13 Incredible Things to do in Madrid in winter

When winter is overtaking, Madrid changes completely. From the beautiful summer vibes, Madrid starts to manifest wondrous autumnal colours and winter liveliness.  You will be surprised to see that Madrid in winter offers many things to do and see.

You can begin your Madrid itinerary by having breakfast with hot chocolate and churros and ending in an ice rink and fun with friends. Spending winter in Madrid is a great excuse to explore the city off the beaten path without the crowds. Come with us and let’s discover all the incredible things to do in Madrid in winter.

All you need to know for Madrid in winter

Things to do in Madrid in winter

  1. Have fun and go ice skating in Madrid
  2. Visit the beautiful Christmas Markets and try the typical sweets
  3. Stroll around Retiro Park 
  4. Witness NYE in Puerta del Sol
  5. Plan a winter day trip from Madrid
  6. Experience Madrid nightlife
  7. Warm yourself up and take a bike tour of the city 
  8. Take part in Madrid free walking tour
  9. Celebrate Kings Day in Madrid
  10. Eat Roscón de Reyes
  11. Skiing in Sierra de Guadarrama
  12. Visit Prado Museum 
  13. Step inside Reina Sofia Museum

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This post may contain affiliate links or Sponsored Links (read our Cookie Policy), useful experiences that we love to suggest to you. If you click one of them, we may receive a small commission (for which we are really grateful) at no extra cost to you. Click on it will help us run this website for you, for FREE, funding our project, continuing to travel informing curious explorers.

Plaza Mayor - Spring in Madrid

Weather in Madrid in Winter

The beautiful Spanish Capital is right in the centre of the Peninsula, so it’s clear that despite the spicy temperatures in summer, winter becomes very cold especially from December onward. The average temperatures might vary from month to month and you can get a complete highlight below.

Don’t worry, you will enjoy many sunny days because Madrid’s climate is very variable but it doesn’t rain a lot in winter. Madrid’s winter temperature is all-around 10 °C to 14 °C during the day and 2/3 °C during the night in December and January.

Madrid in November

What’s the weather like in Madrid in wintertime? Well, Spain is pretty warm throughout the year but Madrid has got a special temperature. The city can be really hot in summer and reach even 42 °C and in winter can be really really cold. The weather in Madrid in November sometimes can be a bit tricky as after autumn the temperature tends to remain the same at the beginning of the month and go down in the end.

If you are visiting Madrid in November you will feel the difference in temperature throughout the day. During the day around 14/15 °C degrees and during the night it drops to 4 °C. So, be prepared for that, wearing layers, dropping off jumpers especially in the hot metro system of Madrid.

Madrid in December

The weather in Madrid in December is around 10 degrees and the lowest can be 4 °C. It’s cold but almost everywhere in Europe when it comes to those months the temperatures are dropping down.

Madrid in December is lovely, the city is horned with lights and with a Christmas atmosphere, which is something that you can’t miss. It is pretty unusual to find snow in Madrid during Christmas, but all around you will find mountains full of snow.

If you are a fan of the snow and pretty villages. You can visit the Unesco World Heritage site of Cuenca. An old town on the rocks, surrounded by mountains. This amazing city in winter becomes a fairy tale white theme park.

Madrid in January

The temperature in Madrid Spain in January and February is more or less the same with a minimum going around 3 degrees. That said, I plan to pack warm clothes to visit Madrid in January. Despite that, Madrid in winter is magical and if you’re touring the city at the beginning of January, before the 6th of January, you will still feel the Christmas atmosphere and plenty of Christmas lights.

In Spain, there is this old tradition linked to the arrival of the Three Kings which are bringing presents to Jesus a few days after Christmas. It’s a special moment that Spanish people love to celebrate and needs to be on your Spanish bucket list to witness.

Madrid in February  

February in Madrid is more or less like in January. The temperature can be cold but you can still enjoy the city without any problem. What we suggest is to stop more than once and warm yourself up. Grab a hot chocolate on your way to warm your body as the high temperature that you can get is 12 °C and the lowest is 4 °C.

The usual question that many people ask us is: why you should visit Madrid in winter? Our answer to this question is pretty simple. Every city got something special and different from each other. Madrid is usually seen as a casual city for a spring break, but actually, the Capital of Spain is amazing in every season.

The mild temperatures make it a location worth to be visited in winter too.  It is unusual that is rain in Madrid, but in January and February, it will be really cold.

If you have been to Madrid in Summer, you will find an environment completely different in winter.  The city will be less crowded with tourists, but for many, this is an advantage to visit Madrid in winter.

Read also | Spain Bucket List | Madrid Instagram Spots

Why should you visit Madrid in the winter?

