Useful Information about Madrid
Tourist Information Centers
You will find lots of information on our website and if you are in Madrid, you will find seven different Tourist Information Centres all over the city.
- The first one your way to Madrid will probably be directly in the airport located in the Terminal 4 in lounges 10 and 11.
- You will find another one at the Plaza Mayor, the so called "Tourist Centre Plaza Mayor" in the Salón de Columnas of the Casa de la Panadería, which is opened all year long from 9:30 am to 8:30 pm.
- The Cibeles Tourist Information Point located at Plaza Cibeles, esquina con Paseo del Prado, 1, that you can easily reach by using the Metro L2 at the stop Banco de Espana.
- The Tourist Information Point CentroCentro is located in the Palacio de Cibeles in the Paseo del Arte and also at the Metro stop of the L2 Banco de Espana, it is opened from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 8 pm.
- The Foreign Tourist Assistance Service (SATE) is a centralized police office for tourists that need any help, there you will not only find police officers but also specialized staff from the Madrid Tourist Board and the National Police Force, you can find it in the Calle Leganitos , 19 and it's opened every day from 9 am to 12 pm.
- At the corner of the street Glorieta Emperador Carlos V/Santa Isabel, you will find the Art Walk Tourist Information Point, that can be reached by Metro L1 at the station Atocha, it is opened all week long from 9:30 am to 8:30 pm.
- In the district Barrio de Salamanca you will find the Colon Tourist Centre at the Plaza Colón, that can be reached with the L4 (stops: Colon or Serrano) and it is also opened all week long from 9:30 am to 8:30 pm.
Business Hours and Holidays
Banks are normally open from Monday to Friday from 08.30 am to 14.00 hours. You can also change money there. Opening hours for museums vary considerably between 10.00 am to 18.00 hours.
Shops outside the tourist centers are open from 09.00 am to 14.00 hours. Then they close for the so-called “siesta” and open again around 16.00-17.00 o'clock until 20.00-21.00 hours.
In the tourist places and on the major shopping streets in the cities shops do not close for siesta anymore. They are open the whole day from Monday to Saturday. Some also stay open on Sundays and public holidays. During August many shops and restaurants are closed the whole month for vacations.
Spanish people have different meal times than most other Europeans, because they tend to eat later. Normally they have got a light breakfast between 09.00 and 11.00 am and lunch between 14.00 and 15.00 o'clock. Thus dinner is considerably later between 21.00 and 22.00 o'clock and in many restaurants the kitchen does not close before midnight.
If you would like to send a postcard, please check the opening hours from Correos. Correos is Spain's national postal service where you can send postcards, letters and documents. You can buy “sellos” (stamps) at most tobacco shops and a postcard up to 20g costs 0,75€ from Spain to other European countries and 0,90€ to the rest of the world.
Spain has many public and religious holidays. Some of them are celebrated nationwide and others only in specific regions, these are all public holidays in Madrid:
- January 1: New Year's Day (Año Nuevo, national holiday)
- January 6: Epiphany (Epifanía del Señor, national)
- Easter: Easter Thursday (Madrid and others) and Easter Friday (national)
- May 1: Labour Day (Fiesta del Trabajo, national)
- May 2: Community Day (Fiesta de la Communidad, Madrid community only)
- May 15: San Isidro (Madrid capital only)
- June 19: Corpus Cristi (Madrid community and some others)
- August 15: Feast of the Assumption (Asunción de la Virgen, national - in Madrid called Virgen de la Paloma)
- September 9: Santa Maria de la Cabeza (Wife of San Isidro, Madrid capital only)
- October 12: Spain's National Day (Fiesta Nacional de España, national - also called Día de la Hispanidad)
- November 1: All Saints Day (national)
- November 9: Almudena (Madrid's female patron saint - Madrid capital only)
- December 6: Constitution Day (Día de la Constitución Española)
- December 8: Feast of the Immaculate Conception (La Inmaculada Concepción, national)
- December 25: Christmas Day (Natividad del Señor, national)
Due to its location Madrid has both Mediterranean and continental climate which means that the weather is predominantly dry, the average temperatures ranges from 5ºC in winter to 25ºC in summer.
The weather extremes between summer and winter are caused by the city's altitude and proximity to mountains.
The temperature in summer between May and July is perfect for a visit as it is pretty warm between 20ºC and 32ºC, afterwards in July and August it's getting pretty hot, sometimes the scale reaches 40ºC but as the humidity is low, the temperature is not comparable to countries with high humidity. Because of this some market places remain closed while noon but the evenings are perfect for enjoying Madrid's vibrant nightlife.
In autumn there are many cultural activities on the street as the weather is somewhat milder as in summer and this is the only season where there is a little bit more rain.
In winter the sky is mostly blue with some small, white clouds, usually it freezes in winter and you will also see snow falling, the average temperature in November and December drops down to 9ºC.
The spring in Madrid has the perfect weather if you would like to avoid many other tourists in the city but also want the sun as it shines around 7 hours per day but in the nights it's still cold and seldom it's warmer than 10ºC in the nights.
These are the average temperatures in Madrid:
|December: 7ºC||March: 11ºC||June: 22ºC||September: 23ºC|
|January: 6ºC||April: 13ºC||July: 25ºC||October: 18ºC|
|February: 5ºC||May: 19ºC||August: 26ºC||November: 10ºC|
In Madrid pickpockets can be an annoyance, especially in crowded and touristic places. Please watch your belongings at tourist sights, on the metro and in crowded areas. If you see an attempt just create attention by shouting. In this case the pick pockets usually just drop things and disappear.
Credit Card skim
When using your credit card in Madrid to withdraw money from a cash machine you should be careful – as everywhere else in the world. There are cash machines, especially outside the banks, that are prepared by criminals.
They attach a fake keyboard and a fake card slot above the one that was installed by the bank to steal your credit card details and your PIN. Thus they have all your credit card details and can use them buying something using your money. Another method to steal the credit card details including PIN is to install a camera somewhere on the cash machine to film your credit card and the PIN you are entering.
The best way to avoid this problem is to use the cash machines inside of the bank. These cash machines are better monitored by the bank. And always check if you see anything suspicious like a keyboard or a card slot that looks a little bit different than the rest of the cash machine.
Anyway, the best solution for avoiding this is to check your bank account regularly and see transactions that weren’t done by you and inform your bank immediately. Most banks are insured and they will refund the money especially when the transaction was made somewhere in the world distant from the place you actually are now.
Traffic in Madrid is more hectic in comparison to other European cities, so please pay attention on the streets. This especially accounts for traffic lights: If the green light for pedestrians starts flashing, get off the road right away since cars and motorbikes will start driving within a few seconds.