Madrid, Spain - Tullys Travel
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Madrid

Madrid is a city of elegant boulevards and expansive manicured parks such as the Buen Retiro. Just a 2 hour 40 minute flight will take you from Dublin to the cosmopolitan of Madrid.

Madrid is an exceptional destination for art lovers. Near and around Paseo del Prado, three of the world’s most prestigious art galleries can be found. The  Prado Museum showcases a complete collection of Spanish paintings from the Middle Ages to the nineteenth century.

You’ll love wandering through the streets of the vibrant heart of Madrid. Not only do they shelter museums, churches, palaces and parks but they also have interesting stories to tell. Start at the Kilometre zero marker in Puerto del Sol, from which the national roads starting in Madrid fan out. The second busiest street in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records, Calle de Preciados, begins in this large square. Then take Gran Via, a lively traditional avenue on which shops, cafés, movie theatres and theatres are to be found.

Madrid is known the world over for its nightlife theatres, musicals, flamenco bars, pubs and clubs where you can dance into the early hours.

Information & Facts

Activities

Madrid is a city where young people will find leisure and enjoyment, day and night.

There is a host of possibilities. The Dos de Mayo fiestas, the Veranos de la Villa festival or the Autumn Festival are some of the examples of an agenda full of cultural and leisure attractions all year round, and that includes many activities for young people, such as concerts, cinema, theatre or dancing. Coming to a large city always has its privileges, such as being able to go to gigs by international artists, or to watch Real Madrid play in the stadium.   Madrid comes alive at night, especially at the weekend. Discos, bars, cafés and fashionable clubs in different leisure areas and districts offer the best nightlife. And when the weather starts to get hot, the best thing is to have fun and hang out until the early hours of the morning in one of the many summer terraces that appear on the streets and avenues.    Malasaña and the area surrounding Dos de Mayo square are the main places to hang out at night in Madrid. The university atmosphere is in Argüelles and Moncloa, and there are many fashionable clubs in Paseo de la Castellana and the streets around it.   There is also a series of public initiatives that offer an alternative plan for the night, with a whole range of free activities that take place in several centres: sports, Internet, games, theatre workshops, music, dancing, etc.   Sports lovers will find magnificent facilities to practise their favourite sport professionally. And if they prefer open-air sports, the outskirts of the city provide an ideal environment for hiking, horse riding, cycling, mountaineering, and any of the winter sports, including skiing and snowboarding.

Climate

Due to Madrid's high altitude of 650 metres, it experiences quite different temperatures in the summer and the winter. The most pleasant warm weather falls between May and mid July when average temperatures are between 20 and 32 degrees Celsius (68°F - 90°F).

Towards the end of July, and throughout August, it can get hot with temperatures sometimes reaching 40 degrees Celsius (100°F). Night-time temperatures remain around 18 degrees Celsius (64°F). However, the climate in Madrid is low in humidity, therefore making the high temperatures easier to tolerate.

September is a pleasant month, with temperatures back down to around 25 degrees Celsius (77°F). October is also still fairly warm with an average daytime temperature of 20 degrees Celsius (68°F) and is still a pleasant time to visit.

The weather in Madrid is predominantly dry, but that doesn't mean that rain can be ruled out. Especially in the winter months. Do bear in mind that these temperatures are averages, and the weather may fluctuate from the normal

Winter Climate

In November the temperatures drop, and the daily average is 12 degrees Celsius (55°F), dropping to 9 degrees Celsius (48°F) in December.

 

Average monthly temperatures

Month Average Daytime Temp °C Average Daytime Temp °F
January 10 50
February 12 54
March 16 60
April 18 64
May 20 68
June 27 80
July 32 90
August 30 86
September 25 77
October 20 68
November 12 55
December 9 48

 

Getting Around

Madrid is a large city, but it has the advantage of having most of its monuments, museums and points of interest concentrated within a relatively small central area, meaning you can explore it on foot. If you walk from one end of this tourist area to another without stopping at a good pace, it will take about two hours. However, Madrid's extensive public transport system means you can get to any point in the city quickly and conveniently.

