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Madrid, Spain

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Madrid, SpainMadrid, Spain
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authorshipTomás Fano
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Madrid is the capital and biggest city in Spain. The municipality of Madrid is the third biggest in the European Union after London and Berlin while the metropolitan area is also the third most populous, behind Paris and London. Madrid covers an area of 698 square kilometers (234 square miles) and has a total metropolitan population of 6.3 million people.

Cuatro Torres Business Area (CTBA), MadridCuatro Torres Business Area (CTBA), Madrid
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authorshipLuis Carcía
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Catedral de la Almudena, MadridCatedral de la Almudena, Madrid
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M-30 Ring Highway, MadridM-30 Ring Highway, Madrid
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authorshipLuis García
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Madrid is situated on the banks of the River Manzanares, almost at the very heart of Spain. Madrid is considered the engine of the Spanish economy. It has a modern intrastructure as well as well preserved historical sights.

The city of Madrid enjoys a continental climate, with hot summers and cold, wet winters. The hottest month is June, when daily mean temperature rises to 24.8°C (77°F) and average high of 31.2°C (88°F). The coldest month is January, with average low of 2.6°C (37°F). November and December are the wettest months, with 56 mm (2.2 inches) of precipitation each.

Plaza de Cibeles, MadridPlaza de Cibeles, Madrid
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Parque del Buen Retiro, MadridParque del Buen Retiro, Madrid
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Parque de la Montaña, MadridParque de la Montaña, Madrid
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authorshipLuis García
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Budget Travel to Madrid

The main international gateway to Madrid is the Madrid Barajas International Airport (MAD). The airport has four terminals, include a newly built low-cost terminal. Ryanair flies to Madrid from London Stansted and London Gatwick.

Upon arriving at Madrid Airport, you can take Metro Line 8 (pink line) to downtown Madrid. The fare is €2.00. Bus 200 and 204 also goes from the airport to downtown Madrid, to Plaza Colón and Avenida de América. The same journey by taxi will set you back €32.

Templo de Debod, MadridTemplo de Debod, Madrid
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authorshipFernando Garcí Redondo
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Puerta de Alcalá, MadridPuerta de Alcalá, Madrid
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authorshipEmilio Garciá
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Fuente de la Cibeles, MadridFuente de la Cibeles, Madrid
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authorshipManuel Parada López de Corselas
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Budget Travel within Madrid

The most practical way to move about in Madrid is to take the Metro. Madrid has the second largest subway in Europe, second only to London. You should consider getting the tourist passes with allow for unlimited rides. They are available for one day (€5.20), two days (€8.80), 3 days (€11.60), 5 days (€17.60), and 7 days (€23.60). You can buy the passes at the metro stations and at some news stands.

Colegiata de San Isidro, MadridColegiata de San Isidro, Madrid
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authorshipEnrique Cordero
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Museo del Prado, MadridMuseo del Prado, Madrid
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authorshipJavier Carro
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Sights in Old Madrid

  1. Campo del Moro
    Public park with fine views of the Palacio Real.
  2. Catedral de la Almudena
    Cathedral in Neo-Gothic style dedicated to the patron.
  3. Colegiata de San Isidro
    Twin-towered church built by the Jesuits in mid-17th century, in the Baroque style.
  4. Gran Via
    A major thoroughfare in Madrid.
  5. Iglesia de San Nicolás de Bari
    The oldest surviving ecclesiastical structure in Madrid, dating to 1202.
  6. Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales
    One of the few surviving buildings erected in the 16th century in Madrid.
  7. Monasterio de la Encarnación
    Augustinian convent founded in 1611 for Margaret of Austria, the wife of Felipe III, and still inhabited by nuns today.
  8. Palacio Real
    The impressive Royal Palace of Madrid built in the 18th century.
  9. Plaza de España
    Public square located at one of the busiest traffic intersections in Madrid.
  10. Plaza de la Villa
    A plaza in the middle of Madrid surrounded by historic secular buildings.
  11. Plaza de Oriente
    Public square where important state meetings took place.
  12. Plaza Mayor
    A rectangular public square where many historical events had taken place.
  13. Puerta del Sol
    Public public square in the heart of Madrid, and km-0 for distances in Spain.
  14. Real Academia de Bellas Artes
    Arts academy housed in an 18th century building by Churriguera.

