WELCOME TO MADRID
Learn Spanish in the capital city of Madrid, in the very center of Spain, surrounded by the arid 'mesta', Madrid is the highest capital in Europe.
Madrid exudes all the bravado of a capital city. Cars and buses jam the city's streets, yet the commute proceeds with order, speed, and efficiency Everything you might want to see is close by, via a leisurely walk, a quick subway trip, or an inexpensive taxi ride.
You will find the locals "Madrileños" are gregarious! Animated discussion and dancing enliven the city's cafés, taverns, bars, and open squares until the early hours of the morning.
The Manzanares River borders the city from west to south and the city is overlooked by the impressive Guadarrama Mountains to the north. Madrid's history reaches back into the 10th century as a fortified Moorish town. By 1607 Madrid became Spain's permanent capital and has flourished ever since, blooming into a vibrant, modern city.
Puerta del Sol (Gate of the Sun) is Madrid's oldest surviving neighborhood. Even today, much of the city (including the subway system) radiates from Sol, which is packed with shops, bars, restaurants and hotels.
Nearby Plaza Mayor, a locale that transitions into the Hapsburg section, offers more shops, restaurants and outdoor cafés. The streets that spill down from the Plaza's Arco de Cuchilleros constitute one of Madrid's busiest dining neighborhoods.
In contrast to the hubbub of Sol and Plaza Mayor, the imperial center is regal and decorous. The National Palace (still partially occupied by the royal family) and the Opera House face each other across, the formal landscape of Plaza del Oriente.
The back streets of this neighborhood offer interesting boutiques, shops and Madrid's music stores, selling Custom-made guitars or heavy-soled flamenco shoes. Bourbon Madrid could almost be called "Museum Madrid"-here you'll delight in Spain's leading art institutions-the treasure-filled Prado (one of the world's top art museums), the Reina Sofia (which houses Picasso's Guernica), and the Thyssen-Bornemisza (offering two halls devoted to Impressionists and post-Impressionists). The 3 museums are within a few blocks of each other along broad boulevards punctuated with monumental fountains and formal parks.
The city's smelly old fish market, the Mercado Puerta de Toledo was gutted and gentrified into a fashionable, five-story shopping center with antiques, haute couture, jewelry, and there's a lively outdoor scene as well. Another major area is the two-story GalerÃa del Prado, Plaza de las Cortes and lets not forget the famous flea market, El Rastro, in the old town (Plaza Cascorro and Ribera de Curtidores).
Our spanish program allows you plenty of time to discover your new country, culture and customs.