Why Madrid?

Puerta de Alcala

Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. It is the third-largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan area is the third-largest in Europe after London and Paris. Spain is the European Union’s fourth largest economy and is home to over 75 universities. Spain is consistently one of the most popular destinations for U.S. students who study abroad, a statistic William & Mary has proudly helped sponsor by sending over 2,500 future lawyers through our Summer in Madrid Program.

Madrid reflects the varied past of the Spanish people, its rich artistic heritage, and its special cultural features, such as bullfighting and flamenco dancing. Living in Madrid offers a wide variety of attractions and activities catering to all. Students can take summer strolls in the city’s most famous park, El Parque del Buen Retiro, and enjoy the summery Mediterranean weather. Home to some of the world’s finest collections of European art, the Prado, Reina Sofia, and Thyssen-Bornemisza museums display original collections of Caravaggio, Diego Velázquez, Pablo Picasso, and Salvador Dalí. But the city truly comes to life after dark. The nightlife in Madrid is undoubtedly one of the city's main attractions. Tapas bars, cocktail bars, dance clubs, jazz lounges, live music venues, and flamenco theatres all cater to locals and tourists alike. The city’s late night scene has something for everyone and often stretches into the early hours of the morning.

During the program, students have free afternoons and three-and-a-half day weekends for sightseeing and travel. Madrid’s location in the center of the country makes it a convenient point of departure for travelling both within the peninsula and to the rest of Europe. Students often take bus or train rides to popular destinations such as Toledo, Salamanca, Bilbao, Pamplona, Segovia, Valencia, Granada, Cordoba, and Seville within Spain or go as far as Paris, Rome, Lisbon, and Amsterdam before, during, or after the program.

Guide to Living and Studying in Madrid (PDF)