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City Breaks Madrid

Madrid is a modern capital city that dances to its own rhythm – often until the sun comes up. If you’re looking for people-watching opportunities, find them at one of many scenic pavement cafes. Along the Paseo del Arte, discover more collections of fine and modern art than you can squeeze into one visit. Wander stylish shopping streets, and visit the home ground of one of Europe’s most famous football teams.

25 °C

Best time to visit: Madrid’s gardens and green spaces tend to be at their prettiest in spring.

2.5 hours

Fly to: Madrid-Barajas airport, around 15km northeast of central Madrid. 

Alternative transport: Madrid is well connected by rail, to France. From the UK, France is easily accessible by Eurostar. Madrid is also accessible from the whole of Spain and Europe by coach.

The Spanish capital offers something to please just about everyone. Shoppers, sightseers, footy fans and art lovers will be in their element here. We’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite things to do in Madrid to help you put together an itinerary to suit you.

Puerta del Sol is the hub for many of the city’s historical streets, making it one of the essential places to visit in Madrid. See the famous clock at Casa de Correos and stop by Kilometre Zero for a photo at the starting point for all of Spain’s radial roads.

Some of the best places to visit in Madrid can be found within the city’s collection of art galleries. There are too many to mention, but make a point of stopping by El Prado, the centrepiece of the Paseo del Arte (Art Walk); Thyssen-Bornemisza; and the Reina Sofia Museum.

If shopping features highly on your list of things to do in Madrid, head to Barrio de Salamanca to spend a few hours admiring the perfectly tailored designer dresses. For high-street fashion, Calle Almirante is the place to find cool Spanish and international brands.

With space for more than 81,000 fans, Real Madrid’s home stadium, Estadio Santiago Bernabéu is one of the best places in Madrid to bring any passionate football fan. Get a sense of the electric match day atmosphere and understand the excitement over the celebrated team.

MADRID IS BEST FOR...

Art lovers: Wander the Paseo del Arte (Art Walk) to see famous art collections spanning the ages.

Football fans: Walk on the hallowed home ground of one of the world’s greatest soccer success stories: Real Madrid.

Stylish shoppers: Explore Madrid’s network of stylish shopping streets, with labels ranging from trendy high street to high-end designer.


FAST FACTS

Language: The language spoken in Spain is Spanish

Currency: The currency used in Madrid is the euro (€)

Local time: Madrid is 1 hour ahead of GMT/UK time

Fly to: Madrid-Barajas airport, around 15km northeast of central Madrid. 

Alternative transport: Madrid is well connected by rail, to France. From the UK, France is easily accessible by Eurostar. Madrid is also accessible from the whole of Spain and Europe by coach.

Flight time from UK: 2.5 hours

Tourist Information: Further Madrid tourist information can be found at www.esmadrid.com

Visa & Health: Before you travel, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/spain for recommendations and advice on visas and health for your holiday to Madrid.


WEATHER AND CLIMATE

Temperature: July and August see an average temperature of 25 (°c), which decreases to 6 in January. Thankfully cloudless skies are common during winter in Madrid.

Best time to visit: Madrid’s gardens and green spaces tend to be at their prettiest in spring. Things can get dry and very hot in summer. While autumn can be wet, it’s a great time to wrap up warm and see the leaves turn a rainbow of golden colours.


GETTING AROUND

Madrid Metro: Madrid’s metro is the fastest and cheapest way of getting around the city. Hop on one of the 12 lines linking the whole of Madrid and some of the suburbs too. Pick up a Tourist Travel Pass for unlimited use of all of Madrid’s public transport.

Bus: For places that the metro doesn’t quite reach, Madrid’s buses do a great job. At your service almost around the clock, during peak hours they run every 4-15 minutes.

Cercanías suburban service: If you fancy taking a trip outside the city, hop aboard one of the cheap and fast suburban trains.


EVENTS

Kick up your heels: Held each June, Suma Flamenca is a festival that celebrates flamenco dancing in all of its forms, from the traditional to the modern, to a soundtrack of Spanish guitar.

Street party: Mulafest brings you the best of underground music, theatre, skateboarding, films, breakdance and custom motorcycles and cars. Held in June, this is the place to sample street food ranging from flavourful Vietnamese noodles to familiar fish and chips.

Celebrate Madrid: Straddling February and March, Carnival showcases Madrid’s imagination, through colourful fancy dress costumes and masks as well as a lively programme of activities.


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