Sights in Bourbon Madrid

  1. Ateneo de Madrid
    Learning association, similar to a gentleman's club, founded in 1835.
  2. Calle de Serrano
    Madrid's most trendy shopping street.
  3. Café Gijón
    The only intellectual's café still operating in Madrid.
  4. Casa de Lope de Vega
    House in which Félix Lope de Vega wrote many of his plays in the 17th century.
  5. Congreso de los Diputados
    Mid-19th century building housing the Spanish parliament.
  6. Estación de Atocha
    The old Atocha railway station, where the first railway service began in 1851.
  7. Hotel Ritz
    One of the most extravagant hotel in Spain.
  8. Iglesia de San Jerónimo el Real
    Madrid's royal church built in the 16th century by Queen Isabel.
  9. Museo Arqueológico Nacional
    One of the best museums in Madrid, with collections from the prehistoric to the 19th century.
  10. Museo del Prado
    Museum with one of the greatest collection of Spanish paintings.
  11. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
    Museum of 20th century art, home to Picasso's Guernica.
  12. Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas
    Museum of Decorative Arts housed in a 19th century palace overlooking the Parque del Retiro.
  13. Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza
    Museum exhibiting the extensive collection of Baron Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza and his son Hans Heinrich.
  14. Parque del Retiro
    Park named after the royal palace comples of King Felipe IV that used to be located there.
  15. Plaza Cánovas del Castillo
    Roundabout named after 19th century Spanish statesman Antonio Cánovas del Castillo.
  16. Plaza de Cibeles
    One of the best known and most beautiful landmarks in Madrid.
  17. Plaza de Colón
    Large public square dedicated to Christopher Columbus.
  18. Puerta de Alcalá
    Ceremonial gateway erected by King Carlos III in 1769.
  19. Real Academia de la Historia
    The Royal Academy of History housed in an 18th century building by Juan de Villanueva.
  20. Real Jardín Botánico
    Royal Botanical Gardens of Madrid designed in 1781 by botanis Gómez Ortega and Juan de Villanueva, architect of the Prado.
  21. Salón de Reinos
    One of the two remaining parts of the Palacio del Buen Retiro.
  22. Teatro Español
    The oldest and most beautiful theatre in Madrid.

Other Sights in Madrid

  1. Casa de Campo
    Former royal hunting ground, today a popular daytime recreational area.
  2. Cuatro Torres Business Area
    Business park with some of the tallest skyscrapers in Madrid and Spain.
  3. El Rastro
    Madrid's flea market.
  4. Ermita de San Antonio de la Florida
    Neo-Classical church building erected during the reign of Carlos IV, with works of art by Goya.
  5. La Latina
    A working-class district with steep streets lined with tall, narrow houses.
  6. Malasaña
    A district of narrow streets that wears the air of old Madrid.
  7. Museo Cerralbo
    19th century mansion housing the art collection of Enrique de Aguilera y Gamboa, the 17th Marques of Cerralbo.
  8. Museo de América
    Museum housing the artifacts related to the Spanish colonization of the Americas.
  9. Museo Lázaro Galdiano
    Art museum housing the collection of editor and financier José Lázaro Galdiano.
  10. Museo Municipal
    Municipal museum with one of the finest doorways in Madrid. The museum is devoted to chronicling the history of Madrid.
  11. Museo Sorolla
    Studio-mansion of Valencian Impressionist painter Joaquín Sorolla, preserved as it was when he died in 1923.
  12. Palacio de Liria
    Palace built in 1780 and still owned by the Alba family.
  13. Paseo de la Castellana
    Busy traffic artery on the eastern part of Madrid.
  14. Plaza de la Paja
    An atmospheric public square with many interesting buildings surrounding it.
  15. Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas
    Beautiful building erected in 1929 where bullfighting is still being carried out.
  16. Real Fábrica de Tapices
    Royal Tapestry Factory, the only remaining such factory opened by the Bourbons in the 18th century.
  17. Templo de Debod
    The ancient Egyptian temple that was a gift to Spain as tribute to Spanish engineers involved in the construction of the Aswan Dam.

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