Madrid in December | Weather, Museums, Attractions & More

With Christmas in December, the streets of Madrid are all aglow with brilliant lights and decorations. This is the time for shopping, delighting in delicious foods, and enjoying entertainment. The capital city of Spain really knows how to celebrate the holidays! One of the most popular things to do in Madrid in December going ice skating at one of the many rinks set up around the city. There are also plenty of Christmas markets to enjoy, where you can find gifts for everyone on your list. And don't forget about the flamenco shows, tapas tours, and other festive activities that make Madrid in December so special.

Is December a good time to visit Madrid?

December is definitely one of the coolest times to visit Madrid. The city gets chilly even during the daytime as the temperature dips down. However, this helps slash the overall travel and accommodation prices too (except for the end of the month). December is also one of the rainiest months in Madrid too. The Christmas and new year festivities also make December a worthy time to visit Madrid.

Madrid in December - Why You Should Visit Madrid in December

Why you should visit Madrid in December

  • Madrid is comparatively cheaper in December (except the Christmas week) due to chilly weather and rainy days making it less favorable for tourists in Madrid.
  • Ideal for budget travelers to book cheaper flights and accommodation. 
  • Christmas lights and decorations make the city even more lively. So, if you are looking for a pocket-friendly trip to Madrid, December is your month.
Madrid in December - What to Look Out for in Madrid in December

What to look out for in Madrid in December

  • The temperature dips significantly during the month of December and there is rain on most days.
  • Less favorable for tourists due to chilly conditions outside, which affects many outdoor activities. It is necessary that one prepares accordingly in order to visit Madrid in December.

Overview of weather in Madrid in December

Madrid in December - Best Time to Visit Madrid

More about weather in Madrid in December

How hot is Madrid in December?

The weather in December is cold and so tourists don't prefer outdoor activities. However, the temperature can rise to a maximum of 11 °C in the afternoons, and during evenings, it can be as low as 2°C. 

Does it rain in Madrid in December?

There is an average of 51mm of rain during the month, which leads to downpour events spread throughout the month.

Is Madrid windy in December?

Yes, Madrid is windy in December with approximately 6 miles per hour.

Why visit Madrid during Christmas and New year's Eve?

New Year's Eve
  • Spanish Nativity scenes, or belénes, grace churches and squares across the country during Christmas, even finding a place in the Royal Palace.
  • The festive season kicks off on December 24th with a grand Christmas Eve dinner. Most establishments close around midday to allow workers to enjoy this crucial meal with their families.
  • Look for a giant white tent in a Madrid plaza during Christmas—it likely houses an indoor ice skating rink. Although the weather isn't cold enough for open-air rinks, Madrid embraces the winter tradition of ice skating. Famous rinks can be found at the Matadero and within the stunning glass-domed events room at the Palacio de Cibeles.
  • Madrid's fresh food markets come alive during the holidays. With five significant family meals on the calendar, this time of year sees the markets brimming with the finest seafood, meats, cured hams, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Join Madrid's sporty celebration of Christmas lights with the annual 10K race on New Year's Eve, known as San Silvestre. The illuminated course winds through the city's most festive streets, including Calle Serrano, around the Puerta de Alcalá, and the Ronda de Atocha. Many participants don Christmas-themed attire for this lively run!
  • Learn the tradition of eating twelve grapes as the clock strikes midnight on December 31st. Whether for prosperity or just fun, the grape-eating ritual is a highly anticipated moment of New Year's Eve.
  • Puerta del Sol in Madrid is renowned for this tradition. As the clock counts down, thousands gather for a massive celebration, turning the square into a joyous party. Confetti, streamers, music, and festive attire create a fantastic atmosphere, making it a shared experience to remember.

Plan your Christmas in Madrid

Mercado de San Miguel

Take a Walk in the Park

Head Out to Eat

Indulge in Churros and Chocolate

Visit A Nativity Scene

Bring Your Kids To Cortylandia

Plan your New Year's Eve in Madrid

12 grapes


Flamenco show

San Silvestre Race

Spanish tapas

Joy Eslava Nightclub

Best things to do in Madrid in December

Madrid in December - Royal Palace of Madrid
Madrid in December - Wanda Metropolitano
Madrid in December - Royal Basilica of Saint Francis the Great

3. Royal Basilica of Saint Francis the Great

Religious Monument

The Roman Catholic church in the central part of Madrid dates back to the 13th century. The church bells form a major attraction even though they are not rung anymore. The church has been declared a national monument and is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Madrid.

December Timing: Daily: 8 AM - 10.30 AM | Sundays: 10 AM - 1.30 PM | 6.30 PM – 8 PM

Madrid in December - Liria Palace
Madrid in December - Faunia Madrid
Madrid in December - Parque Warner
Madrid in December - Prado Museum
Madrid in December - Madrid Aquarium Zoo
Madrid in December - Parque De Atracciones
Madrid in December - Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum
Madrid in December - Take a Day-Trip to Toledo
Madrid in December - Temple of Debod

12. Temple of Debod

Religious Monument

The Temple of Debod is an ancient Egyptian temple that was gifted to Spain by the Egyptian government in 1968. The temple was originally built in the 2nd century BC and was dedicated to the god Amun. The temple was moved to its current location in Madrid in 1972 and is now one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city that's a great spot to watch the sunset.

December Timings: Tuesday - Friday – 10 AM to 2 PM, 6 PM to 8 PM | Saturday and Sunday – 9.30 AM to 8 PM

Top experiences & things to do in Madrid in December


Festivals in Madrid in December

Madrid in December - Christmas & New Years

Christmas & New Years

Date: December 25 | January 1

The Christmas lights make the streets of Madrid look lively, and the people roam throughout the city enjoying their favorite foods and drinks. The Christmas trees, decorations at Church, and lively market scenes, all make Madrid a lively scene for visitors.

