Madrid Month-by-Month: When to Visit for the Best Vacation

Ahh flamenco, cheese, wine, museums, vermouth, churros, cheese, wine….welcome to Madrid! The capital city of Spain is one that Caleb and I hold near and dear for its lively culture, INCREDIBLE food, and friendly people. We’ve been furing all seasons so we know a thing or two about the best time to visit!

Spoiler alert: the best time to visit Madrid is in the shoulder season but other months have some unique charm! In this post, we’ll give you the 411 on the best – and worst! – times to travel to this city! Because, truth be told, Madrid has something for everyone in every season!

Vamos! (translation: let’s go. You’re basically fluent now. You’re welcome.)

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✔️ Essential Info:

📍 Location: In the very center of Spain

✈️ How to get there:  Fly into Madrid Bajaras Airport or take a train.

☀️ Best months to go: April and May or September and October

🚗 Getting around:  Walking or public transport

⏰ How long to stay: at least 2 days, but longer is better!

💰 Budget: $600-$700 total for the weekend as an excellent, mid-range budget.

💴 Tipping: we recommend 10% in restaurants and leaving some change for quick-service places like coffee shops.

📞 Phone and Internet: We recommend getting Google Fi service, as you have data in basically any country worldwide. We LOVE it!

Our Personal Advice? The “TLDR”

In my and Caleb’s opinion, the absolute BEST time to visit Madrid is either in May or in early October. Both months are part of the “shoulder” travel season meaning they are less touristy but still lively enough to not feel like you’re about to bump elbows with Casper the friendly ghost.

If you plan your Madrid itinerary around these months, you’ll find a great balance of warm (not scorching!) weather and more reasonable prices than the high seasons.

We’ve been to Madrid during every season and while all months in Madrid are pretty great (ahem: always-available Rioja, Iberico ham, and manchego cheese) these are our favorite!

A crystal palace inside a beautiful green park in Madrid

Price, Weather & Tourists: what You Should Consider

Cheapest time to visit Madrid

If you’re wanting to visit the Spanish Capital City and save a buck, you’re in luck because it’s relatively affordable all seasons. However, for the cheapest prices of the year, the best months to visit Madrid are in the off-season of January, February, August, or November.

If you visit in January, February, or November, do expect colder temperatures – you won’t be sitting out on any adorable patios (Terrazas) sipping vermouth late into the evening and walking around Madrid won’t feel as enjoyable!

If you visit in August, DO expect blazing hot temperatures that still might prevent you from sitting outside as you’ll be running for the AC! During August the locals flock to the beaches of Mallorca or other Spanish islands for a Summer vacay which also helps to bring the cost down!

PRO TIP: While prices in the off-season are cheaper than other seasons, make sure to book well in advance to score the cheapest places!

>>Check out prices and availability for Madrid here<<

Months with The Best Weather

The best time to go to Madrid for warm, not scorching, weather is May and late September or early October and Weatherspark supports our opinion!

May is one of the busiest months because of the absolutely perfect weather and all the fun festivals that start to happen around the city with Spring in the air! You’ll be sipping sangria on those terrazas so much that you might even think a flamenco dancing class is a good idea. (It’s not. Especially after a pitcher of sangria. You’ll thank me later when the video doesn’t go up on YouTube.)

Late September and October bring the start of fall in Madrid which is SO PRETTY! This is the perfect time to be able to walk through Retiro Park hand-in-hand with just a light jacket on, if you’re a couple like us.

The iron gates at Retiro park in Madrid, Spain

Avoiding the crowds

The least busy times to visit Madrid are also the cheapest times – January, February, or November.

Because the temperature is cold, the crowds are just kinda….not there. Unless they’re crazy like Caleb and I who happen to still enjoy visiting Madrid in the winter!

If you don’t like crowds and don’t mind cold, you might want to consider these months. Just pack accordingly so you can make the most of the city and it’s least people-y!

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Worst Time to Visit

The absolute worst time to visit Madrid is in June and July. This is when the sun gets unbearably hot and the tourists start flocking to Madrid like pigeons to a dropped churro – they’re EVERYWHERE.

You will find big crowds at all the tourist attractions, hotels get more expensive and then there is the issue of the PEOPLE.

Avoid….avoid….avoid..avoid…avoid….avoid. (*Turns off echo machine*)

Weather and Activities For Each Month

Still unsure about the best time to visit Madrid? We’ve put together a summary of the weather and climate by month below, along with our personal insight on whether it’s a good month to visit or not and why.  

January (Off Season)

This is one of the least busy and cheapest times to visit Madrid. The holiday parties and markets are over and the whole city feels pretty quiet which is great to avoid crowds but not great if you’re looking for a super lively Madrid experience. It’s nice to be able to visit the top spots without the crowds though!

Weather: While it will be cold, you’ll still get a lot of beautiful and sunny days as Madrid isn’t super rainy year-round. On average you’ll see a high of around 50°F (10°C) to a low of 32°F (-0°C.) Very similar to January on the island of Mallorca!