The usual question that many people ask us is: why should you visit Madrid in winter? Our answer to this question is pretty simple. Every city has something special and different from each other. Madrid is usually seen as a casual city for a spring break, but actually, the Capital of Spain is amazing in every season.

The mild temperatures make it a location worth visiting in winter too.  It is unusual for it to rain in Madrid, but in January and February, temperatures are low and it can be really cold.

If you have been to Madrid in Summer, you will find an environment completely different in winter.  The city will be less crowded with tourists, but for many, this is an advantage to visit Madrid in winter.

Packing for Madrid in winter

We couldn’t miss helping you organize your luggage for the exciting trip to Madrid in winter. Always, while exploring the best sightseeing of a city in our travel tips we include stylish and must-have clothes and stuff. Madrid can get very cold, the temperatures drop from month to month and by day and night.

Make sure to include this packing for Madrid in winter:

  • A small Umbrella
  • Waterproof shoes
  • Winter warm jacket and a rain jacket
  • Earmuffs
  • Hat, gloves and stylish scarf
  • Thick socks
  • Long-sleeve shirts
  • Nice warm jumpers

Things to do in Madrid in winter

  • Have fun and go ice skating in Madrid
  • Visit the beautiful Christmas Markets and try the typical sweets
  • Stroll around Retiro Park 
  • Witness NYE in Puerta del Sol
  • Plan a winter day trip from Madrid
  • Experience Madrid nightlife
  • Warm yourself up and take a bike tour of the city 
  • Take part in Madrid free walking tour
  • Celebrate Kings Day in Madrid
  • Eat Roscón de Reyes
  • Skiing in Sierra de Guadarrama
  • Visit Prado Museum
  • Step inside Reina Sofia Museum
Things to do in Madrid in winter
This is the Royal Palace of Madrid. One of the best things to do visiting Madrid in winter

When winter is approaching everyone tries to find the perfect escape from the usual routine. If you are planning a trip to Madrid in winter you will see how many things you can do. You can start your day with a delicious hot chocolate and ending skiing in Sierra de Guadarrama.

It’s something that you can’t miss if you are organizing a trip in winter to Madrid. Are you ready to explore Madrid in winter? Pack your bags, don’t forget a jumper and fly to a new destination to discover this winter.

Have fun and go ice skating in Madrid

Is it not winter if you are not going ice skating! Like every year, when it comes to winter we are always going ice skating even if we are not in London. During your winter in Madrid, you should check out a couple of places to go ice skating. Nice locations, full of lights that will hit up your Christmas birthmark.

Are you ready to put on your ear puffs, gloves and skates? Get everything ready and have fun while enjoying the Christmas atmosphere in Madrid. There are a couple of ice skating rinks in Madrid which you should check out.

  • Pista de Hielo Javier Fernández on Plaza de Azca. (Open daily from noon until 9 PM)
  • Pista de Hielo Villa de Vallecas on Paseo Federico García Lorca
  • Pista de Hielo Puente de Vallecas on Entrevías-Asamblea de Madrid Renfe station.
  • Palacio de Hielo Dreams on Calle Silvano, 77
  • Galería de Cristal del Palacio de Cibeles (Open daily from 11 AM until 9 PM – 21/12-07/01)

If after ice skating you fancy grabbing a drink with a view, you can discover the best rooftop bars in Madrid.

Visit the beautiful Christmas Markets and try the typical sweets

Who doesn’t love Christmas markets and decorations? Considered one of the most wonderful times of the year by locals, the Christmas markets in Madrid are something exceptional.

One of the top-visited markets from the middle of November until the end of December is the Plaza Mayor Christmas Market. With its festive atmosphere all throughout the historic square, you will feel the Xmas spirit from the first moment you arrive. 

One of our favourite Christmas markets is Feria Dulces de Navidad, which takes place in Plaza Isabel II every year. This is the right place to go and try the typical Spanish Christmas sweets and remember that you can’t leave Madrid without drinking a delicious Hot Chocolate and dipping freshly fried churros.

Believe it or not, it’s the best way to warm up during winter in Madrid.

For all food lovers, here are a couple of delicious sweets typical for Christmas:

  • Turrón is a homemade Spanish candy bar shaped into a rectangular tablet. 
  • Mazapán, animal-shaped sugary made mostly of sugar, honey and almond meal. 
  • Roscón de Reyes used to be prepared and served only for breakfast on January 6th, when the three kings brought Spanish children their presents. 

Another typical food which you need to try while you are spending winter in Madrid is the delicious Cocido madrileño. A traditional chickpea-based stew from Madrid, Spain perfect for warming you up during a cold day. 

