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About Madrid

Cultural and political epicentre

Madrid isn’t simply the geographical capital of Spain, it’s also the cultural and political epicentre of everything this famously passionate country embodies. With more bars and nightclubs than any other city on the planet you can rest assured that Madrid knows how to keep visitors entertained, but the night-time magic certainly doesn’t stop at the club doors. Here you can indulge your senses with little doubt that you’ll soon understand why so many visitors flock to this enthralling city every year.


Useful Information

Key facts

Time zone:GMT +1 hour
Flight time:2 hours 40 mins
Airport code:MAD
Holiday type:City Break / Clubbing / Sightseeing / Summer Sun

12 month weather (°C)


Madrid map

The selection of hotels in Madrid reflects the stature of the city as a popular destination, so usually it’s best to decide what sort of location you're after and then go from there. Should you wish to base yourself in close proximity to the city’s main art galleries, the Hotel Ritz Madrid (Plaza de la Lealtad 5) is part of the Orient Express Group and offers five-star luxury. More affordable yet in the same area you’ll find the three-star Hotel One Shot 23 (Calle Prado 23), or if you're interested in the upmarket Salamanca district then the Hotel Adler (Calle Velázquez 33) is found in a 19th-century mansion. For something close to the airport try the Axor Feria (Calle Campezo 4).

The main shopping streets in Madrid are punctuated by familiar international stores and brands, while away from these busy thoroughfares you’ll find plenty of independent and more individual shops, stalls and boutiques. Food lovers beware the Los Austrias district, which is great for creative gifts and souvenirs, but also boasts the Mercado San Miguel, which may help strip you of a large chunk of your shopping budget. Salamanca naturally offers upmarket designer outlets, while quirkier purchases can be found in Chueca. The bookworms out there will be thrilled at the abundance of choice at the Cuesta de Moyano, with Sunday mornings a particular draw.

Immerse yourself in Madrid’s laid back dining culture, which is fuelled by establishments ranging from heaving tapas bars to more refined Michelin-starred restaurants. Said to be the oldest eatery in the world, El Sobrino de Botín (Calle Cuchilleros 17) is worth a visit, as is the Delic Café (Costanilla de San Andrés 14), small in size but not in stature. Madrid’s nightlife is notoriously lively, but for something a little more low-key head to the Chocolatería San Ginés (Pasadizo de San Ginés 5) for hot chocolate and churros.


Noche de Reyes

January 5

Translating as ‘The Night of the Kings’, Noche de Reyes celebrates the arrival of the three kings at the birthplace of baby Jesus. Considered to be Spain’s main celebration of Christmas, floats parade through the city’s streets before the exchange of gifts the following day.

Festimad 2M

April – May

This musical event takes place over two weeks, and sees concerts and video screenings put on alongside topical debates and jam sessions. The theme of individuals fighting for their rights compliments the May 2nd anniversary of 1808’s uprising against French occupation.

San Isidro


The colourful San Isidro festival is put on each year to celebrate Madrid’s patron saint, and provides a platform for music gigs, street parties and outdoor markets, in addition to the religious ceremonies that take place.

Festival of Autumn in Spring

May – June

The moniker of this festival changed along with its date switch in 2010, and sees music, dance, theatre, comedy and other performing arts combine for an extravaganza put on by both international and Spanish artists.


June – July

Renowned international photographers are welcomed to this photographic celebration each year, which finds itself pervading numerous galleries and museums around Madrid. Fans of photography will enjoy the exhibitions, workshops and talks amongst other attractions.

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