Madrid is full of history, museums, royals, food markets, and much more that will take your experience to another level. One of the best ways to get started is to understand the various facts about Madrid that make it unique. That is because there is much more to Madrid than meets the eye.
So, if you are planning a trip to Spain, you have come to the right place. Here are some interesting and fun Madrid facts that are useful to know even before visiting.
Historical Facts About Madrid Spain
Madrid is a city full of rich history because it was founded such a long time ago. Because of this, it is important to know the historical Madrid facts that make this city what it is today.
It Became The Capital Of Spain During The 16th Century
Many people don’t know this, but Madrid became the capital of Spain in 1561. This was when King Phillip II decided to move his court to the city, and so it became the city of royal power. Before this, the monarchs in Spain used to move their court around the kingdom, as they would constantly switch positions.
The Name Madrid Has Arabic Roots
Yes, the name Madrid has Arabic roots because it comes from the word Mayrit, which means an abundance of water. However, the name is shrouded in much mystery and myth because many people argue about its etymology. The earliest recorded name of this town comes from Arabic roots.
The City Was Found During The Ninth Century
Madrid has been inhabited by humans since prehistoric times, but its first official inhabited record comes from the 9th century. During this time, there was a fortress on the Manzanares River bank by the rule of Cordoba, Muhammad I. Then, Spanish monarchs conquered the city two centuries later.
Cultural Facts About Madrid
The culture of Madrid is incredibly lively, as it is filled with art, food, music, passionate people, and much more. If you want to explore Spanish culture, the capital city is a great place to start. Here are some interesting facts about Madrid’s culture.
The City Is Known For Its Seafood
Madrid is one of the best cities for seafood lovers that want to enjoy delectable meals. That is because it hosts the biggest seafood market in Europe and the 2nd largest worldwide.
Keep in mind that it is only open to serious buyers, but you can always book tours or try the incredible seafood throughout the city. Apart from that, there are plenty of options if you want to dive into traditional Spanish snacks and food.
The Locals Are Known As Cats Because They Are Out All Night
The locals of Madrid are also known as Gatos (cats) because they stay up all night parting. Yes, restaurants, clubs, and bars are packed throughout the night, which is why it is the ideal place for party lovers. Most of these places are also open until the early morning hours.
Siestas Are Sacred
If there is one thing that the people of Madrid love, it is their afternoon nap. That is because the city can get hot in the afternoon, and people prefer to rest at this time. So, you will find that most of the stores will be closed between 2 and 5 pm.
This is one of the important and fun facts about Spain to know. Plan your shopping around that to make sure you don’t make wasted errand runs.
Fun Facts About Madrid For Kids
Interesting information about cities and countries is a great way to open up kids to different perspectives. A fantastic way to boost such knowledge is through the use of trivia and facts. Here are all the Madrid facts for kids to help them start learning about the city.
It Used To Be The European Capital Of Culture
The European Union designates the Capital of Culture to different regions each year. The primary aim behind this is to organize cultural events and boost the visibility of the city on the world map. Madrid used to be the European Capital of Culture back in 1992.
You will also find this rich culture in all the book clubs and museums you witness around the city. Be sure to check out the famous monuments and landmarks in Madrid for a glimpse of the past, present and future of the city.
It Gets 300 Days Of Sun In A Year
Don’t forget to pack your sunscreen whenever you go to Madrid. The city receives three hundred days of sun each year, which is why it is a great place to relax and sunbathe. It is also known as one of the sunniest cities in Europe, and rightly so.
It Is Home To One Of The Top Football Clubs Worldwide
Even if you are not a football fan, you have probably heard of Real Madrid FC. It is one of the top clubs that was founded back in 1928, and it has become a great team since then winning multiple accolades.
Many travelers come to visit their home – the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in hopes to catch a live game. Match tickets might be hard to come by but you can always take a behind-the-scene stadium tour to understand the history of champions.
In addition, the city also houses two other prominent La Liga clubs, Getafe and Atletico de Madrid.
Useful Madrid Facts For Travelers
When you travel through the streets of Madrid, you will feel the heartbeat of the city. Of course, it is best to know the fun facts about Madrid to make the most of your trip. Here are some that will help your planning.
