Located in the heart of Spain, Madrid is both the capital and the largest city in the country. The name "Madrid" originates from the Arabic word "Magerit", which translates to "place of many streams".
The world-renowned Prado Museum is situated in Madrid, showcasing an exceptional collection of European art, including masterpieces by El Greco, Velazquez, and Goya.
Peak tourist season in the city occurs during the European summer, so you can guarantee that most Madrid tours will be packed. For a calmer time of year both temperature and tourist-wise, we recommend visiting during the spring (March-May) or autumn (September-November) months. Visiting during off-peak times means you’ll enjoy cheaper travel and accommodation deals too.
Navigating Spain’s largest city can be a challenge. Here’s our travel breakdown of the best ways to navigate the city. Madrid is home to the second largest metro network in Europe and can be tricky to pick up. Grab a free map at any of the service stations or consult a service assistant to get accustomed to the various transport options.
When considering what to do in Madrid, be sure to take into account the handy and cost-effective travel passes. Granting unlimited access to both subway and bus systems, these passes can be purchased from any station or newsstand for either 1, 2, 3 or 5 days or for an entire week. Depending on Madrid day trips you fancy undertaking, a taxi may be your best bet for getting around.
The euro is the official currency used in Madrid.
The Prado Museum, Royal Palace, Retiro Park, Plaza Mayor, and Puerta del Sol are among the must-visit attractions in Madrid.
Although the official language in Madrid is Spanish, a considerable number of people in Madrid speak English, particularly in areas frequented by tourists.
Courtesy of Madrid’s epic nightlife scene, there are usually many people throughout the city in the evening. Be sure to only walk in well-lit, populated areas late at night. Stay aware of your surroundings and make sure your belongings are safe and secure.
In any emergency, dial 112. There are plenty of things to do in Madrid for solo tourists and big groups alike. If you’re travelling solo be sure to walk in well-lit, busy areas and be wary of strangers.
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