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 festival of La Almudena
On November 9 is celebrated the Day of the Virgin of La 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.
Don't 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. Tour the 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 encounter with nearly 200 artists on stage.
When we talk about Spain, we usually think of tapas, good food and, of course, flamenco. That rhythm that has taken the sounds of the country to all latitudes, the magic of its dancers and the tradition of many families that is passed down from generation to generation.
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.
I recommend some shows:
- Flamenco show at the Corral de la Morería in Madrid - From $ 58
- Flamenco show at the Teatro Flamenco in Madrid - From $ 72.
- Flamenco showat Torres Bermejas in Madrid - From $ 27.
3. Taste the famous tapas of Madrid
Something that characterizes the lively life of Madrid is going out for tapas. There are tapas for all tastes and tasting them is an activity in itself, not only gastronomically but also socially and culturally.
You can enjoy them on your own in any bar in the city, but you can also find several tapas tours that will take you through the most traditional flavors.
I recommend two that I find very complete and interesting:
4. Get a head start on Christmas
Towards the end of autumn, Madrid begins to transform 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 for a century have sold their products in this historic place.
On the last Friday of November each year, the city's Christmas lights are officially inaugurated. Walking, on board a tourist bus or by bicycle, you will enjoy a work of urban art that year after year counts with the proposals of designers, artists and lighting specialists.
5. 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.
But beyond these specific dates, if it comes to shopping, Madrid has numerous options. From street markets to shopping malls with luxury stores. A place you can not miss if you like these plans, isLas Rozas Village, a shopping center on the outskirts of Madrid, which offers luxury stores and good brands, with deeply discounted prices.
Walking around there is a plan in itself, as it is outdoors, has an aesthetic of the most elegant and attractive and gastronomic offer as to spend a pleasant day while you do your shopping.
6. 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 fills up with the main national and international theater, dance and performance proposals.
More than ten theaters and about twenty venues in the city join the Autumn Festival initiative, one of the most important and expected theater festivals in the international circuit and where you can discover the most innovative and forceful stagings.
Live arts, immersive theater, performance, contemporary dance, experimental music and laboratories of dramaturgy, film and poetry, are available almost all month 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 more.
7. Attend 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 of 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 to discuss issues that represent major challenges for society.
The festival is held in several public spaces in the city, including the French Institute, Quinta del Sordo, Fundación Acción Triángulo and other independent venues.
8. 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.
9. 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 late 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 the Javier Fernández ice rink, who, in case you didn't know, is a decorated Spanish world and Olympic figure skating champion and the person 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 in the inclusion and defense of human rights for people with Down syndrome.
While skating you can see 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 to 22:00 hours from Monday to Friday. You should arrive early as tickets are sold only on site and are on a first come, first served basis.
10. Visit the best churrerías in Madrid
In November it starts to get cold in Madrid and you will want to warm up, so I recommend you try the churros, a sweet, rich and crunchy fried flour dough that is preferred by many locals for breakfast, snack or even to eat in the early morning after partying. Of course it is accompanied with a hot and 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 in the month of November the cold starts, you can still enjoy sunny days, plus it does not rain much. 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.