Madrid On a Rainy Day: 14 Things To Do
Although it does not rain as much in Madrid as in some places, October through December can be pretty wet with more than two inches per month. Alternatively, from July through September you will barely see any rain at all. But when it rains, you want to have a backup itinerary rather than just sit in the hotel room and watch movies.
Madrid's rainy days do not have to be boring though. There are so many things you can do indoors here that the rain may make your visit to the Spanish capital even more memorable. From theatres to palaces and shopping malls to indoor markets, you can still have fun.
There are plenty of rainy-day activities in Madrid from the dozens of art galleries to thousands of retail shops, museums, and diners. The most visited museum in Madrid is the Queen Sofia National Museum Art Centre with more than 4.5 million visitors per year.
You could also enjoy a massage, a cup of tea, and a soothing soak in the Arab baths in Madrid. It is a fabulous place to spend a rainy day. You will still get wet, but your clothes won't. And leave your backpacks and bags with Bounce luggage storage in Madrid first so you don't get them wet either. Pick them up later when the sun comes back out!
Puerta del Sol
Speaking of the Arab Baths, you can head over to Puerta del Sol to be pampered at Hammam Al Andalus Baths near Plaza Mayor. There are three different kinds of thermal baths with different temperatures of water. It is said to increase circulation and tranquility, so why not try it?
Puerta del Sol is also a popular public square in the middle of the capital city of Madrid where the famous clock is, known for the ritual of the New Year's eating of the grapes with each chime at midnight on December 31st. Besides that, you can also visit the old Post Office which is now the office of Madrid's President.
You can spend one of your rainy days at the Royal Palace of Madrid. This is one of Madrid's most popular attractions and was home to the Kings of Spain dating back to Charles III. With over 3,400 rooms, you can visit this place and never see it all no matter how much it rains!
Although it is too large to let everyone just run around, there is a tour that changes every few months to give everyone a chance to see it all. But even the locals would have to go several times a year throughout their lifetime to see every room. Don't miss the Throne Room and Royal Armoury.
A rainy day in Madrid is the perfect excuse for a shopping spree at one of the local shopping centres. Although, you really do not need an excuse. Xanadu is one of the largest and most popular shopping malls in Madrid. It has over 200 retailers and diners as well as entertainment like mini-golf, bowling, and even a ski slope.
For a stellar view of Madrid while you are shopping, ABC Serrano has eight floors of shops, eateries, and leisure. You can find high-end shops Prada and Gucci to small boutiques, as there is a bit of everything here. The top floor holds a gym with floor-to-ceiling windows where you can see the city in any kind of weather.
Also known as Grand Central Square, Plaza Mayor is the heart of the city and the oldest part of Madrid. The busy place is full of dining establishments, bars, coffee shops, and retail stores as well as small souvenir vendors selling homemade items. This is literally the biggest variety of shops in Madrid.
What used to be the Plaza del Arrabal, the most popular market in Madrid until 1561 is now a popular spot for street musicians and actors, and architectural wonders, and is even home to several events and festivals. When it rains, pull up a seat in one of the eateries and watch people try to enjoy Madrid in the rain while you stay dry.
Plaza de España
The focal point of Plaza de España is the Cervantes Monument, which is a sculpture that honors the Spanish writer, Miguel de Cervantes who wrote Don Quixote. In front of this 112-foot monument is a large pond with other sculptures around it including a statue of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza.
Plaza de Espana is a pedestrianized square at the end of the Gran Via and features a few historic buildings including the two tallest buildings in Madrid. The 466-foot Madrid Tower (Torre De Madrid) and 384-foot Spain Building (Edificio Espana) are popular examples of Nouveau architecture in the city.
Although many food markets are uncovered, many in Madrid are not. The biggest market in Madrid is located in Tetuan. Maravillas Market (Mercado de Maravillas) has 250+ stalls with items from all over and is covered so you don't have to worry about getting wet. Enjoy some tapas and free samples, and learn some history.
The most famous food market in Madrid is San Miguel Market (Mercado de San Miguel) which is also perfect for a rainy day in Madrid because it is covered. This is one of the traditional markets in Madrid. It is located next to Plaza Mayor and has everything you can imagine, and even stuff you can't.
Madrid offers the biggest selection of cinemas and theatres showing films and acts in their original language. Theatre buffs will love the Lope de Vega Theatre. Located just north of the city center in Gran Via, you can watch a musical or other performance when the weather is bad. One of Madrid's main theatres, Lope de Vega has had blockbusters like Grease, Fame, and The Lion King.
The Real Theatre (Teatro Real) is another superb venue where you can spend time watching great musicals like King Arthur and Gula Gula in an 18th-century building in front of the Palace. And the Rialta Theatre features a variety of shows like Flamenco, Tamara, and Mamma Mia!
