15 fun things to do in Madrid in May (2024)

things to do in madrid in may

The list of things to do in Madrid in May is endless… This is by far one of the best months to explore the city!

May is the perfect time to visit Madrid as the weather at this time of the year is absolutely fabulous. It’s the only real month in which spring is fully blooming providing shiny and warm days.

The summer vibes are starting to kick in, but it’s still not too crowded, so you can easily explore all the top spots in Madrid without the hassle of long lines.

Café terraces are buzzing with locals and tourists alike, enjoying the warmth and taking their time in the sun. On top of it, the sun sets later and there is absolutely no excuse to stay inside.

It’s an excellent time for a relaxed visit, soaking up the best of city life. So go out and enjoy!

Check out the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

When in Madrid this May, don’t miss visiting the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, located near the Prado Museum on the Paseo del Prado.

It’s part of Madrid’s “Golden Triangle of Art” and houses an impressive collection that spans from the Gothic period to the 20th century, featuring over 1000 artworks. Highlights include pieces by Van Dyke, Van Gogh, Caravaggio, and Picasso among other European greats.

The museum, influenced heavily by Carmen Cervera – a socialite, art dealer, and collector, offers a unique insight into the European art history, making it a worthwhile stop for art lovers. It’s a fantastic journey through the history of European art!

Attend the San Isidro bullfight festival

The San Isidro Fair represents the pinnacle of elite bullfighting. This feria is one of the most eagerly anticipated dates for aficionados (bullfighting lovers), who look forward to enjoying some impressive performances and seeing triumphant bullfighters being carried out on the shoulders of the crowd through Las Ventas’ main door.

During the Feria de San Isidro the world’s best matadores gather for 5 weeks at the largest and most prestigious bullring on earth. If you would like to experience a bullfight for the first time or are already a bullfighting passionate, this event is a not to miss. Get your tickets now!

Spend a day in the Duero wineries

Embark on a captivating 10.5-hour tour from Madrid to the famed Ribera del Duero wine region.

With stops at three diverse wineries, you’ll experience a blend of modern and traditional architecture and taste exceptional vintages. An expert guide will enhance your understanding of wine production and harvesting.

The tour also includes visits to medieval villages and castles, adding a historical touch to your journey. Included are seasonal lunch, entrance fees, tastings, and transport.

This tour promises a day filled with rich flavors, stunning landscapes, and a deep dive into the heritage of one of the world’s top red wine regions.

Go to a football match

A trip to Madrid would be incomplete without attending a football match in Madrid. The city has many clubs but the two most important ones are Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid.

The rivalry between both teams is one of the most intense and storied rivalries in world football. Rooted in the deep historical and cultural divide of the Spanish capital, this fixture is marked by passion, pride, and a fierce competitive spirit that has endured for over a century.

Atlético de Madrid, who plays at Cívitas Metropolitano, has historically represented the working-class neighborhoods of Madrid, and their fans are deeply passionate about their team’s success.

Real Madrid, on the other hand plays at Santiago Bernabéu, symbolizes the club’s regal and aristocratic image.

Explore the city on a bike tour

Experience the heart of Madrid like never before on a leisurely bicycle tour led by a knowledgeable guide.

Pedal through the bustling streets and stop at iconic landmarks like Plaza Mayor and the Royal Palace of Madrid. Along the way, your English speaking guide will share fascinating insights into Madrid’s rich history and stunning architecture.

Perfect for all skill levels, this tour includes all necessary safety gear. Whether you’re snapping photos or soaking up stories, this bike tour is a fantastic way to see Madrid’s historical gems up close in a fun and engaging way.

Take your kids to Parque Warner

Parque Warner in Madrid offers a thrilling mix of attractions featuring Justice League superheroes, Looney Tunes, and Hanna Barbera characters.

Experience live musicals, explosive Hollywood-style shows, and cutting-edge virtual reality on a real roller coaster. The amusement park is uniquely designed, taking you from the Old West to Cartoon Village through a superhero-themed area. For added convenience, Road Runner passes provide fast access to popular rides.

This amusement park is a great place to spend an unforgettable day with the family and enjoy its exciting rides. It’s a fantastic adventure for all ages!

Learn how to cook a delicious paella

Dive into the heart of Spanish cuisine with this engaging and hands-on cooking class in Madrid, where you’ll master the art of making traditional paella.

