There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Madrid each year.
The main ones are listed below.
For this tradition held on the eve of Epiphany, a procession of colourfully decorated floats is accompanied by boisterous music, through the streets of Barcelona, distributing sweets to children.January 6 Epiphany (Día dels Reis) (national holiday)
This is an especially important day of the year for Spanish children, since it is on Epiphany (and not Christmas) that they receive their gifts. The holiday is celebrated quietly with family members.The week before Easter Holy Week (national holiday)
Holy Week, which begins on Palm Sunday and ends with the Easter Vigil, is an important time in Madrid. Numerous celebrations and services include huge processions in the narrow streets of the old city before arriving at Barcelona's Gothic cathedral.May 1: Labour Day (national holiday) May 2: Fiesta de la Comunidad de Madrid (Dos de Mayo, regional holiday)
On this day in 1808, Napoleon's troops put down an uprising in Madrid. Many concerts and dance parties organised carry on late into the night, especially in the Malasaña district.June 3–August 30: PhotoEspaña (local event)
This highlight of photography and visual arts features around 60 exhibitions, held in museums, galleries and art centres. The festival also organizes debates and discussions, making Madrid the world capital of photography every summer.June 12: Fiesta de San Antonio (local event)
One of the most popular traditions in Madrid: young single women flock to the Ermita de San Antonio de la Florida, to beg Saint Anthony to provide them with a partner by throwing pins into a font and dipping in their hands. Street fairs, including many activities for children, are also held on that day.October 12: Spanish National Day (Día de la Hispanidad, national holiday)
On this day, Spaniards commemorate the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus in 1492. The anniversary is celebrated each year with a military parade along the Paseo de la Castellana, attended by the Spanish royal family and drawing thousands of spectators. Festivities also include a number of cultural events (exhibitions and shows) as well as a fireworks display and dance parties.December 25: Christmas (national holiday) December 31: New Year's Eve (national holiday)
Thousands of Madrileños pack into the central Plaza de la Puerta del Sol, holding little bags of grapes, to wait for the clock on the Casa de Correos that gives Spain its official time to strike midnight. As the hour arrives, everyone clutches their handful of grapes in readiness and then eats one grape at each of the twelve chimes, to ensure good luck for the twelve months to come. Champagne flows and best wishes are exchanged all round to ring in the new year, with celebrations extending into the early hours.
|Month||Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Average Rains (MM)||Best Time to Travel|
|January||3/37||10/50||37/1.5||Not the best period to go|
|February||4/39||12/54||35/1.4||Not the best period to go|
|March||6/43||16/61||26/1.0||Not the best period to go|
|April||7/45||17/63||47/1.9||Not the best period to go|
|May||11/52||21/70||52/2.0||Good period to go|
|June||15/59||27/81||25/1.0||Good period to go|
|July||18/64||31/88||15/0.6||Good period to go|
|August||18/64||31/88||10/0.4||Good period to go|
|September||15/59||26/79||28/1.1||Good period to go|
|October||10/50||19/66||49/1.9||Not the best period to go|
|November||6/43||13/55||56/2.2||Not the best period to go|
|December||4/39||10/50||56/2.2||Not the best period to go|
Madrid's Barajas International Airport is located about 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) from the city centre.
Getting around Madrid using public transport is easy and relatively inexpensive. The Madrid Metro and the city's many bus routes serve the entire metropolitan area non-stop.
Madrid's bus network offers dense coverage of the city and the routes are efficient, fast and convenient. Buses run every day from 6 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. 2 lines of night buses, called búhos (owls) start running when regular service ends, from 11:45 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. A single ticket costs EUR 1.50.
Madrid City Tour operates around the city on bright red double-decker buses, with two different sightseeing routes. Buses on the daytime routes run between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. in Summer and between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. the remainder of the year.
The Abono Turístico tourist pass is the most inexpensive and convenient way to get around Madrid. It offers unlimited use of the buses and the Metro during its entire validity period. Passes are available for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 7 days, starting from EUR 8.40.
The Madrid Metro is particularly efficient and serves the entire metropolitan area. A single journey within the city centre (zone A) costs EUR 1.50.
Taxis are plentiful in Madrid. It is always easy to find one, at any time of the day or night. The initial charge is EUR 2.40, then EUR 1.25 per kilometre.
Upon your arrival in Madrid, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organise your stay.Plaza Mayor Tourist Center
Offers practical information and useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).
At various locations throughout the city, Madrid's tourism authority also operates smaller kiosks offering information and recommendations for visiting Madrid and its surrounding area:
The website maintained by Instituto de Turismo de España (Turespaña), Spain's official tourism institution, provides a wealth of information on Madrid.
See your doctor before you travel. It is also recommended to take out insurance covering medical expenses and repatriation before your trip. Madrid counts several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists.Vaccinations
There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to Spain. For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:
There are no specific food safety risks.Food safety
There are no food safety risks in Madrid.Water
Tap water is safe to drink in Madrid.
For stays of less than three months, travellers from the Schengen area, as well as those from the countries of the European Union not included in the area, need only be in possession of a national identity card or a passport valid for the duration of their stay.
As a general rule, all other travellers are subject to visa requirements, although citizens of some countries may enter Spain for a short stay of up to 90 days without a visa.
For further information, visit the website of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs: www.exteriores.gob.es/Portal/en/ServiciosAlCiudadano/InformacionParaExtranjeros/Paginas/Inicio.aspx
To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Madrid, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.
Here are a few basic Spanish phrases that will make your stay in Madrid a little easier:
As is the case elsewhere in Spain, tipping is not expected in Madrid. In principle, the service charge is included in the bill. But if you are particularly pleased with the service, you may certainly round up the bill or leave a few extra euros on the table.