Madrid, the capital of Spain since 1562, is also the geographical
centre of the Iberian Peninsula. Its altitude, on the top of a plateau,
and its vicinity in relation to the surrounding mountains, influence its
climate, making for hot summers and relatively cold winters.
one would expect, it is certainly a city offering some impressive, very
important monuments; amongst its most notable are an incomparable
historic centre, built at a time when the Habsburg dynasty ruled Spain,
and from where the name "El Madrid de los Austrias" comes, and of
course, one of the world’s most renowned art gallery, the Museo del
Although its culture alone is worth seeing, it is also
an exceptionally lively capital city, offering a wonderful night life;
it has for many years enjoyed a reputation for its pubs, cafés, theatres
and discos, open well into the early hours. Don't be surprised when you
find yourself stuck in a traffic jam at 4 o'clock in the morning on a
Sunday, when you can be assured most people will not be going to work.