Adding to the capital city feel are world class art galleries and parks that are great for exploring again and again. Madrid is the heart of Spain’s art and cultural scene. Beyond its rich and conflicted history, Madrid has emerged as a modern European capital attracting visitors from around the world. With the backdrop of H&M and Zara you could be anywhere in the world, until you turn down a side street and find yourself in a smoke filled café. An elderly man at the bar drinks his coffee in the corner, thesame corner he has come to every morning for the past 50 years. And in here time stands still. The history is intoxicating; breathe it in. Get used to this feeling, because it doesn’t go away. This is the vibe that sums up the soul of Madrid. Here are a few practical things to keep in mind:
•Madrid is very laid back. The attitude there can be summed up in the word “mañana,”as in we will get to it tomorrow.
•Lunch, especially on weekends, is the biggest meal of the day and is usually eaten around 2pm.
•After lunch is siesta and many indoor markets and small shops will shut down during this time, so do not expect to get anything done from 2-5pm.