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Welcome to Madrid

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Madrid, Spain’s capital city is, as you might expect, dense and highly metropolitan. Its majestic architecture including the Royal Palace and the city’s reputation as one of a centre of arts and culture makes it a wonderful city to explore, though because of the city’s sheer size - it’s the 6th largest city in Europe, losing only to the likes of Moscow and London - it’s best to explore by car. We have a great selection of hire cars available in Madrid, all at great prices, and you can easily pick up your rental from the airport to make your trip that bit smoother.

 


Car rental Madrid

Madrid - The Facts


• Though it’s the 6th largest city in the continent - it’s actually the 3rd largest city in the EU and with almost 6 million people, only Berlin and London are bigger.
• Madrid’s city symbol is a bear on its hind legs, eating berries from a Madrono tree. You’ll see the bear all around the city but most prolifically perhaps at the Puerta del Sol where there is a large bronze statue.
• There are a lot of trees in Madrid. So many in fact, that Madrid is only second in the world, behind only Tokyo, of city’s with the most trees. It also has the biggest area of green space per capita of any city in the world.
• The name given to those hailing from Madrid is a Madrilleno, and there have been many famous Madrillenos over the years including Penelope Cruz, Enrique Iglesias and Placido Domingo who is one of the most influential singing actors in the history of opera.

 

Madrid - A Short Guide

 

Madrid’s incredible architecture, lively plaza’s, vast gardens and epic monuments help to tell of the city’s rich history and heritage. Phillip the second made the city the capital of his empire in 1561 and it served as Spain’s artistic hub during the golden age, quickly becoming a seat of wealth and culture. You can see this today in the majesty of royal estates like the Palacio Real and in the inspired collections in the museums along the Avenida del Arte. In-between all of this you’ll find delicious Spanish cuisine, manicured parks and an incredible nightlife experience which is said to be one of the liveliest in the whole world. You’ll find a healthy mix of rock bars, chill out lounges, electro and house parties and salsa bars. At night you’ll find romantic candlelit restaurants, and young Madrilenos dancing in the streets - the nightlife is non-stop.


Car rental Madrid

The culture in Madrid has been dominated by its rich Royal history - and the Royal Palaces are still in use today, but you’ll also see your fair share of churches, cathedrals and medieval architecture mingling with the newer more metropolitan architecture such as the Church of Santa Monica and the Torre Caja skyscraper. Some must sees in Madrid include the highly popular Puerta del Sol which is perhaps the main plaza, situated right in the heart of Madrid which is not just a great place to eat, drink and soak up the ambience, but is also home to a number of monuments such as the Statue of King Charles the 3rd and the famous Bear and the Madrono Tree Statue. Close to the Palacio Real - the official residence of the King of Spain, is the Catedral de la Amundena which is a gigantic Catholic Cathedral in the baroque style matching the Palacio Real.

 

If you’d like to tour the city’s museums then you should head east from the Old City to the Museum triangle, otherwise known as the Pasea del Prado and home to a number of museums including the Museo del Prado, the Thyssen- Bornemisza and the Reina Sofia. There are a number of others too - scattered all across the city including the National Archeology Museum and the Museo de America. While in Madrid, you should put aside some time to relax in one of the city’s parks. There are plenty to choose from but we’d recommend heading to El Retiro Park where as well as sunning yourself on a hot summers day you can also watch or even take part in evening drum circles and hire a rowing boat. If you haven’t got much time - then you’ll find the La Casa de Campo behind the Palacio Real a pleasant diversion - you can even visit the Zoo which is actually quite peaceful.


Car rental Madrid

There are a plethora of activities to get involved with while in the city: you can catch a weekend opera at the Teatro Real, see one of the most famous football teams - Real Madrid - in the world in action, visit a festival such as the Madrid Gay Pride festival which now includes a week of festivities with huge street parades and lots of parties, learn a little Spanish in one of the many language schools in the city, go shopping in the Sol-Salamanca districts or even watch a bullfight. Eating in the city is a pleasure, and many of the typical dishes of Madrid are well known across the world including the lamb dish: Gallinejas and Entresijos, the hot pot of spicy beef: Callos a la Madrilenaf and the garlic soup: Sopa de Ajo. An odd fact is that Madrid actually has higher quality seafood than much of Spain, despite it’s inland location - if you’d like to try it, we suggest trying out the mariscada (seafood feast), but beware - such quality doesn’t come cheap.

 

You have plenty of options to get to the city with flights into the Madrid Barajas International Airport which is the home base for Iberia Airlines as well as a popular port for all the usual major airlines. You can even arrive by train from cities all over Europe including Paris, Seville and the French Coast. If you’re already in Europe and would like to take in the beautiful scenery afforded by a road trip then we of course recommend driving there - which will take you through some incredible countryside. Once there - you’ll find plenty of public transport options but it’s often full and unreliable so driving is best. We’ve made it easy to hire a car in Madrid and you can hire your car at the airport right now by choosing from our great range of Spanish car hire options.


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