Bustling, energetic, vibrant… Madrid churns out with energy as only a capital city could. Madrid is located in central Spain in the southwestern region of Europe. Madrid is Spain’s capital and it’s most populated too. The official language is Spanish and the currency is the Euro. The weather here is dry and Sunny. Nonetheless, this continental climate is characterized by extremes like July and August are absolutely scorching and the chilly, short winter between December and February surprises most visitors. The little rain falls in Madrid in October and November and again during the spring. If you are planning a trip here, then keep in mind that autumn and spring are the most pleasant seasons to visit. However, it depends on you what type of experience you are looking for and accordingly you can plan for late July and August too when the heat leave the city nearly abandoned.
How to get here?
Landlocked in the center of the Iberian Peninsula, Madrid is conveniently located at less than 8 hours driving from any other Spanish city. Madrid is easy to travel to as any European capital, especially since the recent expansion of Madrid Barajas International Airport. Nearly every major international airline flies to Madrid Airport and low cost carriers are expanding roots to provide a wider variety of cheap flights to Madrid. This city is well connected by train to every major Spanish city. It is quite a hike by train from Madrid to the nearest country.
This beautiful capital of Spain offers hotels in all price ranges all over the city. If you are looking for cheap hotels in Madrid then don’t discard the title “Hostal” even though it looks like “Hostel”. There is vast majority of “hostales” and “pensiones” are actually affordable, family run hotels. If you would like to add some stars to the hotels then you have quite a long list to choose from. Casa De Madrid, Gran Hotel Conde Duque, Hotel Atlantico, Hotel De Las Letras, Hotel Emperador, Hotel Hesperia Madrid are some of the famous luxury hotels in Madrid.
Who doesn’t know the World number one Tennis Player, Rafael Nadal, who is from Spain. The football club Real Madrid, one of world soccer’s richest and most successful clubs can regularly be seen outplaying the world’s other clubs. Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo and David Beckham are the superstars who have played and shown their great skills for this club.
Places to see
The Royal Palace of Madrid
The Palacio Real or Royal Palace, is Madrid’s largest building and possibly its most beautiful. It is located next to the equally beautiful Plaza de Oriente Square. It was built in 1734 and has been occupied since the 10th century by the Moors. The old city walls around this area can still be seen. The Palace contains furniture, tapestries, paintings and ceramics as well as other important works of art and frescos by Tiepolo. It remains open to the public almost year round except on the days of official ceremonies and receptions.
Santiago Bernabeu Stadium
The Tour of Madrid is incomplete without paying a visit to Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, home ground of the legendary Real Madrid Football Team. You can just go behind the scenes on the stadium tour and feel the excitement of walking on Real Madrid’s home pitch and make a perfect mix of sightseeing and football. There is also the Real Madrid museum if you are interested in learning about the soccer history of the team. Truly recommended.
The Plaza Mayor has been the site of executions, tournaments, weddings, bullfights and Inquisition trials. This very large square is surrounded completely by one very large square building known as Casa Panaderia. Visiting the square, you will not witness any executions, but you might witness a coin or stamp show, a free concert or residents taking their evening strolls.
The Zoo Aquarium
Madrid’s zoo, in the Casa de Campo, is a fairly standard European city zoo and is home to about 3000 animals. It exhibits range from white Siberian tigers to mambas, Atlas lions, zebras, Giraffes, rhinoceroses, flamingos, koalas and a pair of celebrity pandas. There is also a fine aquarium and you can watch dolphins and sea lions get up to their tricks. It is quite a wonderful watch.
Gran Via is the most famous and popular touristic street in Spain. It is mostly dedicated to entertainment with many cinemas, theaters, musicals, night clubs and bars. Gran Via is to the west in Plaza Espana Square and to the east at the intersection with Alcala Street. Always crowded with the sightseers and shoppers, the street is appropriately named “the great lane”. The Metropolis Building is one of the most representative constructions here.
National Auditorium of Music
The modern Auditorio Nacional de Musica (ANM) was designed by the architect Jose Maria Garcia de Paredes and inaugurated in 1988. The auditorium regularly hosts both guests and local orchestras such as the popular Spanish National Orchestra. The Auditorium has two main concert halls, one is Symphony Hall which has seating for 2324 and the other is the Chamber Hall which offers seating for 692 which with afternoon and evening performances can follow four concerts a day to take place at this exciting venue.
There are many more places in Madrid like Museo Nacional Del Prado, Bues Retiro Park, Temple of Debod, Thyssen – Bornemisza Museum and many more and all of them make sure than your visit to Madrid is thoroughly mesmerizing and worth remembering.