Standing as the capital of Spain since 1562, Madrid is located at the geographic hearth of the Iberian Peninsula and on the Castilian Plain residing 646 m above sea level. Madrid is the largest city of country with an area of 1020 km² and the 3rd most populous city in the European Union (the others are London and Berlin). As a cardinal place for banking and industrial sectors, Madrid is a business center, the fabric of the network of access (Barajas being the main hub of Iberia Airlines), the home of the Spanish Royal Family, the center of Public Administration, Government and Spanish parliament.
Barajas Airport is located on the northeast of Madrid, Barajas district, only 12 kilometers from Madrid city centre. The price for a taxi ride from the Barajas Airport to the centre of Madrid is aproximately 30€. By far the most convenient way of reaching downtown is a 24-hours express bus service that passes all terminals. Alternatively, you can take the metro to Nuevos Ministerios station from all terminals. In order to reach the city centre, you must change metro line twice. Also, Terminal 4 of the airport is connected to the city by Cercanias commuter train. Madrid public transportation is clean, fast, safe, extensive and efficient. It includes 13 metro lines, more than 170 bus lines (EMT) and 10 lines of Cercanias (local trains that link the city centre with the suburbs).
Some of the more famous and luxurious accomodations include Hotel Ritz by Belmond, Hotel Orfila, Hotel Villa Magna, Urban Hotel Madrid, The Westin Palace Madrid, AC Palacio del Retiro, AC Santo Mauro, NH Collection Palacio de Tepa, Gran Melia Fenix, Hotel Unico Madrid, Hotel Villa Real, InterContinental Madrid and Hesperia Madrid. Mid-class hotels like the Hotel Acta Madfor, Hotel T3 Tirol, Ganivet Hotel, Hostal Benamar, Artrip Hotel and Silken Torre Garden are good choices. If you are looking for more slightly more budget-friendly lodging you can try Ibis Budget Madrid Valentin Beato, Hostal Comercial, Way Hostel, RC Miguel Ange, Cat's Hostel or Las Musas Hostel.
Although Madrid is the capital of Spain you will be able to see more tourist attractions in some of the cities of the country than the capital. This condition does not eliminate the reality that Madrid has a fascinating archaeological aspect. There are a great deal of art galleries and museums that you should travel. That is, Madrid is not composed of just sangria, sun and shopping. Madrid is a mind-blowing and cosmopolitan city with its archaeological appearance and historical monuments. Plaza Mayor is one of these significant artifacts. The square is placed at the hearth of Madrid. Muralla Arabe (Arab Wall) at the center of the city was constructed by Madrid's early-medieval Muslim rulers. From theatre performances to music shows, different kinds of organizations are held here in summer. Basilica de San Miguel situated at La Latina is a religious monument including statues of four virtues and of the relieves by Justo and Pastor. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia is one of the other famous art galleries of the city. Within that structure, you will be able to find the works of Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro, Juan Gris and Salvador Dali. Antigua Estacion de Atocha taking place in Huertas as a relic from the 19th century was transformed into a tropical garden in 1922. The building contains about 500 plant species. Campo del Moro located in Los Austrias is a historical garden that you should definitely travel. There are more basilicas, museums and archaeological monuments that you should explore when visiting the city.
Shopping is one of the core specifications of Madrid. You can find everything from craft stores, department stores to old and new fashion shopping centers. Adolfo Dominguez at the center of the city offers modern designs. You can find dress-suit, classic clothes, tinted and lively designs at this shopping center. Amore e Psique at Chueca is an outlet offering luxury and fashionable collection of clothes. You will be able to find famous brands such as Dolce&Gabbana and Gaetano Navarro. Calle Goya, Calle Serrano, Calle Almirante, Calle Ortega y Gasset and Calle Fuencarral are among the famous shopping streets of the city. Mercado de Monedas y Sellos and Mercado Fuencarral are two of the best markets in the city.
The availability of many theaters, cinemas, music, opera, dance, art and literature study centers reflect the cultural prosperity of Madrid. There are many galleries in the city. Flamenco and jazz are the integral parts of city culture. Also, bullfighting is a cultural tradition of the city. Every night of Madrid is lived until the sunrise. Every night of the week is a paradise. Most of the night locations are open till the early mornings. It is impossible to line all the nightlife venues in Madrid, besides, if you are telling about Madrid cited as the city of nights. The Estate Romana (Roman Summer; between June and September) is the period for free concerts, outdoor cinema and more activities. A great deal of outdoor concerts are held over the summer. The atmospheric jazz concerts organized at the Villa Celimontana is just an example. Also, the city is eligible for a great range of sport and recreation activities. Cycling, jogging, bath houses, swimming and horse riding are several examples.