Madrid

Best time to go and how to get there

Madrid: When to Go

Madrid is a great year-round destination, but it can be freezing in winter and boiling in summer as it's at an altitude of 2,000 ft

Carnival - a series of parades and costume parties culminates on Ash Wednesday to mark the beginning of Lent.

Fiestas del 2 de Mayo - celebrates the Community of Madrid. Expect concerts, open-air dancing, sporting events and bullfights.

Fiestas de San Isidro – a month-long celebration to honour the patron saint of Madrid, starting on May 15th. Traditional Castizo dress is worn, and barquillos (rolled wafers), buñuelos (fritters) and rosquillas (doughnuts) are sold in the streets.

San Isidro - the male Patron Saint of Madrid is honoured on 15 May, and followed by 20 days of world-famous bullfighting at the Las Ventas bullring.

Fiestas de San Lorenzo, San Cayetano and the Virgen de la Paloma – from 6-15 August, these festivals are commemorated with processions, open-air dancing, and pavement concerts.

Public holidays

1 Jan: New Year's Day
6 Jan: Epiphany (national)
20 March: San José
Dates vary: Easter Thursday and Easter Friday
1 May: Labour Day
2 May: Fiesta de la Communidad
15 May: San Isidro
15 Aug: Virgin de la Paloma
12 Oct: Spain's National Day
1 Nov: All Saints Day
9 Nov: Almudena
6 Dec: Constitution Day
8 Dec: Feast of the Immaculate Conception
25 Dec: Christmas Day

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TRAVEL ESSENTIALS

Getting There

NB, please do not rely solely on this information for your travel planning.

MADRID: BY AIR

From the UK: carriers include easyJet, British Airways, Iberia, Ryanair, Air France (via Paris). The flight time from the UK is 2 hours.

Within Europe: try Volotea, Air France, Vueling, easyJet and Ryanair.

From the USA: Iberia and Air Europa.

By train from the UK: the early afternoon Eurostar train from London to Paris Gare du Nord catches the overnight 'trainhotel' from Paris Gare d'Austerlitz, arriving in Madrid Chamartín at 9am the next morning. The return route leaves Madrid at 7pm, arriving in Paris at 8.30am, with the return Eurostar arriving in London at noon. For more info see www.seat61.com.

Getting Around

FROM THE AIRPORT: Flights arrive at Barajas Airport, about 30km from the city centre. The airport is served by taxi, metro and bus. Transfers between Terminals 1, 2, 3, and 4 are by shuttle bus. taxi stands are located outside the ground floor in all terminals. The journey time to central Madrid is 25 to 45 minutes according to the time of day, as traffic can be heavy.

BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT: The city centre has good metro and bus routes. If you should wish to see the whole city, the Circular or “C” bus route goes round the city centre, or the number 27, which goes down the Paseo del Prado-Recoletos-Castellana thoroughfare, the main avenue in the city.