Madrid culture

Madrid Cultural activities:

Museums:

Madrid is an arty city. It includes more than 90 museums and modern art galleries.

If you’re in the Medieval district of Madrid, make a visit to the National Archaeological Museum to explore the interesting collections from the Visigoth Kingdom of Toledo.

The Famous museo del Prado is a must see in Madrid. The building contains more than 4000 valuable works such as ‘Las Meninas’ by Velasquez and many of Goya’s famous ‘Naked Maja’.

The city holds also old noble houses turned into museums taking visitors to the old charming eras. Those special museums reflect the strong art scene in Madrid during the Romantic period. The most popular are Lope de vega house museum, Sorolla museum and museum of Romanticism.

Art galleries:

The Spanish capital invites you to see the greatest pieces of art by one of most important artists in history. Painting, photography, sculpture.. are present in a variety of galleries. Some are focusing on modern and contemporary art, others specializing in twentieth century art and antiques. The most of the galleries are located in Barrio de Salamanca, Las Salesas Barrio de las Letras and Lavapiés.

Music:

Madrid culture is very linked to flamenco. For Spaniards it represents more than an entertainment, it’s a lifestyle.

The city offers a variety of shows. You will have a great time attending dance and music spectacles in a grand theatre or a show in a “Tabloa”, the place where flamenco is performed.

You can profit of these sensational performances while savoring a delicious meal in a restaurant like the Cardamomo, Villa rosa and Casa Patas

In Madrid, there are many shows of many music genres: Rock, Jazz, pop, classical and street performance of acoustic songs.

Architecture:

With its stunning monuments and classic Spanish houses, Madrid can rival Paris and Rome.

Start your tour by visiting the most remarkable landmarks: From the Teatro Royal and recently restored 19th century opera house, pass by the National Library building and admire the city golden triangle of art.

Madrid is known for its ceremonial gateway arches decorating the city such as Puerta de Alcalá, Puerta de Toledo and Puerta de Hierro.

The Spanish capital is also famous for its fountains telling stories about the city’s past. In particular the sophisticated Fallen Angel in park del Retiro and Cibeles fountain in Plaza de Cibeles.

We can’t forget the splendor of churches that gives the city an artistic-historic value.

Festivals and carnivals:

Spain is the home of the fiesta. Along the year you will find a whole range of festivals packed with colors and excitement.

Madrid Carnival: It’s an important event organized usually in February. During five days, the city’s parks and streets are populated by original fancy dresses and everyone participates in fun activities.

August Fiestas: A continuation of three open-air festivities starting the San Cayetano festival followed by San Lorenzo in Lavapiés, and ends with the biggest and most important of all, La Paloma in La Latina. The program of events includes children’s parades, food competitions and musical performances.

Christmas: In late November, Madrid is dressed up with original lighting designs in all colors. When lights are up, the city charm appears and locals get ready to accept visitors.

San Isidro: It’s a special event occurring on 15th May and focusing on the value of water. People wear traditional clothes and drink “the saint’s water” from a spring near to the Shrine of San Isidro.

Madrid Jazz Festival: Usually held in November and December, it includes concerts such as the Auditorio Conde Duque and the Teatro Circo Price and other activities related to Jazz. The festival has a different theme each year.

Etiquettes and general manners:

Greeting:

  • The common way of greeting is to shake everyone’s hands women, men and children.
  • You can say “hola” for hello and “hasta luego” for goodbye.
  • Women can kiss each other on the cheek.
  • Try to use « usted » when talking to older people.
  • It is common to hear Spaniards greet each other as guapo/guapa, which mean lovely/handsome.

Clothing:

  • Looking elegant is extremely important everywhere and at any occasion.
  • The shoes are the most important part of the dress and reflect the personality.
  • Women should wear dresses and skirts in formal occasions.

When visiting someone:

  • To be polite, bring a small gift. Flowers and candies are convenient.
  • Greet everyone than wait for the host to show your seat.
  • Do not begin eating until the host says “Buen apetito!”

Dinner:

  • Do not switch your knives or forks with anyone. Spaniards never do that.
  • The fork and spoon above your plate are for dessert.
  • When the meal is finished, place the knife and fork parallel to each other across the right side of the plate.

Find out more about the Spanish culture and etiquettes.