Welcomed with a glass of Cava, you’ll join a lively group at custom cooking stations to prepare your dish. Guided by professional chefs, you’ll not only cook but also enjoy a feast with Spanish cheeses, charcuterie, gazpacho, and desserts like churros with chocolate.

The experience includes a communal dining setup and a generous wine tasting, featuring five different Spanish wines. It’s a perfect blend of learning, cooking, and indulging in a relaxed, social atmosphere.

Enjoy the festivities of San Isidro

Madrid’s most important festival takes place on the 15th, the day of San Isidro Labrador, the city’s Patron Saint. There are events throughout the city including concerts in Las Vistillas, the main bullfight festival in the Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas, and period costumes, dances, and food in the Pradera de San Isidro.

Lots of people wear traditional early 1800s costumes, either Chulapos or Goyescos. Everyone dances a chotis or a pasodoble, typical for this festival. And there are lots of food all over the place.

While there are lots to see, do and eat at the Pradera, expect the place to be completely crowded as this is a very popular event. Just take your patience, relax and enjoy the party.

Go to a basketball match

If you’re looking for something unique to do in Madrid this May, consider catching a Real Madrid Baloncesto game.

Just like the soccer team, the basketball team is an important club in Spain and Europe. They’re one of Europe’s top basketball teams with an impressive track record, including multiple Spanish and Euroleague titles.

They have a few games scheduled at the WiZink Center in May. It’s a fun outing, and you can experience the excitement of Spanish basketball live. Plus, the arena vibe is fantastic! I highly recommend you checking it out if you’re in town.

Admire the magnificent Palacio de Líria

Explore the grandeur of Madrid’s Palacio de Líria, a neoclassical gem dating back to the 18th century. As you wander through its 14 opulent rooms, an audio guide enhances the experience, weaving music and narratives to bring the palace’s rich history to life.

Marvel at the exquisite private art collection featuring masters like Goya, Velázquez, Rubens, Murillo, Greco, and Ribera. The luxurious interiors, from vaulted ceilings to ornate furniture, showcase the lavish lifestyle of its owners.

The Palacio de Líria isn’t just a random Madrid mansion; it’s a step into a world of artistic and architectural magnificence.

Enjoy the Círculo de Bellas Artes rooftop terrace

You should definitely check out Azotea del Círculo in Madrid!

It’s on top of the Círculo de Bellas Artes and offers the most stunning 360-degree views of the city – probably the best in Madrid.

They serve delicious Spanish and Mediterranean dishes all day, from breakfast to dinner, and their rooftop bar has a wide variety of drinks at reasonable prices.

The vibe is vibrant, perfect for a sunny lunch or a fun night out. Plus, it’s a year-round spot with comfy seating and a retractable roof.

Totally worth a visit for a memorable sunset from a beautiful rooftop!

Indulge yourself at the Arab baths

Experience the ultimate relaxation at Hamman Al Ándalus in Madrid, a serene spa designed with Arab flair.

Unwind with a soothing massage, sip mint tea, and soak in luxurious thermal baths lit by candles. The historic Arab baths offer both steam rooms and cold pools, ensuring a refreshing and revitalizing experience.

Choose from a variety of massage oils like rose, lavender, or red amber for an even more personalized touch. If you’re seeking extra pampering, upgrade your visit to include an exfoliating body scrub.

A visit to Hamman Al Ándalus is a perfect escape to tranquility and rejuvenation after a couple of days exploring the city.

Enter a new world at the Museum of Illusions

The Museum of Illusions Madrid offers a playful and mind-bending experience that will challenge your perceptions and trick your senses.

Dive into interactive exhibits like the Vortex tunnel, see astonishing mirages, and engage in fun with 3D puzzles. You can even play with perspective to shrink your friends or see your head on a dinner plate!

It’s a fantastic place to learn about the human brain and perception while capturing hilarious and memorable photos. Perfect for a unique outing, make sure to bring your camera for endless photo ops in this intriguing world where nothing is as it seems.

Book a private walking tour around the old town

Explore the heart of Madrid with a private, guided tour that dives into the city’s rich history and vibrant culture.

Stroll through iconic spots like the Royal Palace and Plaza Mayor, marvel at the Almudena Cathedral, and indulge in delicious tapas at San Miguel market. Discover why old Madrid is also known as Habsburg Madrid.

