When you first think about summer holiday, you instantly think of a beach. It is what most people will do. All you want to do is lay down and enjoy the sun. This image is what most people associate with a summer holiday.
But did you know that summer in a city can also be fun? Do you know how you can spend an exciting summer in a big city such as Madrid? If the beach holiday does not fit your schedule or plans for some reason, the alternative of spending the summer in the city also sounds amazing. In case you decide to visit the Spanish capital this summer, here are a couple of suggestions you need to consider to spend an awesome summer in Madrid.
Seize the morning
Morning is such a beautiful part of the day in summer. Despite the fact that you are on holiday, wake up early and enjoy this amazing experience while you walk down the streets of Madrid. It will not be as crowded during the day, and it will definitely be less hot. Morning is such a perfect setting for a peaceful walk around the central city area. Stop by one of the lovely street cafes and have your Spanish breakfast or take a cup of coffee to go.
Then let the walk bring you to one of the Madrid’s parks. The Retiro Park is in the city center, so it is quite convenient to visit it. There is some special vibe in the park in the morning. The air is rather fresh, and there are not many people. Yes, you will probably come across a busy runner or an enthusiastic photographer. But if you prefer solitude and if you want to enjoy nature, try visiting the park in the morning.
The Crystal Palace in the Retiro Park
Another great location for a nature-inspired, morning walk is the Botanic Gardens. With its seven outdoor areas and five greenhouses, which holds an impressive collection of over 90.000 plants, flowers, and trees, the garden is a perfect location if you want to explore natural life. If will surely keep you busy the entire morning, and perhaps you will extend this walk until lunch time. The Botanic Garden is also in the city center. In fact, it is next to the Retiro Park.
Find an accommodation with air-conditioning
Since the temperature can get high and it might be rather hot during the day, we always recommend that you look for an apartment that has an air-conditioning during the summer months. It is unlikely that you will need it throughout the year, but when it comes to July and August, it can get too hot during the day, especially around 2 pm or 3 pm.
Besides the air-conditioning, another thing you should think about concerning finding accommodation is the location. If possible, you should always choose to rent an apartment in the center of Madrid. This location provides a dose of convenience when traveling to Madrid and exploring the city area. Most of the city landmarks will be within walking distance in case you choose an apartment in the center.
Enjoy Spanish cuisine
Renowned worldwide, Spanish cuisine is perfect to explore while you are visiting Madrid. Famous dishes such as Spanish tortilla, croquettes, hues rotos, are all part of the menus which you will come across as you explore the local restaurants during the lunch time. In case you are renting an apartment in the center of Madrid, you will be able to find restaurants rather quickly, as lots of them are actually located in the central area. If you want suggestions on which of them to try out, check out our Gastronomic Guide with restaurants, pastry shops and other places to eat out in Madrid.
Embrace the siesta
Siesta is a nap time in Spain. It usually happens from 2 pm until 5 pm, and it means that some restaurants, cafes and even shops can be closed during that time. Siesta is a traditional custom, which some people love, and some people do not. If you want to have some rest in the middle of the day, simply stop by your accommodation and enjoy having rest in the apartment during the hottest period of the day. It would be a perfect break to prepare you for an evening out. However, if you are not tired, and you want to get the most out of your day in Madrid, we have an indoor and outdoor activity suggestions for you.
Visit the museums
If you do not want to take a nap and you prefer to spend the middle of the day indoor, you should stop by museums. They are air-conditioned, so it would be a pleasant walk away from the heat. Consider this visit a delightful cultural tour where you get to experience a glimpse of cultural life and historical event that shaped the life of the locals. Go to the Golden Triangle of Art and choose one of the three museums to visit. The Prado Museum, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía and Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum are three museums you should explore. All three of them are in the center of the city, quite near each other, so if there is enough time, you can always choose to visit two in one day. However, to make sure you explore them indeed, you should focus on one of them and take as much time as you need it to look around.
