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Madrid is hot and dry in summer—with temperatures reaching 95°F to 105°F in July and August—and chilly in winter, with minimum temperatures in the low 30s or slightly less in January and February, though snow in the city is rare. The most pleasant time to visit is spring, especially May, when the city honors its patron saint and bullfighting season begins. June and September through December are also good.

The Festival de Otoño (Autumn Festival), from mid-May to early June, blankets the city with pop concerts, poetry readings, flamenco, and ballet and theater from world-renowned companies.

If you can, avoid Madrid in July and August—especially August, even though fares are better and there are plenty of concerts and open-air activities; many locals flee to the coast or to the mountains, so many restaurants, bars, and shops are closed.