This post has been updated on November 17th, 2020
Usually when winter is approaching most of the people chose as a winter destination somewhere in eastern Europe. Madrid in winter is not considerate that much. But you will be surprised by the many things that you can do in Madrid in Winter.
You can start your winter in Madrid with a delicious hot chocolate and churros in one of the most popular bars and ending by spending your evening around the Christmas Market in Madrid. You will be amazed by the diverse things to do in Madrid in winter and that’s why we decided to put together our list of what to do in Madrid in winter.
Why you should visit Madrid in the winter
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 raining 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.
Weather in Madrid in winter | Plan a November in Madrid
If you are planning your trip to Madrid in winter the first thing that will come up in your mind is: How is the weather like in Madrid in wintertime? Despite the common sense that will say to you that in Spain there is always sun, the position of Madrid, in the centre of the country makes it a little different compared to the cities on the coast.
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 going 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 degrees and during the night it drops to 4.
So, be prepared to that, wearing layers, dropping off jumpers especially in the hot metro system of Madrid.
The weather during Christmas in Madrid
The weather in Madrid in December is around 10 degrees and the lowest can be 4 degrees. 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 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 become a fairytales white theme park.
Madrid in January Weather like
What’s the temperature in Madrid Spain in January?
The weather in Madrid during January and February is overall the same with the minimum temperature around 3 degrees. So, if you are thinking about what to pack, bring warm clothes with you.
Visiting Madrid in January, especially at the beginning of the month, before the 6th you will still feel the Christmas vibes as the last day of the festive season is the 6th.
Why? Because the Three Kings are coming and bringing the presents. This is an old tradition linked to the sacred arrive of the Three Kings to the Jesus stable a few days after Christmas.
What to do in 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 in 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.
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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 it out a couple of places where to go for ice skating. Nice locations, full of lights that will hit up your Christmas birthmark.
Are you ready to put 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 rink in Madrid which you should check it 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
- Galeria de Cristal del Palacio de Cibeles (Open daily from 11 AM until 9 PM – 21/12-07/01)
Fancy for a drink with a view? Discover the best rooftop bars in Madrid!
Christmas Markets Madrid
Who doesn’t love Xmas Markets and the Christmas lights? Considered one of the most wonderful time 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.
NYE in Puerta del Sol
Madrid is a very touristic place, especially during Christmas. If you are planning your trip in winter in 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.
Skiing in Sierra de Guadarrama | Madrid winter break
After spending your winter in Madrid and doing the majority of touristy things, now are you thinking about what is next. 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. Where is Sierra de Guadarrama? Sierra de Guadarrama is a National park located between Segovia and Madrid.
How to reach Sierra de Guadarrama?
The local railway (Tren de Cercanías) gives access to three points of Sierra de Guadarrama 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 Novacerrada 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 in 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 winter
Cuddle yourself with a coffee when is cold
There is nothing better than a coffee when is cold outside, or either a tasty hot chocolate. Not many know that Madrid has got a vibrant independent coffee shop scene, with many amazing bakeries and instagrammable bars.
Visit one of the many Madrid cosy coffee shops in the city centre. You might be interested to accompany some typical churros with the hot chocolate, like a local. Our suggestion is the HanSo Cafe, in the Malasaña neighbourhood, a must-see place for every traveller.
Try Typical Christmas Sweets
During your Madrid in winter itinerary, you can’t miss trying the delicious sweets typical for Christmas. If you are sweet lovers you are in the right place.
- Turrón which 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 bring Spanish children their presents.
Another typical food which you need to try while you are spending your time 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 walk in the park
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.
Things to do in Madrid in the rain
It can happen during your Madrid in winter retreat that is going to rain. In the Capital of Spain, is rarely that will rain more than a couple of days in a row. Overall is winter everywhere, but there are many things to do in Madrid on a rainy day too.
Those are some suggestions if you feel depressed in the rain. Don’t let the weather conditioning your holidays. Check our guide about Madrid, in order to have more suggestions about.
