If you travel to Madrid in November you will find a month full of festivals, exhibitions, concerts and fairs that show the cultural greatness of the Spanish capital.
In November you welcome the end of the year season full of magic and you can enjoy the many things to do and see in Madrid Take note!
1. Experience the religious feast of La Almudena
On November 9 is celebrated the Day of the Virgin of Almudena, patron saint of Madrid, and the Cathedral becomes a meeting place for thousands of believers who attend the Catholic rites and the procession to the Plaza Mayor, which runs through the streets Sal, Postas, Esparteros, Mayor and Bailén of the city. Attending this event allows you to connect with the local culture, history and religiosity.
Do not miss the Corona de la Almudena, which is only eaten on these dates and is usually decorated with a figurine of the virgin. It is said that the original recipe dates back to 1978, when the bakers wanted to create a new dessert in honor of the virgin, similar to the traditional roscón de Reyes.
I highly recommend taking a tour on one of Madrid's tourist buses to learn more about the Almudena Cathedral and other iconic places in the city. The cathedral also offers tours inside the temple, in which you can have an audio guide to complement your tour.
2. Don't miss the Autumn Festival
If you are a follower or fan of the performing arts, you should know that in November the city is filled with the main national and international theater, dance and performance proposals.
More than ten theaters and some twenty venues in the city join the Fall Festival initiative, one of the most important and highly anticipated theater festivals on the international circuit, where you can discover the most innovative and forceful productions.
Live arts, immersive theater, performance, contemporary dance, experimental music and laboratories of dramaturgy, film and poetry, are available almost all month long and throughout the city.
If you want to be aware of all the shows available, you can access the official website of the Community of Madrid and find out about capacity, prices, schedules and much more.
3. Visit the Flamenco "tablaos flamencos
From late October and early November, the Suma Flamenca Festival takes place in several venues in the capital of Madrid, which year after year brings together troubadours, singers and dancers from all over the country in this meeting with nearly 200 artists on stage.
When talking about Spain, we usually think of tapas, good food and, of course, flamenco. That rhythm that has taken the sounds of the country, the magic of its dancers and the tradition of many families that has been passed down from generation to generation.
With the passion and intensity that is lived in the tablaos, this is an experience that reaches the most intimate fibers of locals and strangers, whether they understand the language or not, because it is impossible to repress the feelings that come to the surface when you hear a zapateo accompanied by a guitar.
For me, this is one of the essential artistic experiences in Madrid at any time of the year, not to say that it is mandatory for those who come from far away looking to discover the city.
Useful information about Madrid
- I recommend that you check the program and schedules of the activities, as this festival is very popular. If you have the possibility to purchase tickets in advance, you can ensure a more comfortable and fascinating experience.
- You can find a wide range of tours of the most representative Flamenco houses in the city throughout the year. I assure you that you will leave Madrid in love after living this experience up close.
- Depending on the option you select, these tours usually include drinks, meals and tapas with the best of Spanish cuisine.
4. Enjoy an independent film series
Cinema also has its space in Madrid during November. On your visit to the Spanish capital, you may be looking for much more than the best tours around the city and want to find a different cultural proposal. The Lame Eye Festival is one of them.
With a selection of feature and short films, documentaries and fiction, animations and experimental cinema, this circuit brings together directors from countries of all continents who meet to discuss issues that represent major challenges for society.
The festival has its venues in several public spaces in the city, including the French Institute, the Quinta del Sordo, the Acción Triángulo Foundation and other independent venues.
5. Enjoy the International Jazz Festival
Another must in October is the International Jazz Festival of Madrid, an event for lovers of the genre and where you can enjoy concerts, but also a program with photography exhibitions, screenings and lectures, as well as markets with specialized literature and meetings of music lovers.
Theaters, independent halls and bars of the city, come together to host this festival where you can enjoy the enormous musical richness of the genre appreciating experienced artists but also discovering new talents of the jazz scene in Madrid.
- As one of the flags of the festival is inclusion, many of the stages are adapted for people with reduced mobility or disabilities and tickets are available at affordable costs, making jazz an experience for everyone.
6. Tasting of chocolates and sausages
Degusta Madrid is an initiative led by the Center for Gastronomic Innovation, which throughout the year organizes various tasting events of products produced in the region.
