Madrid, the capital of Spain, is a cosmopolitan city that combines the most modern infrastructures and the status as an economic, financial, administrative and service centre, with a large cultural and artistic heritage, a legacy of centuries of exciting history. Madrid is also the largest Spanish city with more than 3 million inhabitants in the metropolitan area. You will find in the city a rich mixture of cultures, since besides the native “madrileños” people from other countries and especially from Latin America have made of Madrid their second hometown. It has been populated since the Lower Palaeolithic era, although it was not until 1561 that King Philip II made Madrid the capital city of his vast empire. The historic centre, also known as the “Madrid of Los Austrias” (in reference to the Hapsburg monarchs), and the spectacular Plaza Mayor square –inaugurated in 1620 and one of the most popular and typical sites in Spain– are a living example of the nascent splendour of the city in the 16th and 17th centuries. Art and culture play a key role in Madrid’s cultural life. The capital has over 60 museums which cover every field of human knowledge. Highlights include the Prado Museum, one of the world’s most important art galleries; the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, with over 800 paintings ranging from primitive Flemish artists through to the avant-garde movements. And the Reina Sofía National Art Centre, dedicated to contemporary Spanish art and containing works by Picasso, Joan Miró, Salvador Dalí and Juan Gris, among others. In Madrid you will find all kind of interesting things to do and to see, whatever your interests are. The city has a wide offer for tourism, culture, business and for ludic activities with excellent facilities and services. A great acknowledgement in this sense was the election of the city as European Capital of Culture in the year 1992. Madrid was also candidate city to host the Olympic games in 2012, although finally the winning city was London, Madrid had been one of the favourites and reached a third position in the competition.