Madrid has been the capital of Spain since 1561. With a population of 3.2 million and a metropolitan area population of approximately 6.5 million, it is the largest city in Spain and the third-largest city in the European Union after London and Berlin - it is also also one of Europe’s leading commercial centres (currently rated 5th in the EU) and has a thriving economy based primarily around the service and Industrial sectors.
Considered by many to be one of the most important cultural and artistic cities in the world, its fantastic climate (Madrid enjoys more cloudless days than almost any city in Europe) and vibrant nightlife, coupled with its eclectic and affordable terrace and tapas scene offer an unbeatable quality of life that caters for all tastes. Madrid really is a truly welcoming and captivating city which is best summed up by the old saying: “if you’re in Madrid then you´re from Madrid”.
Art and culture
One of the top destinations in the world for art, Madrid’s “Golden Triangle” composed of the Prado Museum - home to Diego Velázquez’s Las Meninas and Francisco de Goya's La maja vestida and La maja desnuda as well as paintings by Dali, Miró and some of the Flemish and Italian greats, the Reina Sofía - home to Pablo Picasso´s Guernica and the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum - possibly one of the most impressive private collections in Europe, mean you will never tire of the magnificent art that the city has to offer.
Food, tapas and terraces
Madrid, as is the case throughout Spain, takes enormous pride in its culinary offering and is home to a broad range of top-notch cuisine to suit any palette and indeed budget. Traditional Spanish food comes in many shapes and sizes, whether it be fine, sit-down dining, standing at a bustling bar sharing tapas with your friends or sitting on a terrace and enjoying your food while watching the world go by, Madrid really showcases the infinite variety of cuisine from every region within Spain and indeed the world putting a real emphasis on high-quality ingredients cooked simply and to perfection. Food and its enjoyment forms a hugely important part of Madrid culture and provides a natural opportunity to integrate into local life.
Madrid is extremely easy to get around mainly due both to the size of the city and its excellent infrastructure. Public transport is modern, cheap, clean, efficient and incredibly joined up which means that you are rarely more than half an hour away from anywhere or anyone in the city.
Madrid is a truly 24 hour city and caters for all tastes: whether it be swanky cocktail bars, roof top terraces, flamenco bars, nightclubs or tapas bars and restaurants, there is a plethora of places to suit any occasion. Madrid is extremely safe and it is not unusual to find yourself in one of the more fashionable neighbourhoods (Chueca, Malasaña, La Latina, Santa Ana) in the early hours of the morning wandering amongst the locals from bar to bar or from terrace to terrace soaking up the fantastic atmosphere that the city has to offer.
Family is a hugely important part of Spanish culture and Madrid is no exception. The city is extremely safe with Children welcome pretty much everywhere and the great climate lends itself perfectly to an outdoor lifestyle with numerous activities for families and kids. Many housing complexes have communal swimming pools which allow you to cool off in the summertime and you can also take advantage of the beautiful parks and gardens that the city has to offer along with the amazing theme parks located on the outskirts of the city. Madrid also boasts some of the best schools (both Spanish and International), universities and business schools in Europe.
In a nutshell, why Madrid?
- Incredible climate
- Healthy outdoor lifestyle
- Family friendly
- Vibrant nightlife
- Some fantastic places of beauty within one hour
- Great food (tapas, terraces, restaurants)
- Great art and culture
- Relaxed environment and low crime rates
- Extremely good value for money – compared to most other capital cities, Madrid is very affordable
- Great infrastructure, easy to get around