Pickled meats, honey, dairy products, wines, oil, vegetables, bread and preserves, are the protagonists of more than 15 days of food tasting and that in November and during two weekends of the month, corresponds to the tasting of chocolates and traditional sausages of the province of Madrid.
In addition to the tasting, the attendees get to know the producers, details about the elaboration processes and their culinary use and information about the quality guarantee mark that the Community of Madrid grants them with the so-called "Denomination of Origin".
If your travel dates do not coincide with the tastings, do not worry, because in the city you can find several tapas tours that will also take you through the traditional flavors of the city.
7. Let's skate!
The imminent arrival of winter and the increasing cold that characterize the final months of each year, are the golden opportunity for the city to reinvent itself.
And that is the case of Plaza Colón, which from the end of November until January, is transformed into a huge ice skating rink in the heart of the capital of Madrid. 800 square meters of fun available for all ages.
The rink is also known as Javier Fernandez ice rink, who in case you didn't know, is a decorated Spanish world and Olympic figure skating champion and who annually promotes this initiative.
In addition, part of the proceeds from the tickets is destined to support the activities of the Down Spain center, an entity that works for the inclusion and defense of human rights for people with Down syndrome.
While skating you can watch a giant screen with DJ sessions and also enjoy a merry-go-round and a flea market as an early preview of the lights and colors of Christmas.
- The rink is open from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm from Monday to Friday. Children under the age of seven must enter under adult supervision.
- Available skate sizes range from size 29 to 48. For younger children there are blades available that can be adapted to the shoes.
- You should arrive early as tickets are sold on site only and are on a first come, first served basis. Access must be 15 minutes early for the change of skates.
8. Get a head start on Christmas
Towards the end of autumn, Madrid begins to transform itself to enjoy the Christmas season.
If you catch the end of November, it is a good idea to visit the Christmas markets that are installed in various areas of the city and enjoy the lights that begin to be seen in the main streets of the city.
From the end of the month and throughout December, Madrid's Plaza Mayor becomes a market of colorful booths, where residents and visitors find nativity scenes, decorative figures, Christmas musical instruments, lights and toys that promote the local economy of merchants who, over a century, have sold their products in this historic place.
On the last Friday of November of each year, the city's Christmas lights are officially inaugurated. Walking, on board a tourist bus or on a bicycle, you will enjoy a work of urban art that year after year counts with the proposals of designers, artists and lighting specialists.
9. Take advantage of the sales to go on a shopping tour
Traditions like Black Friday are also lived in Madrid and the last week of November will be ideal to take a tour of the shopping centers of the city to take advantage of the sales and start your end of year shopping.
If it comes to shopping, Madrid has numerous options, from street markets to shopping malls with luxury stores. In the bohemian and cultural Barrio de las Letras, for example, you will find more traditional decoration and handicraft stores.
I also invite you to visit the shopping area of the Salamanca neighborhood, one of the most exclusive in Madrid, where you will find luxury boutiques and stores of the most recognized fashion franchises.
And of course, a tour of the stores located along the Gran Vía, Madrid's most emblematic street, is a must.
10. Visit the best churrerías in Madrid
In November it's already starting to get cold in Madrid and you'll want to warm up, so I recommend you try churros, a sweet, rich and crunchy fried flour dough that is a favorite of many Madrilenians for breakfast, snacks or even to eat in the wee hours of the morning after going out partying. Of course it is accompanied with a hot, thick cup of chocolate.
A plan that will make you feel like a local and with which you can meet some of the most iconic churrerías of the city. One of the most recognized places is La Antigua 1913, a place that has a churro recipe with more than 100 years of history. Today it is a restaurant and bar with an extensive menu for breakfast and snacks.
But don't worry, wherever you go, the experience will be worth it. It is also a very economical plan, as a portion of 4 churros can have a cost of 1.90 euros. Do not forget to accompany with a good chocolate to keep the tradition.
Weather in Madrid during November
Although November is the beginning of the cold season, you can still enjoy sunny days and there is not much rain. Temperatures are around 13° / 6°C.
I recommend you to wrap up warm enough to go for walks around the city and enjoy outdoor events. Without a doubt this is a month with an ideal temperature to explore Madrid and enjoy the magic of autumn.