Madrid

Madrid, historical capital of Spain

Air France offers flights from Hong Kong, to Madrid, the capital of Spain. The trip takes a total of about seventeen hours with connections in either Amsterdam or Paris and there is a -7 hour difference between Hong Kong and Madrid.
You will arrive in Madrid, landing at Barajas airport , located 12 km to the north of the city centre which you can reach by subway in 12 minutes, bus (40 minutes) or by car. Once in the city, the best way to get around is public transportation. The network is very efficient with 12 subway lines and three tramway lines in addition to 171 bus lines!
Madrid is not only the capital of Spain, but the most populated city in the country with 3.2 million inhabitants. Founded in the 9th century by Muhammed 1st, Madrid has a rich history. It belonged to the Castillion Kingdom beginning in the 11th century. The city developed considerably during the Middle Ages, in particular under the reign of Juan II and Isabel the Catholic. The Hapsburgs followed by the Bourbons reigned over Spain. In the beginning of the 19th century, Napoleon Bonaparte occupied Spain.
Between 1936 and 1939, the civil war opposed nationalists and republicans. Madrid surrendered to the nationalists in March 1939 and Franco took over for 40 years. Madrid grew and received great state administrations.
In 1977, democracy was restored. That was the Movida period, which offered exceptional expansion to Madrid.

Madrid, city of museums

A rich past which explains why Madrid has so many interesting tourist sites. To begin with, Old Madrid with its small squares surrounded by colourful buildings, palaces and mansions built in the 17th century, homes with wrought iron balconies, etc.
The Plaza Mayor is also a popular tourist area with its irregular shape and residential buildings built with three floors of arches and wooden balconies. You can't miss the Royal Palace built by the Bourbons during the 18th century. An imposing building that today is no longer the royal family's residence. The family prefers the more private Zarzuela Palace.
The Royal Armoury is also worth a visit: you can discover the collection of weapons belonging to the catholic kings, Charles V and Philippe II during the 16th century.
Of course, you must visit the Puerta del Sol, the heart of the city where Madrilenians gather every December 31st.
Madrid is also a city that is famous for its museums: the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum which houses masterpieces of western art from the 13th century to today. The Prado Museum is the most important fine arts museum in the world. The Reina Sofia National Museum exhibits legendary works such as Guernica, by Picasso.

Travelling to Madrid: useful tips

The best periods to take a flight for Madrid , are the months of April to June and September to October: the weather is pleasant and there are fewer tourists than in summer - in July and August, temperatures can reach 45 degrees!
To enter Spain, non-European visitors need a passport
that is valid for at least months after the planned date of departure from the Schengen area, an area where people and merchandise can circulate freely between 26 countries, including Spain. However, a visa is not required for stays less than 90 days.
If you would like to rent a car in Madrid, we recommend having an international driver's license.
The currency in Spain is the euro. Credit cards are accepted everywhere and ATMs are widely available.

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