Madrid in May – is it worth visiting? Weather, how to dress, prices 2023. What to do in Madrid at the end of spring, public holidays, where you can go – in a detailed review by good Time for Trip.
You have every right to doubt, but from our point of view May is the best month for traveling. Not for those, of course, that end at the warm sea. And certainly not for those aiming for the few surviving glaciers and skiing.
We are talking here about another, much more widespread trips format: sightseeing and educational!
So, in the epilogue of spring or at the dawn of summer – whichever you prefer – it’s time to go to unknown or well-known lands. To enjoy the spectacle of the burgeoning nature. And try to recharge with at least a fraction of the energy that it generously gives to everyone. And to learn something new, of course.
In this sense, the idea of spending May in Madrid – a few days or the whole month – looks extremely promising. Especially when you consider that in addition to the warm weather, which clearly promotes tours in the city and trips to its suburbs, you will also expect completely non-ordinary events.
In the form of traditional, but held in the Spanish capital only once a year,
One of them is timed to the Day of Madrid, May 2. And the second lasts for 3 days at all – this is how St. Isidore, the Labourer, the heavenly patron of the city, is remembered here.
However, let’s start with the main thing. For only after studying it and not being intimidated, the tourist is convinced that the trip can take place in theory.
Weather in Madrid in May
It should suit an active traveler who intends to see and visit as much places as possible. Although recently spring in Spanish capital ends on such a positive note, that anyone forget about palaces, churches and even excursions in Prado, rushing to the sea – it becomes too hot for walking through the urban jungle.
For example, in May 2022, Madrid by the middle of the month became not just warm, but frankly sultry. And by the end of it, street thermometers by noon began to show something in the area of +30-33 °C.
Not constantly – frankly hot days were replaced by rather cool ones, when the atmosphere didn’t want to warm up above +20-22 °C. At night, you were left wondering what to wear. Since after sunset the temperature ranged from +18-20 °C to +10-12 °C.
Though in recent years in the beginning of May Madrid has been more predictable. During the first decade, the air rarely warms up above +26 °C. And at night the atmosphere cools down to +11-15 °C.
Sunny days are in the vast majority, what makes white-skinned tourists exercise a certain caution. And, in particular, force them to stock up on wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses.
Otherwise, you will encounter certain troubles when exploring the iconic sights of Madrid. For example, you will not be able to catch the right angle for photographing in the open space. Or just decide that you’ve had enough of walking around the hot squares and avenues in the middle of the day.
The average monthly precipitation in Madrid through May rarely exceeds 30-40 mm. And the number of not just cloudy, but clearly rainy days – maximum 2-4 for the whole month – usually is so small, that it is not able to make adjustments to the plan of excursion events.
One way or another, but before the visit, we recommend you occasionally view the latest forecasts of the state meteorologists. And make timely changes to your own plans.
For example, if there is a high probability of rain, instead of a walking tour through the city streets, it’s better to visit one or all three museums of the “Golden Triangle of Arts”. Maybe take a ride to Segovia, located just north of the capital of Spain. Or visit Toledo – this city is guaranteed to sink into your soul in absolutely any weather.
How to Dress
Despite the general optimism of weather forecasts, we advise you to stock up on some clothes that can warm you up. In particular, take windbreakers and cardigans, sweaters and sweatshirts with you to Spain!
After all, this country is considered the most mountainous in all of Europe. As for the Spanish capital, it is located on a vast plateau at an altitude of about 700 meters above sea level.
In view of this, Madrid, even at the end of May, observes significant differences in daytime and nighttime temperatures. And a tourist dressed only in a shirt and shorts risks specifically freezing during a late-evening tapas tour.
Equally, don’t forget to bring sunscreen with you or buy it on the spot. Because, as mentioned above, in the middle of a May day, the streets of Madrid are hot. And the sun bakes with such force, as if it intended to bake tourists to the crust.
- Maybe It’s a Reason to Rent a Car in Spain
A couple of people can rent a separate apartment in Madrid at the end of spring ffor about 100-110 € per day. Moreover, if you take care of solving this issue in the winter, you will be able to settle almost in the center.
