Arriving on flights to Madrid, you will be landing at the Madrid Barajas Airport. This international airport is located about 9 miles east of the city of Madrid and is the busiest and largest in Spain. Opening in 1928, the Barajas airport is now home to 4 terminals. Major airlines such as Air Europa, LAN, American, Spanair and British Airways, serving regular flights from Europe and the world. You will find everything you need in the terminal building to help you travel onwards to your destination in this beautiful city. Be sure to check in advance, where your hotel is located as this will make everything easier.
Once your Madrid flight has landed, you can take a bus to the nearest metro station unless you are fortunate to be staying very close to a metro stop. With 17 color coded lines that cross the city of Madrid in a clean and efficient manner, the metro is an inexpensive way to get from one end of the city to the other as well as to all the stops in between.
If you are interested in doing some guided sightseeing, you can catch a tour bus. Depending on which of these buses you choose, you can tour the historic, modern or monument areas of the city. In order to sight-see at your own pace and according to your own interests, walking throughout the city is an option as well.
No visit to Madrid is complete without experiencing Puerta del Sol. You will find lots of people, both tourists and locals, within this vibrant square. There are stores that sell a variety of different wares as well as souvenir shops. Often dubbed the Times Square of Madrid, you can also find entertainment such as people swallowing swords or a man masquerading as a statue.
The Prado Museum, the premier art museum of Madrid, forms the Triangle of Culture with the Reina Sofia and Thyssen-Bornemisza museums. With a collection that includes more than 8,000 pieces of artistic material, the Prado Museum is also a slice of Spanish history. With a superb audio tour to guide you, you will need to schedule another trip back in order to glimpse all of the art you missed the first time.
El Rastro is an open-air market that is only open on Sundays. It is similar to many of the smaller neighborhood markets that are scattered throughout the city of Madrid. One glaring difference with El Rastro, however, is the sheer number and variety of items that you can find for sale there. Whether you are looking for clothing or fresh flowers or CDs, you will likely find it here. Thousands of people gather in this market place so it is best to go early and take your time. Then you can sit back with a bite of authentic Spanish cuisine and people watch to your heart's content. Take advantages of your cheap airfares to Madrid and enjoy the exotic experience!