Welcome to Madrid, a lively, cosmopolitan and friendly city where everyone feels at home.
The capital of Spain is a place for business and new trends, offering a modern and comfortable setting where work and pleasure are equally pleasing. Its rich artistic, historic and natural heritage, cutting-edge transport network, quality accommodation, ﬁne cuisine and the passion locals show when enjoying their city's day and night life make it one of the most attractive cities in the world.
Madrid is also one of the greenest cities in Spain: its network of parks and tree-lined avenues make it a great city for running or simply for spending a day outside.
Cutting-edge facilities, devoted professionals and modern infrastructure: Madrid is much more than the political and financial capital of Spain. Filled with charming sidewalk cafés, restaurants, vanguard bars and nightclubs, Madrid is surely a city that never sleeps. The capital has more bars than any other city on earth that, together with festivals and other annual events, provide you with a vast choice on what to do during your evenings.
Madrid has nearly 100 museums and more than 2,000 historical and artistic monuments that attest to the achievements made here since its founding in the 9th century. The city has a lot to offer in terms of cultural experience: among the major museums, there are the Museo del Prado (housing almost 10,000 works of art), Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, and Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, showing the great works of famous talents such as Goya and Velázquez.
For the fourth consecutive year, Madrid is among the top five cities in the world hosting the most conventions and events. The capital remains the top conference destination in Spain, and in the past year its world-class facilities have played host to more than 1.1 million people attending more than 2,200 conventions.
Travel to Madrid
Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport is one of Europe’s largest airports, with connections to both national and international destinations, including direct flights to 69 different countries and 177 cities all over the world. By air, the capital is only two hours from Berlin, London, Paris and Rome, and seven hours from New York, Mexico City and Caracas. More than 50 million passengers pass through here every year.
Madrid-Barajas Airport is located 18 km northeast of the city center and 11 km east of the financial district, where the host hotel for IFC’s Global Debt Mobilization Conference, the Hotel Meliã Castilla, is located.
Transfers from Madrid-Barajas Airport
Journey time from the airport to the Hotel Meliã Castilla in the financial district is roughly 15 minutes, or about 30 minutes to the city center.
Prices follow fixed airport rates of €30 between the airport and any destination inside the M30 beltway (including the city center and financial district).
If final destination is out of this area, the taxi meter will count at the corresponding tariff rate.
BY LIGHT RAIL (Cercanias)
Connections from the airport are also provided by the Cercanias light rail, which will lead you to the financial district or the city center in less than half an hour.
Tickets from the airport to Chamartin station, which is a 15-minute walk from the Hotel Meliã Castilla, are €2.60 for a single rider.
The same rate applies to other destinations closer to the city center, including Atocha station, Mendéz Álvaro, Nuevos Ministerios and Sol.
Tickets are free for AVE (fast speed train) users. Tickets can be purchased at ticket offices or automatic ticket machines in each station.
The airport can be reached also by metro. Line 8 that connects all terminals with the city.
Tickets are €4.50 to €5 for a single rider depending on the point of origination and can be purchased at ticket offices or automatic ticket machines in each station.
Direct connection from the airport to the city center is provided by the Express shuttle service, which operates 24 hours a day.
It runs every 15-20 minutes during the day and every 35 minutes at night, completing the journey in about 40 minutes.
The Express Bus makes only two stops: O’Donnell and Atocha Station (Plaza de Cibeles at night, from 23.30 hrs).
Single tickets are €5 and can be purchased on board.
Travel in Madrid
Madrid has some of the most thorough and least expensive public transit in Europe: buses and metro run regularly during the day and are a quick, convenient and cheap way to travel around the city. The bus and metro network.
Madrid’s underground system is the second largest European metro network after London, with 293 km of lines and 300 stations that cover most of the city.
There are 12 lines that generally operate from 6am to 1:30am Monday to Saturday, with reduced operating hours on Sundays. Lines 1 and 10 may be accessed from Chamartin station, which is a 15-minute walk from Hotel Meliã Castilla.
Tickets are €1.50-€2 for a single rider and can be used on both buses and the metro.
A 10-ride pass for the bus and metro is €12.20 for a single rider within Zone A (including the financial district and the city center).
Tickets can be purchased on the bus, at ticket offices, or at automatic ticket machines in each metro station.
EMT public buses run from about 6am to 11pm on weekdays, and about 7am to 11pm on weekends.
Running times vary according to the bus route, but the average frequency of the service is 15-20 minutes on weekdays.
Ticket fares and purchase points are the same as for the metro above.
BY LIGHT RAIL (Cercanias)
An alternative to the bus or metro is the RENFE Cercanias (suburban passenger service) light rail, which runs from approximately 5am to midnight.
Several light rail lines pass through Chamartin station, located a 15-minute walk from the Hotel Meliã Castilla.
The light rail offers frequent daily services to places of interest for tourists, such as Alcalá de Henares, El Escorial and Aranjuez. Tickets from Chamartin are €1.70 for a single rider.
Tickets can be purchased at ticket offices or automatic ticket machines in each station.
BY TAXI OR UBER
The concierge at Hotel Meliã Castilla can call a taxi for you to any destination in the city.
Away from the hotel, taxis can be hailed by waving your hand to signal an available taxi passing by.
Official taxis are white with a red stripe. Uber is also available in Madrid.
The official language of Spain is Spanish and the most commonly spoken foreign language is English, followed by French.
The euro is the official currency of Spain (€/EUR). Visa, MasterCard and other credit cards are widely accepted.
Hemingway once said that Madrid has Spain’s best climate.
With a dry climate and little rainfall, the city has a typical Mediterranean climate with hot summers and cold winters.
Due to Madrid’s high altitude of 600-650 meters, the most pleasant warm weather starts from May when temperatures become almost summery.
In September, temperatures range from 15-26°C (59-79°F), with an average of 21°C (69°F).
Spain’s standard electricity supply is 220 volts (V), 50 hertz (Hz) AC. Plugs and sockets are European standard with two round pins.
MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE
Spain uses the GSM international coverage standard.
American frequency ranges (850 and 1900 MHz) are different from those in Europe (900 and 1800 MHz), but the widespread use of 3G and 4G devices provides support for the entire range of bands on both continents.
The international calling code for Spain is +34. To dial overseas while in the country, dial 00, the country code, and then the number.
From exclusive international boutiques to alternative outlets and traditional shops, Madrid has all the shopping options you need. Operating hours are typically from 9-10am until 8-10pm.
Shops are open daily, even on bank holidays. Most shops do not close over lunch, except for those far from the city center, which may close from 2pm to 4-5pm.
Each quarter has its own unique shops that differ in style and designs. The main shopping areas are Gran Vía in the touristic area and Serrano for luxury shopping.
Madrid is located in the Central European time zone (CET = GMT / UCT + 1). From the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October, summer time is in effect (MESZ).
For information on sightseeing, dining, shopping and other cultural events, please visit the official Madrid tourist guide at www.esmadrid.com/en. Upon arrival in Madrid, you can visit the Official Tourist Center, located in Plaza Mayor, 27, for more information. The Tourist Center is open daily from 9:30am to 8:30pm.
Other resources include:
Madrid on Lonely Planet: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/spain/madrid
Madrid on TripAdvisor: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g187514-Madrid-Vacations.html