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Travel to Madrid, the buzzing capital of Spain

Artistic flair, culinary delights and sizzling nightlife - this Spanish behemoth has more spirit than the rest of Europe's capitals put together.
  • Community of Madrid, Spain
    © iStockphoto.com / Frederic Prochasson
  • Community of Madrid, Spain
    © iStockphoto.com / Frederic Prochasson
Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination Spain

Madrid is an international city that offers a remarkable quality of living. Its museums are among the richest in the world. A stroll around the historical neighbourhoods of the city, which are well preserved despite their age, is a wonderful experience.

Community of Madrid: the key figures

Surface area : 8030.0 km2

Population : 64990003 inhabitants

  • A fantastic atmosphere, at all times of day and night.
  • Excellent transport services and entertainment facilities.
  • An unending list of services on offer.
  • The high levels of noise and agitation at certain times of the day.
  • The heat is rather unbearable during the month of August.
  • The overcrowded tourist sites in the summer.

Community of Madrid: what to visit?

Arts and culture

  • Prado Museum, Arts and culture, Madrid, Community of Madrid
    Prado Museum
  • The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum , Spain
    The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum
  • Queen Sofia National Art Museum, Arts and culture, Madrid, Community of Madrid
    Queen Sofia National Art Museum
  • Las Ventas Arena , Spain
    Las Ventas Arena
  • The Caixa Forum , Spain
    The Caixa Forum
  • Las Ventas Arena (Madrid)

The fauna and flora

  • Retiro Park , Spain
    Retiro Park
  • The beech grove of Montejo , Spain
    The beech grove of Montejo
  • The fauna and flora of the sierras , Spain
    The fauna and flora of the sierras
  • The fauna and flora of the sierras , Spain

Monuments

  • Cibeles and the Puerta de Alcalá , Spain
    Cibeles and the Puerta de Alcalá
  • Almudena Cathedral , Spain
    Almudena Cathedral
  • Coracera castle, Monuments, San Martín de Valdeiglesias, Community of Madrid
    Coracera castle
  • El Escorial Monastery , Spain
    El Escorial Monastery
  • The Royal Palace of Aranjuez , Residence of the Kings , Spain
    The Royal Palace of Aranjuez
  • The Church of Our Lady of the Assumption in Chinchón , The Church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción  , Spain
    The Church of Our Lady of the Assumption in Chinchón
  • , The Corral de Comedias in Alcala de Hénrares, Monuments, Alcalá de Henares, Community of Madrid
    The Corral de Comedias in Alcala de Hénrares
  • The house of Cervantès in Alcala de Hénrares , Spain
    The house of Cervantès in Alcala de Hénrares
  • The University of Alcala de Henares , The University of Alcalá de Henares , Spain
    The University of Alcala de Henares
  • , The Lope de Vega theatre in Chinchón, Monuments, Chinchón, Community of Madrid
    The Lope de Vega theatre in Chinchón
  • , The Lope de Vega theatre in Chinchón, Monuments, Chinchón, Community of Madrid

Landscapes

  • The Sierra de Guadarrama, Spain, The Sierra de Guadarrama, Landscapes, Community of Madrid
    The Sierra de Guadarrama
  • El Atazar , Spain
    El Atazar
  • Monte El Pardo , Spain
    Monte El Pardo
  • Monte El Pardo , Spain

Community of Madrid: what to buy?

Madrid is also a Mecca for shopping enthusiasts. There are huge shopping malls, craft shops, super markets, wonderful markets, trendy boutiques and outlets, small clothes stores, art galleries, etc, selling a wide range of goods (approximately 60,000 shops) in many different areas of the city, these stores not being limited to the city centre alone. One of the better known shopping sites is El Rastro, a massive open-air market where you can find the most unusual items: second hand clothes, antiques, stamp collections, old vinyl records, animals, spare parts, etc - a wealth of curiosities, with some good deals to be found. A visit here is an absolute 'must'! In Madrid, most of the shops and shopping centres stay open from 10:00 am till 8:30 pm or 9:30 pm from Monday to Friday, the first Sunday of every month and every Sunday in December. Smaller shops are open from 10:00 am till 2:00 pm and then from 4:30 pm till 8:30 pm. Madrid's government has decided to end restrictions on the opening hours of shops, which are now allowed to stay open 24/7. The most commonly used modes of payment in shops are cash and credit cards. If you pay with a credit card, you'll be asked to show your passport or identity card. People living outside the European Union are entitled to VAT refunds on purchases in excess of £78.45.

Community of Madrid: what to eat?

Stew, cayos, churros and waffles are some of the many traditional local dishes that you'll find in Madrid. The cuisine of Madrid is rich and varied, and is inspired by the various populations that settled in this city. In Madrid, one of the most entertaining things to do is to go for a drink in one of the numerous bars, restaurants and terraces that are strewn around the city centre. The Latina, the Plaza de Santa Ana and Lavapiés are the best neighbourhoods for a drink or some delicious wine with tapas (tortilla on a skewer, squid, patatas bravas, olives, ham, pescaíto frito, etc.).

Community of Madrid: travel tips

Madrid is a bustling, welcoming, pleasant, entertaining, clean and very safe city. It's a cosmopolitan, modern, charming, lively, culturally significant place that deserves all the compliments it gets for being a big city with a soul. However, it also has its fair share of traffic jams, stress, pollution and noise, as with any other capital city. The public transport system in Madrid is wonderful. If you're considering a trip into the centre or a tour of the neighbouring communes, it's best not to take your car. Cycling is quite difficult in Madrid, because of the scarcity of cycling lanes (especially in the centre), and the lack of courtesy from drivers who are not used to sharing the roads with cyclists. They are more accustomed to sharing the roads with motorbikes, although riding a motorbike in this city also seems to be a rather dangerous endeavour. You'll probably be surprised by the opening hours of shops and restaurants in Madrid. The latter generally serve food at any time of the day (in some cases until midnight). Cultural and entertainment possibilities are the city's strong point, with numerous events every year. In fact, every day comes with its share of festivities, and you could have some difficulty making up your mind as to which one to attend. A stay in Madrid would not be complete without a visit to the Community's various surrounding towns, such as Toledo, Segovia, Ávila and Guadalajara. None of these towns are more than one hour's drive away.

Community of Madrid: Latest hotel reviews
  • 9.2 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Ritz Madrid by Belmond Mandarin Oriental
    Hotel 5 Etoile(s)

    Ideally located at the heart of the museum district and Retiro ...

  • 9.1 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    The Westin Palace Madrid
    Hotel 5 Etoile(s)

    Ideally located in the heart of an area populated by museums ...

  • 8.85 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Urban
    Madrid - Spain
    Hotel 5 Etoile(s)

    Nestled in the heart of the barrio de las Metras, the literary ...

  • 8.8 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Gran Meliá Fénix
    Madrid - Spain
    Hotel 5 Etoile(s)

    The Gran Meliá Fénix has been famous for many years for its status ...

  • 8.8 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Palacio del Retiro
    Madrid - Spain
    Hotel 5 Etoile(s)

    A member of the Spanish AC Hotels Group, the Palacio del Retiro ...

  • 8.8 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Silken Puerta America
    Hotel 5 Etoile(s)

    This is a truly original, almost museum-like hotel. Each floor ...

  • 8.7 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Villa Real
    Madrid - Spain
    Hotel 5 Etoile(s)

    Nestled in the heart of the barrio de las Letras, the literary ...

  • 8.7 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    ME Madrid
    Madrid - Spain
    Hotel 4 Etoile(s)

    With its eclectic style and eccentric atmosphere, the ME Madrid ...

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