It Is Perhaps The Greenest City In Europe
Greenery is not the first thing people think of when they think about Madrid, which is why this fact will take you by surprise. However, there are close to 6,500 hectares of green space in Madrid, which is why it is one of the most sustainable cities. Out of all the other cities in Europe, Madrid has more green spaces and trees than any other.
So, if you are someone that loves nature, then you will love exploring Madrid. Your evening strolls will become much better with the beautiful greenery all around.
There Is An Egyptian Temple In The Middle Of Madrid
If you are looking for the best spot to watch the sunset, then don’t look further than The Temple of Debod. It is an Egyptian Temple that dates back to the second century, and it is in the middle of the city.
The waters by the temple glow in hues of beautiful orange, pink, yellow, and other colors as the sun sets. So, make sure you factor at least one evening to catch the beautiful sunset in Madrid from this spot.
You Will Find Some Of The Best Museums
Art lovers entering Madrid will find it to be heaven. The city has some of the best museums you will find in the world. Don’t forget to visit the Golden Triangle while you are there to understand what we are talking about.
The Prado Museum should be on top of your list because it houses some of the best art collections in Europe. Besides that, the collection of art is so vast that it can only showcase 1/7th of its entire collection at any given time. Be sure to get your tickets in advance as it is an extremely popular attraction.
Common Facts About Madrid
There are some general Madrid facts that you might have heard through TV and other forms of media or books. These are the top ones to know and take advantage of.
It Is Home To The Oldest Restaurant Worldwide
Restaurante Botin was founded in 1725, and it is the oldest restaurant in the world that is still in operation. Make sure that you visit this spot to indulge in some of the most delicious local Spanish food. These include an incredible that even Ernest Hemmingway wrote about, a suckling pig, and much more.
An Annual Pride Festival Takes Place Here
There is a famous district in Madrid that is known to be incredibly LGBT-friendly. Each year, it has a pride festival, and the entire district comes alive with colors on every corner. Even foreigners join the locals in this festival, and you will get to see some of the friendliest people here.
It Is One Of The Most Popular Tourist Destinations
More than six million people visit Madrid each year, and rightly so. That is because there are many activities available in the city, no matter where you are. These include museums, restaurants, markets, clubs, bars, bullfighting, and much more.
There is plenty of things to do Marid, which is why you will never get bored. The city never sleeps as people party all night long, and the nightlife is buzzing. However, you also want to plan accordingly so you don’t get stuck with too much crowd in the peak holiday season.
It comes as no surprise that the capital city is home to many of the famous landmarks in Spain.
Geographical Facts About Madrid
The geography of any place determines what you can see and how accessible it is to other people. Here are some of the top facts about Madrid that will help you understand its surroundings better.
Madrid Is One Of The Highest Capitals In Europe
Many people are surprised by this fact, and you might be too. That is because it is one of the highest cities in Europe, with an elevation of more than 667 meters above sea level. Besides that, Andorra la Vella has an elevation that is higher than Madrid, and it is situated in the Pyrenees.
All The Six Major Roads In Spain Start From Madrid
It seems as if all the roads in Spain lead from Madrid to the Puerta del Sol. There is a small sign in this square that will show you six important roads branching off from the city. It is the starting point for these major roads.
It Is Around 300km Away From The Mediterranean Sea
Unfortunately, Madrid does not have beaches as the Mediterranean Sea is more than 300km away from the city. So, if you are looking for places to swim or sunbathe, then you will have to make your way to Valencia. It is the nearest beach to the city, and you can reach it in less than two hours via train.
Unique Madrid Facts You Didn’t Know Before
You will not be familiar with many Madrid interesting facts unless you have visited the city or know the locals. Here are some unique facts that will blow your mind.
The City Has An Annual Flamenco Festival
An important festival in Madrid is the Suma Flamenca, which is an annual Flamenco Festival. It has been taking place since 2005, and you will find many singers, musicians, and dancers during this festival. The best part is that the festival happens in June, and there are events happening throughout the city.
Many Blockbusters Have Been Filmed In Madrid
A few famous movies and TV shows have been shot in Madrid. One of the most famous and recent shows include Money Heist. On the other hand, films shot in Madrid include Pan’s Labyrinth, Pain and Glory, Alatriste, The Others, and many others.
