Madrid is a city bursting of life and culture. It is known as "the city that never sleeps" most notably due to its throbbing nightlife spread through many areas of the city. Constructed as a provincial town it was given its capital status in the 16th century due to its perfect location in the heart of Spain. Criticised by some as not having a feel of a true capital city, you cannot be disappointed with sights pouring out of every street corner, and you will not be at a loss of what to do. From the Golden Triangle of art galleries, to the Real Madrid stadium and the Palacio Real, there is something for everyone. Places of architectural interest include the Plaza Mayor, the Plaza de Cibeles and the Puerto del Sol, which is the absolute centre of the city. The old city centre is quite compact, and it is easy to get around, either on foot or by the efficient metro. Madrid is also known as Europe's greenest capital, due to its parks and open spaces, including the Retiro park and the Botanical Gardens, both centrally located where Madrileños and tourists enjoy strolling on a sunny day.
Madrid is the capital of one of the most stable and yet dynamic countries on the European continent and a prime choice for setting up new professional, business or personal projects.
The city with the best opportunities:
- Situated in the heart of the Iberian Peninsula, Madrid has a privileged geo-strategic position and is the natural link between Europe, Latin America and North Africa.
- Its cultural heritage is among the most important in the world in terms of art, culture and monuments.
- Madrid is not only the gateway to the South American, North African or European markets, but also the largest local market in Spain.
- Madrid is an economic, political and administrative hub with a solid and diversely structured economy, and a truly dynamic city. In real and accumulated terms, Madrid has doubled the European rate of economic growth from 1996 to 2003.
- It is a cosmopolitan city embracing new cultures, where visitors quickly feel at home and where more than three million people from 180 different nationalities live side by side.
- At the forefront of scientific and technological innovation, Madrid has one of the most advanced regional networks of science and technology in Spain, and indeed Europe.
- Madrid offers a highly qualified work force yet considerably lower labour costs than cities such as London, Paris or Amsterdam. It is an ideal space for creativity as its young, vibrant and intellectually inclined population is coupled with an extremely dynamic and consolidated business culture.
- It has modern, high-quality infrastructures where innovation is the common denominator.
- Diversity and differences co-exist with social harmony and institutional stability. Madrid is renowned for its generosity and hospitality. The political framework is peaceful and offers guaranteed growth and stability.
Madrid has a continental climate, which means that summer and winter temperatures vary notably. Therefore, to visit Madrid during the coldest months, warm clothes are necessary; while in summer, it is best to pack light, short-sleeved clothes. Rainfall varies considerably, but in general the climate is dry.
How to get to Madrid
- By airplane:Barajas Airport is the closest airport in Europe to a capital city, as just 13 kilometres separate it from Madrid. Public transport access to Barajas is one of the quickest and most comfortable in the world: in addition to buses and taxis there is a metro services that communicates with the centre of the city every five minutes via a train that takes you to Nuevos Ministerios station in just 12 minutes.
- Land communications: Madrid has an important rail and road network connecting the city with the rest of the country. The capital has more than 3,200 kilometres of roads, which are currently in the process of expansion in order to face the rapid demographic growth.
- Railway: "Madrid is the nerve centre of the Spanish railway network". Madrid has one of the best European railway infrastructures in terms of both passenger and freight transport. The national railway network is operated by the state-owned company Renfe (National Spanish Railway Network), supervised by the Ministry of public works.
- By Road: Madrid is the central hub of Spanish roads and motorways. Madrid is the central hub for three main reasons: the capital is the centre of the layout of the 6 national motorways that cross Spain; the new itineraries that are being developed to provide better connections to the Spanish motorway network have their centre in Madrid; and the current plan to integrate the Spanish and European motorways includes the motorways that radiate from the city.