Madrid

Few cities in the world can boast of having the vital energy that Madrid has. And such an irresistible mix of ingredients: beautiful architecture, wonderful museums, rich history, modernity and tradition, a legendary nightlife, good shopping, finest restaurants (also halal), friendly people ... And something that makes this city unique: it's the only western capital founded by Muslims. Are you going to miss it?

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Madrid Travel Tips
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Madrid is a city full of life throughout the year, all seasons are interesting. Taking into account the weather, the most favorable seasons are spring (from March to May) and autumn (from September to November), when the temperatures are most pleasant. In contrast, summers (from June to August) are quite hot and winters (December to February) are cold (although not as much as in other European capitals, and almost always with blue skies). However, in summer the rhythm of the city is less frenetic and friendlier and, being farsighted, you will probably be able to get better prices. The little rains and the blue skies, even sunny, make winter an attractive season. It is one of the Christmas destinations most in demand by the Spanish: then city is very appealing, but also with the accommodations more expensive, especially on weekends.

HOW TO GET

By plane. Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas (MAD) receives all international flights arriving in Madrid. It is the main Spanish airport, the fifth in Europe and the twenty-fourth in the world by number of passengers. Located just 12 kilometres northeast of the capital, it is directly connected to 172 airports around the world, including 28 in Spain. It now has four terminals in operation. The airport is connected with the city by Metro, Bus, and local train.

By train: Madrid is the centre of the extensive Spanish railway network, arriving in the capital from all over Spain and offering convenient transport throughout the country.  The name of the state train company is Renfe. Mid-Distance, Long Distance, High Speed (AVE) and Suburban trains depart from and arrive at the two main stations: Atocha and Chamartín. International trains to and from France and Portugal also depart from and arrive in Madrid.

By coach: There are two big coach stations in Madrid. The main is Sur Coach Station (Calle Méndez Álvaro, 83). The main companies there are Alsa (www.alsa.es), whose network of coaches covers most of Spain, several cities in Morocco and the main European countries; Socibus (www.socibusventas.es), running to and from Seville, Cadiz, Cordoba, Huelva and Jerez de la Frontera, in Cádiz; and Avanzabus (www.avanzabus.com), with services linking Spanish cities in Extremadura, Levante Region, Castilla and Lisbon (Portugal).

In Avenida de América Coach Station (Avenida de América, 9), you will find buses which connects with the cities in the North and Northeast of Spain such as Bilbao, San Sebastian, Vitoria, Burgos, Santander, Pamplona, Zaragoza and Barcelona.

FROM THERE

You can spend a couple of days in Madrid, a long weekend, a full week ... even two! The city has such energy and vitality that it does not run out. But, above all, it has an immense privilege: the absolute record of places declared a Unesco Heritage that either form part of Madrid itself, or are less than two hours away, or two and a half hours at most (That is to say, these places would be visitable in the day). In Madrid, the treasures listed by Unesco are the Monastery and Royal site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, the town of Alcalá de Henares, the natural site of Hayedo de Montejo (a beech forest), and the landscape surrounding the Palace of Aranjuez. In addition, five wonderful Castilian cities: Toledo, Segovia, Ávila, Salamanca and Cuenca. And, to conclude, three essential Spanish cities, also with world heritage, which, thanks to the high-speed train, are two hours, or two and a half hours away: Córdoba, Sevilla and Barcelona.

WHERE TO PRAY

The main masjid is the Omar Mosque (Salvador de Madariaga, 7), popularly known as the M-30 Mosque, which is part of the Islamic Cultural Center of Madrid. It is one of the largest mosques in Europe, and the largest in Spain. Another option is the Madrid Central Mosque or Abu-Bakr Mosque,  in calle Anastasio Herrero, 7, close to Metro de Estrecho.

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