Madrid: the capital of Spain
Madrid is the capital of Spain. It is the largest city in the country and one of the most populated cities in Europe, with almost 4 million inhabitants. Being the capital, Madrid is in the centre of the country and is perfectly connected to any part of Spain. Madrid has a large airport and a high-speed train network. It also has some of the best metro lines in Europe, which will allow you to get to know the city in depth!
A city with two faces
Madrid is a cosmopolitan and multicultural city, where different cultures and lifestyles coexist. Madrid has a double face. It is a city of big business. An example of this is the Paseo de la Castellana with its iconic business towers. However, Madrid also has typical neighbourhoods of ordinary people, where getting lost in its streets and getting to know its corners becomes something wonderful. There is the neighbourhood of La Latina, close to the centre, where the Rastro (a flea market) takes place and is not to be missed. The Malasaña neighbourhood, a young neighbourhood with plenty of vintage shops. The neighbourhood of Chueca, a neighbourhood representative of the LGTBI+ community, or working class neighbourhoods on the outskirts such as Vallecas or Carabanchel. Getting to know Madrid means getting to know each of its neighbourhoods.
A cultural city
Art and culture are the order of the day in Madrid. There are many monuments, emblematic places and museums to visit. Among the museums are the Museo del Prado, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía and the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, which are among the most visited museums in the world. These museums have discounts for students and some days you can even get in for free!
Other important places to visit in Madrid are the Buen Retiro Gardens, one of the largest parks in Europe, the Royal Palace, the Puerta de Alcalá, the Plaza Mayor or the Puerta del Sol.
Madrid: a city full of traditions
Madrid is also a city of history and traditions. The city of Madrid traditionally celebrates pilgrimages and open-air dances in honour of San Isidro Labrador on 15 May. It is also a tradition in the capital to celebrate Gay Pride between June and July, which is the Madrid festival that attracts the largest crowds (around 1.5 million people). Also of note in the city is the Three Wise Men’s Parade on 5 January and less fun and more religious festivities such as the celebrations of the Virgin of the Almudena in November and Easter Week. In Madrid, it is not only the celebrations that are traditional. There is also a typical costume known as “chulapa” or “chulapo” and a typical dish: bocadillo de calamares (squid sandwich).
Madrid is one of the Spanish cities with the most universities, six of which are fully public: Universidad de Alcalá, Universidad Autónoma, Universidad Carlos III, Universidad Complutense, Universidad Politécnica and Universidad Rey Juan Carlos.
This is why Madrid has an unparalleled university atmosphere, where there is no shortage of parties in the neighbourhoods, festivals and good vibes!