Madrid is one of the most vibrant cities in the world with a long and fascinating history, and energetic and friendly population and a host of lavish festivals throughout the year. All the main sites are within a relatively small central area which allows visitors to get the most of them on foot and experience the colourful street life on the way.
Madridís infectious and colourful fiestas punctuate the year, with each district trying to out-do the other in its celebrations. The highlights include Reyes Magos (Feast of the Three Kings), Carnival, the religious processions of Holy Week, the San Isidro festival in May (the beginning of the bullfighting season) and Nochevieja (New Yearís Eve), when the Puerta del Sol, Madridís ĎPiccadilly Circusí, becomes the focal point during several hours of uninhibited partying.
Madrid wakes early and goes to bed late so somewhere in the middle it needs to recharge its batteries, and this is where the siesta comes in. Usually taken from 2pm-3pm, and sometimes extended to 4pm, it is a break in the day that is especially welcome in the summer. Lots of people still respect the siesta, from office workers to pensioners, but to judge by the crowds and traffic in the centre of Madrid every afternoon you would never know it existed.
The Centro (city centre) oozes style and charisma, from the bold, wide streets of Gran Via and Calle de Alcala to the imposing edifices of the Palacio Real and the Catedral Nuestra Senora de la Almudena. As you walk its streets, you will come across Madridís many lively and delightful squares.
Madrid is a city that with its atmosphere draws you closer to the true heart of Spain.
Return to top of page