The Best Time to Visit Madrid

Madrid, Spain skyline

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For fewer crowds and great weather, the best time to visit Madrid is in the spring or fall. In addition to these perks, you'll also enjoy lower prices on accommodation during the low and shoulder seasons, making them budget-friendly options as well.

No matter what time of the year you decide to visit Madrid, you're sure to have an unforgettable experience. In this guide, we'll break down exactly what you can expect weather- and event-wise every month of the year, making your trip easier and more enjoyable all around.

Weather in Madrid

Madrid's deceptively high altitude (650 meters above sea level) means that temperatures can vary quite a bit from season to season. By and large, you'll experience the best weather in the spring, when the average daytime temperature is in the low 60s Fahrenheit in March and April, and the high 60s by May. Spring (particularly April) is one of the rainiest times of year, but the typical drizzles and light showers are nothing a compact umbrella can't fix.

Fall is also quite pleasant, with temperatures remaining in the 60s Fahrenheit throughout September and October. Winter is chilly, with an average daytime temperature of 48 degrees F in December, but the plentiful Spanish sunshine makes it more bearable.

Summers are scorching in Madrid. June is relatively mild, with temperatures in the 80s F, but that can soar up past 90 and even 100 degrees in July and August.

Crowds & Availability

As tourists pour into Madrid during July and August, locals flee the city and head for the shores. If you visit Madrid during the summer, keep in mind that lines at attractions such as the Royal Palace are likely to be long, and many local shops, restaurants and businesses — especially those that are family-owned — may close for a few weeks while their owners are on vacation.

Prices

More people means more money, which means that accommodation prices can soar in Madrid during the summer months. If budget is your biggest concern, visit during low season for better deals on lodging.

Puerta de Alcalá, Madrid, Spain
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January

The first month of the year falls smack dab in the middle of low season in Madrid, and low crowds generally mean low prices on accommodation. Snow isn't common, but Madrid's high altitude will make it seem colder than it actually is with the wind chill. January also marks the start of the first of Madrid's two semi-annual sales periods (rebajas), making it prime shopping season.

Events to check out:

  • The Three Kings Parade takes place every year on January 5. Here in Spain, the wise men of biblical lore bring presents to children during the holiday season on January 6, and when they arrive in Madrid the evening before, the streets line with eager spectators young and old alike.
  • January 17 is the San Antón festival, during which pet owners parade their furry friends through the streets of Madrid to the San Antón Church for the ceremonial blessing of the animals.

February

Things slowly but surely start to warm up in February, with average daytime temperatures in the low-to-mid 50s F. Price-wise, accommodation deals remain plentiful, and rebajas season is still in full swing.

Events to check out:

  • February 2 is Candlemas, marked by colorful processions and makeshift bullfights (using a "bull" made out of wood — a lighthearted alternative for those who can't stomach the real thing) throughout the streets of Madrid.
  • Most years, Carnival also falls during February. While not as famous as the celebrations in Tenerife or Cádiz, Madrid's carnival festivities feature plenty of costumes, music and dancing in addition to the emblematic parade.

March

Spring has sprung, and Madrid is thriving. You may still need a winter coat early in the month, but by mid-to-late March you'll be able to change it out for a light spring jacket. Crowds are also relatively thin during this month, so it's a great time to snag some accommodation deals.

Events to check out:

April

While you likely won't be able to avoid a light rain shower, April generally sees pleasant temperatures and relatively low tourist crowds. As the weather warms up, the atmosphere in Madrid becomes even more vibrant and lively than usual.

Events to check out:

  • The Festimad music festival is Madrid's biggest and best, hosting top-name acts from all over the world.
  • Mulafest is the city's most unique and diverse urban festival, featuring everything from electronic music to tattoos to art exhibitions.

May

With summer just around the corner, Madrid is buzzing with activity. Terraces and plazas fill up with locals enjoying drinks al fresco in the sunny, warm weather (with temperatures averaging in the high 60s) As the tail end of shoulder season, May sees fewer tourists than the coming months.

Events to check out:

  • Madrid celebrates its patron saint during the San Isidro Festival, which includes drinking, dancing, music, and plenty of sweet treats.
  • The region of Madrid itself is the star of the show on May 2, a huge celebration that commemorates the city's triumph over Napoleon's armies in the early 19th century.

June

Summer is here, and while temperatures and crowds both start to increase in June, it's still a relatively laid-back month compared to the rest of the season.

Events to check out:

  • Madrid's Pride festival is one of Europe's largest, spreading love and acceptance throughout the city in late June and early July.
  • The San Juan festival marks the unofficial start of summer. Madrileños head to Retiro Park for a night of bonfires, music and dancing until dawn.
Retiro Park lake, Madrid, Spain
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July

The heat is on the rise in Madrid in July, which is typically the hottest month of the year in the city. Temperatures are typically in the 90s F, but low humidity makes the heat more bearable. High season also kicks into full swing, so expect larger crowds and higher hotel prices.

Events to check out:

  • Noches del Botánico is the can't-miss music event of the summer, with concerts taking place all month long in the Royal Botanical Gardens.
  • Veranos de la Villa is another fantastic cultural festival, featuring awe-inspiring performances of the dramatic arts.

August

The scorching temperatures hang around in Madrid in August, but the locals don't. It's the most popular month of the year for madrileños to pack up and head to the beach, so don't be surprised if many shops and restaurants are temporarily closed. It's also high season for tourists, which means attractions are more crowded.

Events to check out:

September

As summer fades away, things start to quiet down a bit in Madrid, setting the stage for a pleasantly mild fall. September is still relatively warm and sunny, but tourist crowds clear out and accommodation prices start their descent.

Events to check out:

  • DCODE is a massive one-day music festival taking place on the Complutense University campus.

October

The first full month of fall is one of the most pleasant times of the year to visit Madrid. Temperatures are in the 60s F and tourist crowds have all but disappeared.

Events to check out:

  • Spain's national day is October 12, commemorated with military processions and street celebrations in Madrid.
  • While not an exclusively Spanish holiday, locals are embracing Halloween more and more every year. Don't forget your costume.

November

As winter approaches, Madrid starts to get chillier, especially on November mornings and in the evening. This is low season at its best, so take advantage of the great prices and small crowds to really enjoy the city.

Events to check out:

  • Spaniards honor their deceased loved ones on November 1 (All Saint's Day) by visiting cemeteries to lay flowers and mementos on their graves.
  • The Virgen de la Almudena Festival on November 9 is commemorated with flower offerings and religious processions.

December

A festive spirit takes over Madrid as the December winter holidays approach. While the weather is definitely chilly, precipitation is low, and it's a pleasant month to enjoy the magical atmosphere. Prices on accommodation tend to be lower during the beginning of December, rising near Christmas and New Year's.

Events to check out:

  • Christmas Eve (Nochebuena) is a bigger deal than December 25 itself here in Spain. While many businesses are closed, there are plenty of restaurants that offer a special holiday dinner menu.
  • On New Year's Eve (Nochevieja), Puerta del Sol gets packed with locals and visitors alike, waiting with bated breath to hear the first chimes of the new year at midnight and eat the traditional 12 grapes.
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