Madrid is an exciting city to visit at any time of the year, but some times are better than others. Summer is very hot and many local business owners close up and go on vacation. Despite this and the fact that many schools are on break, summer is still the peak season in Madrid. Winter is chilly but there are excellent hotel room rates. The spring between March and May is the best time to visit Madrid, Spain because the weather is pleasant, there are fewer crowds, and flowers are in bloom. Fall between September and November is also a good time to visit: again the weather is pleasant and the summer crowds have left. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Madrid Weather & Temperature by Month
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January is the coldest month of the year in Madrid with an average high temperature of 50°F (10°C) and an average low temperature of 34°F (1°C). Expect dry weather during Madrid’s winter months and quick changes in temperature is also normal in this city.
In February, the average high temperature rises a few degrees to 54°F (12°C). The average low temperatures increase about half the rate of the high temperature and settles at 36°F (2°C).
Madrid Weather in March: The month of March sees quite a jump upward for the average high temperature which rises to 61°F (16°C). Meanwhile, the average low temperature rises a few degrees to 39°F (4°C).
April gets a moderate amount of sunshine with an average of 7 hours of sunshine per day. Meanwhile, the average and average low temperatures creep up slightly and range between 63°F (17°C) and 41°F (5°C). It’s a fantastic idea to visit the parks this time of the year as the flowers and foliage are in full bloom and incredibly vibrant.
In May, the average high temperature and average low temperatures hit 72°F (22°C) and 46°F (8°C) respectively.
Madrid Weather in June: The days are long and bright in June with the arrival of summer. This month gets the second to the highest amount of sunshine as well with 12 hours of gorgeous, albeit hot, daylight per day. The average high temperature makes a huge leap to 84°F (29°C) along with the low temperature average which rises to 55°F (13°C).
July tops the yearly charts for a few reasons, the first being that it is the hottest month with the high temperature averages climbing to 91°F (33°C). With 13 hours of sunshine per day, July also has the highest average for sunlight out of the year. Congruently, this month receives the lowest precipitation rate annually with just 10mm of rain received over the span of 3 days.
In August, the average high and average low temperatures remain exactly the same, tying with the previous month for the hottest temperatures in the year. The precipitation average also remains the same.
September offers a much welcome respite from the intense heat of Madrid’s summer as the average high temperature decreases to 84°F (29°C). The average low temperature also decreases to 57°F (14°C).
In October, the average high and average temperature goes down even further as temperatures measure in at 84°F (29°C) and 57°F (14°C) respectively.
Madrid Weather in November: It’s a rainy month in November with Madrid receiving about 50mm of rain in the span of 9 days – the most it receives in the whole year. The average high temperature drops to 59°F (15°C) while the average low sinks to a chilly 39°F (4°C).
December receives the same level of precipitation of November, though it is spread out over 10 days. It also receives the least amount of sunshine in the year with an hour average per day. The average high and average low temperature decrease again slightly to 52°F (11°C) and 36°F (2°C) respectively.
If you’re the type of person who really can’t stand the heat, the best times to visit is definitely in the spring months of April through June and the early autumn months of September and October. For the best of Madrid’s parks and most popular public celebrations, plan your trip in between April and May. As one of Madrid’s peak seasons however, be prepared to contend with a lot of tourists if you come in Spring. Those who want to experience the golden color of Madrid’s parks should come in late October.
2.Getting to Madrid, Spain
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Many visitors arrive in Madrid by airplane. The Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas Airport is the city’s main airport and is located about nine miles east of the city center. There are four terminals to accommodate the many international airlines that fly into this airport. European train systems are excellent and traveling by train is a great way to arrive in Madrid. There are two major railway stations in Madrid: Atocha and Chamartin. Traveling by bus can be comfortable and inexpensive: Madrid has 14 major bus terminals, so make sure you know which one you’re headed for. Arriving by car is easy because many highways radiate out from Madrid.
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3.Getting From the Airport
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There are several ways to get from Madrid’s main airport, the Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas Airport, into the city. There are air-conditioned buses that take visitors to the Atocha train station close to the Prado Museum, one of Madrid’s most popular tourist attractions. These buses leave the airport every 10 to 15 minutes and the trip into the city takes about 40 minutes. The subway is another option, but it is not much cheaper than the bus; traveling with luggage makes the trip difficult; and you must change trains which requires paying a second fare. Taxis are also available at the airport.
