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MADRID


Madrid

Madrid has been the capital of Spain since 1562. It's location is approximately in the centre of Spain. Due to this central location and high altitude, the climate of Madrid is characterized by warm dry summers and cool winters. This is a cosmopolitan city with cultural and political importance. Its position as a centre for economics, finance, administration and services combines the most modern infrastructure with an important cultural and artistic heritage, the legacy of centuries of fascinating history.

So, while Madrid possesses a modern infrastructure, it has preserved the look and feel of many of its historic neighbourhoods and streets. For instance, some of its main historic places are the huge Royal Palace of Madrid; the Teatro Real (Royal theatre); the Buen Retiro park; the imposing 19th-century National Library building (founded in 1712); an archaeological museum of international reputation; and three superb art museums: Prado Museum, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, housed in the renovated Villahermosa Palace.

Madrid

But Madrid is not just a cultural destination. It is also a lively metropolis with many pubs, cafes, discotheques and nightclubs open late into the night. It may be the afternoon siesta that gives them the endurance to keep things going well into the night. In fact, on weekends, Madrilenian youth are famous for dancing all night long, stopping off only for having some chocolate and churros at dawn, go home, take a shower, shave, and go to work. Madrid has an amazing quantity of dance halls, tascas, cafes, theaters, movie houses, music halls, and nightclubs. However, many of these offerings are strictly for residents or for Spanish-speakers.

After spending much of the 20th century at the centre of a totalitarian regime, Madrid has burst back onto the world stage with an energy of its 16th-century golden age. Beginning in the early 20th century, Madrid grew to be an important industrial centre. Its commercial and industrial life developed very rapidly after the 1890s and is rivaled in Spain only by that of Barcelona.

Especially around Puerta del Sol, you'll find a high concentration of everything relating to food, drinking, entertainment and staying away from your hotels as long as possible. Madrid, during the summer, becomes a virtual free festival because the city sponsors a series of plays, concerts, and films. If you're in Madrid during the second half of May be sure to join Madrileños in celebrating the Feria de San Isidro, which has music, operas, concerts, bullfighting and dancing. In the same way, mid August is when the city celebrates the Verbena de la Paloma.

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Madrid Accommodation

As the capitol of Spain, Madrid has plenty of accommodation available, from top hotels to Hostels and Pensions. It is said that there over 400 hotels in Madrid and close surrounding areas.

This is the types of accommodation you can expect to find in Madrid and surrounding areas -

Rental Accommodation - This can vary from a basic apartment through to a luxury villa with pool, and can be for one person or a large group. The price you pay makes all the difference.
Hotel - Simply be looked after. Generally the more you pay, the better the room and the service. Some hotels display a sun, star, keys or bed rating. Cheap Madrid hotels are always a good choice.
Aparthotel - Look after yourself in an apartment, in a hotel building. Some will have cooking facilities. Others you can use the hotel restaurant if you wish - or alternatively eat out.

 

Apartment - Look after yourself - usually completely self-contained and situated in a apartment block or part of a house.
Hostel - Hotel accommodation with the lowest rating, more often used by younger people. Prices vary, but many hostels can be as much as 50% cheaper than an equivalent hotel. If it's advertised as 'Albergues Juveniles', it's a Youth Hostel.
Pension - Similar to Hostel, but with the most basic of accommodation, sometimes sharing with others.
Camping - There are a number of campsites in the area around Madrid, for both camping and caravans. Alan Rogers web site gives fairly detailed reviews of all these sites.

Hotal Accommodation     Hotel Accommodation

In Madrid you will find most of these types of accommodation (although you will have difficulty finding a luxury villa with a pool or a camping site in the middle of the city!!! ). Because Madrid is a busy built-up area, most accommodation will appear to be in block of flats adjacent to streets, while others (usually away from the centre of the city) can be luxurious apartments in ultra modern tower blocks. It's all down to cost and how far from the centre of the city you prefer to be.

There are many Accommodation Agents in the city, as well as some Real Estate offices who can arrange bookings. If you prefer to book before arriving, try searching for 'Madrid Accommodation' on the Internet, where you will find an unbelievable numbers of agents listed and waiting to help you. You may also find some of the advertisers on this page helpful.

Be prepared to pay some money up-front as a deposit for your accommodation, and be aware that not all establishments will take credit cards (sometimes not even debit cards). Check first. For one-night stays, you may be asked for the full amount in advance. Very few places will take bankers cheque's unless paid well in advance.

 

Madrid Buses & Car Hire

Madrid Bus

There are a number of bus operators in the Madrid area, both private and state-owned, the main one being EMT. This organisation run over 2005 buses covering all the important and popular destinations. For a full listing of services, their web site is very comprehensive, and in English - http://www.emtmadrid.es/emt/

The colour of the buses often denote the distance or area they travel to or from -
Red - Urban - mostly EMT.
Green - Suburban - mostly private companies.

