Madrid is a dream city, the residence of kings and the highest capital of Europe. The city is striking in its splendor in any season, but in May, it is particularly beautiful.
May ushers in the summers in Madrid and the city is bathed in greenery and flowers. During the day, the air temperature is 25°C on average. Rain is very rare, but just in case, take an umbrella with you. It gets cooler at night, between 10°C to 15°C, so you will appreciate warm clothes such as a windbreaker or a light jacket in the late evenings.
There are many holidays and events occurring during this month. The Madrid Day, which is celebrated on May 2 deserves a special attention. The warm but not hot weather is just perfect for exploring the city’s plethora of museums, parks, cathedrals, squares and other monuments.
The end of May also marks the sale of spring collections that you can grab for discounted prices.
Things to do in Madrid in May
Madrid has something for everybody, including the most sophisticated tourist. Below are some highlights.
1. The Golden Triangle of Arts
The Golden Triangle includes the three most famous museums in Madrid: the Prado, the Reina Sofia Art Center and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.
The collections collected in these museums are considered the best in the whole world. But the reason these attractions are grouped together is because the Golden Triangle is located on the way from Sibeles Square to Prado Boulevard, with lots of interesting things to see and do in between.
2. Almuden Cathedral
The first thing you will notice about Almuden Cathedral is its appearance – it is built in the shape of a cross. The architecture of the church also has another unique feature – a mixture of styles. The interior of this main church of Madrid is distinguished by its refined taste and luxury, its sculptures, wall paintings, and ancient icons.
3. Museum of America
Given Spain’s conquests in South America, there is no wonder they dedicated an entire museum to North and South America. The whole of Europe has no analogue to this place, so you should definitely come here. The exhibits, which number about 25,000, are located in five thematic zones: “Knowledge about America”, “Real America”, “Communications”, “Society” and “Religion”. Not only the expositions, but also the building itself, made in the neo-colonial style, deserve special mention.
4. Park Casa de Campo
In late May, the nature is so full of colors that it would be a crime not to visit one of Madrid’s numerous parks. One of the best is the Casa de Campo. Here you can enjoy beautiful landscapes, feed squirrels and birds, go on boat trips on the lake, have picnics, and also visit the zoo and the amusement zone. It makes for a wonderful day out in Madrid!
Holidays, events and festivals in May
It seems that this is a city of eternal fiesta. Holidays in Madrid in May are a real extravaganza of impressions. Of particular note is St. Isidro’s Day. Some tourists come here just to see the celebrations in honor of the patron saint of the city – Isidro. But let’s talk about everything in order.
1. Labor Day (May 1)
As in many other countries, the May holidays in Spain begin with the Day of Solidarity of Workers, which is traditionally celebrated on May 1 in the world. On this day, rallies and parades are held in the city. In addition, the holiday has a second name. Because of the support of the church, Labor Day in Spain is also called San José Obrero (San José Worker).
2. Madrid Day (May 2)
The day after Labor Day, the Spaniards honor the capital city. On Madrid Day, military parades, entertainment events, concerts, theater performances and many other events take place in the city. Many restaurants even develop special holiday menus for this day.
3. St. Isidro’s Day (May 15)
Saint Isidro is considered the patron saint of Madrid and all Spanish peasants. On May 15, a lot of interesting things are happening in the city, including the beginning of a series of bullfighting at the Las Ventas arena. From this day the fights take place daily for almost the entire month.
On May 13, processions and parades are held on the main squares of the city, opening the holiday. This day it is customary for the townspeople to perform the Chotis national dance. Both children and adults, dressed in traditional costumes, demonstrate their choreographic talents to the public. The end of St. Isidro’s Day is celebrated with a great display of fireworks.
St. Isidro’s Day is celebrated for three days. All this time in Madrid there are concerts, pyrotechnic shows, thematic exhibitions and more.
Prices in Madrid in May
In late spring, the high tourist season begins in Spain, and Madrid is already awash with visitors. The number of tourists during May grows at a great rate. And the prices rise accordingly.
- Tour Price – In May, a trip through a tour operator will be 10% more expensive than in April. In June there will be another jump in prices – the cost of the tour will increase by another 5-10%.
- Flights – May airfare will be lower than April by only 3%. In June, prices will fall by another 1%.
- Accommodation – In late spring, hotels will raise prices by several percent compared to April prices. In June, the average cost of a hotel room decreases and returns to the level of April. In May, the average room rate per night is 154 euros.
- Meals – you can eat in an inexpensive middle-class cafe for about 15 euros per person. But the cost of lunch in a trendy restaurant is already an order of magnitude higher, from about 35 euros and above.
- Transfers – For one trip via bus or metro you will have to pay about 1.5 to 2 euros. It will be a little more profitable to purchase a subscription for several trips at once.
How to dress in May
Despite the 25°C warmth in Madrid in May, always carry a light sweater or windbreaker to deal with cooler days. The weather in Madrid is unpredictable and it is often windy here.
Otherwise, the sunny weather is apt for T-shirts and light clothes. Do not forget sunglasses and a cap as the sun shines almost throughout the day.
Clothing and shoes should be practical and comfortable, as you will be walking a lot in Madrid.