Madrid, Spain's capital city is one of the most vibrant, energetic and beautiful European cities, full of colours and friendly people. From Chueca (the best-known gay area in Spain), Sol and the Gran Vía boulevard (full of nice shops) to Plaza España or Malasaña (famous for its bars and nightlife), there is no corner in the city you should miss. Madrid is one of the liveliest cities in the world. The problem with this beautiful capital is picking and choosing what to do, because of its wide range of cultural, artistic and leisure activities. There are lots of famous museums like Prado, Reina Sofía or Thysen with permanent collections, other cultural and art galleries, theatres, music festivals, cinemas... Madrid's outdoor terrace bars are really a must during summertime and a wonderful way to spend the warm summer evenings. It is the perfect city to spend your holidays!
Like all the big cities, Madrid has lots of shopping areas, stores and shopping malls and to choose from. The Spanish capital is the best city to go shopping due to it wide choice. What do you want to buy? Madrid has all you wish spread around about 60,000 stores. Most shops open all the day long, whether they are on the periphery, as if they are in the city centre. But the most traditional stores open from 10:00am to 14:00am and from 16:30pm to 20:30pm. Madrid is divided into several distinct shopping areas: Centro, Princesa, Chueca, Salamanca, Cuatro Caminos el Rastro.
El Rastro market is a distinctive symbol of Madrid. The city would not be the same without this market, which belongs to Madrid's Cultural Heritage. This is the most famous street market in the capital and one of the oldest markets in Spain. Here it's possible to buy almost everything: from first and second-hand clothes, shoes, books and antiques, to fruit, flowers, accessories, collectable items, music, pictures or the most absurd junk. To facilitate the purchase to the thousands of visitors who come to the market, the products are distributed by streets. So, along the Ribera de Curtidores street are located the handicraft stalls, the antique stalls and the first-hand clothes stalls. Around San Cayetano street are located the painting and the artwork stalls. This street is known as 'the street of the painters', because there are located many art galleries, art shops and all the street art stalls. The General Vara del Rey square concentrates the second-hand clothes stalls. In the Campillo esplanade you'll find a wide variety of articles: leather, tools, music, press, etc. The lovers of antiques have to go to Rodas street.
Madrid nightlife is a world reference too. It is called the city that never sleeps. Madrid nightlife is known because of its wide choice and its extensive schedule, unique throughout the world: it goes on all night until the sun rises! Madrid clubs and pubs are open all year, all week around. While in most European countries the party finishes around 3 am, in Madrid it extends until the small hours. Madrid's nightlife has something for everybody, whatever your preferences, age or nationality.
There are lots of hotels and hostels in Madrid, but the best choice to sleep there is to stay in a nice, cheap apartment. Feel like at home renting an apartment in Madrid and save your money!