Madrid in the summertime is magical and full of life. From flamenco dancing to endless tapas and more, there’s plenty for you to take advantage of while enjoying Madrid’s long, sunny days.
Whether you’re studying abroad in Madrid or just passing through on a weekend trip, live like a true summertime Madrileño with these must-do activities.
1. Try All of the Spanish Cuisine at Cámara Agraria
Though this farmer’s market takes place year-round, you won’t want to miss out on your chance to sample delicious varieties of cheeses, vegetables, meats, and more. Cámara Agraria takes place the first Saturday of every month just outside of Casa de Campo – Madrid’s largest park. Feasting on fresh local foods followed by a leisurely stroll through the park? Sounds like the perfect summer day to us.
2. Ditch the Heat in Madrid’s Most Famous Museums
When you need a break from the sunshine, explore some of Madrid’s most well-known museums. Discover works by famous artists, such as Goya, Velazquez, and El Greco, at the Museo del Prado, or check out pieces by Picasso and Dalí at the Museo Reina Sofía. With so many museums in this beautiful city, there’s something for everyone’s artistic tastes in Madrid.
3. Dance the Night Away at Mad Garden Festival
Spend your Madrid summer nights jamming to the sounds of national and international artists from all musical genres at the Mad Garden Festival. This Festival runs from the end of June through the end of July, and has hosted artists like The Lumineers, David Bowie, and more. With the Madrid skyline as a backdrop (the festival takes place at the botanical gardens on the Universidad Complutense campus), you’re in for the music festival experience of a lifetime.
4. Be a Tourist & See the Sights
Whether Madrid is your home for the summer or just for the weekend, there are a couple of things you have to do while spending time in the country’s capital. Here’s a few to help you get started:
- Take a picture with El Oso y el Madroño in Puerta del Sol. The quintessential symbol of Madrid, this statue of a bear and a strawberry tree is a must-see landmark.
- Visit the Temple of Debod, a reconstructed ancient Egyptian temple in Madrid’s city center.
- Relax with a cup of café con leche and people watch at Plaza Mayor.
5. Immerse Yourself in Spanish Culture at Veranos de la Villa Festival
If arts and culture are your thing, the Veranos de la Villa Festival in Madrid is your ideal summer festival. Spanning July, August, and September, the Festival offers everything under the sun, including performances from prestigious Spanish artists and showcases of flamenco dance, musical theater, and more. The Festival is all about bringing the community together and making the most of a Madrid summer. Check out the Festival’s schedule of events, and see a few for the true summer in Madrid experience.
6. Indulge in Churros Con Chocolate
One of Madrid’s most famous sugary treats – churros con chocolate – is sure to satisfy your summer sweet tooth. Check out San Ginés between Puerta del Sol and Plaza de Ópera – this chocolatier serves up the most famous churros in Madrid, and is the perfect location to stop for a snack amid your adventures in the city center.
7. Catch an Outdoor Movie or Theatre Performance
Attending an outdoor movie screening or theatre performance in Spain’s capital is a lot like heading to a drive-in movie back in the United States, except much, much better – because you’re smack dab in the middle of the urban metropolis of Madrid! Check out Urban Beach Cinema for your summertime movie fix (they also have food trucks and DJs for you to enjoy in-between flicks). If theatre is more your niche, head over to La Fundación Olivar de Castillejo for outdoor cultural events all summer long.
8. Get Your Shop On
Trendy, elegant, chic, classic – the Madrid shopping scene has it all. For the glamorous shopper, the golden mile in the Salamanca barrio is where you want to be. If bohemian chic is more your style, head to the Chueca neighborhood for unique pieces with unbeatable prices.
9. Relax on a Rooftop Terrace with Friends
There’s something enchanting about summer nights in Madrid – the city lights, the stars, the crisp air. With rooftop restaurants being Madrid’s newest hip craze, make the most of these magical evenings (and live like a true Madrileño) by venturing to a nearby rooftop terrace with your local and international friends. Indulge in rich tapas and take in the breathtaking views of the city at rooftop restaurants like HAT, just off of Plaza Mayor, or El Viajero in the La Latina neighborhood. With delicious food, spectacular views, and even better company, these are the Madrid summer memories you’ll cherish for the rest of your life.
10. Recharge in Madrid’s Green Spaces
You may be in the middle of an urban concrete jungle, but you’re never far from nature in Madrid. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city life to destress in Madrid’s parks and green spaces. Parque del Buen Retiro is a great place to start. Centrally located downtown, the 118-hectare park offers tree-lined walking paths, fountains, and more. You can even rent a rowboat with your friends to paddle back-and-forth on the park’s pond.
Feeling inspired to spend a summer or semester exploring all that Madrid has to offer? Check out all of our study abroad Madrid programs.