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BlogTravel tipsThe best time to visit Madrid: A season-by-season guide to Spain’s vibrant capital
Travel tips

The best time to visit Madrid: A season-by-season guide to Spain’s vibrant capital

Oct 13, 2023 by The Go Ahead Tours Team

When is the best time to visit Madrid? The answer depends on what you’re looking to experience when on vacation. The Spanish capital’s enduring arts-and-culture appeal makes it a fantastic city to explore any time of the year. (Those world-class museums are ready to welcome you whenever you visit.) And if you ask us, any season is a great time to indulge in a tapas crawl. But there are definitely specific reasons why an exciting trip to Madrid should be timed to different parts of the year. If you’re planning a Madrid tour, read on to find out which season will best suit your travel wish list.

Spring

is the best time to visit Madrid for blooming flowers and lively Easter celebrations

As weather in Madrid starts to thaw in March, springtime welcomes blooming flowers that completely transform the city. Expansive parks, such as El Retiro Park and Casa de Campo (beloved by locals), take on a colorful and fragrant personality as roses, lilies, peonies, and rosemary begin to blossom. There’s nothing quite like seeing a major city transition from the chill of winter to the effervescence of spring.

Given the gorgeous, warm-but-not-too-hot weather you get during the months of March, April, and May, there’s no better time for outdoor sightseeing, too. And if you love spiritual celebrations, you should take a Madrid tour around Easter and Holy Week (or Semana Santa) when the city comes alive with traditional festivities—many of which are staged in public. Throughout the week, Madrileños (many of them wearing traditional attire in various colors) can be seen marching the streets singing religious hymns while carrying statues of saints.

On our classic, 10-day Barcelona, Madrid & Seville tour, a guided visit around Madrid will feature stops at icons like the Royal Palace (it’s Spain’s largest royal residence), the Temple of Debod, which was brought over from Egypt and reassembled in the heart of the city, and some of the most important squares, such as Plaza Colón and Plaza Neptune. There’s plenty of free time included in the itinerary, too, during which you can people-watch in Retiro Park. Or, sign up for an excursion to nearby Toledo; walking around this historic (and hilly) city might be our favorite springtime day trip when visiting Madrid.

Months to experience spring in Madrid:

March, April, May

Weather in Madrid during the spring:

Average daily highs run between 15°C to 20°C (59°F to 68°F), making spring the perfect time for outdoor activities and sightseeing.

Explore Madrid in the spring

Summer

is the best time to visit Madrid for festivals and warm, sunny days

Given its high elevation (it’s the second highest capital city in Europe), Madrid enjoys hot summer days and our Madrid tours give you plenty of opportunities to soak up the social atmosphere, when the city’s leafy parks, outdoor cafes, and pool bars take on a joyful energy this time of year. And don’t forget that during hot days, the best way to do as the Spaniards do is to take an afternoon siesta before enjoying a flavorful dinner out on a cool evening.

But visiting Madrid in the summer is also about festivals. The nearly 40-year-old Veranos de la Villa is one of the most exciting events of the year in Madrid. This is actually a season-long cultural and entertainment celebration that takes place for much of July and August all over the city. We’re not exaggerating when we say hundreds of concerts, theater and dance performances, art exhibitions, and family-friendly activities are staged in dozens of venues throughout Madrid.

On our 14-day Grand Tour of Spain, you’ll have three days to enjoy summer in Madrid, hitting up the classics on a city tour. (You’ll get to sneak out of the heat with a guided visit to the Prado, a museum dedicated to the marvelous works of Spanish masters.) But you’ll also have free time to sip sangria on a rooftop bar or take a refreshing dip in the outdoor pool at Parque Deportivo Puerta de Hierro.

Months to experience spring in Madrid:

June, July, and August

Weather in Madrid during the summer:

Average highs reach around 30°C (86°F). Some days definitely get hotter, especially during midday.

