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Why fly to Madrid?
Welcome to Matador country, and yes they are as every bit manly as you would imagine. Madrid is an explosion of action the moment you set foot in the city and bull-fighting may be a tame adventure compared to the night life.
The days are wonderful for visiting the lovely parks that dot the city. Head to the garden's of King Philip IV, Parque del Retiro, where you will find beautiful sculptures, picturesque lakes and lovely cafes.
Visit the old buildings of the city like the San Nicholas de las Servitas church which dates back at least 1000 years.
Go tapas-trolling, the city is home to so many joints you will need to delay your flight so you can take a few dozen in. The joy of mini food is a well-known fact to people everywhere. But tapas are mini food with a pow, try almejas en Salsa Verda (clams in a divine green sauch), artichoke rice with manchego cheese, ceviche, delicious Jamon Iberico or pan-grilled succulent shrimp.There are just so many you could have tapas every evening during your trip without trying them all.
Night life in Madrid is an art. You must head out for the evening with the understanding that it won't be a typical night, unless of course you normally end your evenings having breakfast while staring out at the sun dancing on soft waters of baby blue. Tapas can last hours but once you're done get ready to hip-swerve it all off. Head to a flamenco club and immerse yourself in the dizzying moves and sultry music. You don't need to be a professional just enjoy being yourself on a spicier incline.
Madrid weather is variable and can be extreme. The summers are scorchers with temperatures hitting the 40s, but thanks to the city's high altitude the evenings are a lot cooler.The winter brings freezing temperatures and the city does see some snow. Numbers in December and January can fall to 0, but luckily the skin does still come out to play.
When to fly to Madrid
The summers are extremely busy as travelers flood the city to take in the beaches and warm summer night parties. Flight tickets during the summer months are high and deals hard to come by. The May celebrations in the city marking the patron saint are also quite hectic and snaring an inexpensive flight ticket is next to impossible as travelers plan and book early.
Funny enough the low traveling season also brings with it wonderful weather. October is a good time to book a holiday for Madrid if you are a smart traveler since you will save dollars on flight bookings and temperatures are at the perfect degree. The cool winter months also result in low tourist numbers and in turn flight tickets are priced for the budget conscious traveller
Getting into Madrid
Touch down will have you peering out your flight window at Madrid-Barajas Airport, which is located close to 15 minutes outside of the Puerta de Sol historic area. You have several choices for travelling into the city. You can take the city's metro rail system, there are also buses and coaches available and additionally you can also hop in a cab as you won't be travelling very far if you are staying in the touristic or financial area.
Getting around Madrid
Madrid has an easily manoeuvrable public transportation network so getting around the city is easy to do. The city has a massive metro network, one of the largest in the world, and this means you can get around the city and right to the outskirts if you should so choose using the service - think London's underground but newer. You can hop on one of the numerous buses that travel throughout the city. Flagging down a taxi when you're just in no mood to walk is also an option.
- Visit Casa de Campo for a little green getaway from the city. The royals used to go hunting in the park but now it is less hunter-friendly. These days, you can also go boating on the lake or head indoors and visit the Madrid Zoo or go for some topsy-turvy action in the amusement park. It is a great place to spend an afternoon with children.
- Visit an ancient nunnery. The Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales is circa 16th century and has been repurposed as a museum housing artwork given to the original organization by families of the residents.
- Head to the Gateway of the Sun for a day to night experience. Stroll through the boulevard and take in the gorgeous fountains and lovely boutique shopping. As the day turns to night, choose one of the vibrant restaurants that sit along the streets and enjoy a lovely Spanish meal and wine with a few hundred of your new closest friends.
- If you're looking for interesting an inexpensive souvenirs head to the El Rastro market . It is a Spanish flea market of sorts offering all sorts of wacky things, but the most fun part is noshing on little treats at the food stalls.
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