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4.Getting Around metro, bus
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Madrid is a large city so the Metro system is one of the best ways to get around. It is one of the largest metro systems in Europe and it is fast, efficient, and inexpensive. There are twelve metro lines and three light rail lines that run through the city’s historic area, the financial district, and shopping areas, as well as connecting the city to neighboring town. Trains leave every two minutes during rush hours and every 15 minutes at other times. Madrid also has an extensive bus system operated by the Empresa Municipal de Transportes (EMT). Bus routes often go to places that are not covered by the Metro system.
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5.Getting Around by metro, bus
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In addition to Madrid’s Metro and bus systems, there are several other ways to get around the city. There are more than 15,000 taxis in Madrid: they are easily recognized because they are white with a red strip on their front door. If their green light is on, this means that they are available. If you want to take a day trip out of Madrid you can use the suburban trains: they run through Madrid’s two main train stations to many neighborhoods just outside the city. BiciMAD is Madrid’s public bike rental system. There are 1,560 bikes and over 3,000 docking stations. Getting around by car is not the best choice because of traffic congestion and high parking fees.
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Madrid is known for having the richest and most varied cuisine in Spain. Some of the dishes you can try during your visit include the rice and seafood dishes called paella; gazpacho, a cold pureed vegetable soup; a rich pork stew called fabada; cod called bacalao; cocido, a lamb and vegetable stew; roast suckling pig called lechona; corderito which is baby lamb; and so much more. Although it is a landlocked city, fresh fish is brought in every day. There are expensive fine dining restaurants, cafeterias, budget economicas, historic tabernas, and more. Tapas are small meals that are usually eaten after the mid-afternoon siesta.
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In Madrid, locals love to shop, so why not join in the fun as a visitor? There are two neighborhoods that are particularly known for being shopping meccas. The Salamanca shopping area is the more upscale of the two. Here you’ll find boutiques selling international luxury designer brands as well as Spain’s top designer brands. There are beautiful and custom designed items like shoes and bags. ABC Serrano, Madrid’s nicest shopping mall, is located here. The second area is a trendy neighborhood called Chueca: items here are less expensive than in the Salamanca area. The main shopping street is Calle Augusto Figuerca, but savvy shoppers check out the side streets in this area.
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, From LA
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Madrid is made up of several districts that will be of most interest to visitors. The old traditional center is home to the Puerta del Sol and Gran Via along with the 17th century Austrias area with its plazas and alleys; the Plaza de la Paja with its marketplace; and the Plaza Mayor, which became the city’s hub in 1617, and is a nighttime center for tourist activities. The Arguelles/Moncloa neighborhood is known for its green recreational areas and its huge university. Malasana is known for its renovated 19th building and its lively nightlife. Chamberi is made up of wide avenues and historic mansions many of which serve as foreign embassies.
9.Getting Married in Madrid
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As a large city, Madrid has a wide range of choices for wedding venues. Both Spanish and non-Spanish can get married in Madrid in civil and religious ceremonies, but this is not the case in all areas of the country. Some of the hotel wedding venues include the Me Madrid, the Intercontinental Madrid, the Rafaelhoteles Atocha, the Westin Palace Madrid, La Casa de Monico, the AC Hotel Carlton Madrid, and many more. A luxurious choice is the Villa Magna with its function rooms as well as its gardens. Other choices include art galleries such as Espacio 8, open air venues such as the Paseo de la Gastronomia, and churches like the Spanish Episcopal Reformed Church.
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10.Where to Stay
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With more than 80,000 hotel rooms, Madrid offers a wide range of different types of accommodations. The city offers some of the finest accommodations in the world, from luxury hotels to neighborhood hostales and pensiones. Luxury hotel properties include the AC Palacio Del Retiro Autograph Collection, Eurostars Madrid Tower, Gran Melia Fenix, Hesperia Madrid, Hospes Madrid, and more. Family friendly hotels include Malia Castilla with its swimming pool, something that children will enjoy; and Hotel T3 Tirol with its handy cafeteria. Other affordable hotels include the Ateneo Hotel, the Hotel Cortezo, the Hotel Mediodia, and more. Another option is rental properties including apartments and hotels.
