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

Autumn in artificial lake of Palacio de Cristal
Miguel Sanz / Getty Images

As autumnal weather brings cooler temperatures to Madrid, November heats up with activity as Spaniards prepare for the coming holiday season. If you're planning your trip to Madrid this month, you won't want to miss the harvest markets, Madrid Jazz Festival, or Experimental Cinema Week while you're out enjoying the pleasant fall weather.

Madrid is the capital of Spain, and its culture reflects the diverse population of the country.

As a result, there's no shortage of nightly events and festive cultural celebrations throughout the month. However, you'll want to plan your trip earlier in November if you want to catch more pleasant weather, fewer crowds, and some of the best annual events the city has to offer.

Madrid Weather in November

By November, Madrid has completely cooled off from its summer highs, averaging a high temperature of 57 F (14 C) for the month. However, the temperatures fall throughout the month and drastically drop each night, resulting in an average monthly low temperature of 39 F (4 C). Compared to Barcelona in November, where temperatures hardly drop after nightfall, Madrid is much colder than its southern neighbor.

The weather tends to stay relatively constant through into mid-November, with temperatures still in the mid- to low-teens, and late November is very similar. If you enjoy temperate weather, you'll be happy to see that the winter chill hasn't caught yet.

There are a few nights where it can get pretty cold though—in 2017, Madrid experienced a real cold snap with a high of 42 F (5 C).

Rainfall is expected nine days out of the month with an average total accumulation of two inches (50 millimeters) throughout November. However, the worst part of the season change in Madrid is that the city only experiences two to four hours of daylight each day.

What to Pack

You'll want to pack a variety of clothing options to accommodate the volatile nature of Madrid's weather in the fall. Bring long-sleeved shirts, sweaters, long pants, and clothing you can layer; you might also need a heavy coat, but it depends on when you visit as it gets colder throughout the month. Since you can expect rain at least one-third of November, you'll also want to bring a raincoat, waterproof shoes, and an umbrella for those sudden fall storms.

November Events in Madrid

Before the holiday rush of tourists arrives in the city in late November and early December, the locals spend much of the month celebrating a variety of cultural, religious, and creative events. From their annual pilgrimage home in honor of departed loved ones on Dia de Todos Los Santos to a month-long celebration of European jazz music, you're sure to find something to do this November in Madrid.

  • Dia de Todos Los Santos: All Saint's Day is a religious and national public holiday of the dead that takes place on the first of November each year. During this holy day, Spaniards return home to lay flowers and mementos on the graves of their ancestors.
  • Madrid Jazz Festival: This annual celebration of jazz will take place from November 6 to 30, 2018, and features the best in European jazz musicians at a variety of venues throughout the city.
  • Fiesta de la AlmudenaA religious celebration that takes place on November 9 each year in honor of the patron saint of Madrid, the Virgen de la Almudena. Floral offerings are left around the city, and an 11 a.m. mass is held at the Cathedral of Almudena.
  • Alcalá de Henares Film Festival (ALCINE): Just northeast of Madrid in Alcalá de Henares, you can attend this annual event, which showcases short and feature-length films from around the country, from November 9 to 16, 2018.
  • Christmas Lights: On the last Friday of the month, the Mayor of Madrid turns on the city's Christmas lighting displays to mark the start of the holiday season.

November Travel Tips

  • November is considered the shoulder season for tourism to Spain, so you can expect fewer crowds, cheaper flights, and more affordable hotels on your trip.
  • Prices do start going up once the Christmas lights come on and the holiday markets open, so book earlier in the month for cheaper travel.
  • Since Spain doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving, you can still get some great deals on flights and accommodations even during this busy travel time for Americans.
  • November is one of the best times to wander around the city—especially its parks—because the cool weather and changing leaves make for a perfect afternoon stroll.
  • You do not have to be religious to attend events like the Fiesta de la Almudena (including the 11 a.m. mass), but you should be respectful if you attend services for these holy demonstrations.