In addition to 'normal' routes, there are Tour Buses which are open-top double-decker's and long-distance coaches providing links to other parts of the country, ticket for which can be ordered online from Eurolines web site -
http://www.eurolines.com

In Madrid, there is currently a standard fare of 1 euro on all EMT main routes and is payable on the bus. EMT also offers a Metrobus ticket for 9 euros which covers most normal and MetroMadrid routes, for 10 journeys. These can be purchased at Metro Network kiosks, newsagents kiosks and authorised tobacconists. It is necessary for the passenger to pass the ticket through the machine on entering the bus.

Metrobus Ticket

Madrid's Main Bus Stations are -

Estación Sur Menendez Álvaro. Tel: 914 684 200
Metro stop: Menendez Álvaro (circular line 6)
Metropolitan-area trains: Menendez Álvaro buses 113-141-8

Avenida de América Transfer Station. Tel: 917 456 300
Metro stop: Avenida de América

Empresa Ruiz Station. Tel: 914 680 850
Metro stop: Atocha

La Sepulveda Station. Tel: 915 304 800
Metro stop: Principe Pío

 

Madrid Taxis and Car Hire

"Can´t live with them, can´t live without them!" Is very true of Madrid taxi drivers. Whilst they are a menace to anyone driving in the city, they are needed my many people. If you are a car driver in Madrid - beware.

Madrid Taxi

Madrid taxis can be booked in advance or hailed in the street in the normal way. But they cannot be booked to collect you at the airport or a train station. At these places there is normally a queue of taxis waiting to take you to your destination.

Taxi Telephone Numbers -
Radio Taxi Associated Gremial - 91 447 51 80 or 91 447 32 32
Radio Taxi Independent - 91 405 12 13 or 91 405 55 00
Euro Taxi - 91 547 82 00
Teletaxi - 01 371 21 31 or 91 371 37 11

Madrid taxis have two ways to indicate if they are available or not - a green light on the roof of the cab and a placard inside the front window. A green light and 'Libre' on the placard indicates they are available. 'Occupado' naturally means the taxis is occupied.

As with all taxis, ask for the cost of travel before you start the journey. There are a number of supplements which the metre will add to the fare at the end of your journey, and these include 5 euro to go to or from the airport, 2.50 euro to a train station, etc. Be prepared. The driver may also charge for any luggage, or what he considers excessive luggage.

Madrid Car Hire

If you are only needing to travel around Madrid city, it is far more practical and cost effective to use the metro and bus services than to hire a car. However if you need to travel outside the city, then there is a bewildering number of car hire companies to choose from based in central Madrid. They are not always very cheap. If on the other hand you need a hire car on arriving at Madrid Airport (Barajas), because many hire car companies are competing for your business, and because they are mostly all together is an area where you can go from one to another to compare prices, you will find it easier to get better deals. It's well worth shopping around. As with hiring a car anywhere in the world, check on what you are hiring, and the terms and conditions, before you sign for it.

Madrid Entertainment

Street Entertainment

As you would expect of the capital city in Spain, the amount and quality of entertainment available, is considerable, and this page can only cover a small part of it.

Music
You can find all types of music in Madrid. Many major artists play here, and there are a vast number of venues that provide flamenco, classical, jazz, rock, pop, DJ’s including many live concerts. The centre of Madrid has a many flamenco shows, on the streets you will find artists singing and playing guitars - solo and in groups. The local newspapers are a good place to find the shows listed, while some venues simply have sandwich boards outside the venue advertising the current attraction.

Madrid Theatre

Theatre
When it comes to theatre entertainment in Madrid, you will be spoilt for choice. There there are more than 27 theatres in the centre alone. The Gran Via road is full of theatres, and generally you can buy tickets from the box office the afternoon for that nights performance. Many theatres offer the option of booking online with a credit card, and some have a telephone reservation service.

Madrid Cinema

Cinema Entertainment
Madrid has many cinemas which include several that show films in English. Usually there are generally two shows a day, the first at around 19:00 or 20:00 and the second at about 22:00, although these times will vary according to the cinema and the length of the film being shown.

 

For the early shows you can usually arrive just half an hour before the film starts, but it is advisable to buy your tickets in advance for the later shows (and for new releases).

Madrid Restaurant

Cuisine In Madrid
Eating out in Madrid can be a joy. The huge range of restaurants and eating places is incredible, both in doors and outside. If you need something a little smaller than a full meal, try a Tapas Bar. In Madrid the selection of tapas is astounding! You can choose from every kind of tapas imaginable. Even vegetarians are well catered for in Madrid.