Queen Sofia National Museum Art Centre
This is one of three museums included in the Golden Triangle of Art with the Thyssen-Bornemisza National Art Museum and the Prado. The Queen Sofia National Museum Art Centre is dedicated mostly to Spanish artists, but there are plenty of international works as well.
Some of the major Spanish artists include Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Juan Gris, and Joan Miro. The most famous piece there is the Picasso painting titled Guernica from 1937. International artists include some of the finest in the world such as Yves Klein, Paul Klee, Max Ernst, and Francis Bacon.
Thyssen-Bornemisza National Art Museum
This is one of the most popular private collection museums in Madrid, Spain with a plethora of Spanish artists. The permanent collection is approximately 1,600 pieces including Rococo, Baroque, and Renaissance items from artists like El Greco, Giovanni Bellini, and Titian.
Some of the favorites here include the Portrait de Paysan by Paul Cezanne from 1905, View of Vessenots, Auvers by Vincent van Gogh in 1890, and others by Francisco Goya, Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, and Auguste Renoir. This is a fantastic way to stay out of Madrid's rain.
Prado Museum (Museo del Prado)
Known for its huge collection of European works, the Prado is considered to be one of the best art museums in the world. Established in 1819 in the middle of the city of Madrid, you will find works dating back to the 1100s that include over 8,000 drawings, 7,600 paintings, and almost 5,000 prints.
With pieces by Francisco Goya, El Greco, Titian, and Peter Paul Rubens, the permanent collection is just as popular as the temporary art exhibitions. Other notable pieces are the 1634 Artemisia by Rembrandt, Mars Resting by Diego Velazquez in 1639, and Raphael's Portrait of a Cardinal from 1510.
The Old Chamberí Metro Station
Constructed in 1919, the Old Chamberi Metro Station was closed and abandoned in 1966 and has been known to harbor a ghost, giving it the nickname, Ghost Station. It was restored to become a museum with the incredible interior still almost the same.
Madrid may not have a history of being a ghost town, but this old train station between Iglesia and Bilbao is thought to be a bit haunted. The tiny station was too small for the newer and larger trains and although you can still visit it, the trains no longer stop here.
El Corte Ingles
Some may see it as just a large department store, but it is so much more. The stunning building does hold boutiques like Hugo Boss, Versace, Bulgari, and Dior as well as Gucci, Armani, and Louis Vuitton. Yes, it is the biggest department store in Europe and the only Spanish chain store left, but it is also one of Madrid's best attractions for foodies.
The ninth floor is considered to be one of the best places to enjoy Spanish food in the city. The Flavours of Spain boasts all sorts of places to eat and drink whether you want tapas and cold meats or hot coffee, sweets, or appetizers. It is one of the most luxurious places in Madrid where you can have a drink and see the world from over 100 feet up.
Dining Out in the Spanish Capital
Whether it is raining or not, you have to eat. And eating is the perfect activity anytime, whether it's brunch or a late night meal. You can try a fine dining establishment with a tasting menu, a tapas bar, or some fast food Madrid-style. For fine dining, try Coque at 11 Calle del Marques del Riscal, Cebo at 34 Carrera San Jeronimo, or Ramon Freixa Madrid at 67 Calle Claudio Coello. They all have Michelin stars.
La Casa del Abuelo has several locations in Madrid including 12 Calle Victoria, 5 Calle Nunez de Arce, and 11 Calle Toledo. Whichever you choose, it is the perfect tapas bar serving patatas bravas, croquetas, and tortillas Espanola. For fast food, try Johnny Rockets, Takos Al Pastor, or Opera Pizza.
Take a Walk in the Rain
Why not enjoy the rain while it lasts? Grab an umbrella and take a walk in the rain. You won't melt. There will be no crowds to contend with so you can visit all of Madrid's attractions in this Spanish capital without having to stand in line.
The city is packed with history as well as great places to eat some of Madrid's best cuisine. Visit a bar or pub and eat some tapas the locals love so much. Grab a cup of coffee at one of the city's coffee bars or just stroll along Madrid's streets and enjoy the sights.
Other fun activities besides perusing the fashion and architecture on a rainy day in Madrid include going to the movies, hitting the bars, and watching a football (soccer) game at the Real Madrid Stadium. Luckily, it has a roof for rainy or cold days. Although museums and galleries are popular in Madrid, the city is also full of other indoor fun.
Don't let a little rain stop you from having fun during your visit to Madrid. The weather will clear up quickly and the sun will shine again, although you may be having too much fun indoors to worry about the weather. But when the rain stops, you can still visit the museums and so much more. No matter the weather, we think the best time to visit Madrid is any time. Even the rainy season!