Madrid is the capital as well as the most populated city in Spain, making it a hotspot for tourists. The city has a Mediterranean climate during the spring and summer months and a semi-arid climate during the winter and fall months. There is not much in the way of precipitation and the sun shines just about every day.
The best time to visit Madrid depends on your personal preferences as well as why you are going to Madrid in the first place. If you are going for a specific holiday or event, you may not be able to choose when you go. For example, Madrid celebrates key events like Holy Week (Sumana Santa) in March, Spain's national day is October 12th, and the summer festivals start in May.
However, being aware of the weather, temperatures, and other factors can help you know what to pack and what to put on your Madrid itinerary. For the most part, the seasons are similar to many other places in the world. Summers are hot, winters are cold, and spring and fall are somewhere in between. How long you plan to stay plays a part as well. If you're here for a long weekend, see our guide to 3 days in Madrid to see as much as you can.
So, the best time to visit Madrid for you may be the summer if you plan to hit the beaches and enjoy some water sports. Likewise for outdoor activities, although you may enjoy the cooler months of spring or fall if you enjoy warm weather instead of hot. Winters are great for skiing, ice skating, shopping, and enjoying the holiday season.
Regardless of when you visit Madrid, you do not want to have to lug your belongings with you wherever you go. But if you are worried about leaving them in the hotel or rental home, choose from many convenient luggage storage locations in Madrid.
Summer in Madrid: June - August
If you are a fan of heat and sunshine, summer may be the best time for you to visit Madrid. Even with the high temps, the low humidity keeps it bearable. The average temperature ranges from 80 to 85 degrees F (27 to 31 degrees C) for the high and 60 to 65 degrees F (15 to 18 degrees C) for the low.
You probably will not need your umbrella during the summer because the average rainfall total between June and August is less than one inch (10 millimeters). But if you are looking for sunshine, Madrid is the place to be in the summer with an average of 11 hours of sun per day.
Because of the warm weather, you should pack plenty of cool clothes like t-shirts, tanks, and shorts in white or light colors. Make sure to pack your sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, swimsuit, and sandals as well. You may also want a long-sleeved shirt or light jacket for cool nights in June.
Summer in Madrid is busy as well as popular with tourists. There is so much to do both inside and out, from activities on the water to music festivals to the Assumption of Mary holiday in August. It is also the best time of year for key events, festivals, and carnivals. In June, visit the Royal Botanical Gardens for the Noches del Botanico Festival.
The Boombastic Festival, Fan-Fan Fest, Ciudad del Rock, Paraiso Festival, Madrid Pride Week, and Resurrection Fest are just a sample of the music festivals in June celebrating electronic music as well as rock, jazz, and other genres. Then there is the Mad Cool Fest in August, which is known all over the world.
But if you don't like crowds, peak season is not the time to visit Madrid. People come from all over for the summer festivals and great weather, starting in mid-June. Hotel prices are high as well during what they call shoulder season. Nobody wants to pay high accommodation prices.
The time to visit Madrid for fewer crowds would be late summer or early fall. This is also the best time for hotel prices. However, if you want to hit the beaches, enjoy the summer festivals, or spend a lot of time outdoors, this is the time to visit Madrid.
Fall in Madrid: September - November
For those who enjoy cooler weather, fall may be the better time for you to visit Madrid. The average high temperatures of fall in Madrid range from 60 to 75 degrees F (13 to 26 degrees C) for the high and 45 to 55 degrees F (6 to 15 degrees C) for the low.
There is more precipitation in the fall with the average rainfall total between September and November being close to 2 inches (45 millimeters). The sun is not as friendly this time of year either with an average of fewer than 7 hours of sun per day.
September - October is typically the best for those who like cool but not cold, weather. As the Spanish capital starts to cool off, you will need to bring warm clothes like jackets, sweaters, and maybe even a coat. But you will also need cool clothes for early September during the warm afternoons because it can reach the upper 70s at times.
September is a laid-back month compared to early July or August as the city cools down and you start needing warm clothing. The good thing is that there are fewer tourists than during the high season and the hotel prices will be much lower. If the relaxing pace and pleasant temperatures are better than intense heat for you, fall is a great time to visit.
But there is plenty to do in the fall in Madrid. Early autumn is packed with festivities due to the cooler months that follow the hot and sticky summers of mid-July. In October, visit the Complutense University Campus for the DCODE festival. It only lasts one day so plan accordingly.