Nightlife In Madrid
Madrid is noted for its nightlife. Rarely do the Spaniards go out until at least 11pm in the evening, and most don't go home until after 7am in the morning. The entertainment Madrid offers includes some of Europe’s best known clubs.

If night life is your scene, Madrid is the place for you.

Entertainment in Madrid
Madrid is famous for the variety of entertainment it offers - cinema, opera, theatre, dancing of all sorts. This page can't possibly list all the options of entertainment. See the local newspapers for the latest shows, etc, or just stroll around the streets and call in at something that takes your fancy.

Madrid Airport

Madrid Airport

Madrid-Barajas Airport is the main international airport serving Madrid and central Spain. Located within the city limits of Madrid, it is just 9 km (5.6 miles) from the city's financial district and 13 km (8.1 miles) northeast of the Puerta del Sol, Madrid's historic centre.

Barajas serves as the gateway to the Iberian peninsula from the rest of Europe and the world, and is a particularly key link between Europe and Latin America. The airport is the primary hub and maintenance base for the Spanish airline Iberia.

Madrid Airport

There are four terminals at Madrid Airport.

Terminals T1, T2, and T3 handle Air Europa as well as all member airlines of Skyteam and Star Alliance.

Terminal 4 is home to Iberia Airlines, its franchise Air Nostrum and all Oneworld partner airlines, which includes British Airways, American Airlines, LAN Airlines, among others.

Gate numbers are continuous in terminals 1, 2 and 3 (A1 to E89), but are separately numbered in terminal 4.

 

Transport to Madrid Airport

Metro
Madrid's Barajas Airport has Metro stations in Terminal T2 and the newer Terminal T4. Trains leave every 5 minutes from 6.00am to 2.00am. This line (8) goes straight to the newly reformed Nuevos Ministerios Metro station in the centre of Madrid, with a journey time of just 12 minutes. On the return journey it is even possible to check-in at this Metro station for some flights between the hours of 6.30am and 10.30pm. Always check with the airline first, because not all flights are available - for example, there is no check-in for the Madrid-Barcelona shuttle flight, and many foreign airlines have no presence there either. It is possible to check in your luggage up to 24 hours (20 hours for some companies) maximum and 2 hours minimum before the flight but again, please check with the relevant airline because certain goods have to be checked in at the airport itself (such as live animals, dangerous goods, etc.).

The price of a single journey, in either direction, is currently 2 euros, which includes a 1 euro supplementary airport charge. If you already possess a valid Metro ticket, you can purchase the airport supplementary ticket for 1 euro.

EMT Bus
EMT (Madrid Municipal Transport Company) runs regular public bus services between the airport and Madrid (Avenida de América station) - bus line 200. It stops outside the baggage reclaim area of terminals 1 and 2, while bus line 204 stops outside Arrivals at Terminal 4. A number of intercity bus services also call at the airport.

Airport parking
Long and short term car parking is provided at the airport with seven public parking areas. P1 is an outdoor car park located in front of the terminal building; P2 is an undercover car park with direct access to terminals T2 and T3.

A Parking 'Express' facility, available for short periods only, is located at Terminal 2, and a dedicated long-term parking is also available with 1,655 spaces. There is a free shuttle operating between the long-stay car park and all terminals. There are also VIP car parks.

Madrid Maps

Madrid is positioned almost exactly in the centre of the Iberian peninsula.

Madrid Region

 

Madrid and surrounding area.

Madrid Street Map

Madrid Street View

Marrid Districts

Madrid has 21 districts (shown in the map above). For tourists, districts 1 to 7 in the centre of Madrid will be the most important for seeing most of the city's attractions, catching trains and metros, and district 8 for the airport.

 

Madrid Real Estate

Madrid Real Estate

The property market in most parts of Spain has grown enormously in popularity over the last decade or so, especially with foreigners (mostly Europeans) looking to escape to a sunnier clime. Madrid is a city where it all happens, but what it lacks in coastline it is compensated for with loads of other plus points. This means it is a real estate hot spot and a very desirable place to buy your Spanish property. Madrid's unrivalled nightlife, rich culture and friendly people give it a special atmosphere that has to be experienced - like nowhere else in the world!

 

Despite the recent upheavals in the world's financial systems, each year more and more foreigners look for a home or investment properties in Spain. In many parts of the EU, it has become increasingly common for first time buyers to look to Spain rather than their local housing market.

Madrid Luxury Villa

Currently the building industry in Spain is in the doldrums and many bargains can be found as developers (and their financiers) do all possible to offload as many new properties as possible, and the Madrid area is no exception. Real bargains can now be found. The current financial situation has also meant that some foreigners living in Spain, who have not been properly prepared financially, are returning to their home countries, and offering their Spanish homes at ridiculously low prices, some as low as half price. Now is the time to snap up a bargain if you are thinking of living in Spain, whether it's a luxury pad like the one above or a much more modest semi - Spanish style.

