What's the Weather Like in Madrid in January
January in Madrid can be a little chilly, but it's a wonderful time to walk around and explore Spain's capital city, without the heat of summer. Officially the coldest month of the year here, you can expect an average temperature of around 6°C, with a high of 10°C on a good day, and a low of 1°C. The surrounding mountains are likely to see significant snowfall during this time of year, however the city itself is unlikely to see any snow.
What you are likely to experience in January in Madrid however is a little rain, with around 40mm expected on average throughout the month, working out at 9 days per month seeing some sign of precipitation.
Average Sunshine Hours
Winter days can be a little dark, with only 2 hours of sunshine expected on average per day, however January can be a very romantic time to visit the capital city, provided you get wrapped up against the elements.
Madrid Hotels in January
As one of the largest and grandest cities in Europe, Madrid offers a wealth of accommodation options, from cheap and cheerful hostels and upmarket five-star hotels.
TOC Hostel Madrid
Those looking for a convenient and reasonably-priced place to stay in the heart of Madrid should consider TOC Hostel Madrid. Only a few minutes' walk away from the Puerta del Sol, this hip hostel features breezy, artsy rooms with en suite bathrooms, lockers and free WiFi; private rooms come with their own TVs and desks. Downstairs there's a casual eatery and retro-themed bar, along with a communal kitchen, library, lounge and convenience store.
Hotel Santo Domingo
For something a bit more sumptuous, pick the Hotel Santo Domingo, situated near the Royal Palace. Offering a range of rooms and suites in different styles and dimensions, there's something for everyone at this choice hotel. Rooms come with their own TVs, desks and minibars; suites provide living areas. Other amenities include airport shuttle service, a modern Spanish restaurant/bar and rooftop pool.
Visitors in search of uncompromising luxury should take a look at the Hotel Wellington. Featuring grand room/suites and round-the-clock room service, you can rest assured that your every need will be catered to at this hotel. Hotel Wellington has several options in the way of dining and drinking, while there's also an outdoor pool with hot tub, a whirlpool, spa, sauna, hammam and fitness centre.
Bars and Restaurants
As the capital of Spain and one of the most prominent cities in Europe, Madrid's dining and drinking scene is world class, with a range of cafes, bars, bistros and restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets.
Cafe de la Luz
Located in the Malasana neighbourhood, Cafe de la Luz is a local gem which wins over locals and visitors alike. Known for its relaxed, living-room charm and cosy atmosphere, this is a great place to stave off the cold during the winter months and warm up over a hearty brunch and a cup of coffee.
Visitors looking for a restaurant with a bit of historical significance should pay an visit to the Botin. First opened in 1725, this charming eatery holds the title as the world's oldest restaurant (according to the Guinness Book of Records) and was known to be a favourite with Ernest Hemingway; today it's famous for serving up rustic Castilian cuisine. Operating across four floors, the restaurant exudes the air of a classic Spanish tavern and there are three dining spaces to choose from, from the bodega (cellar) to the Felipe IV Room. Their roast suckling pig comes highly recommended.
Harvey's Cocktail Bar
Prohibition era-themed "speakeasy" bars are popping up in cities across the globe and Madrid is no exception to this trend. Harvey's Cocktail Bar is one of the latest developments in this area and oozes vintage charm by the bucketload. Featuring plush red certains, cosy booths, neon lights and delicious cocktails, it's hard to resist the lure of this welcoming hangout spot. There's also a tasty and tempting cajun menu to choose from if you're feeling peckish.
Things to do in Madrid in January
Madrid is known for being a treasure trove of high-profile art, and rightly so. Any trip to the city wouldn't be right without visiting its famous Golden Triangle of Art, which encompasses the Museo del Prado, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia and Thyssen-Bornemisza Museums respectively.
Museo Del Prado
One of the largest art museums in Europe and showcasing no less than 27,000 paintings, the Museo Del Prado began life in the early 1800s as a collection bestowed by the Spanish monarchy and houses the works of some of the biggest names in the classic art world such as El Greco, Goya, Titian, Ruben, Hieronymus Bosch and Velazquez. In addition to the range of artworks, the museum also displays a range of ancient sculptures, prints and drawings, while there's a number of exhibits taking place across the year.
Reina Sofia Museum
Those with more of an interest in contemporary art should move onto the nearby Reina Sofia Museum, which focuses mainly on 20th century and modern art, most prominently the works of Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and Joan Miro. Originally the General Hospital of Madrid, the museum opened to the public in 1992 and also features an extensive art library with more than 100,000 books.
In addition to the two main museums, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum similarly houses an impressive collection of laudable art, with a particular focus on on Impressionism, Cubism, as well as Italian and German artists.
Known as the green lung of Madrid, the Retiro Park makes an excellent place to take a bracing winter walk on a sunny day. Located across the road from the Golden Art Triangle, this manicured park is home to over 15,000 trees and encompasses a range of public buildings, monuments, flower gardens and a boating lake.
Another unmissable Madrid landmark worth visiting is the imposing Royal Palace, which proudly stands over the shadow and bears the legacy of the Spanish monarchy. Although no longer the main home of the Spanish Royal Family, it remains their official residence and comprises a staggering 3,000 rooms within its walls. Walk the plush-lined main stairway, marvel at the grandeur of the Hall of Thrones and observe the wealth of weaponry at the Royal Armoury. Offering you the chance to put yourself in the shoes of Spanish royalty of years gone by, this makes a great day out for all the family. Visit on Wednesdays and witness the weekly changing of the guard.