Magerit, 'land rich in water' is how the Arabs called this area on the central plain of the Iberian Peninsula, close to Sierra de Guadarrama, where King Phillip II of Spain later established the royal court. Later on, it grew into the big city that we now know as Madrid.
Madrid was built from upon the village of Mayrit, on the banks of the river Manzanares. 'Mayrit' means 'plenty of waterways', which is why the city's first recorded coat of arms read, 'I was built on water / My walls are made of fire / This is my flag and my coat of arms'.
Throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Madrid was the capital of a huge empire; Madrid drew writers, artists, fortune hunters and members of the. the movida. was the democratic transition that came after Franco's dictatorship, and people were eager to try it all. The city saw an explosion of new artistic productions.
Experience Madrid though the ages and the cosmopolitan Madrid of today!
Top 10 Places to Visit in Madrid
Paseo del Arte
If you're a lover of classic and modern art, you'll find the Prado Museum, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and the Reina Sofía Museum.
The largest royal palace in Western Europe.
Puerta del Sol
Puerta del Sol, the centre of Madrid, where the main streets meet.
An arcaded square located in the historical centre of the city
Puerta de Alcalá
Built for Charles III in the 18th century, and is one of the most iconic monuments in Madrid.
at the beginning of the Paseo de Arte, this fountain is an icon of Madrid.
Las Ventas Bullring
most famous bullfighting ring in the world.
El Retiro Park
A green oasis in the centre of the city.
Spain's best known street market dates back to mediaeval times.
Santiago Bernabéu Stadium
Go behind the scenes of Real Madrid, visit the club's museum and see the players' changing rooms
Getting to Madrid
Madrid's airport is the Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport and serves international flights from all over the world. You can also get to Madrid by train from any of the major cities in Spain and from Portugal and France.
Once you arrive in Madrid, there is an Exprés Aeropuerto (Airport Express shuttle) which runs almost continuously during the day and night for only 5 Euro. You can also use the express to return to the airport from pick up spots in the city.
Getting Around Madrid
Madrid has wonderful public transportation. You can get around using the Metro, bus, bike or taxi. See more information here.
Madrid will surprise you with its intense blue sky. In spring, Madrid's parks, gardens and green spaces are bursting with flowers. The first couple of months tend to bring rain, with an average temperature of 12ºC (54ºF) in April. As the month of May progresses, the weather becomes almost summery, with average temperatures reaching 21ºC (70ºF) by June, when the streets get livelier.