Madrid Travel Guide & Information

Madrid, the capital and largest city of Spain, has long been known for its exquisite art, music and epicurean delights; so much so, Madrid has become a cosmopolitan, modern urban center while preserving its traditions. Madrid is a lively city; activities and sightseeing are plentiful and readily available just about any time of the day.

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Madrid can be traced back to Arab Emir Mohamed I, who ordered the construction of a fortress on the left bank of the Manzanares River. Book flights to Madrid and visit a destination that represents that perfect harmony between old and new. The city possesses a modern infrastructure paired with a rich sense of history. Landmarks like, Royal Palace of Madrid; the Teatro Real with its restored 1850 Opera House; the Buen Retiro park, founded in 1631 and the grandiose 19th century National Library containing some of Spain's historical archives and much more.

Travel to Madrid, a city that boasts some of the liveliest nightlife in the world. From tapas bars to nightclubs, the nightlife in Madrid is exciting. While vacationing to this incredible destination, you’ll have much to do and see by day and night.

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Things to do in Madrid

Museums:

Madrid has a host of museums, which are the focal point of Madrid’s history in the arts and culture of Spain and Madrid.

National Archeology Museum: The museum was founded in 1867 by a Royal Decree of Isabella II. Originally, it was created as a depository for numismatic, archaeological, ethnographical and decorative art collections compiled by the Spanish monarchs. The current collection includes, among others, Pre-historic, Celtic, Iberian, Greek and Roman antiquities and medieval objects.

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Museum of the Americas: The Museum of America in Madrid is a National museum that holds artistic, archaeological and ethnographic collections from the whole American continent, ranging from the Paleolithic period to present day.

Museo del Prado: The Museo del Prado features one of the world's finest collections of European art, from the 12th century to the early 19th century based on the former Spanish Royal Collection. Founded as a museum of paintings and sculpture, important collections of more than 5,000 drawings, 2,000 prints, 1,000 coins and medals, as well as almost 2,000 decorative objects and works of art can be enjoyed.

Must See:

Besides world class museums, Madrid has other sightseeing options to keep everyone entertained and during their vacation to this world class destination.

Palacio Real: The palace is located on Bailen Street, in the Western part of downtown Madrid, East of the Manzanares River, and is accessible from the Opera metro station. The palace is partially open to the public, except when it is being used for official business. The palace also has the distinction of being the largest royal palace in Europe, with a combined area of over 135,000 m² and more than 2,800 rooms.

El Retiro: El Retiro often described as the "Lungs of Madrid", is the main park of the city of Madrid, a magnificent park, filled with beautiful sculptures and monuments, galleries, a peaceful lake and host to a variety of events, it is one of Madrid's premier attractions. The park is entirely nestled amidst a bustling city. It’s a perfect place to rest on a sunny afternoon after sightseeing.

La Transhumancia: La Transhumancia is one of Madrid’s popular attractions. Farmers in Madrid move their livestock between grazing areas. The sheep parade through the city of Madrid, this attracts a large crowd.

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Where to Stay in Madrid:

Being a premier travel destination, Madrid offers full range of hotels varying from cheap hotels to 4-Star Hotels Under $99 to hostels, resorts, and Bed and Breakfast Inns.

Retiro & Paseo del Prado: The area is filled with grand hotels located close to Madrid's greatest attractions: the Prado Museum; the Thyssen-Bornesmiza Museum; the Reina Sofia Museum, the Botanical Gardens and Buen Retiro Park. You’ll find notable chains like, the Ritz Carlton, The Four Seasons and Hilton hotels, to name a few. It’s a perfect choice for travelers looking to stay at luxury hotels close to all the attractions.

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Plaza de las Cortes & Argüelles: The area offers select, budget hotels with a slightly quieter ambience as does the Arguelles area, just west of the Plaza Espana. A number of newer hotels away from the center, especially on the streets just off the Paseo de la Castellana, a particularly popular choice for business and leisure travelers.

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Passport & Visa Requirements

For US Citizens:

Madrid is a part of the Schengen Agreement. U.S. citizens may enter Madrid for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa.

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* If you are traveling for any other purpose, you may need to obtain a visa.

* Your passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the period of stay.

* The 90-day period begins when you enter any of the Schengen group of countries.

For Canadian Citizens:

A tourist visa is not required for stays of less than 90 days within a 6-month period.

* A Canadian passport is required for Canadians intending to visit the Madrid.

* The passport must be valid for at least three months beyond the date of the expected departure from the country.

This requirement applies to all travelers, regardless of age, including children.

We strongly recommend that you check the latest travel alerts, various airlines baggage policies and travel safety tips, before planning your travel.

* Kindly note that we take the utmost care in providing you with correct information at all times. However, the passport and visa regulations are subject to change and we strongly urge you to check the requirements directly with the US passport office and, or the Canadian Passport Office before traveling.

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When to visit Madrid

Madrid has a lovely climate, attracting scores of visitors throughout the year. The most popular times to visit are spring and fall.

The weather during spring and fall is perfect for outdoor activities, such as outdoor sightseeing. Summers are hot and many places close for the holidays and in August and September. Temperatures and prices are lower in the winter, when fewer people visit.

Planning your Visit

High season: (March to May, September to November)

Low season: (July to August, December to February)

Madrid Weather

The climate in Madrid is dry, warm and pleasant. It's high altitude and proximity to the mountains causes some variations in temperature during the winter and summer months.

* Summer tends to be hot with temperatures that consistently surpass 30 °C in July and rarely reach 40 °C.

* Precipitation levels are low, but precipitation can be observed throughout the year. Summer and winter are the driest seasons, with most rainfall occurring in the autumn and spring.

Currency and Language:

Currency:

The currency used in Madrid is the Euro or €.

Money can be exchanged at any bank, and at most travel agencies, major hotels and airports.

Languages: