Madrid skyline
Adam Fraiel

The Best Time to Visit Madrid

Madrid - the Spanish capital and one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. Home to over 6 million people, Madrid features stunning architecture, lively nightlife, great restaurants, and iconic attractions, including the Prado Museum, The Royal Palace and Real Madrid’s Bernabéu Stadium.

The best time to visit Madrid depends on your itinerary and which activities you plan to enjoy. Spring and Autumn have the most pleasant weather but, as you’ll see below, there’s never a bad time to visit.

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Spring (March-May)

Certainly one of the best times to visit Madrid would be during Spring, when the city’s shaking off the winter cold and the locals are venturing out again for their paseo por la noche (evening stroll).

Accommodation prices are cheaper, the streets are quieter and pleasant temperatures mean it’s the perfect time to explore this magical city. The three-hour Madrid highlights tour, taking in the Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol and the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium gives an excellent introduction to the city.

Temperatures hover around the mid-60s Fahrenheit (16–18o Celsius) so pack an extra layer or two for the colder days. It's always handy to have a compact umbrella in case of April showers.

That being said, it’s still an amazing time to be out exploring the ancient squares, catch a puppet show in Retiro Park or just watch the world go by as you enjoy a café con leche or Tinto de Verano (iced red wine).

Madrid also has several options for day trips, including the nearby UNESCO-listed cities of Toledo and Segovia, or head to the mountains for a spot of skiing at Puerto de Navacerrada.

Summer (June-August)

Madrid’s peak tourism season is July-August. During this time it gets extremely hot and the entire city gets crowded. With the average daily temperature passing 83°F (28 Celsius), it can get a little too spicy for some.

As these are the busiest months, you’ll also have to deal with longer queues and higher hotel prices. On the plus side, Madrid is less touristy than Barcelona and the nightlife in the summer is amazing.

There are also plenty of summer festivals to make your Madrid trip unforgettable:

  • La Paloma
  • Veranos de la Villa
  • Paraíso Festival
  • Mad Cool
  • Gay Pride

While there’s never a bad time to visit Madrid, the summer months can be intense. That’s why we recommend the shoulder seasons, meaning the months either directly before or after Summer.

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Fall (September-November)

Hands down, the best time to visit Madrid is Fall. Daytime temperatures average in the high-60s Fahrenheit (20o Celsius), the tourists have moved on and you’re left with warm afternoons, quiet streets and more reasonable hotel rates.

Towards the end of the season you’ll need your warm clothing, but there’s still a festive spirit in the air.

The city’s parks are turning from green to beautiful ambers, oranges and reds, making it the dream time for photographers. There are also plenty of cultural events such as the annual International Festival of Light and Jazz festivals.

Madrid is home to some of the most incredible galleries in the world, and during fall they become even more exciting. During Apertura Madrid Gallery Weekend you’ll experience a complete program of activities, completely free, including tours, exhibitions and guided outdoor activities.

As the streets are less crowded, it’s the ideal time to explore the hidden gems of the city. Enjoy a new perspective of Madrid as you take to the city on two wheels, either with an epic three-hour, 10km electric bike tour or a one-hour Segway sightseeing tour.

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Winter (December-February)

The cold winter months in Madrid aren’t the most popular time to visit Madrid, but don’t discount them completely.

While you won’t get the amazing weather, with average temperatures around 36 Fahrenheit (2o Celsius), you can escape the cold by visiting the endless number of galleries, museums and exhibitions.

Prices are much cheaper, queues are tiny and you’ll have the tourist attractions all to yourself.

The Prado Museum, considered one of the greatest art museums in the world and the most visited attraction in Madrid, is jam-packed during the summer months. In winter, you’ve got all the time in the world to enjoy the paintings and sculptures.

If you’re still a little chilly, warm your bones with a hot chocolate or mulled wine while exploring the sprawling Christmas markets. The main one’s in Plaza Mayor and features over 100 stalls, but you’ll also find smaller ones popping up around the city centre.

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