Madrid in winter is great to experience. The city in Spain is always great to visit. But in winter there are some special things to do and see!
Here, you'll read everything you need to know about the city in winter. Things to do, special events, Christmas, and much more. I cover it in this article!
Table of Contents
Why visit Madrid in winter?
There are many reasons why you should visit Madrid in winter! Madrid is great for its food, history, and culture. It's one of the best cities in Spain to visit. Winter is a great time to go to the city. The atmosphere in the city is amazing in winter!
Also, the climate is very good. It can get cold during this time. But it is rather mild, so it does not hinder you from exploring the city.
There are many great things to do in Madrid in winter.
Also, the feeling of the city changes. There are all kinds of changes to make winter even better. For example, the Christmas decorations in the city are magical!
There are also many beautiful photo spots in Madrid. So if you love photography, you should go to this city too!
What is the winter weather like in Madrid?
It does not get as cold in Madrid as in other major cities in Europe.
The average temperature is about 50°F (10°C). With the lowest average temperature in December. Then, it is 48.2 °F (9°C), so bring a coat!
There is a dry climate in Madrid, so rain is not that common in the city. But in winter it can rain on some days. So if you are going in winter, an umbrella can be convenient sometimes.
Where to stay in Madrid in winter?
There are many great places to stay during the winter in Madrid. The center of the city is small and you can walk almost everywhere.
For that reason, the most convenient place to stay is in the city center. There are many good hotels there.
How to get around during winter?
In Madrid, you can walk to most sights. The city center is quite small, so you often don't need public transport.
But public transport in Madrid is also very good. There are buses, metros, and trains.
Things to do during Madrid in winter
There are many great winter activities in Madrid! Here, I outline some things that you should definitely do in winter.
1. Go to Retiro park
Retiro park is one of the best parks in Madrid. It is one of the largest parks in the city. Visiting this park is also one of the best things to do in Madrid in general.
You find the park in the middle of the city. So it is easy to go here whatever you were doing before this.
It is a park with many beautiful sculptures, monuments, and galleries. Also, there is a lake and many events occur here.
The park is always fun to visit. But in winter it is more magical. Especially when there is snow! Is the perfect place for a relaxing stroll in winter.
2. See the festive decorations
Madrid has some of the most beautiful decorations during the winter months! You should see them when you visit Madrid in the colder season.
From the end of November until the start of January you find colorful lights everywhere. From streets to buildings to squares.
Famous Spanish designers and architects come together to design these lights. That's great! Every year there is a unique and remarkable display of lights.
Thus, Madrid is like a piece of art during winter!
3. Do a day trip from Madrid in winter
When you visit the city in summer it can often be too hot to do a day trip from Madrid. So what better time to do it than during the winter?
The city of Toledo is a popular day trip from the capital. You can go there by car in about one hour. But you can also go there by high-speed train, which is only 30 minutes.
The city of Toledo has a very interesting history and is famous as the city of three cultures. Furthermore, it was the capital of Spain for a time.
Another day trip to consider during winter is a visit to the city Cuenca. It is a place that is on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.
The place looks amazing. There are many buildings on the hill. Furthermore, you can see here many churches. Also, the view from the bridge is amazing!
4. Go Christmas shopping
There are several good shopping areas in Madrid. For example, Calle Gran Vía is the major shopping street in the city. You find here large and well-known shops.
Another great place for some Christmas shopping is at Calle de Preciados!
But during winter in Madrid, there are several Christmas markets as well. These are the best places to get Christmas gifts and to get in the Christmas mood!
One of the best of these is the Christmas market at Plaza Major. It takes place from the middle of November till the beginning of January. There is a large number of lovely stalls.
5. Take part in winter sports
If you want to combine a city trip with winter sports, Madrid is also a good place for that! Near the city, you find the ski area Valdesqui.
Valdesqui has about 30 pistes and it is one of the largest ski areas in the region. There are two restaurants and there is a ski school.
The area is perfect for a day trip from Madrid! To reach Valdesqui from Madrid you can drive there yourself. The journey by car is about 1 hour. Another option is to go by bus or by train. These trips take 1.5 hours and 2 hours.
6. Warm up and experience culture in Madrid in winter
The museums in Madrid are some of the best museums in the world. During the whole year, they are a must to visit when you go to Madrid.
They are the ideal place to see beautiful artworks and learn about history. Also, there are so many of them! So you can choose what type of museum you want to visit.
If you're in Madrid in winter, museums are great to warm up. Even though winters are mild in Madrid, the museums are a welcoming place to be.
One of the best museums in Madrid is the Prado museum. There, you can see all kinds of paintings by very famous painters. These painters include Rubens, Titian, and Goya.
7. Go ice skating
Madrid is a good place for ice skating! Whether you are great at this or are a beginner, it's fun to do!
There are several ice rinks in the city. You find them in many squares, which is convenient. Furthermore, most of them also have restaurants, bars, and cafes with refreshments! This makes going here even more fun.
8. Eat some churros in Madrid in winter
When you visit Madrid you have to taste churros! More specifically, churros with chocolate.
Especially during winter, this is a great thing to do! The cold weather is a good combination with the warm churros and cholate.
One of the best places to try this treat is Chocolateria San Ginés. They have some of the best. Locals and tourists go here to taste their delicious churros and chocolate. You find this place near Plaza Mayor. Furthermore, it is not an expensive place.
Christmas in Madrid
Christmas is a special time in winter. And there are some great things to do during this specific time!
See the Christmas trees
This is one of the best things in Madrid in winter. During Christmas time the city of Madrid has many Christmas trees. These are most of the time huge and have many decorations.
You find them in different places in the city. For example, they are at Plaza España, Puerta del Sol and Plaza San Juan!
Ride the Christmas bus
Riding the Naviluz Christmas bus is a great activity during Christmas! This bus drives through the city and goes by the most amazing Christmas lighting of Madrid.
From the double-decker bus, you have the best view! Furthermore, it allows you to see the best of the lights in the city in a short amount of time.
New Year’s Eve in Madrid
During New Year's Eve, there are many festivities in the city of Madrid.
Puerta del Sol is the main place where New Year's Eve celebrations happen in the city. From midnight people flock to the square.
Before midnight, the clock counts down. Then at midnight people eat 12 grapes, which is a tradition in Spain. Furthermore, there is a light show and there are fireworks.
On television, you can also see live coverage of Puerta del Sol.
Thus, when you are in Madrid during New Year's Eve this is something you don't want to miss.
Events in winter
In winter there are several events in the capital of the country.
One of the best events in Madrid in winter is Carnival. It is a mixture of Spanish and Latin-American traditions. During this event, the streets of Madrid fill with music, dance, costumes, and fun. Moreover, every year the festival's main event takes place somewhere else.
Another interesting event is San Silvestre Vallecana. Every year on the 31st of December there is a 10 kilometer run with lots of people. It is a great way to end the year.
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