Facts about Madrid

Such a self-evident statement has a much wider-ranging underlying significance, whose multiple implications have moulded the city’s singular personality. Madrid is the decision making centre of the Spanish government, the place where the different de facto national powers have their headquarters, and where the major companies, multinationals, banks and financial markets are located. It is also the geographic centre of the Iberian Peninsula (the exact centre is Cerro de los Angeles, 14 km outside Madrid), and the hub of all of Spain’s national highways and international throughways.

The diversity of its neighbourhoods and buildings reminds us
at every step of the city’s dual role in the political and economic spheres. Its historic monuments are the heritage of a city that has wielded administrative power for more than four centuries. Alongside them, glass- and concrete-clad sk scrapers encase the heartbeat of an increasingly important local economy, whose weight is growing both at the Spanish and international levels.

Within the territory of the Madrid region, whose total surface
area is approximately 8000 km2, two other major local powers live side-by-side: the government of the Autonomous Region and the capital’s City Council. Madrid is one of the 17 autonomous regions into which Spain was divided under the Constitution of 1978; unlike most of the others, it has but one province. Its population tops 5 million, or 12% of the national total. Its surroundings and its location have shaped Madrid.

It is a city in the centre not only of the region, but also of the
country. Perhaps this location is one of the determining factors
in its status as the capital, as the political, business, economic
and transport centre all which help to explain why this city has
always been a potpourri of different peoples and interests, both historically and in our times.

Geographically, the Madrid region has a diversity that might astonish someone who only knows the city and its outskirts. The proximity of the Sierra de Guadarrama offers a variety of landscapes that break up the monotony of the Castilian meseta, and make Madrid a region of forests, hidden valley’s and peaks more than 2500 m high, a surprising contrast to the great city and its far-flung suburbs.

Madrid boasts a unique historic and artistic heritage that coexists in harmony with creativity, embracing culture and gastronomy. The modern and cosmopolitan flare of the Spanish capital offers guests a variety of things to discover. The passionate and friendly character of the Madrileños also enhances the visitor experience.


Good to know

Currency
The Spanish currency is the Euro (1 Euro = 100 cents).
http://www.oanda.com


Credit cards
Major Credit Cards (Visa, American Express, Eurocard/Mastercard, Diners Club) are accepted in most hotels, restaurants and shops.


Climate
Madrid and its metropolitan area have a Mediterranean climate on the borderline of the continental climate with mild cool winters and warm to hot summers. The average temperature in June is 21°C (70F). During summer, days are longer and the city really begins to come alive in the evening.


Insurance and liability
It is recommended that participants obtain adequate cover for travel, health and accident insurance before they depart from their countries. EULAR and MCI as organisers cannot accept responsibility for personal injuries, or loss of, or damage to, private property belonging to congress participants.


Electricity
The electricity power supply in Spain is 220 Volt with a European standard plug.


Language
The official language in Madrid is Spanish, however English
is spoken in touristic areas. Catalan, Galician and Basque are
frequently spoken is some areas.


Shopping
Madrid is a very interesting city for shopping. International brands mix with local shops opened until very late (normally from 10:00 to 22:00), where you can find almost everything: clothing, shoes, food, wines, souvenirs... from very different styles, at very different prices.

Tipping

Locals in Madrid usually tip when they have received a good
service. In general, people tend to tip 10% in restaurants (however restaurants do not charge extra on the bill). Tipping taxicab drivers and hotel personnel is also customary in Madrid.


Time
Spain follows Central European Time (CET) which is UTC +1
hour in winter and UTC + 2 in summer.


Visa
You do NOT need a visa for Spain for business, personal visits or tourism if you are :

  • a citizen of an EU country
  • a citizen of Norway, Switzerland, Iceland or Liechtenstein
  • from a country listed on the Foreign Ministry list
  • not staying more than 90 days

In this case, a passport or ID Card valid for the duration of your stay is sufficient.

For more detailed information, please visit this page.

If you should need a visa, please apply early enough to allow sufficient handling time to the authorities. You may ask the EULAR Organising Secretariat for an official letter of invitation (proof of registration required)

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