Best Time to Visit Madrid, Spain, Weather & Other Travel Tips
- Madrid Weather & Temperature by Month, Photo: Courtesy of fresnel6 - Fotolia.com
- Getting to Madrid, Spain, Photo: Courtesy of maylat - Fotolia.com
- Getting From the Airport, Photo: Courtesy of Sailorr - Fotolia.com
- Getting Around metro, bus, Photo: Courtesy of ekaterina_belova - Fotolia.com
- Getting Around by metro, bus, Photo: Courtesy of ArTo - Fotolia.com
- Restaurants, Photo: Courtesy of Monet - Fotolia.com
- Shopping, Photo: Courtesy of zeremskimilan - Fotolia.com
- Neighborhood Guide, Photo: Courtesy of agcreativelab - Fotolia.com
- Getting Married in Madrid, Photo: Courtesy of kichigin19 - Fotolia.com
- Where to Stay, Photo: Courtesy of ymgerman - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of ekaterina_belova - Fotolia.com
More Ideas: Semana Santa
Semana Santa is the name of the Spanish Holy Week, an annual religious events that honors the 'Passion of Jesus Christ', which is the term given to the last days of Jesus' life, including the time in which he enters the city of Jerusalem, his sharing of the Last Supper with his disciples, his betrayal by Judas Iscariot, and ultimately his arrest and execution by crucifixion. Essentially, this is a very similar celebration to Easter, occurring in the final week of Lent, which leads up to the day of Easter itself.
The Semana Santa celebrations are well known around the world as one of Spain's most iconic religious holidays. The Holy Week dates way back to the 16th century and is still celebrated each and every year, with the idea behind being that the Catholic Church wanted to display the story of the Passion of Jesus Christ in an easy-to-understand yet grandiose form, that everyone could understand and appreciate. Places in Spain
Semana Santa Celebrations
Each and every year, many small and large cities around Spain celebrate the Semana Santa, with each region and town having its own ideas and celebrations that mostly consist of a series of parades and processions through the city streets, with various floats and stands depicting scenes from the final stages of Christ's life. The vast majority of these processions are organized and performed by various brotherhoods that have existed in Spain for centuries and open for entry to all Catholics.
Cities in the Andalusia region of Spain like Malaga, Granada, Lebrija, and Seville are well known for organizing some of the largest and most eye-catching processions, while more subdued displays, which some religious people tend to prefer, can be found in cities like Zamora, Salamanca, and Valladolid. Semana Santa processions can also be found in Spain's capital of Madrid and other major cities like Barcelona, as well as out on the Canary Islands.
Every procession is different, but they do all tend to follow many of the same rules and themes. Each day of Semana Santa in the typical Spanish city will feature one procession from each brotherhood, and there may be several dozen brotherhoods per city. Brotherhoods usually run two floats each, one of which will depict Christ and a scene from his life, while the second will show his mother, the Virgin Mary, and her often tearful reaction to events.
It's important to note that this isn't a typical parade with floats on wheels or mechanical system; these floats are mostly carried by hand by strong men from each brotherhood, each wearing unique capes and hoods. The processions can last many hours, meaning that these men risk injury and suffer a lot each day, but this is part of the experience as it allows the men to experience some fraction of the pain that Christ himself felt during the Passion. For this reason, members of a brotherhood will actually be very happy and honored to learn that they are going to be carrying a float during Semana Santa.
As well as the processions and floats, music may also be a part of the Semana Santa celebrations in certain areas. This particularly occurs in the Andalusia region, where people will appear on balconies along the sides of the city streets and begin singing traditional Spanish flamenco songs. In the past, these songs were simply an unplanned way of people expressing their strong emotions as they saw the floats pass by, but many of them are now planned out in certain cities to add another layer to the celebrations.
Important Information and Best Places for Semana Santa
It's important to note that the dates of Semana Santa are different each year. So if you happen to be planning a trip to Spain to take part in Semana Santa celebrations, you need to do your research and be aware of the correct dates. It's also important to know that the celebrations will start earlier in some cities than others. Places in Castilla-Leon, for instance, will feature longer Semana Santa celebrations than Andalusian locations.
As with any trip to Spain, it's good to base oneself in a major city like Madrid, Seville, or Barcelona, and then travel out to enjoy Semana Santa celebrations in different cities over the course of the week. This is, of course, a fully outdoor event and rain will pose a major hazard to the floats, so it's vital to check the forecast and plan accordingly too. As previously mentioned, cities like Malaga and Granada will have the flashiest processions, but for a more 'realistic' and less 'commercial' Semana Santa experience, Castilla-Leon cities may be a better choice.
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