General Information

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General Information

spain mapMadrid is the capital and largest city of Spain, as well as the capital of the autonomous community of the same name (Comunidad de Madrid). The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million with a metro area population of almost 6.5 million. Madrid is best known for its great cultural and artistic heritage, a good example of which is the El Prado museum. Madrid also boasts some of the liveliest nightlife in the world.
Madrid is located just northeast of the geographical center of the Iberian Peninsula, in the middle of the Spanish central Castillian plateau (Meseta central), at an average altitude of 650m. Nearly all of the most famous tourist areas are located in the center of the city including Puerta del Sol, Plaza Mayor, Palacio Real, and Plaza de Colón. The major streets in Madrid include the Gran Via, Alcalá Street, and Paseo de la Castellana.

Madrid's Puerta de Alcala



The climate of Madrid is continental; mainly dry and quite extreme at times. Madrid sees perpetual sunshine and a characteristically hot and dry summer, and a fairly cold winter with frequent frosts during the night and the occasional snowfall. Spring and autumn are mild with the most rainfall concentrated in these seasons. Spring and autumn are definitely the best times to visit, especially the months of April, May, June, September and October.
Average temperatures during the conference are a pleasant 18 ºC. The month of October is characterized by rapidly falling daily high temperatures, with daily highs decreasing from 24°C to 17°C. Daily low temperatures range from 7°C to 11°C.


Madrid's Plaza Mayor


Plaza Mayor
The culture of Madrid was dominated by its Royal history, centre of the Spanish Empire. The Royal Palace and buildings used by the Spanish Monarchy, enormous cathedrals and churches are plentiful in Madrid, as well as medieval architecture, although nowadays Madrid is as cosmopolitan as other European cities.
Most stores in the centre are open during all day; just small stores are often closed during the lunch hours. Shops and department stores in the city center area are open every day.
Most advisable to visit one of the many museums the city has to offer: The Prado, The Reina Sofía Museum, The Thyssen Museum and many more.
Madrid has a very modernized and elaborate transportation network of buses and Metro. The city is clean and safe.


By plane

Madrid map


Madrid Barajas International Airport ( MAD), +34 902 404 704, is located 13km from the city center. It is one of the largest airports in Europe and is serviced by many airlines, as well as being the homebase for Iberia Airlines. The airport has 4 terminals, including Terminal 4, a new terminal that has won architectural awards, and might be worth the trip to have a look even if you are not flying.
By far the most convenient way of reaching downtown is a 24-hours express bus service that stops at all terminals and then goes direct to O'Donell, Cibeles (20 minutes walk or quick metro ride to Puerta del Sol) and Atocha (main train station, not serviced between 11:30 PM and 6 AM). 5 euros. Departures every 12(day)-35(late night) minutes. Travel time Terminal 4 (end of line) - Cibeles 30-40 minutes.
The airport is also connected to the city by Cercanias commuter train (line C-1, from 05:30 to 23:30, €2.15) and Metro (line 8 pink, from 06:30 to 01:30, to/from the airport €5.00). From Terminal 4 take the commuter train (look for Renfe Cercanias) to "Nuevos Ministerios" and then transfer to line C-3 or C-4 southbound on platform 8; Sol will be the first stop.
Public bus 200 operates between the airport and Avenida de América bus station in Madrid. It is only 2.00€ and you can use your weekly ticket or 10-trips ticket.
Public night bus N4 goes from Plaza Cibeles to Barajas district, 400m walk from the terminal through a passageway over the highway.
Night Shuttle operates a night bus between the airport and city center for €9.90 per person.
Taxis from the airport to the city center cost ~€32-35 depending on final destination.


By train

Tropical garden in Atocha (train) stationTropical garden in Atocha

Renfe, +34 902-240-202, operates train service to/from Madrid. Frequent trains operate between Madrid and Barcelona (2h 40min), Seville (2h 20 min), Malaga (2h 30 min), Zaragoza, Tarragona, Lerida, Huesca, Ciudad Real, Puertollano, Lisbon, Milan, the French coast, Paris, with continuing journeys to most of Europe.
Madrid has two train stations: Chamartín and Atocha, both of which have excellent Metro and Cercanias commuter train connections. Most northbound and international trains arrive and depart from Chamartín station, while trains to Barcelona, Valencia and southern Spain depart from Atocha. If you need to get between the two stations, Metro line 1 (€1.50, 30-40 minutes) or Cercanias lines C3 and C4 (€1.35, 15 minutes) offer the most direct connection.
Chamartín station is on the north side of the city and is served by the Metro stop of the same name on Metro lines 1 and 10. Atocha is on the southern side of the city center and is divided into two main sections, an area for Cercanias trains and one for long-distance trains. The long-distance side is set inside the towering old station, where you will find a tropical garden with a pond full of small turtles as well as a number of shops. A memorial to the victims of the terrorist attack of March 11, 2004 is in the Cercanias portion of the station near the Metro stop.

