Anyone who doubts the Spanish flare for showmanship need only check out all the events in Madrid. Arts festivals, live music, parties (fiestas) in the plazas, major performances – it’s all here in this energetic international city.

The warm weather certainly helps, and by day there always seems to be a sports enthusiast kicking a soccer ball down the street, shopping nuts burning up their Visas as they walk from classy boutique to the latest fashion emporium, and happy groups strumming out music in the plazas.

Shows are everywhere, from classic flamenco at cozy neighborhood venues to major concerts and international productions at the host of large playhouses and theaters.

Of course, when Real Madrid is playing, everyone pretty much stops what they’re doing, and every TV in the city is surrounded by avid sports fans that couldn’t make the game at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.

The only thing remotely approaching the spectacle of fans celebrating a soccer victory might be the thousands who cram the streets for events like Carnaval in February, which is a mad festival full of more live music, concerts, parties, and lots of boobs.

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