When to go to Madrid

When to go

Madrid enjoys (or suffers, depending on your point of view) a continental climate. This means that, despite Spain's image as a "warm" country, Madrid and other areas on the high Castillian plains are battered by fierce extremes: stifling heat in summer and freezing cold in winter, especially during the night.

Tip: Go Madrid recommends Spring (April-June) and early Autumn (September-October) as the best times of year to visit Madrid, particularly if you are the sort of person who literally can't stand the heat.

Winters in Madrid tend to be cold and dry. With little cloud cover and sweeping northerly winds, the temperatures may drop as low as -10ºC (14ºF) during the night, although the sun's rays soon warm up the city in the day hours, making it not uncommon to experience almost a 20ºC change in temperature in less than 24 hours. In January 2009 temperatures in the Navacerrada sierra, some kilometres outside the capital, reached -15ºC (5ºF), while in the city itself snow settled to a depth of several centimetres and Barajas Airport was closed for over 6 hours. Although this was an exceptional situation, please take heed that visitors to Madrid in winter need to bring very warm clothing, in particular during January and February.

After Spring makes it's entrance and the clocks go forward in March, the whole city seems to become a much more joyous place. More daylight hours and flowering parks make Madrid the ideal city to visit and wander through. Easter in Madrid is definitely a good time to come, with moderate temperatures and interesting religious processions to see. Bring waterproofs when coming in April, though, since what rain there is tends to fall in this month and early May. As the Spanish saying goes, "En Abril, aguas mil" (literally, In April, a thousand waters). Another common saying here is "Hasta el 40 de Mayo, no te quites el sayo" (don't take off your smock or tunic until the 40th of May - or in other words, keep on your warm clothing until the 9th of June)

Summer in Madrid means blistering heat, reaching its zenith in late July and the month of August. Madrid virtually closes in August, the "Madrileños" escaping from the concrete to Spain's coastal areas and many bars, restaurants and some smaller museums shutting shop for the month.

Autumn is a particularly attractive season, bringing golden colours to Madrid's parks. The warm temperatures normally continue through to late October, making this time of year one of the most recommendable for visiting the city.

Make sure you also check out which of Madrid's public holidays or fiestas take place during the dates of your stay.

Please use the links to the left to find out all you need to know for your visit to Madrid.