Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. It is also the third most populous city in the European Union after London and Berlin. Its economic and political importance, as well as its major cultural influence, rank Madrid as one of the major global cities of the world.
Madrid is considered one of the major financial centers of the Iberian Peninsula. The city hosts the head offices of the vast majority of the major Spanish companies, as well as the headquarters of three of the world’s 100 largest companies. As the capital city of Spain, Madrid is also the political centre of the country.
Madrid is a city of great cultural and political importance. It possesses a modern infrastructure, but has preserved the look and feel of many of its historic neighbourhoods and streets. Its landmarks include the huge Royal Palace of Madrid.
Sights and Attractions
Royal Palace (Palacio Real) – The 3,000-room palace of The Spanish Royal Family . The Royal Family don’t actually reside here so apart from dates set aside for official state function it is open to visitors.
Prado Museum (Museo del Prado) – The Prado is one of the world’s greatest galleries and is Madrid ‘s premier tourist attraction with a higher concentration of masterpieces than any other museum in the world. In fact the museum is only possible to display around 1,500 works of its 9,000-piece collection at any one time. There are many works by some of the most famous artists, such as Goya, El Greco and Velázquez.
Plaza Mayor – Built in the 15 th century it was originally used as the city’s focal point for bullfights, carnivals and all the great festivals. After being re-built it now hosts a selection of pricey bars and restaurants on the outskirts of the square along with novelty shops selling hats and coins. There are tourists from all over the globe hanging around this grand plaza.
The region of Madrid has a temperate Mediterranean climate with cold winters that experience temperatures lower than 0 °C. Summer tends to be warm with temperatures that consistently surpass 30 °C. Due to Madrid’s high altitude and dry climate, nightly temperatures tend to be cooler, leading to a lower average in the summer months. Summer and winter are the driest seasons, with most rainfall occurring in the autumn and spring.