Best things to do in Madrid in the winter

Best things Madrid winter

It’s cold outside and you’ve run out of things to do in Madrid in the winter. You are all ready for spring to kick in.

I know, Madrid has long, cold winters. In case it helps, here are some of the best things to do over Christmas in Madrid.

Go skiing

This is one of my favorite activities to do in the winter in Madrid. There are a few ski resorts within reach, either by car or public transportation. If you are interested in skiing in Madrid and want to learn more, check the skiing in Madrid post.

Take a walk in the park

Madrid is beautiful in the winter. Take a walk around some of the best parks in Madrid and enjoy the bare trees. One of my favorite activities to do in Madrid in the winter is going to Retiro.  I love to walk around and soak up the winter Sun.

Activities Madrid winter


Naviluz is the bus that tours around the city center during the Christmas season, it operates from November to January. Taking this bus is a great way to see Madrid’s Christmas lights all in one day.  

You have to be quick and get the tickets ASAP. They are usually fully booked and it’s tricky to get a spot on the bus if you wait too long.

Naviluz is a double-decker bus with an open-top, so be sure to wrap yourself up with some nice, warm clothes or you might suffer the consequences.

Ice skating

Ice skating is one of the best things to do in Madrid in the winter to get into the Christmas spirit.

Madrid has a few ice rinks open all year round. However, for Christmas, they typically set some temporary ice rinks outside of the most touristy spots. They change their location every year so look them up.

The closest ice rink to the city center is at Palacio de Hielo. Take metro line 4 to Canillas, it’s a 40 minutes metro ride from Sol.

Once you buy your ticket you can spend as much time as you want inside. Don’t forget your gloves!

Christmas Markets

There are a few Christmas markets around the city. They are usually open from November to December, however, each one has its own hours of operation.

Some Christmas markets you might find interesting:

Plaza Mayor, right in Madrid city center. They sell many things: from Christmas decorations to Christmas trees.

Mercado de Motores located in the neighborhood of Delicias. Here you’ll find vintage clothes, design accessories, and more

Mercado de Artesanía, artisans from all over Madrid sell their handmade products at this market. It’s a great market for souvenirs.

German market (Castellana, 6). This market is in a church and it’s open only for a few days in November. Enjoy some mulled wine and some tasty pretzels.

Christmas market in Madrid

Malls and shopping

When you feel like leaving your place, but it’s darn cold outside, going to a mall might be a good way to stretch out your legs. Some of my favorite malls in Madrid are:

Xanadú: this mall has the one and only indoor ski resort in Madrid.

XMadrid: this is a mall with multiple activities like rock climbing, diving, skating, boxing, surfing, etc. Definitely worth it to check out.

Palacio de Hielo: apart from ice skating, there’s a movie theater that sometimes plays classic movies not dubbed.

If you prefer going shopping, read about the best shopping areas in Madrid.

Going to the Movies

I love a good movie on a winter day. However, I don’t like watching movies dubbed. If you don’t want to walk in the theater and realize too late that the movie is dubbed, check where to find some good movie theaters in Madrid.

Hot Chocolate

Madrid has a strong tradition of chocolate con churros. I like to have churros for breakfast, but strolling around the city, you’ll see that anytime is good to enjoy some.

Have some hot chocolate and churros, and you’ll see how fast your body warms up.

churros things Madrid in winter

Enjoy the sunset in Madrid

The sun sets “early” in winter. Depending on the month, it might set as early as 5:50 p.m.  

Watching the sunset before going out to dinner is a great way to spend a winter day in Madrid.


Sometimes, walking around the city when it’s cold doesn’t sound appealing at all. For those days when you want to do something in Madrid but none of the above options work for you, try visiting one of these museums in Madrid.

I hope you found some inspiration for things to do in the winter in Madrid. Let me know in the comments, which activities you like doing in Madrid.

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