ABOUT MADRID

ABOUT MADRID

 

Madrid is the capital of Spain, a modern metropolitan city considered to be the economical and industrial centre of Spain, also thanks to its location in the centre of the Iberian Peninsula. Narrow, cobbled streets leading to bustling squares and breath-taking historical architecture hidden around every corner maintain the city’s quaint and Spanish vibe, yet its new metropolitan infrastructure and modern enhancements really
represent Madrid’s present, and future, as Spain’s most important city. Madrid is also one of the greenest cities in Spain: its network of parks and tree-lined avenues make it a great city for running or simply to spend a day outside. Did we forget to mention that it has been considered as the second safest European capital? Madrid really has it all!

VIBRANT CITY
Cutting-edge facilities, devoted professionals and modern infrastructures: Madrid is much more than the political and financial capital of Spain. Filled with charming sidewalk cafés, restaurants, vanguard bars and nightclubs, Madrid is surely the city that never sleeps. The capital may have more bars than any other city on earth that together with festivals or annual events, provide you with a vast choice on what to do during your evenings. Madrid is also one of the most open cities on earth and it doesn’t matter where you’re from for the often heard phrase to ring true: ‘If you’re in Madrid, you’re from Madrid’.

CULTURAL CITY
Madrid has nearly one hundred museums and more than two thousand historical and artistic monuments that witness the presence and achievements of all the peoples who made history here in the capital. For centuries, Spanish royals showered praise and riches upon the finest artists of the day, from home-grown talents such as Goya and Velázquez to Flemish and Italian giants. The city has a lot to offer in terms of cultural experience: among the major museums, there are the Museo del Prado (with almost 10,000 works of art housed here), Centro de Arte Reina Sofía and Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza.

CONGRESS CITY
Madrid is in the top 5 cities hosting most congresses in the world – for the fourth consecutive year - and the top congress destination in Spain, with 7.5% more in 2013. This past year, the capital held meetings among which 2,236 congresses and conventions, leading to 1,121,225 participants Madrid for business.


TRAVEL TO MADRID
Madrid is connected by air to the main European and American cities, and by road and train to all Spanish cities. Due to our cultural connection with Latin America, Madrid is also the main entrance from this area of the world into Spain.

By air
Madrid’s Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas airport is one of Europe’s largest airports, with connections to both national and international destinations offering direct flights to 69 different countries and 177 cities all over the world. The capital is in fact only two hours from Berlin, London, Paris and Rome, and seven hours from New York, Mexico City and Caracas. More than 50 million passengers pass through here every year.


TRANSFERS FROM/TO AIRPORT

By bus
Direct connection from the airport to the city centre is provided by the Express shuttle service, which operates 24 hours a day. It runs every 15-20 minutes during the day and every 35 minutes at night, completing the journey in about 40 minutes. The Express Bus makes only two stops: O’Donnell and Atocha Station (Plaza de Cibeles at night, from 23.30 hrs).
Single tickets: EUR 5.00; purchased on board.

By metro
The airport can be reached also by metro, taking Line 8 that connects all terminals with the city. The Congress Venue (IFEMA Feria de Madrid – North Congress Center) is also well connected with both the airport and the city through Line 8 (Metro stop: Campo de las Naciones).
Single Metro ticket: EUR 4.50 - EUR 5.00 (according to the starting point).
Tickets can be purchased at ticket offices/automatic tickets machines in each metro station.

By taxi
Journey time from the airport to the centre is approximately 30 minutes.
Prices follow fixed airport rates of EUR 30.00 between the airport and the inner M30 area (*).
If final destination is out of this area, the taximeter will count at the corresponding tariff rate.
(*) M30 area: all the city centre and financial area. Please note, however, that IFEMA Feria de Madrid – North Congress Center (Congress Venue) is out of this area.
By Light Train (Cercanias) Connections from the airport are also provided by the “light” train Cercanias, which will lead you to the city centre in less than half an hour.
Ticket from the airport to: Atocha Train Station; Chamartin Train Station; Nuevos Ministerios; Sol and Mendéz Álvaro.
Price per ticket: EUR 2.60 – Free for AVE (fast speed train) users.
Tickets can be purchased at ticket offi ces/automatic tickets machines in each station.



