This blog post was originally posted on July 2, 2018 and was updated on July 1, 2019.
The dog days of summer are in full swing, but Madrid still boasts plenty of fun in the sun throughout August.
At first glance, it may seem that August may not be the most ideal time of year to visit Madrid.
Take thousands of tourists pouring into the city, subtract the locals who flee for the shores to go on vacation, add in rising temperatures, and the result may not too great at first. But while all those factors do come into play, it’s still very possible to enjoy Madrid in August. You just have to keep an eye out for opportunities—and if you’re still not convinced, said opportunities often come in the form of street parties and long, lazy evenings spent at a rooftop bar.
If you’ll be visiting Madrid in August, here are some great activities and events to include on your itinerary.
1. Step back to the Spanish Golden Age at Fiesta Corral Cervantes
Madrid in August is synonymous with street parties, and one of the best festivals runs all summer long.
At Fiesta Corral Cervantes, you’ll feel as if you’ve been whisked back in time to the Golden Age of Spanish music and theater. The event on Cuesta de Moyano features dozens of theatrical performances in a space reminiscent of 17th century stages. When you’re not enjoying the shows, browse the selection of arts and crafts and enjoy all the food and wine your heart desires.
2019 dates: July 24–September 22
2. Celebrate like a local at a neighborhood festival
Remember how we said that Madrid in August is basically one long party? The three massive neighborhood festivals that take place throughout the month have a lot to do with that. Yes, it’s true that plenty of locals leave Madrid in August and head for the beach. But those who stick around pull out all the stops.
Among the three parties, some things are the same across the board: you’ll find gorgeous lanterns strung up in the streets, free-flowing lemonade and scores of chulapos, or locals dressed in traditional clothing.
From there, though, each event takes on its own character, retaining a strong community spirit reflective of the barrio where it takes place.
- The fun starts with the San Cayetano Festival in the Embajadores neighborhood. August 6–8, 2019
- Then, the residents of Lavapiés pick things up with their own celebration, the San Lorenzo Festival. August 9–11, 2019
- Finally, it’s time to celebrate La Paloma in the La Latina neighborhood. August 14–17, 2019
3. Learn something new at the museum
Madrid’s scorching summer temperatures mean that being out and about in the middle of the day can be tough. If you can’t stand the heat but still want to explore, grab the nearest metro or bus—public transportation in Madrid is excellent, after all—and head to one of the city’s many incredible museums.
From the world-class collection at the Prado, to lesser-known yet equally fascinating hidden gems such as the Naval Museum next door, there’s no shortage of discoveries awaiting you. Spending the day museum-hopping means you won’t need to spend nearly as much time out in the hot sun, but can still enjoy Madrid’s incredible cultural offerings.
READ MORE: The Most Famous Museums in Madrid
4. Take in views from the top at a rooftop bar
It’s no secret that Madrid is home to dozens of glamorous rooftop bars, and summer is the best time of year to enjoy them.
After spending a day exploring (or relaxing by the pool—no judgment here!), take advantage of the comparatively cooler evenings to enjoy a drink with a view. From the popular terrace atop the Círculo de Bellas Artes building with iconic views of Gran Vía, to the more laid-back atmosphere offering views of La Latina at El Viajero, you could easily spend each night of your trip discovering a different view!
5. Devour the best bites in town
When visiting Madrid in August, it’s especially important to stay well-fed and hydrated as you make your way around town. Luckily, in a city with such a great gastronomic scene, that’s not too hard.
Pop into a classic local bar for a refreshing tapa such as salmorejo and wash it down with an ice-cold draft beer or tinto de verano. For dessert, nothing hits the spot quite like homemade ice cream from your neighborhood heladería!
SEE ALSO: How to Order a Drink in Madrid
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Life is too short to speak one language and stay in one place. In 2015, this philosophy took her from familiar Ohio to sunny southern Spain. Usually drinking tinto de verano, reading Lorca, or attempting to dance flamenco (not all at once). Follow her blog, Viatic Couture, for more.