Madrid is Spain’s largest city and its capital, known throughout Europe as a place of cultural, political and economic importance.
With a population of 3.3 million inhabitants in the city alone, Madrid is the third largest metropolis in the European Union and one that is known for its high standard of living, plethora of historical landmarks and places of cultural interest. The vast majority of Spanish companies and many international businesses have their headquarters n the Spanish capital and Lucas Fox offer a range of Madrid commercial properties including offices, retail units and hotels for sale and rent. The range of property for sale and rent in Madrid is diverse, from traditional and contemporary city apartments in desirable areas of the city such as Barrio Salamanca, to family homes in the exclusive La Moraleja and Aravaca neighbourhoods.
Free schooling in Spain is obligatory between 6-16, but generally begins around 3. From 16-18 students can also study the Bachillerato, enabling them to enter University in Europe and the US.
Madrid offers a choice of private and state schools, as well as local and international schools, including the American School of Madrid, The British Council School and Hastings School.
The public healthcare system has a very good reputation and compares very well to other international systems. Free access is available with a Tarjeta Sanitaria Individual. To qualify for a TSI a Social Security number is required, as given to those who have an employment contract or are self employed and paying autónomo social security contributions. Around 25% of people have private health insurance. This generally means faster access to a greater choice of specialists. Spanish companies offering private health insurance include Mapfre, Asisia and Sanitas.
There are several public hospitals in Madrid, the main being the Hospital a Paz, Hospital Ramón y Cajal and the children’s hospital, Hospital del Niño Jesús.
Madrid is a shopper’s paradise with local boutiques and international brand names all readily available. Some of the most popular areas for shopping in the Spanish capital are the fashionable and up market Salamanca district, Gran Via for high street fashion and souvenirs and El Rastro for those who enjoy finding original items at flea markets.
Alongside its modern infrastructure Madrid has preserved the look and feel of many of its historic neighbourhoods and streets. Landmarks such as the huge Royal Palace of Madrid, the Teatro Real de Madrid and the three world class museums: The Prado, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum embellish the city’s streets. Madrid also offers an enviable lifestyle – the city is full of parks and green spaces as well as brimming with exciting nightlife options. Madrid is well-known as home to the legendary football club Real Madrid stadium – the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
There are four ring roads around Madrid which connect with the main motorways that link the city with other cities in Spain, including Zaragoza, Murcia, Valencia and Seville.
Madrid‘s public transport network is extensive, clean and efficient. With 13 metro lines, over 170 bus lines (ETM) and a simple single card system covering both methods of transport, travelling around the city without a car could not be cheaper and simpler. The Cercanias local train system links the city centre to the suburbs.
The high-speed rail (AVE) network gives access to Seville in 2 hours and 30 minutes and Barcelona in 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Barajas International Airport, 13km from the city centre, is one of Europe’s main transport hubs which means that the city has excellent air access to and from Europe and the rest of the world.
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