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Local Info





Madrid

Madrid and its region, with an area of 8,000 square kilometres, is located in the centre of the Iberian Peninsula, at 646 meters above sea level.  It has excellent communications with its neighbours, both by land and by air.  It is the capital of Spain and one of its most important cultural an economic centres.


Conference Venue
(NEW)


The HPCS conference would be held in the abba Castilla Plaza Hotel. This is one of the most conveniently located hotels in Madrid, next to the famous Kío Towers and the new Four Towers Bussiness Area (CTBA), in the business district, near the Palacio de Congresos (conference center), the stadium Santiago Bernabeu and a few minutes from Barajas Airport, the Chamartín train station and within very easy reach of the IFEMA trade fair center.  The hotel full address is:
    abba Castilla Plaza Hotel
    Paseo de la Castellana 220
    28046 Madrid, Spain
    Phone.: +34 91 567 43 00
    Fax.:     +34 91 315 54 06
    Map:     http://g.co/maps/4c5bn




HOW TO REACH THE VENUE

The conference venue is conveniently located very close to Plaza de Castilla, the main public transportation hub in the north of Madrid. There are several ways of getting to the Abba Castilla Plaza Hotel:

Buses
  • The Plaza de Castilla bus station is one of the biggest in the city, with many local and regional lines stopping there. 
Metro
  • Lines 1, 9 and 10, Plaza de Castilla station.
Train
  • the Chamartín train station. 
Car
  • Private car – there are usually parking places, but with regulated parking zone (non-free).
  • Taxi – Specify the taxi driver the name of the hotel, or the address: Paseo de la Castellana 220. 


History, Attractions and Points of Interest

Madrid owes its status as capital of Spain to King Felipe II, who brought the court to the city in 1561.  It is still the habitual place of residence of the Spanish royal family, as well as being the seat of central government, the Spanish parliament, and the Madrid regional government (Comunidad de Madrid).

It is a city with a vibrant cultural and artistic life.  With over 100 museums, offering richly diverse contents, Madrid boasts an exceptional artistic heritage.  Furthermore, it has more landscaped areas than many other cities in Europe: it has attractive gardens such as the Real Jardín Botánico, the Campo del Moro, the Retiro park or the Casa de Campo among others scattered all over the city centre.

49% of the visitors to Madrid say that they chose the city because of the diversity of leisure activities on offer, and that they were attracted to its museums, as well as the towns around Madrid such as San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Aranjuez, Alcalá de Henares or Toledo.

It should be pointed out that Madrid's zone of influence would be much larger by then.  The reason is that, thanks to the improvement of rail links and the construction of the new high-speed railways, as well as a by road network.  From Madrid it is very easy to travel to main neighbouring cities such as Ávila, Segovia, Guadalajara, Ciudad Real, Seville, Salamanca or Cuenca, among others.

There are many interesting villages and cities very close to Madrid:
  • Alcalá de Henares 30 km
  • Aranjuez 47 km
  • Ávila 115 km
  • Cuenca 167 km
  • Guadalajara 58 km
  • San Lorenzo de El Escorial 50 km
  • Segovia 87 km
  • Talavera de la Reina 114 km
  • Toledo 71 km

Museums

Madrid boasts some wonderful galleries, a great variety of museums, and many public and private exhibition spaces.

Close to each other, the Museo del Prado, (The Prado Musem) the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza (The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum) and the Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (The Reina Sofía Museum) are named the "Triángulo de Oro" - the Golden Triangle.  At least one whole morning or afternoon should be spent at each of them.  One art guide can be found at http://www.triangulodelarte.org/planos/guia_2010_ing.pdf.


Also worth visiting, for the high quality of their collections, are the Museo de la Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando (San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts) and the Palacio Real (The Royal Palace).

Tourism

During the summer, you can enjoy warm evenings on any one of the hundreds of terraces spread all around the city.  Probably the most interesting cafés in the city are those kiosks built temporarily during the summer in the Paseo de la Castellana, Paseo del Prado or Pintor Rosales.

The Parque del Buen Retiro (Buen Retiro Park) is the largest park in Madrid, in the middle of the city, near to Puerta de Alcalá.  In the Park, you can enjoy beautiful sculpture, gardens, and a peaceful lake.

If you like sports, and specially soccer, the most important soccer stadiums in the capital are Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, home stadium of Real Madrid and Vicente Calderón Stadium, home stadium of Atlético de Madrid.


Gran Vía is one of the main streets, it begins in Alcalá Street and it ends at Plaza de España. This street is one of the city's most important shopping areas, with a large number of hotels and large movie theatres.  Gran Vía is called “Spanish Broadway” because it houses the principle theatres where you can see musicals.

