luxury brands such as Prada, Armani, Adolfo Dominguez, etc.
Museo Thyssen-BornemiszaThis art museum includes a collection of more than 1,600 paintings from the 13th Century to the late 20th Century. It includes works from Renaissance, Mannerism, the Baroque, Rococo, Romanticism and the art of the 19th and 20th Centuries up to Pop Art. The museum also features work from Impressionism, Fauvism, German Expressionism and the experimental avant-garde movements of the early 20th Century.
Museo Reina SofíaIt is the national museum of 20th Century art. It includes collections of many artists, such as Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí. Along with its extensive collection, the museum offers a mixture of national and international temporary exhibitions in its many galleries. The most famous masterpiece in the museum is Picasso's painting Guernica.
Museo del PradoThis museum is the main Spanish national art museum. The collection currently comprises around 7,600 paintings, 1,000 sculptures, 4,800 prints and 8,200 drawings, in addition to a large number of other works of art and historic documents. The collection dates from the 2nd century to the early 19th Century.
Parque del RetiroClose to the Prado Museum, the Retiro Park is one of the largest parks of the city of Madrid. It is filled with beautiful sculptures, fountains, monuments and galleries. It has a peaceful lake and it hosts a variety of events. It is one of the most popular green areas for people to go jogging, boating, picnicking and walking with pets.
Puerta del SolOne of the best-known and busiest places in Madrid. It is the center of the radial network of Spanish roads. The square also has the famous clock whose bell marks the traditional eating of the 12 grapes and the beginning of a new year. The statue of El Oso y el Madroño, at the center of the square is a common meeting point.
How to arrive
Many European countries offer direct bus connections to Madrid. The capital is also well-connected to all major Spanish cities. The Estación Sur de Autobuses is the city’s main bus station.
Madrid is well-connected to Barcelona and other important Spanish cities. Madrid is also well-connected to other European cities such as Paris, Lisbon, Milan and Zurich. The two main train stations include Atocha, which mainly serves destinations in the south of Spain, and those on the eastern Mediterranean coast, such as Valencia and Barcelona. On the other hand, the train station Chamartín serves destinations from the North of Spain (the Basque Country, Barcelona, France, etc.)
International visitors come to Madrid via Adolfo Suarez Barajas International Airport, which is served by almost 100 airlines. The airport is situated approximately 15 kilometers from the city centre and has four terminals. The airport is well-connected to the city center by bus, train or taxi.