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Getting to know Madrid, Spain’s majestic capital

“To go to bed at night in Madrid marks you as a little queer. For a long time your friends will be a little uncomfortable about it. Nobody goes to bed in Madrid until they have killed the night. Appointments with a friend are habitually made for after midnight at the cafe.” -Ernest Hemingway

With its beautiful architecture, gorgeous parks and plazas and a vibrant nightlife and tapas culture, Madrid is a charismatic, international city for the young and young at heart. Interns abroad will fall in love with this beautiful city while making lifelong international friendships and boosting their career with an internship in their industry. Learn exactly what Madrileño life can offer you and find out about all of the exciting things to do in Madrid, Spain’s majestic capital.


City stats:

Population size – 3.2 million (6.5 million in metro area)

Major universities – Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Politécnica de Madrid

Claim to fame – top club football (soccer) teams (Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid), lively nightlife

Cuisine“tapas”, or small plates, like the tortilla (egg, potatoes, onion) and “croquetas”, or croquettes

Famous locals – Enrique Iglesias, Tirso de Molina, Isabella II of Spain, Belinda, Florentino Pérez


things to do in Madrid


The bucket list:

1. Spend your day in and out of charming cafés and shops in hipster heaven, Malasaña (stay for tapas).
2. Wander through Retiro Park with your friends and find the perfect spot for a picnic.
3. Check out the amazing Picasso paintings that the Reina Sofia museum has to offer, like Guernica.
4. Stroll through the lovely botanical garden, Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid, which features nearly 20 acres of beautiful plant life.
5. Snap a selfie in the famous Plaza Mayor.
6. Admire the Royal Palace and don’t forget to check out the Sabatini Gardens.
7. Shop at an authentic flea market – “El Rastro” – in the Lavapiés neighborhood on Sundays.
8. Take in both the permanent and temporary exhibitions featured at the world-renowned art museum, Museo Nacional del Prado.
9. Soak up the amazing architecture of the Almudena Cathedral, Madrid’s stunning Catholic cathedral.


things to do in Madrid


Did you know?

-Madrid’s city symbol is a bear on its hind legs eating berries from a tree, which you can see as a sculpture in Puerta del Sol and on the Madrid coat of arms.

-Madrid has the third-largest GDP in the European Union.

-Madrid’s name is Arabic in origin, coming from the word “magerit”, meaning “place of many streams”.

-Madrid is the third-largest city in the European Union.

-The city is located at a higher altitude than any other capital city in Europe.

-Madrid’s bohemian barrio, Malasaña, contains four female bronze statues – see if you can find them all!


Now that you know about all of these exciting things to do in Madrid, apply now to boost your career with an international internship!




1. based on Winter in Crystal Palace (just before the dawn), by Felipe Gabaldón, CC-by-2.0

2. based on Casa de la Panadería, by Felipe Gabaldón, CC-by-2.0

3. based on Madrid, by Maryge, CC-by-SA 2.0

Photos and blog by Elizabeth Trovall

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The International Internships Blog is a collaboration by The Intern Group staff, alumni and current participants to give you career advice & tips, program information, & so much more!