Enjoy a walking in the Parque del Retiro of Madrid

Stroll around Retiro Park 

One of the points of pride of locals is the huge park that stands in the middle of the city of Madrid. The Buen Retiro Park, Retiro Park or simply El Retiro is one of the largest parks in the city of Madrid, Spain. It is an old Royal Park, which belongs to the Royal Family of Spain.

Today this is one of the main attractions of Madrid. Locals love to walk in the park, which has become one of the most instagrammable places in Madrid during Autumn, but also lovely during winter.

Take the chance to relax in the park, surrounded by nature. You can rent a little boat and enjoy the romantic scenario. Loved by tourists is also to rent a bike to go up and down the hills of the park, we suggest that to you as well. You can go and visit the Crystal Palace of the Buen Retiro Park of Madrid.

Madrid in winter | Puerta del sol
Madrid most beautiful city in Spain

Witness NYE in Puerta del Sol

Madrid is a very touristic place, especially during Christmas. If you are planning your trip in winter to Madrid you should plan to stay for New Year.

New Year in Puerta del Sol is a very popular tradition, where everyone, together, is waiting for midnight.

In Spain, there is an old tradition that wants you before midnight, during the 12 seconds before the gong you need to eat one grape for each bell that you hear. Why? Because it will bring you good luck for the new year coming.

Different cultures in Toledo Spain | Spanish bucket list |
This is Toledo one of the most enchanting cities around Madrid, unmissable sightseeing in Spain. Discover the old town just an hour train ride from Madrid.

Plan a winter day trip from Madrid

From Madrid, you can plan a fantastic day trip and explore the stunning UNESCO World Heritage cities. Even if you won’t be able to see them all, we suggest adding to your Spain bucket list Toledo, Avila and Segovia. They all have something special which makes them worth visiting. Segovia with its Roman aqueduct, Avila that is a walled city and Toledo with its medieval-style centre, those UNESCO Heritage cities are perfect for a day trip from Madrid.

During the summer months, those cities are really busy so, if you’re planning a trip to Madrid in winter, this is the best time for you to explore the cities off the beaten path and without crowds.

Madrid Rooftop Bars

Experience Madrid nightlife

Winter or not, it’s always a good idea to experience the real nightlife and what’s better than Madrid? Staying up all night and going from one bar to another is a great way to enjoy Madrid’s life after working hours. Enjoy popular clubs like Joy Eslava and Cafe Berlin and have a great night out with your friends.

Winter in Madrid might be not ideal for a rooftop bar but there are so many options with indoor spaces and incredible views. Check the best rooftop bars in Madrid and pick the right one for you.

Warm yourself up and take a bike tour of the city 

If public transports are not really your thing, a great way to warm yourself up and discover the city is to cycle around. From the beautiful Retiro Park to Madrid’s most important sites, you will be able to cycle around the city and get to know all the beautiful corners that it has to offer. There are so many guided tours as well that you can take part in, check here for more suggestions.

Through your bike tour in Madrid make sure you stop and admire the beautiful instagrammable spots around Madrid.

Madrid Spain tourists sites

Take part in Madrid free walking tour

When it comes to discovering a new city, there is nothing better than organising a free walking tour with a local guide and getting to know every corner of the city. Madrid is wide and there are so many things to do and see and sometimes you can get overwhelmed by the number of important sights that you need to visit.

From the Opera House to Plaza Mayor and Mercado de San Miguel, a free walking tour of Madrid is what you need during your first day in the city.

Book your Madrid Free Walking Tour

Celebrate Kings Day in Madrid

Christmas in Spain is like in Italy, it starts on the 24th of December and it ends after the 6th of January. This day is considered one of the most important days of Christmas as is the Three Kings Day (Los Reyes Magos). It’s the arrival of the Three Kinds to meet Baby Jesus and bring him presents. In fact, due to this tradition, Spanish children receive their gifts on the 6th with the Three Kinds bringing them the night before. On the 5th of January, a huge parade starts going through Madrid city centre with many displays, decorations and fireworks that adorned the entire city. For sure, visiting Madrid in winter is highly recommended thanks to the many activities and parades going on.  

Eat Roscón de Reyes

As we’ve mentioned the Three Kings Day, it’s worth saying that, if you’re experiencing this day in Madrid, there is a typical sweet that you need to try. This ring-shaped fruity cake can be found around the city during the festive seasons. For tradition, you need to eat it on the morning of Three Kings Day but we can’t say no to sweet so you can try it anytime while in Madrid. 

