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Madrid Travel Guide

Madrid is the capital and the largest city of Spain. This has been Spain's capital since 1562 and is located on the center of Iberian Peninsula. The city is situated further west than London, Liverpool, or Edinburgh. Madrid is also considered the major financial center of Iberian Peninsula, which hosts the heads of vast majority Spanish companies.

Because of its central location and high altitude, the climate is characterized by warm dry summer and cool winters. The average annual temperature recorded was 55 degrees F (13 degrees F) and during the colder season, temperatures often fall below freezing point, although it rarely snows in the city. During the peak summer months, the temperature can easily reach 104 degrees F (40 degrees F). Madrid's population generally increased when the city became the national capital in the mid-16th century and stabilized to 3.3 million from the 1970s. The city population dropped around the 70s and 90s due to the growth of satellite suburbs. The city has attracted many immigrants from around the world, where Spaniards are still dominating the population by 83.8%.

Madrid is one of Spain's most popular destinations and is known for its large quantity of cultural attractions. Its monuments and sights include the Royal Palace, the Plaza Mayor, the Almudena Cathedral, the Puerta del Sol, and the Plaza de Oriente. The city is also the top European destination in terms of art museums, best known for their 'Golden Triangle of Art.' The most famous art museums on the triangle is the Prado Museum, where Diego Valazquez's Las Meninas and Francisco de Goya's La maja vestida and La maja desnuda is located. The two other museums are the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum, established from a mixed private art collections, and the Reina Sofia Museum, where Pablo Picasso's Guernica hangs.

Madrid is one of the world's liveliest cities and has something for everybody, whatever your preferences, age, or nationality. The city is popular in the practice of meeting in parks or streets with friends and drinking alcohol together but was changed in the recent years. If you're in a mood for classical music and opera, Madrid is the city to go to. The Auditorio Nacional de Musica is the main venue for classical music concerts. Teatro Real is the main opera house and it resides the Madrid Symphony Orchestra. Teatro de la Zarzuela is devoted to Zarzuela (Spanish Musical Theatre genre) as well as operetta and recitals.

The city also hosts the largest Plaza de Toros (bullring) in Spain. Established in 1929, Las Ventas is considered to be the center of bullfighting and seats up to 25,000 people. Madrid's bullfighting season begins in March and ends in October.

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