Madrid is a cosmopolitan city. Recently, moreover, there has been an interesting transformation that highlights Madrid among the best options to discover South Europe and Mediterranean life, ancient and trendy at the same time, enjoying both good weather and good prices.
Madrid as capital of Spain, the Government's headquarters, the Cortes and the official residence of the Kings of Spain are all located in Madrid.
In financial terms, Madrid houses the headquarters of numerous international and national companies. The capital is also a haven of culture, with world-famous museums such as the Prado Museum and the Reina Sofía Museum.
DOCUMENTATION YOU MAY NEED TO VISIT MADRID
All member states of the European Union can visit Madrid just having their national ID, identity card or passport.
For short stays -less than three months-, visitors from the following countries would only need a valid passport: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Vatican City, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, United States, Guatemala , Honduras, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Macao, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Panama, Paraguay, Republic of Korea, San Marino, Switzerland, Singapore, Uruguay and Venezuela.
TRANSPORT FROM THE AIRPORT AND INSIDE THE CITY
Probably the fastest way to get around Madrid is the subway. Buses, depending on the route, often find traffic-jams. Cabs –taxis- are also widely, with a moderate drop flag and a maximum cost of € 10-20 for longer trips within the downtown area, normally accepting credit cards.
The taxi transport price from airport is fixed: 30 €. Subway (Metro de Madrid) runs to the airport (both terminals, T1-T2 or T4) by 8th modern line, with supplement of 3 € (single ticket costs 1.5 € and you use it for bus or metro, and the 10-trip-ticket costs € 12.50) in the special-enabled dispensing machines. Express bus also operates from the airport 24 hours, from all terminals to Cibeles and Atocha, each 13/15 minutes by rail and with a cost around € 5.
To move by train, you can use the RENFE, € 2-3, according to distance. These are the english links for your detailed information about metro, taxi, bus or train short distance.
Taxi Companies that operate in english: Radio Teléfono Taxi, Taxi Mercedes Madrid and Tele Taxi.
OPENING HOURS İN MADRID
The opening hours in Madrid are very long and some businesses are open any time of day, especially the souvenir shops and traditional products.
Certain smaller shops have shorter opening times and open from Monday - Saturday, from 10 am to 2 pm and from 5 pm to 8:30 pm, closing for lunch. Although most shops in the city center open all day from 10 am to 9 or 10 pm.
Shopping centers and department stores generally open every day from 10 am – 10 pm.
The museums in Madrid usually open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10 am – 7 pm or 8 pm. Although most museums remain closed on Monday, there are always exceptions and some open every day of the week. Some close on Sunday or Tuesday.
TOURS AROUND THE CITY
The sightseeing tour of Madrid City Tour has two routes (Historical and Modern Madrid), double-decker buses. It is a good choice. € 21 per day, or 25 for two, with special rates for young and older people. Tickets can be purchased on the bus, online or at newsstands.
#BiciMad is a new service in the center of Madrid: you can hire a motorbike, as in many other cities, for sightseeing place to place. It costs 50 cents the first half hour and scrolls smoothly.
In case of emergency, you can dial 112 free number, valid for all Spain, where you will be answered in english (french or german).
Municipal police: 092
National Police: 091
Prefix of Spain: +34
Prefix of Madrid: 91
Madrid tourist information: 902 100 007
Foreign tourist assistance service: 902 102 112
CLIMATE OF MADRID
The climate of Madrid is Continental Mediterranean; mainly dry with cold winters and hot summers. Although, like in most other large cities, Madrid's temperatures vary from the city center to its outskirts. The temperatures are less extreme in the heart of the capital than in the periphery.
It rains throughout the year; however, the average precipitation levels are below most other European capital cities like Paris or London. The wettest months are April, May, November and December.
Madrid has plenty of sunny days and its blue skies and stunning sunsets are renowned.
Summer in Madrid
Summers in Spain's capital are generally dry and hot and are sometimes as blistering as in the south of the country, like in Andalucía. In July and August, the maximum temperatures are usually over 86°F (30°C), although the hottest month of the year in normally August.
SOME GENERAL TIPS
- Madrid is a safe city. People are open and friendly, although they do not speak english, they will try to help you.
- Smoking is prohibited in all enclosed public spaces.
- The voltage in Spain is 220 volts, 50 Hertz alternating current. The Sockets meet European regulations and use the round pin system
- In many bars and restaurants –all hotels- you will find wifi access, including bus lines