There Is A Museum Dedicated To A Mouse
You may not believe it, but you will have to visit Madrid to find out that there is a museum dedicated to a mouse. It is known as the House of Ratoncito Perez, and he is the equivalent of the local tooth fairy in Madrid. The story of Ratoncito Perez was written for King Alfonso XIII when he lost his baby teeth at the age of eight.
When you visit this museum, you will also find the baby teeth of various famous people. These include Isaac Newton, Beethoven, Beatrix Potter, and much more.
Facts About Food In Madrid
The food of a country always speaks volumes about its people, the land, and the culture. Your trip to Madrid will be incomplete if you don’t try out the food it has to offer. Here are some of the top Madrid fun facts related to its food.
Regardless Of The Time, You Will Easily Find Good Churros In Madrid
People enjoy churros all the time in Madrid, which is why you will find them on the street regardless of the time. Some people enjoy them as a late-night snack, while others also eat them for breakfast in Spain. So, make sure you try out some of the best churro spots in the city.
You Will Find As Many Restaurants As New York City
There are more than 11,000 restaurants in the city, which is around the same as NYC. You have to make sure you are trying out most of these spots when you visit the city. Some of the top foods include tapas, bocadillo de calamares, stews, and much more.
You Have To Try Cocido Madrileno
The top food to try, especially when it is cold in Madrid, is the Cocido Madrileno. It is a chickpea and port stew that will warm your heart and soil. The best way to eat this stew is with two or three courses to satisfy your appetite.
Stews and soups in Spain are a big part of the cuisine as well. They are super comforting for the winter.
Fun Facts About The Royal Palace of Madrid
One of the most famous palaces in Spain is obviously the Royal Palace. Because of this, here are some interesting facts about Madrid and its Royal Palace to give you a head start before visiting.
It Was Built During The 18th Century
The Royal Palace was built on the Alcazar fortress site, and this happened during the 18th century. The fortress used to be an old castle, but then Phillip V decided that it was time for things to change.
For deep dive into the history of the palace and city, this is a great place to join a guided tour.
The King Doesn’t Live Here
Contrary to popular belief, the King doesn’t live here. Instead, their family lives in Palacio de la Zarzuela, which is a little outside Madrid. The Palace serves mainly as a museum that people can visit. it is a popular attraction and you should get your tickets in advance to save time.
The Most Beautiful Room Is The Throne Room
The Throne Room is the biggest room in the palace, and it is also the most beautiful. Everything from the furnishing to the mirrors is exceptional. That said, it is hard to miss and you will be entranced by its beauty and luxury decorations.
If you find the Royal Palace fascinating, there are many more beautiful castles in Spain that you can explore when you go across the country.
Other Interesting Facts About Madrid
Here are some other fun Madrid facts that should also come in handy.
Madrid Has The 2nd Largest Airport In Europe
The Madrid-Barajas Airport is the second-largest airport in the region. The airport opened in 1931 and has four terminals that are well-equipped with various amenities. It is only around 10km away from the Madrid city center.
The Madrid airport is a big transit hub in Europe. You will also find many cheaper flights to Latin America from here.
The Hotels Are Like No Other
If you want a luxurious stay at an affordable cost, then nothing beats Madrid. It has some of the most beautiful and unique hotels. Some hotels are designed by the top designers in the world that will wow you.
Being a popular travel destination, you will also find plenty of accommodation options fitting different budgets. On the other side of the spectrum, there are many hostels that offer their own character and charm too.
There Is A Monument Dedicated To The Devil
This monument is located in Retiro Park and is a representation of the Fallen Angel. Ricardo Bellver sculpted this statue back in 1877. It is a popular photo spot along with the park’s scenery.
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Discovering More Fun Facts About Madrid
These are just some of the interesting and fun facts about Madrid to know if you are planning to visit this city anytime soon. The Spanish capital is a lively city that has plenty of stories and surprises to offer.
Make sure to discover more while you explore the city and talk to the locals. You will uncover so many more fascinating secrets and facts about Madrid that it is impossible to remember all of them. Soak in the moment and experience it first hand.