Spain's "Big City"
Madrid is perhaps best described as being the New York City of Spain; Spaniards and immigrants alike come here to “make it in the big city,” and the energy of their ambition has helped define the city’s sense of self. Culture here may not necessarily mean flamenco and bullfights, but it is undeniably vibrant. As the political center of Spain, it is also diffused with a slightly different international flair than other parts of the country. But Spain’s major business hub is also known for its world-renowned, pulsating nightlife, truly giving new meaning to the term, “work hard, play hard.” And despite the fervent restlessness that seems to contradict the relaxed, siesta lifestyle throughout the rest of Spain, Madrid is still Spanish to its core. Plazas, sidewalk cafes and tapas bars dot the city, narrow labyrinth alleys are reminiscent of its past as the center of Spain’s Golden Age, and stops like the Museo Del Prado showcase some of the finest in Spanish art. Madrid is best explored on foot, with major sights in close proximity to each other and an excellent public transportation system that will connect you to the rest, but lovely, quiet parks where you can take a break from the hustle and bustle.