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Fall

is the best time to visit Madrid for culture and mild weather

If pressed to identify the best time to visit Madrid, some of us might say autumn. Warm, sunny days seamlessly flow into cool nights that might inspire you to put on your favorite lightweight jacket. Fall is when it feels like you can do anything in Madrid. And our Madrid tours take advantage of that, especially if you’re interested in soaking up the city’s rich cultural offerings. In fact, you might see people from all over descending on Madrid in the fall for high-profile events like Madrid Fashion Week and Autumn Festival.

Our brand-new nine-day A Week in Spain: Barcelona, Madrid & Seville tour shows off the best of the very best of the city. In addition to visits to classic monuments and sights, we offer an excursion to a Madrid Flamenco Show, during which  you’ll get to witness one of Spain’s unique artistic expressions. Flamenco is an Andalusian performance style that combines passionate, seductive dance with the gorgeous sounds of the Spanish guitar.

When visiting Madrid in the fall, we also love spending time digging into all that the city’s world-class museums have to offer. Our Madrid tours typically include a guided trip into the Prado. In your free time, you can also check out institutions like the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and the Reina Sofia, where you’ll find one of Picasso’s most important works: Guernica. So impressive are these museums that we’re convinced Madrid beats out Barcelona when it comes to art.

Months to experience fall in Madrid:

September, October, and November

Weather in Madrid during the fall:

Fall might just be the ideal sightseeing season in Madrid, when average highs fall between 18°C to 24°C (64°F to 75°F). 

Explore Madrid in the fall

Winter

is the best time to visit Madrid for fewer crowds and the festive atmosphere

While some prefer to experience big European cities during the summer, visiting Madrid in the winter can be rewarding due to the number of festive-season activities that create a uniquely celebratory mood around the city. Christmastime is important not only for Madrid but also the rest of Spain, and given that it’s the capital city, Madrid sees a lot of special events that are worth admiring for visitors and locals alike.

If you take one of our Madrid tours from late November to late January, you’ll see the Spanish capital covered with twinkling lights—from public installations to shop windows—celebrating the festive season. Many of these are designed by famous Spanish architects and designers. Nativity scenes and Christmas trees are also displayed in some of the city’s most popular neighborhoods and plazas. And if you want to keep the celebrations going, take our 10-day New Year’s Eve in Madrid with Barcelona & Seville tour, when you’ll get to ring in the new year in the Spanish capital with new travel buddies. You’ll tuck into a Castilian feast and listen to live tuna music (a tradition that dates back to the 13th century) in one of the oldest restaurants in the city. If you prefer your trips to have a more festive vibe, the best time to visit Madrid is definitely in the winter.

Bonus: If you’re a gourmand, you’ll love winters in Madrid, too. You can tuck into a decadent combo of a warm churro and a cup of hot chocolate. It’s one of our favorite Madrid must-dos

Months to experience winter in Madrid:

December, January, and February

Weather in Madrid during the winter:

During the winter, average highs hover around 10°C to 15°C (50°F to 59°F). Though, you’ll want to be prepared for the occasional colder days.

Explore Madrid in the winter

What is the weather like in Madrid in each season?

Madrid’s high-altitude location in the middle of the Iberian Peninsula means the city experiences four distinct seasons. Winter days can be very cold, and summer days can be hot. Spring and autumn typically enjoy the mildest conditions of the year. Because Madrid’s weather can vary from month to month, the best time to visit can depend on what you enjoy and what type of weather you prefer. Regardless of when you travel to Madrid, its rich cultural heritage, enduring traditions, and celebrated food-and-wine scene make for a special trip no matter when you decide to visit.

Use this guide to help you decide when to travel on one of our immersive Madrid tours, which run all year long. Start planning your trip today.


Summer travelSpring travelWinter travelFall travelOff-season travelCity guides
About the author | The Go Ahead Tours Team
We’re a team of passionate travel experts, dedicated to helping people explore the world. From inspiring stories to tips for an amazing trip, the topics we cover are all about getting you out there and making discoveries.

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