Events in Madrid in December

Madrid in December - San Silvestre Vallecana

Know before you visit Madrid in December

Travel Essentials
What to Wear
What to Pack
Madrid in December - Travel Guide
Madrid in December - What to Wear in Madrid in December

What to wear in Madrid in December

  • Carry enough warm clothing, as the days may be chilly in spite of the sunshine. 
  • Comfortable shoes are necessary as you may need to walk a lot in the city.
  • Even the locals prefer to dress according to the season and not the weather. Don’t be surprised if you see locals wearing gloves and coats even on a sunny day.
  • Nights are too chilly, so it is essential to wear warm clothes. Consider wearing long jackets, sweaters, scarves, gloves, and warm socks.
  • Scarves add to the overall look and are mostly preferred by locals. So, if you truly want to be in Madrid like a local, consider wearing one. 
  • Flip-flops are a no-no (until you are on a beach)
Madrid in December - What to Pack in Madrid in December

What to pack in Madrid in December

  • Bring your raincoats, waterproof or water-repellant shoes, and an umbrella, as it might rain during December
  • Prefer packing piles of warm clothes like jackets, sweaters, scarves, mufflers, gloves, and long-sleeved dresses.
  • Carry your set of medicines along with prescriptions. 
  • Layering is always good during December, so you can pack your clothes accordingly. 
Madrid in December - Getting Around Madrid in December

Getting around Madrid in December

Metro: Metro is the most efficient and fastest manner of travel in Madrid.  With over 300 stations and 12 lines operating, it is the seventh most extensive network of metros in the world. One can buy a single ticket or ticket for airport transfer or trip-based tickets (preferred by tourists). 

Buses: The buses in Madrid run 365 days a year connecting major and minor stops throughout the city. The airport is also connected using the bus facility. Currently, there are more than 2000 fleets serving the entire city. 

Trains: Trains connect the city of Madrid to other cities throughout Spain. With two major rail stations, passengers can choose their place and can conveniently move from one city to another or even within the city too.  

Bikes: BiciMAD is the eco-friendly version of the bike used to travel within the city. Even the favorable system for tourists allows them to buy passes as per the day and enjoy bike rides within the city. With over 2000 electric bikes, there are more than 165 docking stations spread across the city.

Hacks & tips to visit Madrid in December

  • Insulated boots would be a savior for you during the winters as they keep your feet warm for long hours.
  • Keep an umbrella handy to avoid the downpours that happen during December.
  • Madrid can be windy during December, so it is necessary that you bring your hats and gloves too. 
  • Stay aware of pickpockets, especially in bustling markets or small street restaurants. 
  • Plaza Mayor is a good dining spot but is overpriced. You can avoid eating here even though you will find everyone recommending it.
  • Try leaving your passport in the hotel safe to avoid loss in cases of pickpocketing.
  • Consider traveling in taxis as the rates are pretty reasonable (only if you want to avoid public transportations)
  • Keep the applications for Taxi apps downloaded for ease of usage. Some apps you can download are Hailo, MyTaxi, Uber, and Cabify.
  • Ensure a secure bag for yourself to stay out of the reach of pickpockets
  • Carry a two-pin European continental adapter for charging the electronic devices.

Frequently asked questions about visiting Madrid in December

Is December a good time to visit Madrid?

December is one of the best times to visit Madrid, especially for those looking for pocket friendly traveling. While some outdoor activities can be taken during the day, keep evening for indoor activities.

What are the best things to do in Madrid in December?

Some of the best things to do in Madrid in December is to visit the local streets of Madrid, all filled with Christmas lights. The market jostles with local people making it more lively and you can catch some amazing deals in the Christmas sale.

Is Madrid cold in December?

It is cold during December, and temperatures may dip during the nights. However, the day temperatures in Madrid in December can be sunny and windy. 

How hot is Madrid in December?

The maximum temperature during the daytime in December is 10 ° C. It is not hot and keeps the touristy crowds away. 

Can you swim in Madrid in December?

During the daytime, you can consider swimming in December. You can also consider visiting water theme parks for a more fun-filled adventure in the pools.

Is it sunny in Madrid in December?

Yes, days are sunny and windy in December with chances of downpours.

What clothes to wear in Madrid in December?

The temperatures are cool during December, so avoid wearing shorts or sleeveless dresses. Try to opt for light sweaters, long pants and comfortable and warm clothing. However, you have to keep coats and jackets for nights and add gloves, and scarves along with it. 

Is it rainy in Madrid in December?

There is rainfall in Madrid during December, with an average of 51 mm downpours throughout the month.

Is Madrid expensive to visit?

During December, the tourist influx in Madrid is comparatively low except for the Christmas week, so the accommodation and traveling options are pocket-friendly and not expensive during December. Try avoiding Christmas week as it is costly during that time of the year. 

How safe is Madrid?

Madrid is safe for tourists as well as solo travelers. However, one should be careful of the pickpockets. Avoid walking alone, especially in the nooks of the city at night. 

What can I see in Madrid in December?

You can consider visiting local markets and old chapels in Madrid to experience the Christmas vibe.  Not many local festivals take place during December except for Christmas. 

What are the major events in Madrid in December?

Participate in San Silvestre Vallecana which is a fun-filled marathon in Madrid expecting people  from around the globe annually. 

What is the average temperature in Madrid in December?

The average temperature in Madrid is 4°C- 10° C. There are rainfalls too during December. 

What are the main festivals in Madrid in December?

Christmas is the main festival in Madrid during December. The streets are filled with fairy lights, food and drinks offerings, and the religious places like churches are beautifully decorated.