Peace & Quiet
Province of Madrid
The metropolis is also the chief city of the province of Madrid, which encompasses 8,000sq km and includes cities such as Alcalá de Henares and Aranjuez. Just 52km to the north, the Sierra de Guadarrama provides skiing in the winter. Government and banking provide jobs in the city, and there are textile, food and metal-working industries in the surrounding area.
Madrid, the capital of Spain, is in the centre of the Iberian peninsula. Standing on a plateau some 650m above sea level, it is about 550-600km from both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean. Climate
A Spanish saying describes Madrid as having nine months of winter and three months of hell. Certainly, winters are cold, with occasional snow, while summers are hot, with temperatures often over 35°C. Overall, the air is dry, with an annual average of 2,730 hours of sunshine. Spring and autumn are the best times of year to visit, with warm days and cool nights. People and Economy
Over five million live in the province of Madrid, with three million in the city itself. Many come from other parts of Spain, as well as former colonies such as Argentina and Mexico. Leisure Facilities
Madrid boasts at least 30 significant museums. Many are undergoing a much-needed upgrading to improve presentation and enjoyment by non-Spanish-speaking visitors. Few cities can rival the three jewels in Madrid's crown: the Museo del Prado (the Prado), the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía and the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. In addition to cultural centres there are also amusement parks, swimming-pools, a zoo and over 3,000 restaurants.