9 ago 2016

Why we love August in Madrid

August in Madrid has many reputations but one of the most prevalent is the idea that it becomes a ‘ghost town’ when all the residents head out on vacation. But while this may make the month a less exciting at first glance, the reality is that the capital is better than ever!! With some fantastic festivals taking place in various neighborhoods, the most notable being the Fiestas de la Virgen de Paloma, and Retiro park sparkling in all its green glory, Madrid feels like a best kept secret that only a select few have discovered!

So if you’re in the Spanish capital this month, welcome! In honor of those who appreciate this month as much as AIL Madrid does, we’ve put together of a few of this month’s best activities for both those who love a crowd and those who seek a little peace and quiet. Enjoy!

Fiestas de la Virgen de Paloma, August 11th-19th

Madrid’s August population creates the perfect ‘village’ atmosphere in the beautiful La Latina neighborhood without leaving the city center! This traditional festival started roughly 300 years ago by local residents of the La Latina neighborhood who rallied around a wooden figure of the Virgen de Paloma, located in the window of a neighbor’s home, because they believed it had the power to heal untreatable illnesses. Since that time, a church has been built around the figure, processions are held in its honor, and the virgin has become the unofficial patron saint of the city.

Local residents dress in the city’s traditional outfits, known as ‘chulapos’, and dance the ‘chotis’ to celebrate their beloved saint with free lemonade for all. But while parts of the celebration may be old school, this year especially, it also features some modern fun! This year’s list of activities include sushi making demonstrations, a zombie apolocalypse survival game around the entire neighborhood, a DJ, and open swing dancing!

For the full program, click here.

A slice Madrid just for you

Madrid is pretty incredible no matter the time of year, but there are a few places that feel extra special when you have them to yourself:

Retiro Park- try rollerblading, rowing on the lake without waiting in line, or enjoying a picnic under the ancient trees!

The Reina Sofia-  stroll through the breezy stone hallways as if this was your personal gallery, or bring a book and sit in among the olive trees by Calder’s mobile in the courtyard!

Bellas Artes rooftop- it may cost 4€ to arrive at the top, but this is the perfect way to escape hot summer evenings and watch the sunset with a cool drink in your hand!

El Pardo- take a day to explore these ancient royal hunting ground on the outskirts of Madrid or take a swim in the 4 pool complex at Samontes sports club! Normally quite busy, you’re more than likely to have this Olympic sized pools all to yourself!

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