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 Madrid, 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 (Semana santa) (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 throughout the most picturesque parts of the city, like Paseo del Prado, Alcalá Street and Plaza Mayor.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 to September: 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||Good 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||Good 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|
The Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez 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. For further information, please visit https://www.emtmadrid.es/Home?lang=en-GB.
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. For further information, please visit https://www.crtm.es/billetes-y-tarifas.aspx?lang=en.
The Madrid Metro is particularly efficient and serves the entire metropolitan area. A single journey within the city centre (zone A) costs between EUR 1.50 and EUR 2, depending on the number of stations. For further information, please visit https://www.emtmadrid.es/Home?lang=en-GB.
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 2.50 for daytime fare from Monday to Friday, and EUR 3.15 at night and on the weekend, plus 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.
In order to travel in the best conditions and for your health and safety, we invite you to check all information regarding preventive measures and best practices to be respected, available on the official website of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs: https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/country-files/
Your comfort, well-being and health are at the heart of Air France's concerns, and we want to help you prepare for your trip in the best way possible. Find out more about the measures taken to ensure safe travelling on our website: https://www.airfrance.fr/FR/en/common/page_flottante/information/coronavirus.htm#notre-engagement-sanitaire
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.
There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to Spain. For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:
Tap water is safe to drink in Madrid.
As a French citizen, you do not need to obtain a visa if you will be staying in Spain for less than three months. However, your national identity card or passport must be valid for the duration of your stay.
To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Madrid and Spain, be sure to check with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in your home country for the latest travel information and recommendations. Comprehensive information that may be helpful is also provided on the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website:
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.