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About city What to see Gallery Where to stay

This cosmopolitan city is characterized by its high-rising buildings and business centres, banks, textile, food and metal industries, and factories. It is also home to the Spanish government and its royal family.

Madrid is also known for its lively cultural life: on warm summer nights, city parks, snack and cocktail bars, night clubs and other entertainment venues are teeming with life. Appreciators of art will not be bored either; due to its excellent museums, Madrid plays an important role in European cultural life. For example, the Prado museum is among the most popular museums in the world. Its impressive art collection was amassed in the period between the 12th and 19th centuries.

Both the local inhabitants and the visitors of Madrid are constantly delighted by its climate. The locals claim that it rains here only a few times a year. On the other hand, compared to places by the sea or the ocean, the winters here are cold, while the summers unbearably hot. To escape the midday sun, Spanish people take siestas – traditional rest breaks during the hottest time of the day.

Young ladies sitting on the grass Madrid
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Young ladies sitting on the grass Madrid

One of the most peculiar features of Madrid is the fact that its defensive walls were built by Arabs in the 9th century AD. Christians and Muslims fought over the city until it was seized by the king Alfonso VI in the 11th century AD. In 1606, Madrid became the capital of Spain.

Because of the Spanish influence during the Age of Discoveries, Madrid became a melting pot of different nations. Today, Madrid is home to people from all over the world. 10 of the largest non-Spanish communities include Ecuadorans, Romanians, Colombians, Peruvians, Chinese, Moroccans, citizens of the Dominican Republic, Brazilians, Paraguayans and Filipinos. The city is also full of newcomers from Guinea, Bulgaria, India, Italy, Argentina, Senegal and Poland.

El Rastro market in Madrid
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  El Rastro market in Madrid

Finding tasty food amidst this cultural diversity is easy. The capital of Spain is known as the city of food lovers and those with a sweet tooth. Here you can even visit the oldest restaurant in the world, the Sobrino de Botin, the stove of which dates back as far as 1725. There you can order such authentic Spanish dishes as crusty roast pork or fried lamb.

Elderman at restaurant in Madrid
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Elderman at restaurant in Madrid

However, most people of Madrid choose snack bars, where you can get sausages, ham, cheese, olives, bell pepper, sardines and a glass of beer or wine to go with it even during lunch time. Moroccan, Asian and South American restaurants can be found all over the city.

These days, one cannot even imagine Madrid without football. Matches between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona are so special that tickets to them are to say the least extravagant and can be obtained only with a large dose of good luck, and bars are no better in this regard, either. On the other hand, this match, called El Clásico, draws millions of people to their television sets not only in Spain, but all around the world, especially in Africa and South America.

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