The city has many key events such as the festive street celebrations for Noche en Blanco. The Festival of Otono, also known as the Autumn Festival, in October is one of Spain's most celebrated music festivals as well. Spain's National Day is also celebrated in October.
Many say this is the best time to visit Madrid as far as great weather goes. But if you are the type who likes the hustle and bustle of July-August summer crowds, average temperatures in the upper 80s, and tons of sun, you may want to change your trip to summertime.
Winter in Madrid: December - February
The best weather for many is in January-February when it gets cool and crisp outside with a chance of snow flurries but not a blizzard. Winter is perfect for shopping, dining out, and the holidays. The average temperature ranges from 49 to 54 degrees F (10 to 12 degrees C) for the high and 37 to 39 degrees F (3 to 4 degrees C) for the low. With the wind chill, it can get down below freezing in the evening.
Winter in Madrid also has quite a bit of precipitation with most of it being rain although you may see a few flurries here and there. The average rainfall total between December and February is about 1.7 inches (43 millimeters). You will not see much sun either with an average of just under 5 hours per day.
Pack your winter coat, sweaters, and plenty of long-sleeved shirts for the cold winter months of Madrid. Remember mid-December can be extremely chilly so be sure to bring your hats, scarves, and gloves as well.
Some of the most popular key events in the winter months in Madrid include Puerta del Sol Christmas markets, Immaculate Conception Day, and New Year's Eve in December. January brings New Year's Day, the Three Kings Parade, and Epiphany in January. And in February you can celebrate the Madrid Carnaval and the ARCO Art Fair.
The entire city is lit up with festive spirit and it is prime shopping season during winter in Madrid. If you are visiting Madrid on Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve, you can enjoy all sorts of festivities, parties, and a magical atmosphere overall. It is also the best time to visit attractions like the Royal Palace during the low season for tourism.
Many shops in European cities like Madrid feature holiday sales this time of year. So, if you don't mind light showers or wearing your heavy coat, you can save a lot of money with the winter budget-friendly options in full swing. The low crowds make it even more pleasant.
However, if you are not into cold weather or you are planning on partaking in some water or beach activities, winter in Madrid is not for you. To avoid the high season and crowds but still enjoy outdoor fun, visit the city in the late spring months of April or May.
Spring in Madrid: March - May
As the sun starts to shine more and the air begins to warm up, the city comes alive with flora and fauna as well as events and festivals. Many say this is the best season weather-wise. The average temperature ranges from 60 to 71 degrees F (16 to 21 degrees C) for the high and 42 to 51 degrees F (6 to 11 degrees C) for the low.
You may want to pack your umbrella for spring because the average rainfall total goes up during this time. Between March and May, you may see up to 2 inches of rain (51 millimeters). However, this is when everything starts to bloom, and the sun starts to come out more with an average of 8 hours of sun per day.
In late March and mid-April, the temperatures are at their finest with highs in the 70s, so pack some cooler clothes as well as some warm ones. The nights can get chilly though, making it a good idea to pack your jackets and sweaters.
Spring in Madrid is sensational with the flowers blooming and wildlife becoming more visible. This is a popular time to visit the parks like Retiro Park or Casa de Campo, which is the largest park in the city with 4,200 acres.
Holidays and festivals are also held in the spring. For example, Semana Santa, also known as Holy Week, and San Jose (Father's Day) are key events enjoyed in March. The Madrid Marathon, Holy Thursday, and Good Friday are celebrated in April, Dos de Mayo.
May is one of the busiest months in Madrid as far as public holidays and celebrations. Labor Day is May 1st, Dos de Mayo is on May 2nd, Feast Day of San Isidro the Patron Saint is May 15th, Gastrofestival is May 16 - 29, and Feria del Libro runs from May until June. Meander through Plaza de España to see the excitement in a busy area of the city.
When is the best time to visit Madrid for you?
Madrid is a popular city year-round with its Mediterranean culture, pleasant weather, and festive events all year long. From the high season of summertime to the low season of fall, the best time to visit depends on your preferences and plans. If you are visiting Madrid to enjoy the beach and sun, of course, you will want to visit in the summer.
Winter is perfect for those who enjoy the holiday season, excellent discounts on just about everything, and the possibility of just a flurry of snow. Springtime is the best time for nature lovers and those who like the sun (like brunch on a warm terrasse) but not the hot temps. And fall is wonderful for cooler weather, autumn festivals, and colorful trees.