Madrid, the capital and largest city of Spain is located on the river Manzanares in the center of both the country and the Community of Madrid (which comprises the city of Madrid and extended suburbs and villages). It’s bordered by the autonomous communities of Castile and León and Castile-La Mancha. As the capital city of Spain, seat of government, and residence of the Spanish monarch, Madrid is also the political center of Spain.

Madrid’s landmarks include the Royal Palace of Madrid; the Teatro Real (Royal theatre) with its restored 1850 Opera House; the Buen Retiro park; the 19th-century National Library building; an archaeological museum; and three art museums. Madrid is known for the Golden Triangle of Art, located along the Paseo del Prado and comprising three museums. One of which is the Prado Museum, famed for such highlights as Diego Velázquez's “Las Meninas” and Francisco de Goya's “La maja vestida” and “La maja desnuda.” The other two museums are the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum, established from a mixed private collection, and the Reina Sofia Museum home to Pablo Picasso's “Guernica.” Madrid is also home to the largest bullring or Plaza de Toros in Spain, Las Ventas, established in 1929 and with capacity for 25,000. The bullfighting season begins in March and ends in October.

For affordable dining, visitors can explore the various restaurants and tapas bars in the casual neighborhoods of Malasaña, Chueca, and La Latina. For a more traditional, home-cooked meal, try Casa Ciriaco, Casa Botín and Casa Paco.

Madrid is served by Barajas Airport. Barajas is the main hub of Iberia Airlines and the main gateway to the Iberian Peninsula. Spain's railway system, the Red Nacional de Ferrocarriles Españoles (Renfe) operates the vast majority of Spain's railways. In Madrid, the main rail terminals are Atocha in the south and Chamartín in the north. The Madrid Metro is one of the most extensive in the world and the second-largest metro system in Western Europe, second only to London's Underground. The province of Madrid is also served by an extensive commuter rail network.

The region has a continental Mediterranean climate with cooler winters. Summers certainly get hot, but due to the altitude and dry climate, evenings can be cooler. Most rainfall happens in the autumn and spring.