Madrid, Spain's capital, is a cosmopolitan city. Its position as a centre for economics, finance, administration and services combines the most modern infrastructure with an important cultural and artistic heritage, the legacy of centuries of fascinating history.
Art and culture are central to Madrid life. The city has 73 museums that cover all fields of human knowledge. Of these, the most important are the Prado Museum, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, and the Reina Sofía National Art Centre.
Visitors and residents alike can enjoy the sun, go for walks, go rowing or feed the squirrels in Madrid's large, impeccable parks and gardens. The Retiro Park, the Casa de Campo and the Juan Carlos I Park, among others, make Madrid one of Europe's greenest capitals.
If there is one thing that mostly characterizes Madrid, it is the deep, contagious passion for life reflected in its friendly, welcoming people. Madrid boasts concerts, exhibitions, ballets, select theatre productions, and the latest cinematographic releases. You can sample a wide variety of the finest Spanish and international cuisine or be enchanted by its bars and taverns.
Madrid's happening nightlife is another major attraction. Its pubs, bars, discos and flamenco clubs have a tremendous atmosphere, while by day there are traditional verbenas (open-air dances), popular festivals or the San Isidro bullfighting festival - rated as the world's most important.
All this, combined with the momentum of a society that is dynamic and open, and at the same time warm and welcoming, has turned this metropolis into one of the western world's great capitals.