Madrid is the capital city of the Kingdom of Spain and the largest municipality in both the Community of Madrid and Spain as a whole. The city has a population of almost 3.2 million with a metropolitan area population of approximately 6.5 million. It is the third-largest city in the European Union after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan area is the third-largest in the EU after those of London and Paris.
Spain's broad sweep of architectural history provides a glorious backdrop to city life, from medieval mansions and royal palaces to the unimagined angles of Spanish contemporary architecture, from the sober brickwork and slate spires of Madrid baroque to the extravagant confections of the belle époque. Put simply, it is one beautiful city.
Few cities boast an artistic pedigree quite as pure as Madrid’s: many art lovers return here again and again. For centuries, Spanish royals showered praise and riches upon the finest artists of the day, from home-grown talents such as Goya and Velázquez to Flemish and Italian greats. Masterpieces by these and other Spanish painters such as Picasso, Dalí and Miró now adorn the walls of the city’s world-class galleries. Three in particular are giants – the Museo del Prado, Centro de Arte Reina Sofía and Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza – but in Madrid these are merely good places to start.
The glorious gardens of El Retiro are as beautiful as any you’ll find in a European city. Littered with marble monuments, landscaped lawns, the occasional elegant building (the Palacio de Cristal is especially worth seeking out) and abundant greenery, it’s quiet and contemplative during the week but comes to life on weekends. Put simply, this is one of our favourite places in Madrid.
Home to Picasso’s Guernica, arguably Spain’s most famous artwork, the Centro de Arte Reina Sofía is Madrid’s premier collection of contemporary art. In addition to plenty of paintings by Picasso, other major drawcards are works by Salvador Dalí and Joan Miró. The collection principally spans the 20th century up to the 1980s.
The most traditional open-air flea market in Madrid, El Rastro takes you along Ribera de Curtidores and the adjoining streets every Sunday. They say what you can’t find in El Rastro you can’t find anywhere else. From clothes to records or books to natural rubber, keys, frying pans, knives, hats, and antiques.
You’ll love wandering through the streets of the vibrant heart of Madrid. Not only do they shelter museums, churches, palaces and parks but they also have interesting stories to tell. Start at the Kilometre zero marker in Puerta del Sol, from which the national roads starting in Madrid fan out. The second busiest street in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records, Calle de Preciados, begins in this large square. Then take Gran Vía, a lively traditional avenue on which shops, cafés, movie theatres and theatres are to be found.
Arrive in Madrid by flights and coach
Visit to Royal Palace and Parque de El Retiro
Full day excursion around Madrid. Paseo del Prado and Recoletos, Gran Via and Calle Mayor, Neptuna, Cibeles and Retiro Park. Prado Museum
Visit to Reina Sofia Museum
Walk around the Las Letras district
Visit Real Madrid Museum and Stadium
Chocolate con Churros
Depart Madrid for journey home
Prices from £399 per student
Price based on a 6-day trip for 40 students and 4 group leaders, excluding flights. All trips are subject to availability.
AVAILABLE AT THIS DESTINATION
- Cultural Excursions
- Homestay accommodation
- Language Lessons
- Hotel/Hostel Accommodation
- Coach transfer from the school to UK airport. Return flights to Madrid.
- Private coach for the full duration of the trip once you arrive at the airport.
- Public transport travel card if required.
- Stay with local host families in Madrid.
- Hostel/hotel accommodation available with half board or full board options.
- Language tuition with qualified Spanish teachers. Lessons can be tailored to the level of the student’s current ability and included chosen topics selected by the group leaders.