Hit the slopes in Sierra de Guadarrama

After spending your winter in Madrid and doing the majority of touristy things, now it’s time to discover some of the non-touristy things to do in Madrid. Well, if you love skiing and being surrounded by mountains and snow, there is no perfect place such as Sierra de Guadarrama. You can book your stay in one of the loveliest resorts and enjoy your days in the Spanish Capital in a different way. 

Sierra de Guadarrama is a National park located between Segovia and Madrid. You can reach Sierra de Guadarrama with the local railway which will give you access to three points of the National Park; the C8 local railway line reaches Cercedilla, from where you can access by walking to La Fuenfría Valley. The C9 will take you to Navacerrada Pass and Los Cotos Pass. 

As you can see there are many ways to access Sierra de Guadarrama and the only thing that you need to do is to plan your Madrid winter trip in advance.  Believe it or not, you can reach Sierra de Guadarrama by bus as well with the Consorcio de Transportes de Madrid intercity buses. They all leave from Madrid, either from Moncloa Station or from Plaza de Castilla Station.

Things to do in Madrid in the rain

Visit Prado Museum

If you are visiting Madrid during the winter months at some point you will need to hide somewhere warm but interesting at the same time. Prado Museum is the perfect place. Book your ticket entrance to the Prado Museum and enjoy the beautiful world’s finest collection of European art which dates back to the 12th century. The Prado Museum is the ideal sightseeing to visit during your winter in Madrid. Remember that there are a couple of occasions when this museum is closed. On the 1st of January and on the 25th of December the museum is closed and on the 24th and 31s December and 6th of January they operate reduced hours from 10 AM to 2 PM.

Step inside Reina Sofia Museum  

Officially inaugurated in 1990, Reina Sofia Museum is located near the Atocha metro station and is today one of the most important sights that you need to visit in Madrid. Hosting the most important Picasso, Dali and many more masterpieces, Reina Sofia Museum is a must-see while spending time in Madrid in winter. If you’re a Picasso lover, Reina Sofia Museum is popular, thanks for being the house of the famous Picasso’s Guernica. It’s the most important artwork of the Spanish Artist and is in a permanent premier collection of contemporary art of the museum.

One of the points of pride of locals is the huge park stands in the middle of the city of Madrid. The Buen Retiro Park, Retiro Park or simply El Retiro is one of the largest parks in the city of Madrid, Spain. It is an old Royal Park, which belongs to the Royal Family of Spain.

Today this is one of the main attractions of Madrid. Locals love to walk in the park, which has become one of the most instagrammable places in Madrid during Autumn, but also lovely during winter.

Take the chance to relax in the park, surrounded by nature. You can rent a little boat and enjoy the romantic scenario. Loved by tourists is also to rent a bike to go up and down the hills of the park, we suggest to you that as well. You can go and visit the Crystal Palace of the Buen Retiro Park of Madrid.

Where to stay in Madrid

Madrid has got plenty of places where to stay in Madrid in winter. Here you can find our personal suggestion.

Q&A Madrid in winter

What is there to do in Madrid in winter?

Here are the best things to do in Madrid in winter:
Have fun and go ice skating in Madrid
Visit the beautiful Christmas Markets and try the typical sweets
Stroll around Retiro Park 
Witness NYE in Puerta del Sol
Plan a winter day trip from Madrid
Experience Madrid nightlife
Warm yourself up and take a bike tour of the city 
Take part in Madrid free walking tour
Celebrate Kings Day in Madrid
Eat Roscón de Reyes
Skiing in Sierra de Guadarrama
Visit Prado Museum 
Step inside Reina Sofia Museum
Admire Madrid Royal Palace
Enjoy the Christmas lights in Madrid

Is Madrid nice in winter?

Absolutely yes! Even if the temperatures go down, the sun still shines over Madrid which makes this city even more worth visiting. In winter you have the opportunity to enjoy the city without crowds and stroll around every single street of Madrid.

Is Madrid worth visiting in January?

January is a great month to visit Madrid. There are so many things that you can’t miss doing in January. From King’s Day to the winter activities, January in Madrid is absolutely worth visiting. It might be a bit colder but you can get the chance to have some snow as well!

Does it snow in Madrid in December?

No, not really. December is not a really rainy or snowing month in Madrid as the climate is dry.

Is December a good time to visit Madrid?

Yes! December is the perfect month to visit Madrid. Together with the many activities and amazing Christmas decorations, Madrid in December is just amazing.

Is Madrid worth visiting?

Yes, absolutely yes! With its fantastic atmosphere, great things to do and amazing photography spots, Madrid is worth visiting.

How cold does Madrid get in winter?

Very cold during the night and acceptable sunny days during the daylight. The average temperature in December/January/February is about 8/10 °C. All around the city on the mountains there is snow for the whole period, perfect for a ski retreat in Spain.

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