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    Plaza de Cervantes

    Plaza de Cervantes

    Madrid has plenty of monuments worth visiting such as Plaza de Cervantes, Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor. With its moderate climate, you’ll be able to visit these sites all year round in comfortable temperatures.

    Europe’s largest royal palace

    Europe’s largest royal palace

    The Palacio Real is a royal residence built in a lavish Baroque style spanning a whopping 135,000m²: it’s definitely worth a visit! You won’t run into any royals though, as the Spanish Royal Family only uses the palace for state ceremonies.

    Modern architecture

    Modern architecture

    As Spain’s capital city, Madrid plays an important role within the country’s financial sector. There are ambitious plans to continue the development of Madrid’s financial district which is already home to modern skyscrapers including KIO Towers.

    • Madrid Parque del Retiro
    • Flights to Madrid

      The capital of Spain and its largest city, Madrid is a truly cosmopolitan holiday destination. Madrid’s vibrant nightlife, top-class restaurants, internationally renowned museums and rich cultural and historical heritage is famous around the world, with plenty to offer culture vultures, foodies and history buffs alike.

      With famous shopping districts and landmarks dotted across the city centre, Madrid also offers plenty of traditional tourist attractions.

      Book your flights with Brussels Airlines today to visit this European capital for a taste of the continental lifestyle, bathed in year-round, golden sunshine.


      What to do in Madrid?

      1. Visit Huertas, home to the beautiful Santa Ana square. Also known as the “Barrio de las Letras” (the Literary Quarter), Huertas was the hometown of leading Spanish writer Cervantes. Packed with picturesque historical architecture, the area is a favourite with both locals and tourists.
      2. Another iconic square in Madrid, and a must-see for tourists, is the Plaza Mayor. Lined with restaurants and shops, it’s the ideal place to pick up gifts and souvenirs, and is right next to the unmissable indoor food market, Mercado San Miguel.
      3. To soak up the authentic, rootsy Madrilenian atmosphere, take a stroll through Lavapiés. The city’s most multicultural quarter, its unique style of urban cool is legendary, with added flavour from its world music bars and alternative theatre and galleries.
      4. During the day, Gran Vía is one of Madrid's most bustling avenues, with several shopping centres, as well as the city’s cinema district. Later in the evening, it embodies Madrid’s nightlife scene: many popular nightclubs here open from 1 a.m. to 7 a.m. – so Gran Vía truly is a street that never sleeps.
      5. Madrid Financial Center
      6. To experience the beating heart of Madrid, make your way to Puerta del Sol. One of the city’s busiest spots, it’s a local transport hub, a popular meeting point, as well as a stage for festivals and Madrid’s many street performers. Its central focus is the Statue of King Charles III.
      7. For a dose of culture, head to the Museum Triangle. On the Paseo del Prado, the Madrid’s museum district is named after its three main museums: the Prado Museum (national art museum), the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum (classical art collection), and the Reina Sofia National Museum (20th-century art). There are also several smaller museums worth visiting.
      8. Visit one of Madrid's numerous “tablaos” for a taste of traditional Spanish flamenco. At the popular Las Tablas, near the Plaza de España metro, you can catch performances by leading flamenco artists, while enjoying a traditional Spanish meal. Cafe de Chinitas, near the Santo Domingo metro, is also famed for its energetic performances.

    Practical information for your trip to Madrid

    • Brussels Airlines flights to Madrid land at Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas, Madrid’s main airport, which has excellent transport links to the city centre.
    • To get into the city centre from the airport, take the Madrid metro from either of the two stations located right inside the terminals. From Terminal 4, you can also take the Cercanias commuter train, directly to Atocha and Chamartin stations. The 24-hour express bus and bus no. 200 also go to the city centre.
    • For a more personal service, get a Transfer Airport Taxi from the airport directly into the city centre.
    • Current local time in Madrid:  
    • Currency: Euro.
    • Telephone calls and Wi-Fi: The country code is +34. Wi-Fi is widely available throughout the city.
    • Electric sockets: Type F, 230 V/50 Hz. Visitors from the UK or the US will need an adapter.
    • Travel information: Spain is a full Schengen member. Non-EU citizens need a valid passport with at least 6 remaining valid months. Make sure that children travelling with you have their own passport or ID card. For all information on visas and travel documents, visit the website: www.iatatravelcentre.com for more information.
    • Vaccinations: No vaccinations are required for visitors to Spain. For more health information visit: www.iatatravelcentre.com

    Dos and Don’ts in Madrid

    • Madrid Gran Via
    • Look out for free English language periodicals covering the hottest tourist attractions in Madrid. Among the most popular are PopGuide Madrid, InMadrid and NocheMad.
    • If you’d like to get around by taxi, but don’t speak much Spanish, have your destination written down in Spanish to show to your driver – most don’t speak English. Also, be sure to check the little stickers, usually on the rear window, which state applicable fares and surcharges. This way, the cost of your ride won’t come as a surprise.
    • Many Madrid museums offer free entry at certain times or on certain days, so check opening times in advance.
    • Unless you absolutely must, don’t drive on your trip to Madrid. The city has frequent traffic jams – even at 3 in the morning in some areas. The narrow streets in the old town can make congestion worse at times.
    • Don’t be surprised if you’re asked for ID while making a purchase. In Spain, it’s common practice for shopkeepers to request ID from customers paying by card. Anything with a photo on it will usually be sufficient.

    Local phrases & essential vocabulary

    Here are some essential phrases to help you get by during your stay:

    • Good morning: Buenos días
    • Good afternoon/evening: Buenas tardes
    • Hi/hello: Hola
    • Excuse me: Perdón
    • Please: Por favor
    • Thank you (very much): (Muchas) gracias
    • Where is...?: ¿Dónde está...?
    • How far is...?: ¿Qué tan lejos está...?
    • How do I get to...?: ¿Cómo puedo ir a...:
    • How much does it cost?: ¿Cuánto es?
    • Straight ahead: todo recto
    • On the left: a la izquierda
    • On the right: a la derecha
    • Metro/underground/subway: el metro
    • taxi: el taxi
    • Train station: la estación de tren
    • Bus stop: la parada de autobús
    • Restaurant: el restaurante
    • Shop: la tienda
    • Market: el mercado
    • Museum: el museo

    Cultural events in Madrid

    Madrid is a lively city with a calendar full of exciting cultural events.

    • La Paloma, which happens on the days leading up to the 15th of August is a giant street party. It turns the bars in the La Latina area inside out, with counters moved onto the streets with a booming soundtrack to match. This celebration takes the famously high-energy Madrid nightlife to another level.
    • For a quainter, tradition celebration, there’s La Trashumancia in October. During this festival, shepherds exercise their ancient right to drive sheep through the city centre, which is car-free for the event.

    When to go to Madrid?

    Madrid’s weather can be extreme. Summers are typically harsh and dry, with temperatures reaching 40°C, while winter nights can be frosty, although daytime temperatures range from 9-12°C. The best times to visit are spring and autumn, the weather in Madrid in April, May, September and October, is mild with temperatures around 20°C.

    What to eat in Madrid?

    Be sure to sample some authentic local dishes while in Madrid.

    • One of the highlights is cocido Madrileño: a chick pea stew with meat and vegetables
    • Another favourite is gallinejas and entresijos, select cuts of lamb fried in its own fat
    • Try a spicy beef tripe dish called callos a la Madrileña

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