Access to the historic centre from the airport and Madrid's main train and bus stations is quick and easy using the metro (for information on how to get into the city from the airport, see the How to get there section). It runs every day from 6 am to 1:30 am, and metro station entrances are marked with the letter 'M'. Buses are also a good option. They operate from approximately 6 am to 11:30 pm on Mondays to Fridays and run on special bus lanes in the city's principal streets. Bus routes and their frequency are displayed at the stops. You can travel with rucksacks (as long as they are held in the hand and not on the back), with suitcases (the same size as airline hand luggage) and with folding bicycles. On Saturdays and Sundays they run from approximately 7 am to 11 pm. To get around at night there are special night buses, popularly known as "búhos" ("owls"). They depart from Plaza de Cibeles square and have an 'N' in front of the route number. They run from Sunday to Friday and on public holidays from 11:55 pm to 6 am. On Saturdays and the eve of public holidays they run from 11 pm to 7 am.  Nevertheless, many people prefer the comfort of taxis when travelling at night. They run all day, and are white with a red stripe, and the city's crest and their licence number on the side. They can be hailed in the street when the green light is on. Otherwise they can be found at taxi ranks or you can order them by telephone using the radio taxi service. Tariffs are displayed inside the taxis and comprise the minimum fare, flag-down charge, kilometre charge and other extras such as night service, public holidays, and station or airport service. The total cost is displayed on a meter.  To get to Madrid's suburbs and surrounding areas, you can either take the bus or the train. Renfe Cercanias, the local train service, runs from 5-6 am to around midnight, and offers frequent daily services to places of interest for tourists such as Alcalá de Henares, El Escorial and Aranjuez.

There are several tickets and passes available. A single ticket on the metro costs €1.50 (5 stations) or €2 (10 or more stations). You can also buy the combined ticket, valid throughout the Madrid Region metro network, for €3, and the Metrobus card, valid for both metro and bus services, €12.20 for 10 journeys. From 2018, all these travel passes will be combined in the reloadable Multi Card. They can be purchased and reloaded at tobacconists and other authorised points of sale, as well as metro stations, for €2.50.

http://www.crtm.es/billetes-y-tarifas/tarjeta-multi.aspx You can buy a single bus ticket from the bus driver for €1.50.http://www.emtmadrid.es/HomeFor the train you can either buy a single ticket for €1.70, or a 'bonotren' pass costing €10.00, valid for ten trips.http://www.crtm.es/billetes-y-tarifas/billetes-y-abonos/cercanias-renfe.aspx?idPestana=3 Another option is the tourist ticket. These can be used by the holder only and offer unlimited use of the metro, bus and local train services. They are available for one, two, three, five or seven days, and prices range from €8.40 to €70.80. Children under 11 receive a 50% discount. There are two types: for travel within the city of Madrid only; and for travel throughout the whole region (T-Zone), including towns such as Alcalá de Henares, Aranjuez, El Escorial, Toledo and Guadalajara. Among other points, they can be purchased from the Regional Transport Consortium, in metro stations, at the Passenger Service Centre in the metro station at the airport, or via the Internet.http://www.esmadrid.com/abono-turistico-de-transporte-madridTourist tickets can also be loaded onto a Multi Card. Also, if the first product loaded onto a Multi Card is a tourist ticket, you don’t need to pay the €2.50 cost of the card. The most convenient optionThe best option will depend on where you are staying, the number of journeys you wish to make, and the number of people travelling. The central tourist area has excellent transport facilities, with numerous metro stops and bus routes. The vast majority of local people get about using the 10-journey Multi Card, which is much cheaper than getting single tickets. It lets the holder use both bus and metro services, has no expiry date, and is transferable, so it can be shared by more than one person.Tourist passes are only valid for one person and offer unlimited use of public transport for a specified period.

Kids Attractions

Madrid has a wide variety of leisure activities for children. Animal and nature lovers will be able to enjoy memorable moments in the Casa de Campo Zoo Aquarium and at Faunia, a "bio-amusement" theme park, which offers a fun approach to nature. Those who like more action will love Madrid's Amusement Park and the Warner Bros Madrid theme park, one of the most spectacular in the world.

