Madrid Capital of Spain


Madrid is Majestic and Cosmopolitan and has been the capital of Spain since 1561. Madrid has exquisite architecture, elegant squares and beautiful broad tree-lined boulevards all dominated by Renaissance and Neoclassical/Romantic architecture. Madrid is one of the most vibrant cities in the world with a long and fascinating history and a friendly population.

Madrid City Breaks: The capital of Spain makes for an ideal cultural short break and offers a strong focus on the finer things in life, such as authentic Spanish cuisine, fashion, art and music. If your on a quick visit you'll find Madrid to be compact and easy to navigate, with many world-class attractions such as historical landmarks, museums, art galleries and large relaxing parks all within easy reach.

Whether you’re looking for a short stay or a longer duration, the capital city of Spain is the ideal setting for your next holiday adventure.

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Compare Discount Flight Only Ticket Deals to Madrid (MAD) direct from the following UK airports:

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Reasons to be happy: "shop to your heart’s content and soak up the atmosphere" - From high street favourites to designer brands, the Gran Via in central Madrid provides all your designer shopping needs.

Introduction: Nearly all of Madrid's main tourist areas are centrally located, including the main areas of Puerta del Sol (a bustling square full of important landmarks), Plaza Mayor (once the centre of Old Madrid now full with shops, cafes and restaurants), Palacio Real (Royal Palace) and Plaza de Colón.

Madrid Sightseeing: Start your sightseeing adventure in the heart of the city at Puerta del Sol (The Times Square of Spain) - a vibrant part of the city - full of bars, restaurants, shops, street performances and open-air celebrations.

Medieval Madrid: Just a short walk from La Puerta del Sol is Plaza Mayor - a spectacular Castilian square dating back to the 16th century. This area is lined with beautiful old buildings with colourful façades of frescos and impressively ornate churches. Top Tips: Stop-off for a glass of good Spanish wine and tasty tapas in one of the many bars, and relax while the city intensively drifts by. Don't forget to visit Goya's tomb at the Panteon de Goya (known as Goya's Sistine Chapel) for a fascinating insight into the works of one of Spain's most treasured modern-day artists. Goya painted the dome and cupola of the chapel with a fresco. You'll find mirrors have been placed in strategic places of the chapel to give detailed glimpses of Goya's art work.

Madrid Old Town

The Royal Place: (Palacio Real) is located next to the beautiful Plaza de Oriente square and is the largest Royal palace in in western Europe. The Palace is well worth a visit for it's detailed interior decoration, tapestries, valuable paintings and important works of art. The Palace is open to the public most of the year and is located on Bailén street with the nearest Metro station being Opera.

To escape the city heat head to the Parque del Oeste - Madrid's botanical gardens with beautiful and inviting landscapes, an ideal place to break away and have a family picnic or just to chill with friends.

Art in Madrid: Madrid is a sightseeing paradise with the arts taking centre stage. The Paseo del Arte (Art Walk) is also known as the art triangle and is home to three of the world’s most important art galleries, namely the Prado museum, Thyssen-Bornemisza museum and the Reina Sofía museum. The Reina Sofia displays artworks from the late nineteenth century to the present day, including works by masters like Dalí, Miró, Juan Gris and Picasso. Top Tip: If you're planning on visiting all three museums, purchase the Paseo del Arte pass, its valid for 1 year and allows one visit to each of the three museums, it also has the benefit of not needing to queue for entry.

Madrid Relaxes: As the evening starts to form the bars and cafes start to spill out onto the street to form 'terrazza seating', a popular way to relax whilst soaking up the last of the sun over a glass of Godello or Rioja and some fine tapas.

Madrid Nightlife: The nightlife in Madrid is varied and exciting with plenty of trendy bars and live music, nightclubs, tascas (cheap bars), plus Madrid's traditional old tavernas which are great to explore. On a slightly lower-key the tapas restaurants, outdoor cafes and trendy rooftop bars around the historic squares and plazas will all help kick-start your evening.

Madrid’s nightlife traditionally starts late at around 10 or 11 pm and usually after a late dinner and a few drinks. Madrid really starts to party after 12pm with El terraceo (terrace-hopping) being a popular start to the evening, as the night draws on the party moves to the nightclubs, with the popular party districts of Chueca and Lavapies hosting some of the cities biggest and best clubs. The Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol, Gran Vía and Chueca are some of the trendiest nightlife areas around, you'll find many clubs in these areas stay open past dawn.

