Published on December 11, 2014
Madrid, the capital of the sunny Spain, is one of the most eclectic cities in the world. Located in the heart of the Iberian Peninsula, Madrid is a vibrant cosmopolitan city with plenty of activities for both its inhabitants and foreign tourists to enjoy all year round. It is considered one of the most popular “party cities” in Europe thanks to the myriad of pubs and clubs catering to different tastes and nationalities. There you can find everything from traditional Irish pubs to local specialties - “tablaos”, the flamenco pubs or restaurants. Interestingly enough, most bars and restaurants allow parents to bring their children for free. Here in Madrid you don’t have to choose between fun and family. Not surprisingly, this city is also known among the Europeans as the go-to place for brides-to-be and their best friends to spend an unforgettable girls’ night before the big day. There are also many entertainment packages that would be appealing to grooms-to-be for their Bachelor Party. With such a great variety of nightlife activities, it is hard not to go out and enjoy yourself non-stop all night long. This is the reason why Madrileños earned the nickname of “gatos”, which means “cats” in Spanish, for their habit of being out and about till dawn.
For those interested in learning more about the Spanish culture, Madrid offers amazing opportunities to explore and engage in different activities which are only available in this country. Madrid hosts numerous Fiestas throughout the year, during which the city streets are all lit up with contagious joy. You don’t really need to plan your trip around the festivals - you will most definitely run into at least one of them during your stay. Most popular fiestas are Dos de Mayo (Spanish national holiday and the Independence Day) and those celebrating birthdays of patron saints of the city - San Isidro and La Almudena. The most important bullfight events take place at La Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas del Espíritu Santo during San Isidro. A bullfight, although a very controversial and often considered a cruel event, is still a very popular entertainment choice among tourists. People are typically drawn to experiences that are able to stir emotions and leave an unforgettable mark in their memories, and bullfights can definitely deliver that experience. Alternatively, there are other less controversial activities you can enjoy when paying a visit to the capital of Spain: take Flamenco lessons, go Hot-Air-Ballooning, try tapas or churros or watch a football game. With regards to the last activity, Madrid is a proud hometown of three clubs: Real Madrid, Atlético de Madrid and Rayo Vallecano. Everyone at least heard of Real Madrid, the legendary football club which is decorated with such impressive titles as The Best Club of the 20th Century by FIFA, 10 European Cups Champion and 3 Intercontinental Cups Champion. It costs quite a lot to watch Real Madrid play, however, you can always visit the famous Santiago Bernabéu stadium which is open everyday except Christmas and New Year’s day.
Besides being the “city that never sleeps”, Madrid has a different, more tamed and cultured side. Madrid is one of the most important artistic centers in Europe, thanks to its history of being home to many artists who joined the king’s court during the Golden Age. For example, the Seville-born Baroque painter Diego Velázquez spent the majority of his life in the capital of Spain. Among other notable artists who resided and worked in Madrid during different epochs are world-renowned names such as Francisco Goya, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí. With so many great painters and artists leaving their imprints in the city where they spent their most fruitful artistic years, Madrid has accumulated an impressive collection of artwork of different genres. The two of the most popular museums in the city - Museo del Prado and Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza - proudly exhibit wide range of work from primitive Flemish paintings to modern masterpieces by Picasso. Besides visual arts, Madrid will appeal to music lovers as well, as there are plenty of opera houses and theatre running housefull all year round. For example, the Teatro de Madrid is popular for its ballet shows, while the Teatro Real is famous for its modernized operas. To enjoy live music you can also just take a stroll down the streets of Madrid or simply visit a park, as there are many concerts played outdoors during warm months.
Besides being one of the most favorite locations for tourists of different interests, nationalities and ages, Madrid is also highly praised by reputable hospitality industry professionals. The United Nations World Tourism Organization chose to establish its headquarters in Madrid, which goal is to promote “responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.” Many restaurants in Madrid earned Michelin stars for their high-class gastronomy and service. The overall industry has been enjoying the inflow of investments into modernization and diversification in the past few years to improve the operations even further for tourists. For those who are interested in pursuing a career in Hospitality, Tourism and Events, Madrid would be a great venue to look into the opportunities. Where else can you combine work and fun but in this lively city, full of positive energy and creativity-stimulating activities? On top of that, most people working and studying in Madrid can’t help but pick up at least the basics of the beautiful Spanish language (Castellano to be more precise) which is one of the most demanded languages in the modern business world.