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What You Need to Know About Madrid Before You Go

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What You Need to Know About Madrid Before You Go

Spain is blessed with a delightful climate, relaxed people and a culture that makes wining and dining an art form.

The official epithet for the natives of the city is Madrileño, but they are frequently known as gatos (cats). City breaks in Madrid will make it apparent that the city positions itself as one of the important cities in Europe.

Madrid is a foremost southern European city and the most significant link between the European Union and Latin America. The enlightened city is home to over three million people. Like any other chief European capital city, each district (or barrio in Spanish) has its own ambiance.

Madrid is also distinguished for its nightlife and discotheques. Young & warm madrileños dances all night and stop off for chocolate at first light. Also trendy is the custom of gathering in parks or streets with friends and drinking together (called ‘botellón’, from ‘botella’, bottle). Since few years drinking in the street is endorsed with a fine. The juvenile madrileños drink together all around the city instead of in some well-known places. You‘ll take best pleasure in your Madrid holidays.

Madrid: Royal city of artists

Madrid lacks the antiquity of other European capitals. It only became the capital in the second half of the 16th century when Phillip II plucked it from obscurity to become the seat of his court.

Transport: Getting there and getting around

Barajas, Madrid’s huge modern airport, offers metro connections to downtown.
The metro is a great way to get around the city and there are also buses. Plus, the compact city center is good for walking and taxis are cheap.

The Madrid Metro is one of the most far-reaching and fastest-growing metro networks in the world. It is now the second largest metro system in Western Europe, first being the London’s Underground. The province of Madrid is also served by a widespread rail network called Cercanías.

climate

Generally, just about everywhere in Spain is pleasant from April to early November. However temperatures can drop to freezing in Madrid between December and February while in July and August the city smoulders with temperatures above 30 C.

Accommodation

Check on the internet for the range, location and cost of Madrid hotels

Events: What’s on and what’s hot

Festivals are part of the fabric Spanish social life and the best held between Semana Santa (the week before Easter Sunday) and from September to October.

  • Carnevale (February to March),
  • the Fiesta de la Comunidad de Madrid (2 May)
  • Fiestas de San Isidro (15 May)
  • If bullfights are to your taste, you can head to the world’s biggest bullfighting ring, the Plaza de Toros Monumental de Las Ventas. The season begins in February with main event being the mid-May feria, a four week bullfighting extravaganza during the festival of San Isidro.

The town was called Complutum in Roman times. It is famous as the former seat of a great university founded in 1508 which subsequently transferred to Madrid in 1836. Also as the birthplace of Cervantes, Ferdinand I and Katherine of Aragon. And lastly as the scene of the Cortes in which Alfonso XI promulgated the Ordenamiento de Alcalá. The Spanish civil war saw the town severely damaged.

Other towns within the autonomous region of Madrid include Toledo, which preceded Madrid as the Spanish capital. Avila, whose old walls remain largely intact and a walk along them provides superb views of the town within and the harsh Castilian landscape outside. Segovia and it’s ancient
aqueduct which is an example of Roman engineering at it’s very best and Guadalajara.