Numerous squares including the historic Plaza Mayor, the setting of bullfights and executions during the Spanish Inquisition. The Royal Palace, a lavish building which was constructed in the 1700s and is still used today for state occasions. The Prado Museum, one of the largest art galleries in the world which contains an impressive selection of Spanish paintings including works by Goya and El Greco. Reina Sofia Museum, displaying modern works including Picasso’s ‘Guernica’. Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, based on a private art collection which illustrates the history of western art and includes pieces by Goya, Degas and Renoir. Retiro Park, formerly used by the royal family and now a popular spot for relaxation. The Teatro Real, an important opera house with performances of opera and dance. Almudena Cathedral. Gran Vía, a famous street which is lined by theatres and shops. Debod Temple, an ancient Egyptian temple which was rebuilt in Madrid in the 1960s. The Santiago Bernabéu Football stadium, home to Real Madrid. El Rastro Market, an open air flea market which is held on Sundays. Ventas Bullring where bullfights take place every week during the bullfighting season.
By air: Madrid-Barajas Airport is the largest within Spain, and is served by a huge number of flights to the UK and other destinations around the world. There are a number of daily flights from London airports with British Airways, as well as flights with low-cost airlines to regional airports. Madrid airport is linked to the city centre by metro and bus. By rail: High speed trains run between Madrid and other cities in Spain including Barcelona, Seville and Valencia. It is also possible to travel from Paris to Madrid, although it is necessary to travel via Barcelona.
The grand 5 star Hotel Urban promises style and sophistication in Madrid’s cultural centre.
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Find out more about Spain
CapitalMadrid Airportthe main gateway to Spain is Madrid’s Barajas airport, although many airlines serve other centres, particularly Barcelona, Malaga, Palma de Mallorca and Valencia. CurrencyEuro (£1=1.24 Euros) Size195,000 sq miles Population46 million Average temperatureClimate varies dramatically from region to region, with the meseta (high tableland of central Spain), Ebro basin and Andalucia scorching in summer (up to 45 degrees Centigrade), cold and dry in winter. The Mediterranean coast and Balearic Islands get a little more rain than Madrid, and the south can be even hotter in summer. The Mediterranean, particularly around Alicante, also provides Spain’s warmest waters (reaching 27°C or so in August). Barcelona’s weather is typical of the coast – milder than in inland cities but more humid.
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