April in Madrid: Weather, What to Pack, and What to See

Gran Vía, Madrid

TripSavvy / Paula Galindo Valle

April is one of the best times of the year to visit not only Spain but Madrid in particular. The cold spells of winter and early spring are finally coming to an end, and the days in Madrid are getting longer and sunnier. Sunsets in Spain are notoriously late, and the time change at the end of March means you can enjoy being outside late into the evening throughout April while there's still light out.

Apart from the pleasantly warm spring weather, one of Spain's most important holidays usually falls in early April: Semana Santa, also known as Holy Week. The week leading up to Easter is full of traditional processions through the streets and typical dishes like torrijas, the Spanish version of French toast. It's an interesting time to visit Madrid for the cultural experience, although the city is often empty throughout this week as many locals leave to travel.

April Weather in Madrid

April weather can be quite wishy-washy—not just in Madrid, but throughout Spain. While springtime sunshine and warmth are plentiful, rain showers do happen, and unexpected cold fronts can roll through. Keep these tips in mind so you can pack according to the weather.

Temperatures in Madrid vary greatly toward the start of the month, and anything from 53 to 79 degrees Fahrenheit (11 to 26 degrees Celsius) is not uncommon. Bring clothes that can easily be layered, as temperature fluctuations are especially common throughout the day—mornings can be quite chilly, but by lunchtime, it's usually warm enough to shed your jacket.

Spring showers aren't uncommon, so be prepared for a chance of rain. April is usually the wettest month in Madrid, but short downpours are more likely than long periods of rainfall. If you're out and about sightseeing, wet weather shouldn't be too much of a hindrance to your plans. Plus, bad weather always makes a good excuse to stop for a drink and some tapas in a local bar.

What to Pack

As far as clothing goes, think layers. Due to the widely varying temperatures from morning to night, it's a good idea to layer on several items that you can put on and take off throughout the day as needed. A jacket will likely be necessary if you're sightseeing before noon or going out at night, but you can leave the heavy winter coat at home.

In Madrid and Spain, locals usually dress according to the season rather than the weather. That means that even if temperatures get up into the high 70s, you'll likely still see madrileños decked out in light jackets and long pants. It's still springtime, after all, and shorts don't make their debut until summertime. Keep this unofficial dress code in mind if you want to look like a local.

For accessories, don't forget to bring an umbrella for the unexpected rainstorm and a good pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes while out exploring during the day.

April Events in Madrid

Semana Santa is the biggest event that takes place in April, and even if you aren't religious, it's a cultural experience worth attending, but the Spanish capital has a lot more to offer in April than just Easter processions. In 2021, some events and gatherings may be canceled so check with official organizers for the latest updates.

  • Semana Santa: Holy Week is the week before Easter and is the Spanish equivalent to Spring Break. The biggest celebrations take place in the southern region of Andalusia, but Madrid still offers a fair share of religious processions that you can catch to get a taste of this traditional event. Processions take place throughout the week from April 5–12, 2020.
  • Festimad: This two-week music festival is a celebration of "musical biodiversity," and venues across Madrid host indie rock bands, hip-hop artists, flamenco performers, and more. It typically starts the last week of April and goes through the first week of May, but has been canceled for 2021.
  • Mulafest: This eclectic festival celebrates everything from tattoos to motorcycles to breakdancing to street food. It's held at the huge Feria de Madrid event center and includes a lineup of musical artists to keep guests entertained while they explore the various stalls. In 2021, the event has been postponed until June.

April Travel Tips

  • Semana Santa is an interesting time to visit Spain, but many Spaniards also travel during this time, so expect to pay extra for transportation and accommodations in Madrid.
  • Toledo is an easy and affordable day trip from Madrid. If you're visiting during Semana Santa and want to experience the best processions around Madrid, Toledo is the place to go.
  • As the weather warms up, bars around Madrid begin opening up their terraces, and there's no experience more madrileño than enjoying a cold beer or glass of Spanish wine while sitting outside with friends.