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Spain's Capital Has a Lot To Offer

Apr 1, 2008
While much of Spain is taken up with rugged coastline and wild sierra, Madrid is a bustling cosmopolitan city. It is a business center, a hub for banking and industry and the seat of the Public Administration, Government and Spanish Parliament. It is also the home of the Spanish Royal Family.

Madrid is a cultural center of Spain, as well. Spain, as a whole combines the old and the new and Madrid is a prime example of this. It has an old town that is juxtaposed with modern buildings and infrastructure. It boasts many monuments that are a sought-after attraction for visitors to Spain. One of the highlights in Madrid is its medieval center (the old town known as "Madrid de las Austrias") which dates back as far as the Habsburg Empire. Its Plaza Mayor was opened in 1620 and deservingly remains one of the most popular tourist sites in the city. Madrid's stunning Royal Palace dates back to the 17th century. It is an architectural delight combining baroque and classical styles of building. The city boasts many other architectural delights, as well as interesting museums and beautiful gardens.

Madrid is home to 73 museums. One of its most interesting and unique museums is the Prado Museum which is one of the world's most impressive art galleries. Madrid is known to be a beautifully green city. If you are looking for a relaxing break, you can walk around the stunning gardens, or go rowing and feed the squirrels in one of Madrid's large parks.

Madrid has a vibrant nightlife which visitors to the city finding both enticing and embracing. It has any number of pubs, cafes, discotheques, flamenco clubs and nightclubs. Strangers are made to feel welcome and can join in with all the reveling that occurs until all hours of the morning. In fact, it would not be unusual for you to get stuck in a traffic jam at 4 o'clock in the morning! It is worth trying to visit one of Madrid's traditional verbenas (open-air dances) or one of their popular festivals. The San Isidro bull-fighting festival is also a major attraction.

Madrid, as would be expected of the capital of Spain, has a modern infrastructure which makes getting around fairly easy for guests to the city. If you are visiting Madrid for the first time, it is recommended for you to stay near to the Puerta del Sol and Gran Via and there are a number of accommodation options that you will find near there.

Accommodation for visitors to Madrid varies greatly. You can find top of the range hotels from modern minimalist styles to old-world palatial styles. These are typically found outside the tourist center, but this should not necessarily put you off as public transport is easily accessible. Mid range accommodation is readily available and in these you often find touches of class. Budget accommodation can also be found these are often simple and found in the center of the city.
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