It’s the calm before the holiday storm.
Before you know it, Madrid will be all decked out for Christmas and Three Kings Day. We love the festive winter atmosphere in the city, but the last few days of autumn are a time worth taking advantage of as well.
As the crisp November air and clouds blanket Madrid, it’s the perfect time of year to tuck into favorite fall foods and get off the beaten path.
Late fall is low season for visitors in much of Spain, and Madrid is no different. It’s a peaceful, laid-back time of year between the summer tourism rush and the holiday hustle and bustle.
If you’ll be in Madrid in November, you’ve made a good choice. Let us show you the best ways to make the most of the month!
Weather in Madrid in November
Madrid is at its most stunning in November as the trees burst into bright fall colors. Temperatures are perfectly crisp and autumnal, averaging between the high 40s and the mid-high 50s Fahrenheit (10–15 degrees Celsius). Nights and early mornings are definitely on the chillier side, so be sure to dress in warm layers.
It’s worth keeping in mind that November is Madrid’s rainiest month, with an average of 2 inches (50 mm) falling throughout the month. This adds up to a total of about nine potential rainy days.
Things to Do in Madrid in November
1. See a Show at the Autumn Festival
Madrid’s biggest and best performing arts festival of the year is a must when visiting in mid-late November.
For nearly 40 years, the Autumn Festival (Festival de Otoño) has featured music, dance and theater performances by stars from around the world. With dozens of events taking place at venues throughout the city, you can’t miss it if you’re looking to experience a little bit of culture and plenty of entertainment at the same time.
2. Enjoy Madrid’s Traditional Stew
There’s no better way to warm up after a chilly morning of sightseeing than by digging into a hearty, delicious plate of cocido madrileño. You’ll find the traditional meat-and-chickpea stew on tables across Madrid year-round, but we particularly love it in winter.
The best part? Although the general idea is the same across the board, no two cocido recipes are exactly alike. We guess you’ll just have to eat your way around some of the city’s best restaurants to try and find your favorite! Our vote goes to Taberna La Bola, where we enjoy the soup course of the cocido feast on our Ultimate Spanish Cuisine Tour.
3. Take a Day Trip
We love Madrid, but sometimes a smaller, quainter city or town is calling our name for a quick escape.
Head beyond the capital and discover what else the region has to offer far from the busy city streets of Madrid. Toledo is always a good choice, as is the San Lorenzo de El Escorial Monastery, which is particularly beautiful in the fall.
If you don’t have access to a car, it’s easy to get there from Madrid on public transport. Just take bus #661 or #664 from the Intercambiador de Moncloa and get off at the San Lorenzo de El Escorial bus station. In just about an hour, you’ll be marveling at the idyllic UNESCO World Heritage site!
4. Visit Bernabeu Stadium, Home of Real Madrid
The iconic Real Madrid soccer team has won the hearts of generations of madrileños. Even if you don’t consider yourself much of a sports fan, it’s still worth touring the team’s massive stadium in order to understand this cherished aspect of local culture.
Tour Bernabeu takes you deep into the heart of the stadium, where you’ll see the team’s decades of history come to life before your eyes. You’ll also get exclusive access to the locker room, press room, presidential box and tunnel. The tour ends with the chance to step out onto the field itself, walking in the footsteps of legends.
5. Marvel at Madrid’s Egyptian Temple
Still can’t believe that Madrid really does have it all? The Temple of Debod will clear up any doubt. After all, how many other European capitals can claim a real, authentic Ancient Egyptian temple?
The Egyptian government gave the temple to Spain as a gift, and it was moved here from Egypt brick by brick. With views straight off of a postcard of the Casa de Campo park and its fall foliage, it’s one of the most beautiful spots here in Madrid in November.
6. Explore the Local Market
Fall means that market stalls all over Madrid are overflowing with fresh, colorful produce! One of our favorite things to do in Madrid in November is to spend a lazy, relaxed morning simply wandering the stalls of a vibrant local market, people-watching and sampling products from the proud vendors.
Not sure what to buy? Some of our favorite seasonal Spanish products available in November are bright orange pumpkin, fresh chestnuts, earthy wild mushrooms, and juicy pomegranates and oranges. Just be sure to save time for a drink and tapa at the market bar when you finish shopping!
7. Experience the Start of the Christmas Season
Even if you won’t be here in December, you’ll still be able to experience some Christmas magic in Madrid! The city officially turns on its holiday lights for the first time in late November. Enjoy a stroll around town as you marvel at the displays, or if you’re cold, hop on the Naviluz Bus for a magical ride.
Madrid in November FAQs
November is one of the best times of year to visit Madrid. Low season for tourism means that the city isn’t as crowded, and the weather is crisp and mildly chilly.
Madrid in November is quite empty of visitors, making it easy to enjoy the city among the locals. The weather can be chilly but is still quite pleasant—though rain is not uncommon, so definitely bring an umbrella.
Andalusia, Spain’s southernmost region of Spain, is still relatively warm and sunny in November.
Update Notice: This post was originally published on November 14, 2016 and was updated with new text and photos on April 9, 2021.