This blog post was originally posted on March 2, 2016 and was updated on February 11, 2019.
With the post-holiday slump officially over and spring just around the corner, Madrid begins to take on new life.
If you’re considering visiting Madrid in March, you’ve made an excellent choice. Temperatures are pleasantly warm compared to the winter months, but you’re still beating the oppressive heat that’s not uncommon in summer. Plus, with so much to see and do around town, we guarantee you’ll never be bored. Here are just a few ideas to add to your agenda to get you started.
1. See a spectacular show at the Festival Internacional de Arte Sacro
Every year, dozens of artists specializing in sacred music descend upon Madrid in March to showcase their talents at the Festival Internacional de Arte Sacro. Even if religious music isn’t your thing, don’t count this event out just yet. With 60 incredible performances scheduled for the 29th edition of the festival (March 7-April 13, 2019), the program includes scores of world-renowned artists who have performed on the international stage.
This year’s event also features a special tie in with the año Lorca, a yearlong celebration commemorating the 100th anniversary of Spanish literary icon Federico García Lorca’s arrival in Madrid. As a result, several performances based on Lorca’s works will also be showcased at the festival.
2. Visit Madrid’s famous museums
The good thing about visiting Madrid in March: it’s still not high season yet. Not only does an early spring visit show a commitment to traveling responsibly, but you’ll also have many of Madrid’s most iconic spaces practically to yourself. Take advantage of the thin crowds to check out some of the city’s most iconic museums, such as the Prado (which is celebrating its 200th anniversary in 2019) or the Reina Sofia. And don’t forget about the scores of lesser-known galleries and museums, either!
3. Support women artists and designers at Femme Creators
Since its inception in 2013, the Mercado del Diseño has made a name for itself as Madrid’s premier art and design market. The next edition, scheduled for March 9 and 10, 2019, goes hand-in-hand with International Women’s Day. Mercado del Diseño: Femme Creators will fill Matadero Madrid’s sprawling 6,000-square-meter event space with the work of more than 150 female designers and creators. Come support these talented women and pick out a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork, clothing, or home decor that will help you remember your time in Madrid forever.
4. Dress up and celebrate Carnival
At this time of year, you’ll find a Carnival celebration happening nearby no matter where you may find yourself in Spain. What makes Madrid’s celebration special, though, is the fact that it forces revelers to get off the beaten path. From March 1–6, the majority of the celebrations will take place in some of the city’s lesser-known neighborhoods, making this a great opportunity to explore beyond the center of Madrid while indulging in a fabulous party at the same time. When you get hungry, treat yourself to the official Carnival snack: chocolate sardines!
5. Discover your new favorite terrace
The arrival of spring in Madrid can only mean one thing: terrace season has officially begun. And there’s no better way to celebrate than by grabbing drinks al fresco with good friends. Whether you prefer a classic rioja, Spain’s iconic gin & tonics, an ice-cold craft beer or anything else, it’s the perfect time of year to take happy hour outside. To take your experience to the next level (literally), don’t miss one of Madrid’s best rooftop bars for fabulous drinks and unbeatable views that will take your breath away.
6. Get out and smell the blossoms
No matter where you are in Madrid in March, you’ll probably notice a sweet-smelling aroma wafting through the air. This springtime scent comes courtesy of the city’s almond and cherry trees, which burst into bloom for a glorious few weeks early in the season. The blossoming trees themselves provide gorgeous backdrops throughout the city, from classic Retiro Park to an offbeat community gathering space in Lavapiés. Take a relaxing walk and enjoy the springtime magic!
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Since 2005, Cyra has lived in the UK, Portugal and Spain working as a professional tour guide. But it was Seville’s charm that captured her heart, and she hasn’t looked back since moving to her favorite city for food, wine and quality of life.