TRAVEL IN MADRID
Madrid has some of the most thorough and leastexpensive public transit in Europe: buses and metro run regularly during the day and are a quick, convenient and cheap way to travel around the city.

By bus
EMT public buses run from approximately 6.00 to 23.00 hrs from Monday to Friday, whereas during weekends service begins around 7.00 until 23.00 hrs. Running times vary according to the bus route but the average frequency of the service is between 15 and 20 minutes in weekdays.
BUS/METRO Single tickets: EUR 1.50 - EUR 2.00;
BUS/METRO 10 Ticket pass: EUR 12.20 (Zone A).
Tickets can be purchased directly on the bus or at ticket offices/automatic tickets machines in each metro station.
Website: www.emtmadrid.es/index.aspx

By metro
Madrid’s underground system is the second largest European metro network (after London), with 293 km of lines and 300 stations that cover most of the city.
There are twelve lines that generally operate from 6.00 to 2.00 hrs Monday to Saturday, with reduced operating hours on Sundays.
BUS/METRO Single tickets: EUR 1.50 - EUR 2.00;
BUS/METRO 10 Ticket pass: EUR 12.20 (Zone A).
Tickets can be purchased at ticket offices/automatic tickets machines in each metro station.
Website: www.emtmadrid.es/index.aspx

By light train
An alternative to the bus or metro are RENFE Cercanias (suburban passenger service) that run from 5.00-6.00 to midnight (approx.) and offer frequent daily services to places of interest for tourists such as Alcalá de Henares, El Escorial and Aranjuez.
Single tickets: EUR 1.70.
Tickets can be purchased at ticket offices/automatic tickets machines in each station.


ESSENTIAL INFORMATION

Currency
The Euro is the official currency of Spain (€/EUR). Visa, MasterCard and other credit cards are widely accepted.

Climate
Hemingway once said that Madrid has Spain’s best climate. With a dry climate and little rainfall, the city has a typical Mediterranean climate with hot summers and cold winters. Due to Madrid’s high altitude of 600-650 meters, the most pleasant warm weather starts from May when temperatures become almost summery.
Around June, average temperatures are about 20-25ºC (70-75ºF).

Language
The mother tongue of Spain is Spanish and the most commonly spoken foreign language is English, followed by French.

Electricity
Spain’s standard electricity supply is 220 Volts (V), 50 Hertz (Hz) AC. Plugs and sockets are European standard with 2 round pins.

Mobile phone coverage
Spain uses the GSM international coverage standard. American frequency ranges (850 and 1900 MHz) are different from those in Europe (900 and 1800 MHz), but the widespread use of 3G and 4G devices provides support for the entire range of bands in both continents.

Shopping
From exclusive international boutiques to alternative outlets and traditional shops, when it comes to shopping options, Madrid has everything you may need. Opening hours are normally from 9.00-10.00 am till 20.00-22.00 hrs. Most of the shops do not close over lunch, except for those far from the city centre that do close from 14.00 to 16.00-17.00 hrs. Each quarter has its own unique shops that differ in style and designs; main shopping areas are without any doubts Gran Vía, in the touristic area, and Serrano, for luxury shopping. Here, shops open even on Sunday and bank holidays.

Time Zone
Madrid is located in the Central European time zone (CET = GMT / UCT + 1). From the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October, summer time is in effect (MESZ).

Tourist Information
For info on sightseeing, tips for dining, shopping, cultural events please visit the official Madrid tourist guide www.esmadrid.com/en.
Once on site, if you want to receive more information you can stop by the Official Tourist Center located in Plaza Mayor, 27 open Monday to Sunday from 9.30 to 20:30 hrs.