Madrid is Spain’s capital city and a popular destination for both tourists and those looking to settle in the country.
The city is the largest in Spain with a history that goes way back to the 9th Century when it was home to the Moors who named the city ‘Mayrit’.
In the 12th century, King Alfonso VI of Castile conquered the city and renamed it Madrid.
During the 16th and 17th centuries, Madrid experienced significant growth and development, and became an important cultural centre.
In the 18th century, Madrid was made the capital of Spain and the city continued to grow and develop, with many new buildings and infrastructure projects being built.
Today, Madrid is a major economic and transportation hub for Spain and is home to several important universities and cultural institutions.
The city has many famous landmarks, museums, universities, and historical buildings that reflect its rich heritage.
Madrid is home to many famous museums such as the Prado Museum (below), the Reina Sofia Museum, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.
Image by donfalcone from Pixabay
We of course cannot speak about Madrid and not mention their famous football team, Real Madrid who play at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.
Real Madrid was founded in 1902 and is undoubtedly the country’s most successful football team claiming 68 domestic trophies and 13 European Cup/Champions League titles among others.
Below we take an insight into other facts about the city of Madrid including its population, the climate, and some of the most popular things to do and see when there.
Population By Nationality
Madrid is a popular destination for those looking for work and hence has a diverse range of nationalities registered as residents.
According to the National Statistics Institute (INE), in 2022, Madrid had a population of 6,750,336. Of these, 949,969 (14.07%) were foreign nationals.
Around 278,000 of these are from the European Union.
Of the registered foreigners, Romanian nationals make up the largest community with 144,694 residents.
This is followed by those from:-
Population By Age and Sex
Of the total population, 3,230,154 are men and 3,520,182 women.
In terms of age, 1,042,758 were aged under 16, with 4,471,269 aged between 16 and 64, and 1,236,309 aged over 65 years.
The weather in Madrid is generally warm to hot during the summer months, with temperatures often reaching into the high 30s Celsius (mid to high 90s Fahrenheit).
The winter months are mild to cool, with temperatures typically ranging from around 5 to 15 degrees Celsius (40s to 50s Fahrenheit). Madrid experiences a Mediterranean climate, with dry and hot summers and mild winters.
The city also gets a decent amount of rainfall, mostly during the autumn and winter months, and occasional heavy thunderstorms. Snowfall is rare but it happens occasionally.
Overall, Madrid has a relatively mild climate, with pleasant temperatures throughout the year, making it a popular destination for tourists. It is a good idea to bring layers of clothing, as the temperature can change during the day, and also to be prepared for rain if you are visiting during the autumn or winter months.
The city is home to several public and private universities, some of the most prestigious public ones include:
All of the above-mentioned universities are well-respected institutions and are highly competitive to get in. They offer undergraduate and graduate programs and have a good reputation in their respective fields of study.
Madrid also has a number of private universities, some of the most well-known include:
These universities offer undergraduate and graduate programs and have a good reputation in their respective fields of study. They are typically smaller and more selective in their admissions process and tend to have higher tuition fees. However, they often offer more personalised attention and smaller class sizes and may have more specialised programs or facilities.
Places to Visit
There are, of course, an endless number of things to do and see in Madrid.
The list below is of some of the most famous landmarks. There are many others to explore.
The Prado Museum: This world-famous museum houses an impressive collection of Spanish and European art, including works by Velázquez, Goya, and El Greco.
El Retiro Park: This large urban park is a great place to relax and enjoy some greenery, as well as to see the Crystal Palace (pictured below) and the statue of King Alfonso XII.
The Gran Via: This bustling street is the heart of Madrid's shopping and entertainment district, and is lined with shops, restaurants, and theaters. (main picture)
The Templo de Debod: This ancient Egyptian temple was gifted to Spain in 1968 and is one of the few places in the city where you can see the sunset.
The Royal Palace of Madrid: The official residence of the Spanish royal family, the palace is a beautiful example of 18th-century architecture and is open to the public for tours.
The Market of San Miguel: This historic market is a great place to sample some local delicacies and see a different side of Madrid.
The Santiago Bernabéu Stadium: home of the world-famous soccer team Real Madrid, it is a must-see for sports fans.
The Rastro Flea Market: open on Sundays, it is a great place to find unique and vintage items.
The Paseo del Arte: This is the cultural heart of Madrid, and is home to several world-class museums including the Reina Sofia and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.
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