Madrid in October: Best Things to See & Do

Madrid bursts with colorful energy at the arrival of fall.

After the summer crowds clear out and low season sets in, Madrid takes on a much more relaxed vibe. Pleasantly sunny days and crisp, lively nights bring the best of both worlds.

Bird's eye view of the lake in Madrid's Retiro Park, surrounded by a large stone monument and many trees with the city skyline in the background.
Beautiful fall light in Retiro! Photo credit: Vitaliy Zamedyanskiy

Fall in Madrid is beautiful, with some of the best weather of the year and dozens of exciting events taking place. And for the foodies out there (we’re right there with you), visiting Madrid in October means that stews and braised meats are back on the menu, churros and chocolate are once again calling your name, and the local markets have a whole new array of delicious seasonal goodies on sale. 

Ready to immerse yourself in the everyday life of the city while enjoying the first few crisp days of autumn? This guide to Madrid in October will help you make the most of one of the most beautiful times of year here in Spain’s capital.

Weather in Madrid in October

Madrid’s average daytime temperature in October averages out between 15 and 21 degrees Celsius (60–70 degrees Fahrenheit). In other words, perfect. Combined with plenty of blue skies and bright sunshine, you’ll soon see why October is one of the best times to visit Madrid!

Temperatures do drop a bit at night, particularly later in the month, but not to the point that you’ll be unpleasantly cold. Pack a warm jacket and you’ll be good to go!

Throughout the month, you can expect an average of 40 total mm of rain (about an inch and a half). While this means that October is a bit rainier than the previous months, precipitation is still relatively sparse.

Four women walking on a city street in the fall
October’s crisp temperatures and plentiful sunshine make it a great time of year to explore.

Things to Do in Madrid in October

1. Have Drinks on a Terrace

Good news: terrace season isn’t just limited to summer.

In fact, with much milder temperatures, fall makes for an arguably better time of year to enjoy al fresco drinks and dining (both on a rooftop as well as at ground-level). Bring a pair of sunglasses for the daytime or a light jacket in the evening, and you’ll be good to go.

Can’t narrow down where to go? Check out El Viajero in La Latina, one of the city’s liveliest and most emblematic areas. (Just be sure to get there early for Sunday afternoon tapas—La Latina is a popular weekend lunch area!) If you’re not sure what to do in Madrid in October, this is a great way to start things off. 

Exterior of a brown restaurant building with people enjoying food and drinks on an outdoor terrace.
A sunny fall day is the perfect excuse to have drinks out on a terrace!

2. Enjoy the City’s Parks

We love Madrid, but we could all use a break from the city’s hustle and bustle from time to time.

If that’s the case, seek out tranquility at one of Madrid’s dozens of beautiful green spaces. Whether you want to check the famous Retiro Park off your bucket list or spend an entire day exploring the sprawling Casa de Campo, there’s a park everyone will love.

This is the perfect plan for Madrid in October whether you want to get active by running or biking, or simply relax on a blanket with a book. As a bonus, you’ll be able to enjoy the colorful fall leaves decorating the trees all around you.

Orange trees in a park on a fall day with a small lake and clear glass structure in the background.
Retiro on a perfect fall day! Photo credit: alevision.co

3. Treasure Hunt at El Rastro

El Rastro is Spain’s most popular flea market for good reason. With centuries of history under its belt, it’s hard to imagine a Sunday morning in La Latina without it.

You never know what you’re going to find as you make your way through the crowded lanes. From souvenirs to clothes to antiques and so much more, there are countless treasures just waiting to be discovered.

We especially love wandering around the market on a crisp fall morning. Wake up early and enjoy a coffee before setting out to leisurely browse the stalls. When you’ve had your fill of shopping, cap it all off with a well-deserved tapas crawl through La Latina!

Flea market stalls set up in a busy plaza surrounding a large metal statue of a soldier.
Plaza del Cascorro on a busy Rastro Sunday.

4. See Something New on the Big Screen

The Festival de Cine de Madrid isn’t your average film festival.

The event focuses specifically on new producers and creators, giving a platform to stories that otherwise may not have been told. And it’s working: the festival has celebrated 30 editions and only grows more popular every year.

Each year has a unique theme and showcases screenings at nearly a dozen venues throughout the city. As a bonus, entrance to screenings is completely free!

5. Celebrate Spain on Spanish National Day

What better to do in Madrid in October than celebrate Spain itself?

Spain’s most important national holiday, Día de la Hispanidad or Spanish National Day, is October 12. Though celebrations take place throughout the country, there’s no better place to be in Madrid.

The biggest event of the day is the military parade that makes its way down Paseo de la Castellana. It’s a pretty big deal—Spain’s royal family always attends—so if you want to check it out, show up early to be sure you get seats.

Group of jets flying in a triangular formation emitting streams of red and yellow smoke.
The acrobatics team of the Spanish Air Force also performs an impressive show to commemorate October 12. Photo credit: Nils van der Burg

6. Eat Like a Madrileño

Now that summer is over and tourists aren’t crowding into nearly as many bars and restaurants, it’s time to appreciate Madrid’s foodie scene at its most authentic.

Duck into a rustic, century-old tavern to enjoy recipes that have been passed down for generations, or discover something new at a trendy modern gastropub. Madrid really does have it all when it comes to food, and leisurely, laid-back October is one of the best times to experience it.

Garlic shrimp in a small clay dish.
A Madrid staple: sizzling hot garlic shrimp at La Casa del Abuelo!

Madrid in October FAQs

Is October a good time to visit Madrid?

Absolutely! In terms of both weather and crowd capacity, the fall months make for the perfect time of year to visit Madrid. Temperatures are crisp but mild with plenty of sunshine, and the city is much less crowded than in the summer.

Does it rain in October in Madrid?

Madrid sees about seven to 10 total rainy days throughout the month of October, but most of that precipitation is just a light sprinkling that doesn’t last very long. Pack a small umbrella and you’ll be good to go.

Update Notice: This post was originally published on November 2, 2016 and was updated with new text and photos on May 11, 2021.

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