Enjoy the flexibility of setting your own pace and choosing from multiple departure times each day. Plus, don’t miss dining at Madrid’s oldest restaurant for a truly local experience.

This tour is perfect if you’re looking to see the best of Madrid up close and in a more personal way.

Madrid weather in May

Madrid sees some of its best weather days during spring. This leads to a lovely climate with warm, fresh air and clear blue skies for most of May. Some rainfall is common but don’t be deterred by it.

Temperatures in April in Madrid

With a range of 9-23ºC on an average for the month, Madrid is pleasantly warmed up in May.

  • Expect highs of around 23°C (74°F) and lows near 9°C (47°F), making the climate mildly cool with a gentle breeze.
  • There’s a slight chance of rain at 12%, with light rain typically amounting to about 10.7 mm (0.42 in) on days it does rain. The average amount of time that the sky is clear or sunny (partly cloudy or less) in Madrid during May is 14.0 hours (58% of the day).
  • May offers approximately 14.4 hours of daylight.
  • In May, Madrid is somewhat humid with an average amount of 54% (relative humidity), which could be described as comfortable. On average, the wind blows at a speed of 19.1 kph (11.9 mph).
  • You can check the forecast for your trip on your mobile weather app or on my favorite website/app – Windy.

What to wear in May in Madrid

As a rule of thumb, opt for lightweight and breathable fabrics, as they are comfortable for the mild spring temperatures. Layer your clothing so you can easily adjust your outfit throughout the day.

  • Take a thin jacket (for example, a windbreaker) that does not take up much space and that you can put on and take off throughout the day. You’ll need it especially at night or if you go out early in the morning, but during the day the weather is usually fine. If you wear something for your neck, such as a scarf, take it with you as well.
  • As for shirts and sweaters, take short-sleeved shirts and a couple of thin, long-sleeved sweaters.
  • Depending on the weather earlier in the year, consider whether to wear long pants or shorts. I usually wear thin long pants at this time of the year, but by the end of the month it’s almost always warm enough to take shorts and dresses out of the closet.
  • As for footwear, take closed shoes but not too hot, such as light sneakers.
  • Also bring an umbrella, as in May some days light rain falls.

All in all, the smart thing to do is bringing a mix of lightweight and warm clothing.

Accommodation in Madrid in May

If you’re planning to find a hotel in Madrid for May, just a heads up that it’s peak season then, so prices are going to be higher than usual.

Try to book as early as possible!

Is May a good month to visit Madrid?

May is the perfect month to dive into Madrid’s rich culture and festive spirit.

This is the best time to visit Madrid if you want to experience the city’s vibrant traditional festivals.

  • The historical reenactment of May 2nd, 1808, is a must-see. The event brings to life the popular uprising against French forces with hundreds of participants, horses, carriages, and cannons. The main activities include a military parade through Madrid’s historic sites and dramatic recreations at key locations like Puerta del Sol and Plaza de Oriente.
  • One of the highlights is the San Isidro festival (May 15th), Madrid’s patron saint celebration. It’s a fantastic experience where you can head to the meadow, taste different types of local cookies called rosquillas that can be ‘listas’, ‘tontas’, ‘francesas’ and ‘de Santa Clara’, and dance the chotis, Madrid’s most traditional dance.
  • Additionally, there’s a Corrida Goyesca on that day. This is a Goya bullfight in which the participants are dressed in 19th century costumes. Being a very special event occurring only once a year, tickets sell out fast so buy yours now to ensure you don’t miss it out.

On top of it, the weather is ideal with longer, sunny days that aren’t as hot as the summer months. So make the most out of it!

Wondering when’s the best time to visit Madrid? I’ve got you covered. Check out my easy month-by-month guide to figure out what each season has to offer. Let’s get your trip to this awesome city sorted!

1. Kick off the year with some cool January activities in Madrid
2. Find cool stuff to do in Madrid in February
3. Things to do in Madrid in March
4. April is one of the best months for visiting Madrid
5. Catch the spring vibes in Madrid this May
6. Don’t miss the best of Madrid in June
7. Top tips for enjoying Madrid in July
8. What to do in Madrid in August
9. Have a great September in Madrid
10. Going to Madrid in October? Here’s what to do
11. Dive into Madrid’s cool activities in November
12. Make your December trip to Madrid unforgettable

Start planning your upcoming trip to Madrid

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