Welcome to Madrid, where life happens now

Despite the Royal Palace’s splendour, the masterpieces in the famous Prado museum or the perfectly symmetrical architecture of the Plaza Mayor, the most amazing thing about Spain’s capital city might be its people. The Madrilenians love their town and passionately live in the moment. Life takes place outside, on squares, in bars, cafés and restaurants, as they are reluctant to invite other people to their homes. They meet and chat extensively in their ‘extended living rooms, laugh heartily, eat and drink sensuously. This zest for life explains Madrid’s flair and cheerful atmosphere that is so palpable here.

Every neighbourhood in the city is different and makes you feel differently. Make your visit to Madrid a well-balanced mix of sight-seeing and going with the flow, discovering life the Madrilenian way. Five NephroCare clinics in the city are set up to perform your dialysis treatment. You can make your stay in Madrid an extended one without missing your regular therapy.

Activities & Sights

The treasures of Madrid

The Royal Palace of Madrid is a majestic complex that was constructed to impress. The current vast building was erected in the mid-18th century. While the ‘Palacio Real’ represents the Spanish royal family’s official residence, it is only used for state ceremonies these days. Opposite the main entrance is the Catedral de la Almudena. The cathedral with the beautiful cupola looks back on a construction period of over a hundred years.

The Prado is probably one of the best museums in the world, exhibiting a stunning collection of masterful renaissance and baroque paintings and especially Spanish masters. If you are interested in art and the history of art, you will want to spend hours in front of world-famous classical canvases.

Gran Vía is undoubtedly one of the busiest and most famous streets in Madrid. After comprehensive renovations, it is also one of the most prestigious with architecture worth noticing. Its initial construction seems to have been so chaotic that it was made into a satirical drama. Gran Vía is the ideal place for an extended shopping spree, featuring all the typical high-street chains and upscale brands. If you prefer street vendors and lively interaction to strip malls, you might like El Rastro, Madrid’s oldest street market. Every Sunday morning, locals and visitors enjoy the festive atmosphere between the flea market's stalls.

Seize the day

Spending time in cafés and bars, on street markets or squares provides excellent opportunities to get a feel for a city. Sight-seeing can give you an impression of the architecture and maintenance. Watching the people and their interaction helps you get to know the people’s personalities. The same applies for Madrid. The Madrilenian way of life could be described as exuberant, vivacious and sociable. And so are the people. You can observe it, for example, on the ‘Puerta del Sol’, one of Madrid’s most popular and lively meeting points. Moreover, this is where the Madrilenians flock to welcome the new year. As the clock at the top of the Casa de Correos marks the televised countdown on New Year’s Eve, the Puerta del Sol may very well be Spain’s most famous square.

Another unique square is the ‘Plaza Mayor.’ Back in the 15th century, Madrid’s Main Square was used as the town’s main market. Gorgeous historical architecture lining the rectangular place is worth a bit of your time. Shopping opportunities, restaurants and coffee shops invite visitors to linger on.

Going to El Retiro is one of the best things to do in Madrid to relax after the swarm of monuments, people, shops, opportunities. Follow the locals’ example and lie down on the grass, have a picnic or hire one of the boats and row around the park’s lake. Take a moment, relax and breathe deeply in Madrid’s most beautiful park, located behind the Prado.

A most rewarding day trip to El Escorial

Northwest of Madrid, a good 40 kilometres outside the city, resides the gigantic Monasterio del Escorial. Its popularity shows in the number of more than 500,000 visitors coming to El Escorial every year. Spanish king Philip II. chose the picturesque location at the height of 1,030 metres Sierra de Guadarrama mountains as a peaceful refuge in the crispness of green hills. Spend some time in the surroundings; the view from one of the hills toward the El Escorial complex is phenomenal. It gives a different perspective on the gigantic dimensions and architectural severity of this monument.

The World Cultural Heritage Site was constructed as a monastery and royal palace in the 16th century, displaying the power and might of the Spanish Habsburg royal family. The impressive complex shows the characteristic Renaissance rigour and the separation of the secular and the religious. The Habsburg Palace and monastery are as impressive from the outside as they are from the inside, housing stunning frescoes, invaluable paintings and priceless manuscripts.


Madrid provides plenty of hotels and aparthotels at every standard and price level. Besides, there are several other options, such as holiday apartments, boarding houses and bed and breakfasts. The offer is broad, so you will surely find the quarters that meet your requirements. Having read thus far, you might want to choose lodgings near the city centre to experience Madrilenian city life and become a part of the bustle. Three of the five NephroCare clinics are located around the centre. The other two are situated in the northern part of the city. All five enable you to get your scheduled dialysis treatment while making the most of your Madrid holiday.

Culinary & Culture

Flamenco and tapas

A flamenco show is one of the unforgettable experiences during a Madrid visit. Flamenco, coined from the Dutch word for flame, is an art form of various Spanish musical and dance styles. Originating in Andalusia, Murcia and Extremadura, it is not strictly native to Madrid. The city has some of the most famous tablaos in the country, though, special halls where you see a show over a candlelit meal.

Spanish cuisine is delicious and down to earth. For example, Cocido Madrileño is a local favourite. The savoury stew full of vegetables, chickpeas, chorizo sausage and pork simmers in a broth for at least four hours before being served in several courses. The broth is separated and used as soup for the first course. The rest of the tasty ingredients are often served in two rounds, the chickpeas and vegetables coming first, followed by the tender meat.

During your day of sight-seeing, have a reinforcing ‘bocadillo de calamares’! Madrid’s most famous sandwich may be simple, but it is scrumptious for those who like fried squid. You can get the crusty, fresh bread loaded with nothing else but fried rings of squid on and around the Plaza Mayor.

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