In Madrid, museums are not only for adults. The Planetarium, with its 3D cinema screen; the Pérez the Mouse Cottage Museum centred on the character who it’s said gives a present to the children for every tooth they lose; or Micrópolix, a centre located in San Sebastián de los Reyes (half an hour from Madrid) that simulates a city where the kids learn the various adult professions, are good examples. But there are also numerous other museums and exhibitions that organise specialised guided tours for school trips and children in general.

Language

Spanish

Money

Currency: Euro

Night Life

Madrid comes alive at night, especially at the weekend. Discos, bars, cafés and fashionable clubs in different leisure areas and districts offer the best nightlife. And when the weather starts to get hot, the best thing is to hang out at one of the numerous and lively summer terraces that appear in such profusion on the streets and avenues. Here are a few ideas to guide you when you set out to enjoy a night out on the town, from the early evening until the sun come up.

Early evening (between about 8 and 11 pm) Musicals and theatre: Madrid offers the chance to spend an unforgettable evening in the theatre with a whole range of musical shows every season. Some are completely original, and you'll only find them in Spain. Others are adapted classics not to be missed, and which in Madrid can be enjoyed in unique style. To get an idea of the wide offer of musicals you’ll find, just take a stroll down the Gran Vía avenue and see the theatres on both sides of the streets. Going out for tapas: Madrid is the ideal city for enjoying the popular custom of “going out for tapas”: moving from one bar to another with your friends and enjoying delicious bite-sized portions of typical local specialities (potato omelette, spicy fried potatoes in sauce, croquettes, squid, cod, bull’s tail…) accompanied by a refreshing glass of beer or a good wine, and interesting conversation. In the historic centre (mainly in the neighbourhoods of Huertas and La Latina, near the Plaza Mayor) you’ll find classic taverns (with their unmistakeable tile-covered façades) and modern venues where in addition to tapas you can order “raciones” (more plentiful dishes to share).

Shopping

A whole range of options to please everybody

Everything from fabulous antiques to the very latest designs: the window displays with furniture, top fashion labels, gifts, souvenirs and speciality foods will delight visitors strolling through the city’s streets. There’s a whole world of shopping possibilities in Madrid’s shops, shopping centres and street markets.

Madrid has numerous shops and shopping centres to entice visitors of all ages out on a shopping trip… and many of them, both in the centre and in the suburban areas, are open all day. There are five main shopping areas in Madrid: Salamanca, Chueca, Centro, Princesa and Cuatro Caminos.

Other useful information

Opening times: most of the shops and shopping centres are open from 10am to 8.30 or 9.30 in the evening. Traditional shops open from 10.00 to 14.00 hours and from 16.30 to 20.30 hours. Sales: the winter sales generally begin in the second week of January and go on until the end of February, and the summer sales begin on 1 July and run until the end of August. How to pay: most people pay in cash or with a credit card, when you must show your passport or identity card. Tax free: residents from outside the European Union are entitled to have Value Added Tax (IVA) refunded on purchases of more than €90.15. Madrid Shopping Tour: this is a guided minibus tour of Madrid’s main shopping areas, and includes discounts in several different establishments. Another option is the Shopping Vip-Pack, which offers exclusive services such as delivery of your purchases to your hotel, and discounts and free gifts in participating shops. Las Rozas Village Shopping Tour: just 30 minutes outside Madrid, this option offers a day of fashion in over 95 cut-price outlet shops with goods by major Spanish and international labels, with a range of exclusive advantages. More information on www.lasrozasvillage.com.

Sightseeing

In Madrid there are many natural spaces with varied landscapes - from the Sierra de Madrid mountains, which is full of beautiful locations for practising snow and mountain sports, to the Aranjuez plain or the landscape of La Mancha in the area surrounding Alcalá de Henares.

Golf, sailing, windsurfing, horse riding, hot-air balloon trips and hiking are some of the possible activities. The people from Madrid also like to look after their many urban parks and gardens, some of them well-known historically like the Royal Residence of Aranjuez gardens, the Retiro Park in Madrid or the Casa de Campo park. Others were created recently, like the Juan Carlos I Park or the Tierno Galván Park. They can be found in different urban areas and are very beautiful green spaces.

Time

Difference: 1 hour ahead of Dublin

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