By bus

Madrid has eight enormous international and intercity bus stations. Information on where buses to a particular destination depart from can be found at the Tourist Office.
Many of the international buses, and those headed south of Madrid, arrive at and depart from Estación Sur de Autobuses (Calle de Méndez Álvaro, Tel:+34 91-468-4200) which is accessible by metro.

By car

There are car rental facilities available at the airport, train stations, and other main travel sites. Always be sure to have a street map handy! The roads within Madrid are difficult to navigate as there are no places to stop and consult a map or check your route.
Also, if you are relying on GPS navigation, be aware that there are several consecutive junctions underground near the centre and your GPS may not get a signal underground. Plan your turns before you enter the tunnels.

Get around

By public transport

Madrid proudly sports one of the best public transportation networks in the world and the second largest metro network in Europe, second only to London's. Buses and subways form an integrated network and work with the same tickets.
A single ticket costs €1.50 (5 stations) – €2.00, a ten trip ticket costs €12.20 / €18.30.
Alternatively, you can buy unlimited travel passes as follows: 1 day (€8), 2 days (€13.40), 3 days (€17.40), 5 days (€25.50), or 7 days (€33.40).
Tickets can be purchased at Metro stations, news-stands, and estancos (tobacconists).


madrid metro map

The Metro de Madrid (Madrid's Subway/Underground) is one of the best and less expensive metros in Europe. Ticket machines are bilingual with instructions in both Spanish and English. Stamping the ticket one time allows you to use the Metro network as long and far as you like - make sure you stay inside the Metro zone, once you leave it, you'll have to stamp your ticket again. When you travel to or from airport stations, there is additional supplement of €3, which can be paid at the entrance or exit. The Passes do not require this supplement-it is included in the price. Closing time is 12:00 PM.
Announcements in the metro are made only in Spanish, though signs are bilingual in Spanish and English.


Whatever the Metro doesn't cover, the buses do.
Night buses (Búhos, "night owls"), have their main hub at Plaza de Cibeles, covering most of the city at roughly 20-minute intervals.
Buses are equipped with free wi-fi facility (EMTmadrid), easy to use with any type of laptop or netbook.


Madrid has a system of local trains (Cercanías) that connect outlying suburbs and villages with the city center. Although most useful for visiting historic or outdoor destinations outside the city core, they are also useful for quickly getting from the north end of the city (Chamartin and Nuevos Ministros) to the south end of the city (Sol and Atocha) and Barajas airport (terminal 4).

By taxi

Taxis are now easy to find thanks to the crisis. There taxi stands, but the most common system is just to stand by the side of a major road or bus stop and wave your hand to signal an available taxi passing by. Available taxis have a green libre sign in the windshield and a green light on top.
Official taxis are white, and have a red stripe and the flag of Madrid on the front door. The tariff is displayed on top of the car (a 1 during daytime, a 2 during the night, which become 2 and 3 on holidays such as Christmas Eve).
There are also special surcharges for entering or leaving the airport/train station. Ask for the written table of tariffs and charges (suplementos) (shown on small stickers on rear windows, compulsory by law) before paying if you think it's too expensive.
Most taxi drivers do not speak English, so you should have the names and/or addresses of your destinations written in Spanish to show your taxi driver. Likewise, get your hotel's business card in case you get lost.

By car

Transportation by private automobile in Madrid can be a nightmare. The Spanish capital suffers from the typical problems of most big cities; far too many cars and not enough space to accommodate them. Sometimes there can even be traffic jams in the Paseo de la Castellana at 3:00 AM. The problem is compounded by the narrow streets in the old town, where a lorry delivering beer barrels to a local bar can cause a huge tailback. Finding a parking space can be very time consuming, and difficult if one is not skilled in the art of close proximity parallel parking.

Program chairs

Willi Meier
DECHEMA, Germany

Carlos Negro

Thomas Track
DECHEMA, Germany

Eloy García Calvo

Information on the event

Water is vital for the sustainability and competitiveness of the European Industry and economy at large. The conference highlights the key role of chemical sciences and its industry in driving future developments in sustainable water management.

To address the current and future challenges, innovation is a key; the conference will specifically focus on accelerating and reconciling advances in leading edge knowledge with real applications.


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