- Visit the Prado Museum
- Visit Madrid Reina Sofia Museum
- Enjoy a day to the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium
- Watch a Flamenco show
- Go for tapas in a typical local bar
As you can see there are many things that you can consider to do if it is raining day in Madrid. Just think about what it will suit you better, go for it and don’t let a bit of water ruin your trip to Madrid in winter.
Visit the Prado Museum
If you are visiting Madrid during winter months at some point you will need to hide somewhere warm but interesting at the same time. Prado Museum is the perfect place.
The Prado Museum is the ideal sightseeing to visit during your winter in Madrid. If you are visiting Madrid January remember that the 1st of January the museum is closed. Visiting the Prado Museum Madrid in December the 25th of December it will be closed. The 24th and 31st of December and 6th of December the opening hours are reduced from 10 AM to 2 PM.
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.
- Hotel Villa Real
Plaza de las Cortes, 10, Centro, 28014 Madrid, Spain
- Hyatt Centric Gran Via Madrid
- Gran Via, 31, Centro, 28013 Madrid, Spain
- NH Collection Madrid Paseo del Prado
- Plaza Cánovas del Castillo, 4, Centro, 28014 Madrid, Spain
- Hotel Urban
Carrera San Jerónimo, 34, Centro, 28014 Madrid, Spain
- Gran Hotel Inglés
Calle Echegaray 08, Centro, 28014 Madrid, Spain
- Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques
Cuesta Santo Domingo, 5 y 7, Centro, 28013 Madrid, Spain
- Vincci Soho
Calle del Prado, 18, Centro, 28014 Madrid, Spain
- Pestana Plaza Mayor Madrid
Calle Imperial, 8, Centro, 28012 Madrid, Spain
- Hotel Indigo Madrid – Gran Via
Silva, 6, Centro, 28013 Madrid, Spain
Best time to visit Madrid during the year
Madrid is a big city and, like almost all the capitals, it has got a really good and functional public transport service. You can easily get around Madrid by tube, bus and even by walk. If you have never been to Madrid when you will purchase the tickets you will need to add the Multi Public Transport Card (by adding 2 euros 50)
If you are travelling with someone else you don’t need to purchase two as you can top up for two as well.
You can use this card to reach the airport as well, with an extra cost and keep in mind that you must use the airport ticket on the day of purchase.
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Essentials things to pack for Madrid in winter
If your Madrid winter break is short you can easily take just your backpack with you and pack the essentials but warm clothes.
In your essentials things to pack for Madrid in winter, you shouldn’t forget
- Comfortable but warm shoes and waterproof would be amazing
- Colourful clothes if you are a woman
- Hats gloves and scarf
- Waterproof backpack in case of rain
Best time to visit Madrid during the year
If you are flying from somewhere warm and not cold yet you will feel the difference once you will lend in Madrid. The temperature during wintertime in Madrid can be very low and, if you are not used to it, you should wear something warm. Hats and warm scarves are recommended and if you are a woman and you love taking pictures, a colourful dress is highly recommended.
So, are you ready to discover the beautiful winter in Madrid? Pack your luggage or backpack and fly over this wonderful destination.
If winter is not the right month for you, visit Madrid in Spring and enjoy the beautiful landmarks with a different perspective.
Best time to visit Madrid in winter
If you love taking instagrammable pictures in Madrid, for sure, you should wear something warm but at the same time colourful. Wearing a scarf, hat and gloves is our main suggestion as Madrid in January can be very cold.
Are you looking for a transfer from Madrid Airport?
Madrid in winter
We have been to Madrid a couple of times during winter and during spring/summer. We must say that every time we have been into the city we loved it. If you are visiting Madrid in August you will spot the difference between summer and winter. Summer in the Spanish capital can be very hot but, if you are visiting Madrid in May, you will enjoy the lovely sunny weather without feeling the heat too much.
This is definitely the best time of the year to visit Madrid. The temperature is just on the right level to be acceptable. From April to mid-June, the temperature is right in order to don’t sweat like in July or August. So if you are asking us what’s the best time to visit Madrid we would say around springtime where the day is long and you can enjoy the city better.