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12 weeks before you go

Madrid holidays

Who is Madrid suitable for?
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Destination Madrid is a stunning city and a fantastic destination for a holiday of excellent cuisine, vibrant nightlife and great cultural experiences. It boasts a very long and distinct history as the royal capital of Spain and is packed with grand monuments, majestic public squares and boulevards and fantastic collections of art. Despite this grand pedigree, Madrid remains very much a forward-looking city. It has an exciting contemporary cultural scene, a great many festivals in the summer months and a nightlife that locals will assure you is the best in the world - after a holiday here you'll find it hard to disagree.

Madrid is chiefly known for its stunning cultural history. It boasts magnificent palaces like the Palacio de Cibeles and the Palacio Real as well as such grand squares as the Plaza Mayor and the Puerto del Sol. The 'Museum Triangle' houses not only the historic Prado collection, but also the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia and the Museo Thyssen Bornemisza - which between them house some of the most important artworks in Europe. Traditions like bullfighting and flamenco are very much alive and well in Madrid and there are regular shows, whilst the Bernabeu Stadium hosts the city's contemporary icons - the great Real Madrid football club.
For Singles

When: Madrid can be stiflingly hot in the mid summer months and you might prefer to head out in the late spring or early autumn when you will most likely miss the seasonal rains but catch the early or late flushes of summer heat.

Where: Madrid is a paradise for connoisseurs. Look no further than the grand museums of the Passeo Prado. The Prado Museum houses a stunning collection of El Greco Velazquez and Goya works whilst the Reina Sofia Museum is home to Picasso's Guernica and a number of Dali works and the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum accommodates a fantastic modern art collection.

Why: Madrid is an art and history lover's paradise. There is a fantastic amount to see here - the Museum Triangle encompasses only a small selection of what's on offer.

For Groups

When: Despite the intense heat, Madrid can be a lovely destination in the summer months. The crowds spill out onto the spacious lawns of El Retiro and the Botanical Gardens and there are many street festivals.

Where: Why not check out a show at Las Ventas Bullring - if you can stomach it that is! Football matches at the Bernabeu are an unforgettable experience too - especially if you manage to get tickets to El Classico!

Why: Madrid is a youthful and energetic city. There is some excellent nightlife to enjoy here including the refined and trendy neighbourhood of Barrio de Salamanca and the more edgy vibes of Calle del Espirita.

For Couples

When: If you can take the baking heat of the middle of summer, Madrid can be lovely then but you might prefer the slightly milder temperatures of Spring and Autumn - especially if you're likely to spend much time walking around.

Where: Madrid has a great many excellent attractions for couples. You could go boating on the lake in El Retiro Park, catch a Flamenco show at any of the many venues around the city or see the Spanish National Orchestra perform at the Auditorio Nacional.

Why: Madrid is a very romantic city and a great place for a couple's holiday. It offers a great number of excellent restaurants, ranging from traditional tapas joints to up market gourmet restaurants as well as a great number of elegant and stylish hotels.

For Families

When: Children might find the midsummer sun a bit intense. It can be nicer in the off season. By the time of the kids' easter holidays, the city is already very pleasant and the weather is still great in the autumn half term.

Where: There are plenty of places to take children in Madrid. There are many parks for them to play in and bustling outdoor markets like the El Rastro Market. You could take to the rides in the Parque de Attraciones or see the animals in Madrid Zoo. For fantastic views of the city, be sure to go on the Teleferico cable car.

Why: Madrid is a fascinating and interesting city for visitors of all ages. With lots of open, green spaces and kids' parks, it makes a great choice for a family city break.

Weather Madrid has a continental climate with dry and very hot summers of nearly unbroken sunshine. The temperature plunges dramatically in the winter months and its not uncommon for there to be frosts in December and January. Spring and autumn are quite mild and can be the best times of year to visit if you're intent on doing quite a lot of walking around - the summer months can induce a state of great lethargy! - though these are also the wettest seasons, so you'd be well advised to pack waterproofs.
Average monthly Temperature C Average temperature in Madrid
What to expectMadrid is a city of grand, regal heritage and a vibrant and exuberant modernity. There is a fantastic amount to see here and you might find yourself wishing you could extend your trip at the end of a weekend here. There are the fine art collections of the Prado, the Reina Sofia and the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum. There are regal palaces and grand squares. There are exciting and energetic clubs and music venues and there is the endurance of historic cultural facets - tapas restaurants, flamenco shows and bullfighting. All in all, there's something for everyone in Madrid!
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