8 ago 2012

Madrid: the August summer holiday you will never forget!

Madrid in August - clouds are a thing of the past

High temperatures, no clouds in sight and a city filled with culture and leisure, sounds like Madrid in August. With the hottest weeks of the summer fast approaching, we bring you the definitive guide of how to best spend your time in the Spanish capital.

A lot of madrileños go on holiday during the last week of July and during the month of August; what this means is that for the lucky few of us that can holiday here, we have the whole of Madrid at our fingertips! With this in mind, it is the perfect time to go out, hit the pool, the bars, as well as catching the fiestas patronales. In other words, Spain’s capital is yours for the taking.

The August summer sunset at the Templo de Debod, Madrid
Nothing exemplifies a holiday madrileño-style more than the open air and the sun beating down, and during August in Madrid, well, let’s just say that you will need your sunglasses to go along with your smile. For those want to wish the sun a sweet goodnight and welcome the much cooler but equally pleasant summer’s evening, then Debod Temple in Montaña Park is the place to be, the sunset is nothing other than breathtaking, especially with the more vibrant August sunlight.

One word that visitors will see throughout their time in Madrid is ‘rebajas’. Unlike the January sales which have become custom in the UK or the bank holiday sales in the US, Madrid (as with much of the rest of Europe) typically has its sales through the July and August summer season. So, if grabbing a bargain is on the do-list alongside relaxing and taking in some sun on your summer holiday, Madrid is destination number one. For those who have a further interest in the fashion industry, right at the end of August there is the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week here in Madrid, which lasts until Tuesday the 4th of September and has over 30 designers showcasing their new lines, but don’t expect to find too many bargains here!  The fashion week acts as the start of a series of events organized at IFEMA “Feriade Madrid”, which goes from the end of August to the end of September, and all takes place in Barajas, just outside of the Campo de las Naciones Metro station.

Sangría by the pool defines a Madrid summer holiday
For a lot of visitors, one of the best things about the hot and sunny summer holiday in Madrid is cooling down again, and what better way to do this than a lovely afternoon in the swimming pool with some friends and a cold glass of Spanish Sangría. Madrid is home to more than 25 open-air pools, as well as many spas to help take your mind off the warm city streets. 

‘El Chotis’ dance during a August street party in Madrid
What all madrileños have in common is that they know as soon as the clock has struck August, Madrid strikes fiesta. From the very first weekend of August, the people of Madrid's La Latina and Lavapies districts celebrate their patron saints, San Cayetano, San Lorenzo and Virgen de la Paloma, by dressing up in traditional outfits from the 19th century and hitting the streets. The surrounding areas are a flood with decorations and become the backdrop for many of the celebratory street parties which have live music and dancing (traditional dance called ‘el chotis’).

One of many Spanish terraza rooftop bars in Madrid
Another one of the local summer traditions is the opening of a lot of rooftop terrazas and bars. These are the perfect spots to relax and savour some Spanish food, like the typical Madrid bocadillos calamares, alongside some chilled cervezas or sangrías as you watch the glorious August summer sunshine brighten all of the Spanish capital’s streets. 

This article only but touches the surface on the sights, activities and must-dos that Madrid has to offer in August. What we can be sure is that we have the summer sun, we have the sights, the only thing missing, is you.