These are the main specific Madrid festivals which take place in the capital. Other national fiestas are celebrated in Madrid but we won’t include them below.
The festival of San Isidro takes place on 15th May although major bullfights are held at Las Ventas, Madrid’s bullring, for the best part of a month around this date.
This is the world’s largest bullfighting event which attracts all the best matadors. Tickets for the bullfights are sold out for the whole month well in advance. The other side of San Isidro consists of about nine days of varied events with many Madrileños dressed in traditional costume.
[Read more about San Isidro]
Dos de Mayo
If you’re in Madrid at the start of May be warned that both the 1st and 2nd are public holidays. Dos de Mayo is a celebration of events on 2nd May 1808 when a popular revolt against the French occupiers began in Puerta del Sol which would lead to the War of Independence in which the French were defeated.
Whilst San Isidro is the male patron saint of Madrid, the Virgin of Almudena is the female one. This celebration takes place on 9th November.
During the month of August the majority of Madrid’s residents head for their annual holidays on the coast yet there are some important ‘castizo’ festivals beginning with San Cayetano then San Lorenzo followed by La Paloma on 15th (it’s the national holiday of Asunción in the rest of the country). With one excuse after another to party the old centre (near C/Toledo and Plaza de la Paja) is full of those non-holidaymakers who make the most of the ongoing street parties.
Madrid Pride Week
What was a minor affair back in the 1980s when it first took place has become a huge gay festival known as Madrid Pride (La Semana del Orgullo) which attracts around 2 million people concentrated largely on the gay neighbourhood of Chueca. It takes place at the end of June or beginning of July.
Festival de Otoño
Madrid’s Autumn Festival begins during the first week of October and lasts for a month. It is one of the country’s top music festivals with dance, music and theatre companies from all over the world. Prestigious events are held in the capital’s main theatres including the Teatro de la Zarzuela, Teatro Madrid, the Círculo de Bellas Artes and Teatro Albéniz.