Gran Vía, also called “The Spanish Broadway”

Nightlife in Madrid, like in the rest of Spain, is defined by a nomadic tradition, which is the habit of not spending too much time in one nightclub.  The usual thing to do is to jump from one pub, bar or night club to another constantly throughout the night.  This habit is what makes of Madrid's famous nightlife atmosphere possible, and it is the reason why the crowds that throng to nightclubs do not stop all night long.  This phenomenon carries on throughout the whole night until sunrise when the thing to do is to have an early breakfast in one of the many bakeries or cafeterias around the city, all of them ready to welcome the "night hawks".  Some nightclubs are classics that never go out of fashion; some others are "in" only for small periods of time. 


You can find a multicultural Lavapiés, a mixture of styles in Malasaña, the youngest people of Madrid in Bilbao Square and Alonso Martínez, the most modern and cosmopolitan restaurants of the city in Chueca and the big nightclubs in Torre Europa, but the classic nightlife areas are definitely Santa Ana and Huertas.

In a different vein, the area surrounding Madrid has many beautiful natural places that are easily reached on public transport, like the Sierra de Guadarrama a mountain range that is very close to the city, a perfect spot for a quick break. 

Restaurants

Gastronomy is one of the things that sums up Madrid's culture.  Its most typical dishes, far from being ostentatious, still give away their popular origins.

Defining Madrid's authentic cuisine is not easy, especially since Madrid has absorbed the best cuisines from all over Spain.

Madrid's most typical dishes are, however, the cocido, a stew made with chickpeas and vegetables together with meat and any combination of black pudding, fatty bacon or chorizo (spicy Spanish sausage), Spanish omelette and callos a la madrileña, stewed cow tripe. 

To try one of the best cocidos madrileño you can’t miss La Bola, a restaurant that was founded in 1870 and that prepares this traditional dish in an individual clay pot cooked over a low heat in a firewood oven.  Other classical restaurant in La Latina neighbourhood is Casa Lucio, You must order a kind of the scrambled eggs (Huevos estrellados Lucio) that have a deserved fame because they are delicious …  In the menu, you can order too callos a la madrileña, different fishes and shellfishes…

Another referent in the madrileña cooking is Casa Botín, the oldest restaurant in the world, founded in 1725 and located in Cuchilleros Street, near Plaza Mayor.  The specialities in this place are the roasted suckling pig and lamb, the famous garlic soups, and a wide choice of wines and desserts.

Even though it might seem strange, given its geographical position, Madrid's cuisine includes many different types of fish of exceptionally good quality, fresh and abundant.  It is no coincidence that after Tokyo, Madrid has the second largest central fish market in the world. 

You will certainly never hear any complaints about the number and variety of restaurants in Madrid, not only because of the many types of cuisine on offer, but also because of the price range that caters to all pockets, from the most luxurious restaurants offering Spanish, French or Italian cuisine, to the more modest and traditional tascas.  The traditional taverns are generally located in the old centre.  There you can enjoy the pleasures of 'madrileño' food and typical tapas in every bar of Madrid and its Region, but you have to go to the centre or to the Latina neighbourhood.  Mercado de San Miguel (Saint Michael Market) and Mercado de San Antón (Saint Anton Market) are good options. 

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION


METRO

Madrid provides an efficient public transportation service.  It has 12 Metro lines with 295 stations.  Metro in Madrid is one of the most modern and efficient of all Europe.  It has direct connections from Barajas International Airport as well as all the train stations. 

http://www.metromadrid.es/en/index.html

Fares
http://www.metromadrid.es/en/viaja_en_metro/tarifas/billetes/index.html

Tourist Season ticket
  • Zone A, which includes Metro Madrid, ML1 Light Underground, Cercanías-RENFE services included in this Zone and Madrid EMT bus service.
  • Zone T, which includes all the Region of Madrid's public transport services, including the ML2 and ML2 Light Underground, the Parla Tram and the interurban buses plus their extensions to Guadalajara and Toledo.  They are not valid for RENFE Operadora's Regional Services. 



EMT
EMT Madrid is an entity that provides public transportation service in the city of Madrid. 
 http://www.emtmadrid.es/

Fares
  • Single ticket: 1,50€
  • 10 trip ticket (called metrobus and also valid for metro): 12,00€

RENFE-CERCANIAS (regional trains)


CERCANIAS Madrid has a network that extends throughout the Community of Madrid (although it reaches diverse populations of Guadalajara and Toledo) and several of Segovia, reaching the vast majority of the population and linking the service with the Madrid Metro in 20 stations.

http://www.renfe.com/viajeros/cercanias/madrid/index.html



Ċ
Abdul Habra,
Jan 29, 2012, 9:49 PM
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