Madrid is Spain's capital and largest city with population is around 3,2 million (metro around 6.7 million). By population, the city is ranked Europe's (European Union's) 3rd-largest (after London and Berlin). As metro area, it is also ranked EU's 3rd-largest (after London and Paris). Madrid metro covers an area of approx 604 km2 (233 ml2). The city is the seat of Spain's government, and also houses the residence of the Spanish monarch (House of Bourbon). Kingdom of Spain (Reino de Espana) was established in 1469.
Madrid is located on Manzanares River, in the center of both the metro area and the country. The city is bordered by two autonomous communities - "Castile and Leon" and "Castile-La Mancha". it is also Spain's economic, financial, political and cultural center. Here are based Spain's largest centers of education, science and research (17 large universities plus 30+ large research facilities), technologies, politics, banking, environment, media and entertainment, fashion, arts. Madrid is home to two world-league football clubs - Atletico and Real Madrid. Here are headquartered most largest Spanish companies, as well as multinationals and large financial institutions.
City's economy is heavily based on the tertiary sector (services contribute around 86%), followed by industries (~8%) and construction (~6%). By industrial production, the city is ranked Spain's 2nd largest (after Barcelona). Tertiary sector's leading services are business, transportation-logistics, information-media-communications, property and finances (over 1/2 of GVA / gross value added). Madrid-based banks account for over 70% of country's total banking activities, including stock and bond markets, insurance, pension funds.
Most of city's best-known tourist attractions are in Old Town and Ensanche (comprising 5 districts - Arganzuela, Centro, Chamberí, Retiro, Salamanca). At its center is Puerta del Sol - the hub for all its streets, and also connecting to all Spain's main highways. The city served by a highly developed road, railway and airport domestic and international connections. Around 3/4 of its population commutes into Madrid to work. The busiest radial highways connect the city with:
- (A1-north) Aranda de Duero - Burgos - Miranda de Ebro - Vitoria - San Sebastian
- (A2-northeast) Guadalajara - Zaragoza - Lleida - Barcelona
- (A3-east) Valencia
- (A4-south) Cordoba - Seville - Jerez - Cadiz
- (A5-southwest) Talavera de la Reina - Navalmoral de la Mata - Merida - Badajoz - (to Portugal)
- (A6-northeast) Medina del Campo - Benavente - Astorga - Ponferrada - Lugo - A Coruna
- (A24 - to Castile–La Mancha) Illescas - Toledo
Madrid Metro (subway network) is one of world's most extensive and fastest-growing, With total railway length around 287 km (178 ml), it is currently ranked Western Europe's 2nd largest (after London Underground) and world's 6th largest (after London, NYC, Moscow, Seoul and Shanghai). Madrid, Tokyo and Paris City are currently world's largest high-speed train hubs. The city is served by 2 airports - Adolfo Suarez Madrid–Barajas (main) and Ciudad Real Central (secondary).
Madrid tours, shore excursions, hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
Casa de Campo is the city's largest park (located west of downtown Madrid).