Stop by a swimming pool
Here is another amazing, middle-day activity for all outdoorsy people – swimming. Madrid may not have a beach, but swimming is an activity you will definitely want to try out during the hot summer days in Madrid. Simply choose on of the local pools and enjoy the day. The swimming pool season in Madrid starts from May, and it lasts until September (the exact dates might vary from year to year). Most pools are opened from 11 am to 9 pm every day, but this can also vary depending on the facility and you will often find community pools that open as early as 8 am. The entrance for adults starts at around 5 Euros. Children and seniors have a discount, and the entrance is generally more expensive on weekends and holidays.
Relax by the pool during hot summer days in Madrid
Parque Deportivo Puerta del Hierro
One of the biggest swimming pools in Madrid, Parque Deportivo Puerta del Hierro stretches on over 300,000 square meters. Its outdoor pool is known as one of the largest ones in Europe, being 130 meters long. Besides the swimming pool, there is a golf course, tennis courts, and other areas to play different sports, making this complex into a wonderful sports park. There are grassy areas for enjoying the sun, as well as children’s pool. It is a perfect oasis to seek shelter on hot sunny days.
Location: Ctra. de La Coruña, km 7, Madrid
Centro Deportivo Municipal Casa de Campo
Besides its 50-square meter pool, the center also has another 33-meter pool and a children’s swimming pool. Unlike other sports centers, this one primarily focuses on water-related activities organized next to the swimming pool and other water sports.
Location: Paseo Puerta del Ángel, 7, Madrid
Centro Deportivo Municipal Vicente del Bosque
Another huge sports center with courses for football, basketball, tennis, beach volleyball, etc. is Centro Deportivo Municipal Vicente del Bosque. Of course, the swimming pool is what we want to focus on during the summer months. There are two 50-meter pools as well as children’s pool, so it is perfect for travelers, for families with children, etc.
Location: Avenida Monforte de Lemos, 13, Madrid
Centro Deportivo Municipal Francos Rodríguez
In this sports center, you can spend a fantastic summer day, sitting by a large outdoor pool, or playing beach volleyball or table tennis with friends. With its 11.5000 square meter surface, the center is a bit smaller than the previous ones, but still a perfect place to enjoy outdoor activities in summer.
Location: Calle Numancia, 11, Madrid
There are more public swimming pools you can find around the city, but what is also interesting is a number of private rooftop swimming pools. These are usually owned by a particular hotel or a restaurant, but they sometimes offer admission for non-guests, which is great to take advantage of if you want to enjoy swimming and the fantastic view from the rooftops.
Check out a water park
If you are up for a more adventurous water time, instead of going to a swimming pool, stop by a water park. An activity popular among people of all ages, water parks are great resorts during the summer months in the city.
Warner Park Beach
Although certainly more famous for its theme park, Warner Park also has a beach section with exciting rides and cool attractions to keep you cool on a hot summer day. There is even Baby Olas, a section for the youngest children with Looney Tunes inspired theme with sure school and beach houses.
This might the most popular water park in Madrid. It is approximately 30 minutes away from the city center. Lots of exciting rides, slides, children area as well as a sandy beach are good enough reason to check out this park while in Madrid. There is even a restaurant if you decide to plan to spend an entire day here.
As the evening time approaches, you will probably start getting hungry or thirsty, which is the great moment to look for one of the terrazas or outdoor eating areas to have dinner. With your evening drink, you will probably want to order tapas, as this is what Madrid bars and restaurants are famous for. Enjoy the night breeze while the evenings get cooler as it is much more pleasant to spend time outside in the night than during the day.
Enjoy an evening walk
While some of you will prefer a morning walk, some will always choose to sleep late, and then spend the evening exploring the city. While the entrance to the facilities is closed, there are many more landmarks to see around Madrid in the evening time. Squares and monuments with their night lights shine so proudly and give that unique charm to the city late into the night.
Organize a day trip
While most of the activities tourists focus on is usually in the city center, the Community of Madrid actually extends over a much larger area, which also includes interesting places such as Navacerrada. Even though the location is a popular winter destination, for those interesting in skiing in Madrid, during summer it becomes a sort of a resort, with daily temperatures barely passing 20 degrees. It is located 52 kilometers from Madrid. It is a great destination for hiking, cycling and generally enjoying the nature.