Madrid House for Sale

 

Here are a few Estate Agents and developers to get you started -

A3A  Rafael Calvo 4, 28010 Madrid. Tel: 600 552 188 / 619 250 802

Agencia Astorga  C/ Donoso Cortes 8 2D and C/ Luchana 4 2E, 28015 Madrid.
Tel: 914 463 796 / 913 080 761 

Aldebaran Inmobiliario 2003  Calle Arenal 9 Primero Piso, Centro Comercial Palacio de Gaviria, 28013 Madrid. Tel: 902 362 239 / 915 400 573

Alfa Chueca  Valverde 35, 28004 Madrid. Tel: 913 604 710 / 635 730 777 

American Service Organization  Dos Amigos,6 Madrid. Tel: 915 483 046 

Bonsai Servicios Inmobiliarios  Caracas 19, 28010 Madrid. Tel: 913 107 450 

Christine Avery  Tel: 667 677 976 

Distrito Urbano  Castellana/ Cuzco. At Capitan Haya 19A, 28020 Madrid. Tel: 914 176 254 

E-Rustica  Tomas Redondo 3 (Edif. Luarca) 2ºF, 28033 Madrid.Tel: 652 973 965

Engel & Volkers Spain  C/ Principe de Vergara 280, 28016 Madrid. Tel: 913 508 855 

Estate One  Tel: 653 393 602 / 620 812 036 

Gestion Inmobiliara  Avda. Tribuna, 2. Centro comercal Urbanizaction Fuente del Fresno. 28708. Madrid. Tel: 916 236 362 / 916 236 813 

Gilmar  Goya 47, 28001 Madrid. Tel: 914 329 191 

Grupo El Encinar  Paseo de los Parques 28, 28008 Madrid. Tel: 916 501 595 

Grupo Inmobiliaro  Fernando El Santo 9-1º, 28010 Madrid. Tel: 913 086 513 

Hernandez & Mora  Jesus del Valle 11, 28004 Madrid. Tel: 915 216 090 

Immomadrid  C/Mesena, 104 28033 Madrid. Tel: 917 660 661 / 606 467 037

Indicia Madrid  Plaza Reyes Magos 9, 28007 Madrid. Tel: 914 333 703

Inmobiliaria Barreras  C/ Sofora, nº 10, 28020 Madrid. Tel: 915 796 449 

 

Madrid Trains & Metro

Madrid Metro

Madrid Metro system covers a total of 284 kilometers and has 294 stations on it's system and over three million passengers use it every day. It's clean, efficient, cheap and cheerful and can take you anywhere within the this capital of Spain. There are 450 lifts and endless escalators - the Metro in Madrid is the subway with the largest number of lifts and escalators in the world.

There are some 13 lines which make up the metro, each designated with a different coloured number for easy reference, both at the stations and on metro maps. Line 6 is the circular route and line 8 takes passengers to and from the Airport.

There is a whole range of tickets available from single journeys at 2€ for anywhere on the system and 3€ for a journey to or from the terminals at the airport. There are also tickets available for different sections of the system, for 10 journeys and there are seasonal tickets. All are extremely reasonable by today's standards. Children under 4 years old travel free. Tickets can be purchased at any kiosk or station (from booths or automated machines).

Madrid Metro Map

One oddity of the Madrid Metro is that unlike the roads and trains in Spain, the metro runs on the left side of the tracks.The metro runs from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. and you can expect a metro train every 2 to 4 minutes, at most stations. A very good service. One other point of interest - on the Madrid Metro, pickpockets are frequent, in particular singling out tourists. Beware.

 


Madrid Trains
Madrid has two long distance railway stations which are Atocha and Chamartín. They run both long distance and local commuter trains. There are three other main stations which serve commuter trains, they are Príncipe Pío, Recoletos and Nuevos Ministerios, and of course a host of other stations throughout the city.

Atocha is the largest and most used station and serves the areas to the south, east and west of the city (and Spain), while Chamartin is used for trains heading in a northerly direction.

Madrid AVE

Many of the long distance trains from Madrid run on the AVE system (using two versions of fast trains), and a local service being the Cercanias (commuter trains).

Cercanias Train

 

Cercanías Madrid is the commuter rail service that serves Madrid, the capital of Spain, and its metropolitan area. It consists of nine routes and operates between 4 and 5 in the morning until midnight (with the exception of the C9 route), and the frequency varies depending on the route, from 3 to 4 minutes during the week, to one every 2 hours at weekends.

Cercanias Map

The cost of tickets is based on zones encircling the city from 1 to 7, with prices from 1.25€ to 4.25€. Tickets are also available for 10 journeys and monthly. Prices are subject to change.

 

 

 

 

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