February (Off Season)

February is very similar to Madrid in terms of cost and crowds – both are low as February is the off-season! The one pro to February is that Madrid has Carnival in the early part of the month. While not as epic as the islands around Spain, it’s a fun thing to see if you want something a little more lively during the off-season!

Weather: Similar to January, you’ll experience an average high of 52°F (11°C) and a low of 32°F (-0°C). However, when Caleb and I were in Madrid in February, we once had a 62°F! You’ll also see sun and beautiful days for the most part.

Retiro park in Madrid

March (Shoulder Season)

The city starts to feel a little more like Spring in March, however, it’s still not time to put away the jacket. You will find walks around Casa de Campo or Retiro becoming more enjoyable and some flowers may start to bloom!

Weather: Rain stays pretty low and the weather starts to feel a little more enjoyable. You’ll see an average high of 58°F (15°C) to a low of 36°F (2°C)

April (Shoulder Season)

Just like April on the island of Mallorca, things start to get really nice in Madrid too! The Terrazas start to open and the whole city starts to feel a little more lively. The parks start to spring up with flowers and everything starts to look more beautiful as Summer approaches!

Weather: The weather starts to warm up in April, which can make for a nice trip in combination with fewer crowds! You’ll see an average high of 65°F (18°C) to a low of 41°F (5°C) and the rainfall stays at only an average of 6-7 days per month!

a cobblestone town square with pastel buildings

May (Shoulder Season)

Ahhh, one of me and Caleb’s favorite months to experience Madrid has come! This is one of the best times to visit Madrid as the weather is warm enough to go without a coat (MAYBE a light jacket) and the crowds aren’t in full swing yet! However, the crowds are picking up here so keep that in mind when deciding how many days to stay in Madrid.

Weather: You’ll see an average high of 74°F (23°C) to a low of 47°F (9°C), with around 6-7 days of rainfall throughout the month. I told you: PERFECTO.

June (High Season)

Ugh. JUNE! It’s getting REALLY hot in Madrid and the tourists are starting to get a little unmanageable. There are festivals galore and the days are getting nice and long which is a saving grace if you guys end up having to visit in June. 

Weather: The daily average high is around 85°F (29°C) to a low of 56°F (13°C). If you guys are like us: this kind of heat is not so fun. You’ll only see about 4 days of rain though, making it nice and dry and easier for you to roast. 😉

July (High Season)

DON’T DO IT. July is rough you guys. There are people EVERYWHERE, the prices are HIGH, and the heat? I’m melting just thinking about it. If you have to travel during this time, bring lots of sunscreen and plan some “sun breaks” instead of thinking you’ll be out all day long.

Weather: The average daily high is 94°F (34°C) to a low of 62°F (17°C) – and we’ve personally experienced hotter! There are only around 2 days of rain during the month so that’s…good? I guess.

Tropical flowers hanging inside a greenhouse

August (Off Season)

August is when the locals head out on their own vacations and head to islands like Mallorca or Ibiza, so you might find a lot of restaurants closed. You will still find quite a few tourists and the heat? It’s unreal.

Weather: The weather is almost identical to July in terms of temperature and daily rainfall! 

September (Shoulder Season)

Things are finally cooling down in September making it a really nice time to visit! The weather stays warm (not melt-your-face-off hot) and the tourists start to leave which means fewer crowds and cheaper hotels and AirBnBs for you guys!

Weather: The average high drops down to 82°F (28°C) with a low of 56°F (13°C), with about 3 days of rain per month.

October (Shoulder Season)

October is another personal favorite month of ours to visit the Spanish Capital. The tourists are really heading out and the weather is perfect with the crispness of fall in the air! 

Weather: The daily average high of 71°F (22°C) to a low of 47°F (9°C) with only 6 days of rain per month on average. This means you won’t get soaked strolling from sangria bar to vermouth bar to wine bar…. #bless.

November (Off Season)

With November comes the start of the colder months in Madrid! This also means tourists stay away so you can enjoy the fewer crowds and the buzz of Christmas around the corner. If you visit at the end of the month, you may even catch a Christmas market or two!

Weather: Daily average highs drop down to about 58°F (14°C) to a low of 39°F (4°C). There are still only 6-7 average days of straight rainfall per month!

December (High Season)

Because of the Christmas season and the Christmas markets, this is one of the busiest months in Madrid – trust us, we’ve been to over 50 Christmas markets in Europe and they get PACKED! This will likely mean a trip in December is less magical than you think. While we won’t discourage you, just keep in mind it’ll be busy AND colder!

Weather: The daily average highs are around 52°F (11°C) to a low of 34°F (1°C) with about 5-7 days of rainfall per month.

There you have it! The best time to visit Madrid is in the shoulder season or the month of May or October! If you have any questions, just leave a comment and we’ll get back to you ASAP!

However, the best time to visit doesn’t matter if you don’t know how many days to stay! Good thing we can help with our guide to choosing how many days to spend in the city!

More Spain Stuff:

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A couple stands embracing while looking at the Almudena Cathedral during sunset in Madrid, with the grand architecture and clear skies in the background

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