The best thing about spending Winter in Madrid is that you can always enjoy a warm and pleasant midday sun in this beautiful city!
This season is cold and dry, and snow is very uncommon. But it can happen at the end of December and January, the coldest month.
The good news is that Madrid is filled with countless plans and activities designed for the joy and entertainment of all audiences, including Christmas activities, shopping with the best sales, concerts, and musicals.
In this article, you’ll see the best plans that every traveler has to experience if they come to Madrid in Winter, especially during Christmas time.
I aim to ensure you get the best out of your visit to Madrid on these dates. Have a memorable meeting with your family, enjoy incredible plans, and eat delicious local food!
Let’s get into it.
1. Visit Madrid’s wonderful Christmas markets
One of Madrid’s most significant Christmas traditions is visiting the traditional markets set up throughout the city.
This a perfect opportunity to find everything you were looking for, enjoy a lovely day, delight yourself with heart-warming chocolate with churros, and spend a magical time with friends, family, and loved ones.
The most famous market is the Plaza Mayor market. They usually open it from November until early January.
It has more than 100 colorful booths where citizens and tourists find all kinds of Christmas musical instruments, toys, Bethlehem figures, Christmas decorations, traditional articles from Madrid many years ago…
One of the most famous pop-up markets in the capital is the “El Gato” Market. It is hosted every year in the Westin Palace.
You can see more than 60 exhibitors who will offer selected products of fashion, crafts, gourmet, decoration, accessories, children’s fashion, cosmetics, jewelry, and collectibles.
Going on another trendy market that I love visiting is the one in the Corte Ingles of Castellana.
You can find everything from gift items for Christmas music and light shows.
They also have famous food trucks with the most typical food in Spain and great chefs such as David Muñoz with 4 Michelin stars.
You will find food from all over the world. Some of the brands you will see are Chocolatería San Gines, Santerra, Disney, Lego, El Almendrado, and many more!
2. Escape the cold in cultural experiences and museums
What if it’s raining or you have bad weather conditions in Madrid?
There are only a few options for you to enjoy here. But this city can offer you thousands of alternatives when this happens.
One of them is to spend a day in one of Madrid’s museums. The city holds more than 44 museums, including some of the most important ones in the world. So, what are you waiting for?
The most famous is the Prado Museum, with more than 3 million annual visitors. It’s a must-see.
Another one is The Reina Sofía Museum, a huge contemporary art museum that offers us the best works of Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, and Joan Miró, to name a few.
There is also the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, the third most important museum in Madrid. You can find foreign painters in the museum, unlike in the Prado or Reina Sofia museums.
These are just 3 museums in Madrid, but there are way more to enjoy a great experience while learning. You can also visit Conde Duque Cultural Center, La Casa Encendida, or Matadero Madrid. Read our related articles for more:
Cocido madrileño is one of the most representative dishes of the Spanish cuisine. It consists of a stew whose main ingredient is chickpeas, vegetables, meats, and pork bacon with some sausage.
If I lost you at “stew,” hang on because it is a unique dish, common in the cold winter months to warm up and feel at home. Because when the temperatures begin to drop, the body asks for a stew, much more than a noodle soup.
If you want to try this dish, some restaurants I recommend going to are Lhardy, La Gran Tasca, El Charolés (el Escorial), and Casa Carola. All of them are excellent options for enjoying an authentic Cocido Madrileño.
But, if you want to see the OG place to have it, visit this article that will guide you through the best restaurants in Madrid for every occasion and cuisine.
Rumor says that the theater in Madrid is undoubtedly a reference in the national cultural scene.
From great international classics such as The Lion King to true national wonders such as La Llamada, Madrid’s best musicalsshow why it is the great capital of Spanish musical theater.
Every day hundreds of plays are performed. Great musicals, classical theater, monologues, humor, mystery… everything has a place in Madrid.
Musicals such as The Lion King, Ghost, Grease, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Hair, and Follies are perfect options. Most of them are all year-round available.
As we can see, the city has so much to offer that it can even be overwhelming to know where to begin. Here’s a map with the best theaters in Madrid worth visiting.
9. Go Bowling
With the arrival of cold weather, indoor plans have gained prominence, and one of my go-to activities is Bowling. A fun plan for the whole family and friends.
I will give you a list of 3 of my favorite bowling alleys in Madrid.
1. Chamartin Bowling: Located in Chamartín station, this bowling alley has 20 totally renovated lanes, a games area with billiards, table soccer, and many arcade machines.
2. Bowling La Ermita: This is an incredible place. It is set in the ’50s. Bowling la Ermita will make you spend an unforgettable afternoon bowling. In addition to its 18 bowling lanes, and has a large recreational area, arcade machines, and football tables. The cafeteria area offers spectacular sandwiches that you can’t miss.
In addition, there are some weekends and evenings where they host events such as concerts or monologues.
Price: 5€-6,5€ | Bowling Wednesdays: 3,5€
3. CityPlay Ice Palace: My last recommendation is CityPlay at the Palacio de Hielo, a very complete leisure center where you can enjoy many bowling lanes. One of its strong points is the bowling alley with black lights.
On weekends and holidays, when it’s 9pm, the lights turn black and have many cosmic effects. This bowling alley also has arcade machines, billiards, and even mini golfs with 18 holes.
Price: 6 €-12 € | Offers combining mini golf
10. Visit Ratoncito’s Perez House
A lovely way to spend a kid-friendly winter afternoon in Madrid is to visit Ratoncito Perez’s House.
If you don’t know who Ratoncito Perez is, I suggest you read this article that might help:
This fantastic story gave rise to the famous character of El Ratoncito Perez, and it even has a museum! It is located where, according to tradition, the endearing rodent lived with his family.
The museum has two small rooms where children and adults can see the house where the mouse lived, historical documentation about the character, and the “certified” milk teeth of personalities such as Beatrix Potter, Beethoven, Isaac Newton, or Rosalía de Castro.
Very cool and out-of-the-ordinary winter activity you can only do in Spain.
11. Take the Christmas Bus to Enjoy Magical Christmas Lights
November and December are when you can take the fantastic Christmas bus, Naviluz.
This bus tours the city’s most emblematic streets and enjoys the Christmas lights in a different way.
We will make a panoramic tour of Madrid to see all the scenery and Christmas lights of the capital of Spain.
The duration of the time is approximately 50 minutes.
It is a covered and closed bus with a complete heating system and air conditioning that makes it comfortable, to be honest.
The bus has a great sound system, lighting equipment, and everything necessary for the animation on board.
The Itinerary is:
Departure from Serrano Street
Puerta de Alcalá
Plaza de Cibeles
Carrera de San Jerónimo
Plaza de las Cortes
Plaza de Neptuno
Paseo del Prado
Glorieta de Carlos V
Plaza de Atocha
Paseo del Prado
Puerta de Alcalá
You can’t miss living this great experience in Madrid. You will remember it for the rest of your life, especially on a date night or a lovely family evening.
6 euros: general admission.
3 euros: reduced access for seniors over 65 and children from 7 to 11.
Free: for children under 7.
As you can see, Madrid is full of activities to enjoy during Winter. Especially since Christmas break begins and Spain takes this holiday very seriously. Here are other important dates in our calendar so you plan your visit around those dates:
Jimena Bolívar is a seasoned travel writer with a unique passion for Spanish Food & Recipes. With a background in business and marketing, she brings a strategic and innovative approach to her writing, making her the perfect guide for those looking to truly experience the Authentic Spain. Jimena is also a Mother of 4, and is a huge fan of knitting her own clothes.