Madrid at a Glance
Madrid is alive with music and passion. It is a city that prides itself on living in the moment, and once you’ve visited you won’t want to leave.
At 646 meters above sea level, Madrid is smack-dab in the centre of the Iberian Peninsula. The city is a sweet blend of old and new, with the Old Town meshing harmoniously with the new modern urban infrastructure.
Families will love the city, as there are countless green spaces, parks, zoos and day trips to amuse them for weeks. Honeymooners and couples will adore the city’s passion that can be felt in everything from its cuisine to its memorable nightlife. Seniors will overdose on culture in the myriad of museums, exhibitions, ballets and theatre productions that are available.
From its wealth of cultural attractions, happening nightlife and dynamic residents, Madrid is one of Southern Europe’s best cities.
Not to be missed For Madrid, art and culture are an integral part of life. These are just some of the city’s highlights:
- El Rastro Market: One of Europe’s most famous flea markets, in existence for half a millennium.
- Museo del Prado: Housing more than 7,000 paintings including collections from Goya and Velasquez, Prado is one of the world’s most impressive museums.
- Centro de Arte Reina Sofia: The home of Picasso’s Guernica, is Madrid’s premiere collection of contemporary art with a collection spanning the 20th century to the 1980s.
- Flamenco: Flamenco is a genre of music, song and dance from Andalusia in Southern Spain. The best Flamenco in Madrid can be seen at the Corral de la Moreria.
Uniquely Madrid Madrid is often referred to as the Tapas capital of Spain. These bite-sized portions of typical local specialties are served alongside a refreshing glass of beer or a good wine. Potato omelette, spicy fried potatoes in sauce, Iberian ham, squid, cod, bull’s tail – these are just some of the dishes you can expect to find in a Tapas bar. The neighbourhoods of Huertas and La Latina are ideal for your first Tapas bar experience.
Good to know about Madrid Practical details can sometimes be overlooked in Europe’s most passionate city, so we’ve put them together for you.
- Climate: Madrid exhibits a continental Mediterranean climate with summer temperatures that exceed 30°C in July and August. Winters tend to be quite cold due to an altitude of 646 m above the sea.
- City Transportation: Madrid has an extensive public transport system that will make it easy for you to get around via bus or metro. The city is the center of the Spanish railway network, with options for inter-city, high-speed, regional and international services. Taxis are readily available in the city; they are white with a red stripe and have the city shield and their license number on the side of the car. Taxis can be flagged down in the street when the green light is on, otherwise you will need to find a taxi rank.
- Accommodation: Hotels, hostels, B&Bs and apartment rentals can all be found within the city of Madrid. For more information, see Madrid Hotels.
- Eating Out: The eating schedule in Madrid is quite different from Canada. For most locals, dinner (second meal of the day) is served between 2 pm and 4 pm and a light supper (last meal of the day) is served after 10 pm. The restaurants of Madrid offer a wide variety of regional Spanish dishes as well as international delights.
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