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The native Madrileños will summarize their city as having a little of everything, but with the flair of flamenco style.
Enjoying life in Madrid is practically an art form, and the Madrileños take their art very seriously. Eating and drinking are given almost religious significance and daily 'rituals' (meals) can last for hours. Having lunch from 2 pm to 5 pm and then dinner from 9 pm to 12 am would not be considered out of the ordinary. The 'churches' of this strange faith cover the city in the form of little cafes, terraces, restaurants, and bars.
Food is not the only art form valued in Madrid, however, and in between meals, it is possible to catch many concerts and theatrical production (just wander down Gran Vía, a street lined with playhouses and theaters). For a unique experience, check out zarzuela, Madrid's own comic opera.
For those looking for a city that never sleeps, Madrid may ironically be the place of their dreams. Perhaps because the Madrileños have learned to enjoy life so much, they do not want to stop just because it gets dark outside. Reveling in Madrid frequently stretches long into the night and traffic jams at 3 am on a Friday are fairly common.
For those wishing to explore Spanish art, music, literature, or history, Madrid is one of the best places to do so. Museums such as the Museo del Prado feature Spanish masterpieces by artists such as Velásquez, Goya and El Greco. Madrid has an amazing assortment of sculpture, painting and architecture that will leave any student of those disciplines satisfied for months. And for those that want the classic Spanish entertainment, be sure to be in town for the bullfighting in Las Ventas.
And for those sports enthusiasts, who would like nothing better than to study football (soccer), make sure to catch a match at the Santiago Bernabeu, home of Real Madrid, one of the most celebrated teams in Europe.
As with many European cities, Madrid tends to have an international focus and be very welcoming to a variety of people. Students there often take advantage of this international climate to study business or international relations or politics. Many programs offer internships for those with reasonable fluency in Spanish. These internships can help students to truly experience the application of their field to the business world of this modern European city.
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