Madrid is a great city to learn Spanish in. Madrid buzzes with life, with Madrileños’ zest for socialising, energetic nightlife, interesting cultural activities, and a mix of the tradition and the modern.
Lively, bustling, and energetic – the Spanish capital glows with life as only a mega city could. From the Gran Vía boulevard and Puerta del Sol to the Real Madrid stadium Malasaña, Chueca, and Plaza de España, it is not the sheer multitude that makes it stir. It is also the socialising attitude of its people who take to the streets and merrily maximise every minute not spent working.
Tradition and modernity
Today is the best time in the city’s history to visit. The trailblazing center of La Movida in the 1980’s, which fell behind the shadow of the Barcelona Olympic shadow in the 1990s, is now back on track. Low cost flitghts have made Madrid the most popular venue for short breaks and the amazing night life make it a modern must do for hen and stag parties, all of this lies comfortably with its fame as a cultural capital added to the fact that it is the second greenest capital in Europe all go to give Madrid its unique charm.
Traditions such as San Isidro and the El Rastro flea market prove that Madrid people value local customs. On the other hand, the gay neighborhood of Chueca, multiethnic Lavapiés, and rocker Malasaña show how the city embraces modernity as well.
Madrid keeps everyone so busy with its culture and arts that visitors face the problem of choosing what activity to do or sights to see first. Besides the unbelievable permanent collections of the Reina Sofia Museum, Thyssen Bornemisza, and Prado Museum, there are many other museums, art galleries, cultural centers, music venues, theaters, cinemas, fiestas, flamenco locales – you get the picture.
Which Madrid characteristic most impacts first-time visitors? Well, tourists point to the city’s energetic nightlife 99% of the time. In general, the daily schedule in Madrid (as in many other Spanish cities) runs later than other European cities. People eat dinner at around 10 in the evening and begin their night out when Dublin or London pubs are closing. Partying in the city continues until the sun comes up and is traditionally finished by a trip to a choclateria for a delicious traditional chocolate and churros while you watch the sun come up.
“Salir” (or to go out) only applies if you have made it past 4 in the morning. Otherwise it is just a “vuelta” (a stroll around the block).