For example, Precioso apartamento en el corazón de Madrid is located very close to the Reina Sofia Museum and Retiro Park, just a 5-minute walk from Atocha Train Station. The apartment is small, but well equipped and has earned a “9” rating on the Booking.
The T-Homes – Cuenca apartments, which cost even less than 100 € per night for two, also received excellent reviews. An improved version for four with two bedrooms will cost only 140 € per day.
T-Homes – Cuenca are located relatively far from the city center, but near the Metro Cuatro Caminos station. So having settled at this point in Madrid, you are unlikely to experience any inconvenience when sightseeing.
Tours and Cars
By the way, it is not necessary to plan a route and get interesting facts about a particular place in the Spanish capital by your own. Since guided tours here are very inexpensive compared to Rome or Paris, the same Barcelona.
For example, for a daily subscription to open-top Hop-On Hop-Off buses, which provide an opportunity to get acquainted with the city in a short time, they charge only 25 €. And for just twice the amount you will be taken to both Segovia and Toledo!
To buy a ticket to the Prado, which makes it possible to avoid the queue at the ticket office – and in May it can be very long – will work if you spend less than 20 €. After paying € 37, you will become a participant in a walk through the main museum of Spain in the company of an English-speaking guide.
That is, you will be able to learn much more about the true masterpieces exhibited in the halls of the Prado!
If excursions around Madrid and beyond are quite inexpensive pleasures, then not everyone can afford to hire a car in Spain. Since even a tiny vehicle will be asked to pay from 55-60 € for a day of rental. Plus, in some cases, it will freeze an impressive amount of deposit on the card account.
What to Do
We have published detailed routes for exploring the most interesting places in Madrid in the relevant material. But for your convenience, of course, here we will place an abbreviated version of our guide.
Plus, we remind you once again that the first half of May takes place in Madrid under the sign of two grandiose holidays. On the City Day, dedicated to the anniversary of the celebration of the uprising against the Napoleonic troops of 1808, a colorful military parade and other entertainment events are held in the Spanish capital. Even more eventful is the period from May 13 to 15, when in Madrid St. Isidore’s Day is celebrated with pomp.
We also advise you to pay close attention to the main museums in the Spanish capital. Fortunately, the trio of the most famous is located within walking distance from each other – next to the Prado Boulevard. And in principle, a tourist who is not too receptive to painting can get around everything in 1 day.
It is also worth looking into a couple of other extremely interesting places. Definitely deserves a visit the Madrid Museum of Joaquino Sorolla, the most famous Spanish Impressionist.
Lovers of the beautiful will definitely like the collection collected by the Marquises of Serralbo. Moreover, it also lodges in the family mansion, located just half a kilometer from the Royal Palace.
Naturally, you should pay a visit to the royal residence. Justifiably considered one of the largest palaces in the world and surrounded by magnificent gardens, which are truly a wonderful sight in May.
For the company, go to the main city cathedral of St. Almudena. The long-term construction, commissioned only at the end of the 20th century. After the end of the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona!
Two of Madrid’s historical squares are among the top attractions.
We mean the elegant Plaza Mayor, dating from the beginning of the 17th century. And standing on the site of the city gate Puerta del Sol. In the paving stones of which the famous “zero kilometer” is embedded. According to tradition, all distances in Spain are counted from it!
Where to Go
We mentioned the need for a day-long trip to Segovia in May above. In this section we will give another weighty reason for this – in the city is located one of the most beautiful royal palaces of Spain, La Granja. Standing in the middle of a well-groomed and very green park!
Also at the end of spring there is every reason to go to the another summer residence of the monarchs, the Aranjuez Palace. Perhaps also on a special “Strawberry train” – this fragrant berry of the new harvest begins to appear on the shelves of Spanish stores long before the onset of summer.
Naturally, you should visit the Escorial. It is quite possible that in the very first place!
Because in the summer months, the area in which this grandiose palace-monastery stands obviously overheats. But at the end of spring you will still be able to enjoy walking around both the beloved castle of Philip II and the surrounding gardens.