Madrid, the third largest city of the European Union and also the highest capital of the EU at 650,7 meters above sea level (apart from San Marino and Andorra), is a popular destination for students, language tours and leisure tourists. With approximately 6 million residents in the metropolitan area of Madrid, the Spanish capital occupies a leading position within Europe. Madrid is ranked third place in Europe behind London and Berlin with a real population in the city of around 3.3 million people. Nevertheless, Madrid is still considered a metropolis with a village atmosphere. Visitors rank Madrid as the second favorite destination in Spain only topped by Barcelona and neck and neck with some other cities.
The Madrilenians do not see themselves as anything special. When their city is compared to other Spanish cities it is a relatively young city that does not even have its own landmark.
Madrid's origin goes back to a Moorish Castle from the 9th century, where the Royal Palace (Palacio Real) is now located. The coat of arms shows a brown bear which leans on a strawberry tree and stretches out for the red fruits. A monument which represents this coat of arms is located on the Plaza de la Puerta del Sol and is a popular meeting place, to start night tours through the clubs or to start day trips through the city and its numerous street cafés.
Overall, the subject of »Fiesta« is taken seriously in Madrid. Almost daily, the city awakes in the evening and you can see lively activity in the famous nightlife districts like Huertas, Malasaña, Chueca, La Latina, etc. In Madrid, it is usual to take dinner at 22.00 with good company in a nice restaurant, or to meet beforehand in a tapas bar for a beer, and then go to the clubs of the city.
But Madrid is not only worth a trip for party lovers. Madrid is also the right place for those who want to either learn Spanish or to improve their language skills. Many language schools and institutes are located in Madrid. In addition, the large cultural program is a unique opportunity to get to know Spanish culture. The Thyssen Museum and the Museo del Prado show works of great Spanish artists such as Goya, Velázquez and El Greco, just to name a few. Friends of Spanish literature can find numerous literary cafés in Madrid or may walk in the footsteps of Cervantes or Lope de Vega.