Madrid – the capital of Spain – is known for being one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. With a population over 3 million people, it’s the largest city in the country, and one of the most popular destinations for travel in Spain. In general, the city has a strong artistic feel, and is home to some of the hottest nightlife spots in the world.
When to visit?
If you’re planning a visit to the city, be aware that Madrid’s climate is usually hot in the summer and somewhat cold in the winter. Spring is considered the best time to visit, with April and May being the favorites. It rains quite often in the winter, but snow is usually confined to the mountain ranges that are nearby. www.travelrows.com
Madrid on the map:
For most visitors, the draw of the city is the historical district, which is located in the southern section of the city. There are also many tourist hotspots on Gran Via, which is one of the primary streets in the city. And although the city is full of wonderful cathedrals and some great medieval architecture, it’s as trendy as London or Berlin. If you’re looking for a wild array of nightlife choices, you’ll be pleased to know that Madrid has more bars than any other European city. The clubs and bars don’t start hopping until 10:00 or 11:00 p.m. and will continue until 5:00 or 6:00 a.m. Be warned – if you’re staying in a motel near these bars, you may end up having a very restless night’s sleep!
Besides the nightlife, there are many attractions to see in Madrid, with art museums and shopping at the top of the list. The Prado Museo del Prado contains one of the finest collections of art in the world, and the Reina Sofia National Museum and Art Center and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum of Art are “must-see” destinations as well. You’ll also find many natural history museums in Madrid – there is so much to see and do in this wonderful city that you may have to visit several times to even begin to see it all!
As with most European countries, you won’t have any trouble with transportation in Spain and traveling in and around Madrid, which has an extensive network of buses and the Metro line. You’ll find the stations clean and safe, which is no surprise considering that Madrid is one of the cleanest cities in Europe. In fact, you’ll frequently see city employees out cleaning the sidewalks and the streets to help maintain the city’s beauty and charm.
Getting to Madrid
Getting to Madrid isn’t a problem, as there are multiple flights daily into the Barajas International Airport. Currently, a flight from New York City to Madrid will cost you about $835 with a two-week advance purchase, although you can find cheaper fares if you can book even farther in advance. If you’re a student, or if you can fly into a different European city and book an inter-city flight on a discount airline, you could save even more money.
The airport is located about fifteen minutes from Madrid and the Metro line connects the airport to the city. If you travel around Madrid by Metro, the ticket price for a single trip is 1 Euro. However, coming or going form the airport on the Metro will cost you an additional 1 Euro. You can also find a taxi into the city for about 25 Euros. Don’t be afraid of taking the train – it’s actually a wonderful way to see Spain. You can travel to Barcelona in a little over two and a half hours from Madrid, and Seville to Madrid service is also available on high-speed trains that cover the distance in less than three hours.