Madrid through the seasons

  • Madrid en todas las estaciones del año
    estaciones.jpg

Madrid enjoys a moderate continental climate blessed by the ever-present sun, which shines through the seasons, giving our city more hours of sunlight than any other European capital. No matter what time of year you visit, in Madrid you will enjoy our light and an inexhaustible array of culture, food and entertainment. Take note of all the sights and proposals we suggest and visit us at any time of the year.

SPRING

Spring is the season of flowers, when nature puts its best foot forward, when the days get longer, and you want to enjoy the sun, the evenings, and that first wave of warmth. This is when Madrid celebrates, among many other events, the urban culture festival known as Mulafest, the Madrid Half Marathon, the Zurich Rock´n´Roll Madrid Marathon & 1/2 Marathon, the Mutua Madrid Open, and the Fiestas de San Isidro. Pencil the following activities in your “Madrid” diary:

Visit the Rose Garden at El Retiro. This is a very tranquil space located within El Retiro Park. It becomes particularly beautiful throughout the months of May and June, as the roses come into bloom. It has over 4000 rose bushes with the most dazzling array of colours and around 500 different varieties. Imagine the scene (and the aromas) of this space designed by Cecilio Rodriguez, the city’s head gardener in 1915. 

You can also visit the nearby Cecilio Rodriguez Gardens (also at El Retiro). Beautiful gardens with ponds, fountains, pergolas... and even peacocks!

Rosaleda de El Retiro.

Explore the gardens at the Sorolla Museum. In addition to the museum itself, where you will find an excellent collection of paintings by the Valencian artist, there is also an Arabic inspired garden that is an oasis in the middle of the all hustle and bustle of central Madrid. Enjoy its stunning vegetation and be carried away by the sounds of trickling water from its fountains.

If you are looking for gardens away from all the noise of the world, you should check out the Prince of Anglona Gardens or the nearby Huerto de las Monjas. It’s hard to believe they are right in the middle of the city.

SUMMER

During the summer months, it is usually very hot in Madrid, so it’s best to avoid wandering around tourist spots in the heat of midday and early afternoon. Even so, the locals still go out at this time of year and very much enjoy getting out and about. Summer is when they celebrate Madrid Pride, music festivals such as Mad Cool Festival, Noches del Botánico and Paraíso Festival, as well as Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, the Veranos de la Villa festival, and the major August Festivities dedicated to San Cayetano, San Lorenzo, and La Virgen de la Paloma. This season also marks the start of Spanish league football with La Liga. But have a few different suggestions:

Mosey around Casa de Campo “in the shade”. There’s nothing quite like heading to Madrid’s largest public park to enjoy the coolness lush green of this immense space, covering an area of more than 1500 hectares. It is also home to various tourist attractions, such as: the Amusement Park, the Lake, the Zoo Aquarium, the Madrid Teleférico, the Venta del Batán bullring, and the multi-purpose Madrid Arena. Around the Lake  there are a number of interesting restaurants that also draw people to this natural beauty spot in Madrid. It’s well worth visiting restaurants such as El UrogalloCafé del LagoLa Parrilla del Embarcadero and El Ancla del Lago which also have large outdoor terraces.

Enjoy the terraces as evening falls. There’s nothing quite like sitting out on a shaded terrace area, enjoying a nice cool drink, and watching city life pass by in the evening. Rooftop terraces are particularly popular at the moment (such as Azotea del Círculo, Terraza de Sabatini, Doñaluz and the Picalagartos Sky Bar, to name but a few), but street-level terraces are also just as relaxing: RamsesFlorida RetiroRaimunda

Terraza Sabatini © Álvaro López del Cerro

Visit the Hipódromo de la Zarzuela racecourse. If you like outdoor spaces and horse racing, plan a visit to the Hipódromo de la Zarzuela Racecourse during racing season. In summer, there are races in the evenings, and you can have a great time in this authentic space on the outskirts of Madrid. Guided tours are available on Sunday mornings. In addition, the building, designed by the visionary Eduardo Torroja, is considered one of the masterpieces of 20th century architecture.

AUTUMN

Madrid is particularly charming at this time of year. Everything changes colour, and important events are held such as the Spanish Golf Open, Architecture Week, the Feriarte Antiques Fair, Madrid’s International Jazz Festival, the Autumn Festival, and the Madrid Dance Festival. Not forgetting the popular Halloween party, the perfect time of year to visit the Amusement Park and Warner Park with its themed horror rooms, as well as cultural centres such as Casa de México that hosts special activities for the Day of the Dead. We have three more suggestions for you:

See the colours of the Botanical Garden. If you like to discover the rhythms of nature, step into this incredible exotic space, where you can see how the trees and plants adapt to the cold as the leaves change colour. It is very centrally located, right next to the Prado Museum, and inside there are more than 30,000 plants from all over the world.

Lose yourself in the Sabatini Gardens. Next to Madrid’s Royal Palace, you will find these stunning gardens that have become famous for the beauty of their sunsets. From the pond in the centre of the garden, surrounded by fountains, sculptures, and trees, you can see how the yellow and red tones reflected by the sun are projected onto the spectacular façade of the Royal Palace.

Explore El Capricho Park. This romantic and stately park, designed by the Dukes of Osuna, has so many spots you will simply love. They say it is one of the most beautiful gardens in Madrid. It was designed in 1784, but for a time it was abandoned. Until in 1999 Madrid City Council took it over and opened it for the enjoyment of the city's residents, who can visit the park on weekends and during public holidays.

WINTER

Madrid is usually cold in winter, but there’s still plenty to enjoy in the city. One advantage is that the days are usually very sunny. Blue skies and beautiful light invite you to stroll around the city decked in its winter charm. In addition, as Christmas approaches, the streets are flooded with beautiful coloured lights, ice rinks to go skating, and Christmas markets, the San Silvestre Vallecana race, and the spectacular Epiphany Procession. This is also the season when Madrid celebrates two major culinary events, Madrid Fusion and Gastrofestival. Here are a few ideas to enjoy Madrid even more at this time of year:

Explore Quinta de los Molinos. This large park in Madrid stretches over more than 20 hectares and is home to a wide variety of trees (olive trees, pine trees, eucalyptus trees, almond trees, etc.), as well as several fountains and a lake. During the month of February, this public garden is an absolute delight to explore. This is when the cherry trees are in blossom, and the park is blanketed in delicate white petals. A landscape that reminds us of the Jerte Valley (in Extremadura) and the almond blossom orchards of Japan.

Quinta de los Molinos

Shop for gifts in the Plaza Mayor. If you are planning a get-away to Madrid in December, head on down to the Plaza Mayor and pick up some gifts at the beautiful Christmas market. While you are there, you can get some souvenirs of Madrid at the Casa de la Panaderia shop (located inside the Plaza Mayor Tourist Centre). There, you will find traditional products and iconic souvenirs of Madrid: violet confections, traditional caps, wafers, Seseña capes, chocolate Menina figures, hand-made leather bags, ceramic jewellery, silk handkerchiefs, decoration designs, etc.

 

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