Madrid, Spain Vacations

Our Opinion of Madrid

There is an undeniable colour to this city. The enthusiasm that it approaches life and enjoyment is contagious. Their appetite for music, art and culinary pleasures will find few rivals. Against the backdrop of public squares, art museums, historic palaces, ancient monuments and modern architecture makes for an overwhelming atmosphere that affect everyone that visits.

Prado is considered one of Europe's greatest art galleries, boasting a 4,000-strong collection of 16th to early 19th-century paintings. The Reina Sofía is dedicated to Spanish 20th-century artist such as Dalí, Miró and Juan Gris, it is also home to Picasso's provocative Civil War canvas Guernica. The Thyssen-Bornomisza, contains over 800 paintings, sculptures, carvings and tapestries, from primitive Flemish works to contemporary pieces. These three galleries can stand in their own right but collectively they form the world-renowned "Golden Triangle" of art museums.

Since the 16th century, Madrid's main square was host to autos-da-fé (condemnation of heretics), bullfights, and royal events. These days it has become a congregation point for thousands of tourists, buskers, and street vendors every day.

Things to know about Madrid, Spain Vacations

Dining & Nightlife
For a truly Spanish experience try the Tascas, bars that serve wine and platters of tempting, hot and cold hors d'oeuvres known as tapas. Although tapas are prepared and eaten around the world now. It originated from Spain. To fully experience tapas does not mean finding a Tacas and settling in for the evening. Each bar will be known for a dish. To get the full flavour of the evening traveling around to different bars is the best way to go, the Spanish version of a pub crawl!

Try starting your tapas crawl around Plaza Santa Ana or Cava Baja in the La Latina neighborhood and see what tastes tempts your palate.

If you are looking for a couple more upscale restaurants try Santceloni or Zalacain for some very tasty eats.

Madrileños stay up late and manage to be coherent the next day. Most evening start late and go until 3 in the morning. Nightlife centres on three major districts - Chueca (Madrid's gay district with the trendy restaurants), Calle Huertas (here you will find traditional Spanish music, jazz clubs and bars) and Malasaña (mainly bars and clubs which caters to the younger crowd)

Madrid has three main shopping areas. The first area stretches from Callao to Puerta del Sol includes the major department stores and popular brands. The second area is more expensive and has all the high fashion designer name and is east of Salamanca district. And finally, Chueca caters to the trendy younger generations and has all the international and local brands.

Flying time from:
Toronto: Approximately 13hrs.
Montreal: Approximately 11hrs.
Calgary: Approximately 15hrs.
Vancouver: Approximately 18hrs.

Languages: Spanish but most people in the tourist industry will speak English.
Currency: Euros.
Climate: Mediterranean Climate - characterized by hot, dry summers (sometimes in excess of 35C) and cool, wet winters.
Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz; round two-pin plugs are standard.

A passport is mandatory for Canadian Citizens, although no visa is required. For other countries, please check the Spanish Tourist Office to get a complete list and other details.

Hellenic Tourism Organisation website -

Spanish Tourist Office
2 Bloor Street West, Suite 3402
Toronto, Ontario
M4W 3E2
Tel: (416) 961-3131 / (416) 961-4079
Fax: (416) 961-1992
E-mail : makes every effort to ensure that information on this page is current, however, all information on this page is subject to change without notice.