5 Picks for August in Madrid

August in Madrid– some people love it and others despise it. In many ways the city shuts down, with restaurants, shops, bakeries, and museums closing sporadically throughout the month. Madrileños flee the city by the car full, making their way to seaside resorts and mountain cabins.

Yet those brave souls who remain– a mix of locals, expats, and tourists who have decided that the hot August sun won’t get the better of them– are able to enjoy something that is pretty rare during the rest of the year, a quiet Madrid. Madrid in August becomes a bit of a ghost town, allowing those who stay to visit museums without the lines, stroll in the park without the crowds, and finally score that terrace table in the city’s hot spots (if they stay open).

Here are our 5 picks for August in Madrid:

1. Go on an ice cream crawl

It sounds silly, but during the hot month of August you likely will crave little else but a nice cold ice cream cone. Luckily, Madrid is filled with new places to get your fix, and they don’t close down, despite the heat! We’d recommend trying the classic arrow con leche (rice pudding) ice cream from Palazzo in Sol, followed by a short walk for apple sorbet at Heladería La Romana on Calle Hortaleza.

2. Visit a museum during its free hours

Most Madrid museums offer free admission hours, but any local knows how long the lines can get and usually prefer to pay! But the month of August is great for getting into many of the city’s museum treasures, without quit so many people. We’d recommend checking out the Museo del Traje (Costume Museum) and the Naval Museum for something different.

Reina Sofia Madrid

The modern Reina Sofia Museum.

3. Enjoy Cine de Verano

Cine de Verano is a summer cinema program held in various spaces throughout the city. Watch a movie in the open air while enjoying a warm summer evenings. From new releases to older classics, somewhere in the city your movie will be playing!

4. Learn to make gazpacho

If there was ever a time to master the art of the cold Spanish soup, it’s during August in Madrid. Most Madrileños don’t even think to turn on their ovens during the long, hot summer, and cold soups like gazpacho, salmorejo, and ago blanco save many from starvation!


Cold Gazpacho

5. Discover a new park

August evenings in Madrid make for the ideal time to check out a new park– or a hidden corner of one that you already know. From the hidden peacocks in El Retiro, to the gorgeous gardens of El Capricho, grab your special someone and take a romantic sunset stroll.

What’s your secret for surviving August in Madrid?

For more information about the weather and things to do in Madrid, click here.

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