Facts About Madrid | 11 Unusual, Interesting & Fun Facts

November 11, 2020

Madrid is the capital city of Spain and one of the biggest tourist hubs in Europe. That’s it, that’s all the facts you need to know about Madrid.

Just kidding! There are so many really fascinating facts about the city of Madrid that will leave you dumbfounded. From interesting cultural details to just plain fun facts about the city.

Keep reading to find out about different Madrid facts.

Interesting Facts About Madrid

There are certain things about Madrid that might be seen as par for the course. However, there are many aspects that separate Madrid from the rest of the pack, and might just motivate you to pay the city a visit if you’re not already thrilled to go. Whether that’s just for holiday or on honeymoon in Madrid.

Not Just a City

Spain’s capital is one of the best-known cities in the world. Even so, it’s actually not only a city but also a state.

Madrid is one of the 17 autonomous communities of Spain that were once put into place to divide the Spanish territory into specific regions. These regions were facilitated by different centralized governments, having no true administrative power

The communities are known today as the federal states of Spain.

The King Doesn’t Live in the Palace

The Grand Palace in Madrid

The Grand Royal Palace in Madrid is an incredible sight that is available to visit. The palace contains 3,418 rooms and has approximately 135,000 square meters of floor space. It is commonly used for state ceremonies and official meetings.

However, the king of Spain, Felipe VI, does not actually reside in this awe-inspiring palace. The royal family has been residing in the Palace of Zarzuela since 1962, which is located just outside of Madrid and far more modest than the grand Royal Palace.

The Royal Palace is still the official royal residence.

Facts About Madrid Culture

The vibrant culture in Madrid is undeniable. It made a historic rise from being a small village to becoming a city with one of the world’s best art-scenes. In fact, the city is known as one of the cultural hubs in Europe. Madrid has made a mark on Spain, Europe and the world as a whole.

The Food is Incredible

Madrid has an amazing selection of unique cuisine that stems from different regions of Spain and gives a Madrid-twist. The most well-known dish originally from Madrid is tapas.

Tapas can be described as a snack-sized portion of any dish. It can be made from olives, sliced meat, or cheese. Tapas are generally served in bars or restaurants as appetizers. Although, there are many restaurants that serve tapas exclusively.

Other local dishes include:
1. Cocido Madrileño – meat, chickpea, and veggie stew.
2. Sopa De Ajo – traditional garlic soup made with bread, poached eggs, made in chicken broth. The soup is then laced with garlic and sherry.
3. Bartolillos Con Crema – A sweet pastry filled with custard in the shape of a dumpling.

Annual Flamenco Festival

Flamenco Dancing in Madrid, Spain

Flamenco dancing is a Spanish dance that is known as a solo and highly expressive dance. The dance consists of hand-clapping, intricate hand, arm, and body movements as well as percussive footwork. It is generally accompanied by a singer and guitarist.

Suma Flamenca is a festival that exhibits dancers, singers, and guitarists. It started in 2005 and takes place in June. The festival takes place in various areas around the city, based out of the Canal Theatres.

Suma Flamenca could not be held in 2024, so it was moved to be held from 1 – 20 December 2024.

Siestas are Very Important

Sometimes a nap in the middle of the day is quite nice and can give you that boost of energy needed to continue with the rest of the day. In Madrid, however, siestas are far more than just the occasional nap.

Many stores will close their doors between 2 pm and 5 pm, to enjoy a few hours of sleep before returning to work. Even the post office closes mid-day, but only during summer.

Summertime actually amplifies their siesta times, even though August is the month when most people vacation in Madrid. So, be sure to plan your shopping sprees for the morning!

Unusual Facts About Madrid

While there are a lot of interesting facts about this bustling city, some are a little more unusual than others! These are a few of our favourites.

The World’s Oldest Restaurant

Sobrino de Botín was founded in 1725 and is known to be the oldest restaurant in the world. The restaurant uses a fire oven and apparently, the fire has never been extinguished since the day it opened in 1725.

Sobrino de Botín is known for their Cochinillo Asado, which is roasted suckling pig. They still use their traditional recipes, but they have been perfected over the years.

The Coat of Arms is… A Bear and a Strawberry Tree?

Madrid's Coat of Arms

A statue can be seen in the middle of the public square of Madrid. The statue represents the coat of arms of Madrid and is a beautiful bear reaching up to a strawberry tree. You read that correctly.

The bear was used to represent the council of Madrid since 1212. The tree was added 10 years later after a settled disagreement between the clergymen and the council over the use of the local forests and fields. The tree is said to represent their treaty.

The Only Monument of the Devil

The Buen Retiro Park is a gorgeous park near the neighbourhood of Salamanca. The park has many lakes and you can rent boats and row around the lakes. However, the most interesting sight to see is the Monument to the Devil.

The monument is called Fuente del Ángel Caído (Fountain of the Fallen Angel) and is in the middle of a fountain. It was made by Ricardo Bellver in 1877.

The Fallen Angel is a biblical reference to Lucifer who was kicked out of Heaven and became the devil. The monument is the only one dedicated to Lucifer in the world.

Fun Facts About Madrid

Street in Madrid

Madrid truly is one of the most fascinating cities with regards to its history, culture and modern lifestyles.

There are plenty of fun facts that you can share with people to show the uniqueness of the city.

Madrid is the Birthplace of Many Celebrities

Madrid is the capital of Spain and a major country forming part of Europe. Because of this, it makes sense that some of the world’s most famous celebrities were born here.

Some celebrities that were born in Madrid are:
1. The Oscar winner and beloved actress, Penelope Cruz.
2. The Grammy Award-winning pop singer Enrique Iglesias.
3. The Spanish model and actress, Elsa Pataky.

There are also some celebrities that chose Madrid as their place of residence. Christiano Ronaldo, the world-famous soccer player resides there with his family.

The City of Madrid is Ancient

Researchers have discovered that it is highly possible that the area where Madrid is situated has been inhabited since the stone age, dating back to around 860 A.C.

The official city of Madrid, however, was only established in the 9th century. Phillip II started setting up his court in Madrid in the 1560s that started the evolution of the city as an administrative centre.

After that, Madrid underwent the reign of Isabella II, a civil war and a dictatorship. From 1936 to 1975, Francisco Franco was the ruler of Spain and ruled as a dictator. He came to power during the civil war.

Spain today is a peaceful country that thrives on its historic background and incredible tourism industry.

Madrid is the Sunniest City in Europe

Sunny Street in Madrid

Madrid has an average sunshine rate of between 250 – 300 days a year. That means about 68% – 82% of the year, the sun is shining bright, and you’re unlikely to see clouds forming.

If you are looking for a holiday destination where you can soak up as much sunlight as possible, Madrid would be a very good choice!

It is said that the hottest months are July and August where daytime temperatures stay at about 31°C (88°F) and higher. During these months, the sun can be quite harsh, so remember to bring your sunscreen and a fan.

Final Thoughts on Facts About Madrid

There are plenty of amazing aspects surrounding the city of Madrid that can spark anybody’s interest. The city is huge and incredible things can be discovered all around the city, even just around the corner.

From local shops, hidden art pieces and incredible restaurants, Madrid truly is one of the most fascinating cities in the world.


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