For traditional flamenco performances head to at Casa Patas and the Lope de Vega theatre. Ongoing events in Madrid include the National Ballet season, the Madrid Jazz Festival and the Music and Dance Festival.

Public Transport in Madrid: Madrid is easy to get around and is served by an extensive Bus network, plus a modern Metro Rail system, and good taxi services. The most efficient method of transport is the Metro with over 300 stations linked together by 15 lines.

The Metro reaches almost all areas of the city and operates from 6am to 1.30am, with trains departing every 2 minutes during the morning commute and approximately every 15 minutes after midnight. A special 10 trip ticket allows for cheaper travel and is valid on both the metro and bus services. Top Tip: Use the Metro Route Planner to plan your journey.

Madrid Metro

If you plan to use Madrid's public transport system throughout your stay consider buying a Madrid Tourist Travel Pass, the pass is valid on all types of public transport. The pass is a convenient way to use the system and entitles you to unlimited travel over your selected time period - from 1 to 7 days in zone A (zone A covers Madrid City but not the surrounding areas). The pass also provides travel on all blue EMT city buses (except the yellow Airport Express shuttle).

Buying a Tourist Travel Card Buying a Madrid Tourist Travel Pass is easy. First your need a Multi Card or (Tarjeta Multi) which is a contactless smartcard that allows the Tourist Travel Pass to be loaded onto. The Multi Card is free When you first purchase the 1, 2, 3, 5 or 7-day Tourist Travel Pass. Conveniently when the Tourist Travel Pass expires, you can top up the smartcard with pay-per-ride tickets. The Multi Card is a non-personal prepaid contactless public transport card, which can be purchased at automatic ticket machines, licensed selling points or tobacco shops.

Madrid Taxi: Oficina Municipal del Taxi is the governing body for taxis in Madrid. City taxis are white with a diagonal red stripe and a green light on the roof, they are available for hire at ranks or on the street. Top Tip: As soon as you enter the taxi, check that the meter is not already running as this is an occasional scam to overcharge passengers.

Madrid Restaurants: For excellent traditional dinning head for the restaurants that line the Costa del Sol and the more exclusive Salamanca district. You should dine late in Madrid (around 10pm) in order to experience the real Spain. Restaurants and tapas bars are open till late and provide a wide variety of local delicacies. Try the Plaza Oriente for traditional restaurants, the Plaza Santa Ana and Paseo de la Castellana districts are open till late and have many trendy bars and pavement cafes.

Madrid Shopping: Madrid is a shopper's paradise, the main shopping areas are to be found along the Calle Gran Via and the Puerto del Sol and the streets of Princesa, Goya and Castellana. Here you’ll find a whole host of large local and international clothing stores, souvenir shops, specialist stores, boutiques and designer fashion outlets.

The famous department store El Corte Ingles has all that you could need. The lively and trendy Calle Fuencarral in the Chueca and Malasaña neighborhoods are home to well known fashion brands and to some of Madrid’s more modern and quirky stores. For high-end, sophisticated shopping and designer fashion head to Salamanca and 'the golden mile' one of Madrid's most glamorous districts.

For bargains head for the famous Rastro flea market close to the Latina metro station, the Rastro market is very popular with both locals and tourists and is renowned for its antique stalls, second-hand goods, jewellery, traditional crafts and other bargains. The market is held every Sunday from early morning until mid-afternoon and is worth visiting for it's colourful bustling atmosphere.

Madrid Airport MAD. Adolfo Suarez Madrid–Barajas Airport is located eight miles (13km) northeast of Madrid city centre.

Madrid Barajas Airport operates as a hub for both Iberia and Air Europa.

Madrid Airport Transport and Shuttle Services:
The Metro is the most convenient form of transport, with Line 8 operating to Madrid airport terminals 1-4 with a journey time of 15 minutes. Airport bus services run frequently to the city, with departures from the Arrivals level of each terminal.

Rail: The RENFE Spanish rail operates both the airport and city rail networks. The airport rail station is located on level 1 at Terminal 4. Trains run frequently from early morning through to late evening, services link to the city and the main rail networks.

Official taxi stands are located outside each terminal with a journey time of about 45 minutes depending on traffic.

Car Hire: All major car rental companies are represented at Madrid MAD airport, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt.

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