Atop the 2,000 foot high Castilian plateau of central Spain, Madrid can be hot in summer or cold in winter, but its skies are a deep, clear blue, and it is always inviting. The city sprawls with remarkable energy down major thoroughfares and through narrow, winding streets in the neighborhoods. It is Spain's largest city, and the capital since 1562.
Madrid has a distinct rhythm, often very pleasant for visitors. Despite its cosmopolitan atmosphere, the city still runs at a different pace. At night, the city takes on a new life as residents frequent the tapas bars. Families of all ages are often seen out on the streets as late as midnight. Madrid really does stay open 24 hours a day. Don't be surprised to be in a traffic-jam at 4 a.m. People going to work sometimes run into their neighbors returning home after enjoying a whole night out! Madrid provides a wealth of opportunity for extracurricular activities including concerts, jazz, theater and cinema. It is a very cosmopolitan city, with an enormous variety of shops, restaurants, parks, discos, monuments and museums.
Madrid enjoys a pleasant climate during the spring and autumn months with average temperatures around 15 centigrade. Summers can be very hot, and winters get chilly. Madrid has an average of 125 days of sunshine per year.