How to survive August in Madrid



In August Madrid comes to a near standstill as locals flee to the coast and mountains, and those left behind loaf around their living rooms complaining about the heat day and night and wishing they were in far-off places where the air is cooler and the beds are easier to sleep in. Godforsaken August. Silent August. August for the pringados who have to work or have nowhere to go or nothing to do. It seems that the capital of Spain has nodded off for a long summer’s nap until activity is restored in September. You´ll see signs in shop windows saying “Cerrado por Vacaciones”, the buses are empty and you can park your car just about anywhere you please. How to survive August in Madrid? Three of our guides tell you their secrets.

LUPE (Guide in Spanish and English. Web developer and graphic designer)
1: What´s the disadvantage of being in Madrid in August?
You´ll will find your favorite “cafeteria” closed for the whole month without prior notice. And many other shops and restaurants that you usually visit. Most of your friends will leave the city and send you selfies from the beach. You’ll find yourself researching about places in Madrid with air-conditioning and visiting at least one everyday, because the heat will make you believe that hell exists.
2: What´s the advantages of being in Madrid in August?
The city is quiet, calm, relaxed, everybody is at a slow pace, nobody is in a hurry. There are no queues fo anything: cinemas, restaurants, exhibitions… The subway is empty. If you are a biker you will enjoy empty roads and few cars around.   
3: How to survive August in Madrid?
Here are my suggestions! Make a list of things that you never have time to do and do one everytime you find yourself with too much free time. Get used to sleep Spanish siesta, it´s just a matter of training. Find a nice friend that gives you the keys to his apartment with swimming pool 🙂 Keep yourself updated about summer cinema in the city, there are many venues in Madrid this summer.
Enjoy the local festivities in different districts in the city: fun is guaranteed! 
Join some swing dancing workshop and learn to move your feet with the music 
Bike around the river park at down and get amazed with the views. And most of all, relax and enjoy!
ANDRA (Guide in Dutch and English. Business owner)
1: What´s the disadvantage of being in Madrid in August?
Madrid in August obliges you to take a break in your business – all suppliers are closed, all clients are out of Madrid. No free choice. You´ll lose a month of business if you offer a tipical summertime-product. 
2: What´s the advantages of being in Madrid in August?
It´s wonderful to enjoy city life without traffic, queues and crowds.
3: How to survive August in Madrid?
Push your mental ´relax´ button, drink loads of water  and reflect on your professional and personal life.


EDUARDO (Guide in Spanish, Italian and English. Actor)
1: What´s the disadvantage of being in Madrid in August? There is no beach. I´m not from Madrid, but I already knew this fact, it was made even more famous by the song “Vaya, vaya, aqui no hay playa” a Spanish hit of the 80’s, of Los Refrescos. In Spain, if you´re not enjoying our wonderful coast in summer it´s either because you are from a “pueblo” (small villages of the country side: Castilla) or you are one of the unlucky few working in August. You spend the day in the office or wherever you work, close to the air conditioning, looking at your watch every five minutes (in August, clients are also at the coast, so you have nothing to do at the office)… and having a look to your friends Facebook, who are also at the beach. In fact sometimes you see one of your clients at your friends pics… and you repeat again: “Vaya, vaya, aquí no hay playa”(“what a pity, here there is no beach”).
2: What´s the advantages of being in Madrid in August?
There is no beach. Madrid is crowded with people 11 months a year, it has the coolest restaurants and clubs in Spain, during 11 moths you have to check 10 terraces full of groups of beautiful people before finding a place at one terrace (before that, you missed 8 potential loves of your life in which there was no place for you, with the consequent heart suffering)… Could you only imagine how FULL would Madrid be in summer if it also would have had a beach? I don´t even want to think about it. Instead, in august you can enjoy all those restaurants where during the year you need to make reservations five months in advance, you can sit down at every terrace you want, and overall, you will meet in all those places lot of people who have been “working” all day, looking at pictures in Facebook of people they hate having so much fun in wonderful beaches… and now they want to have, AT LEAST, as much fun  as those *******. And you will be there to facilitate that fun.
3.- How to survive August in Madrid. 
So easy!! Just surviving is not that complicate with air conditioning or just being hydrated at a free terrace. BUT enjoying the city that month requires a little bit more of effort than others… the good thing is if you do that effort, you will discover and enjoy a city totally different and much more slow and easy going than in the rest of the year. 
There are lot of rooftop pools in the city center, you only need to know them, or know someone who knows them, or… they are in hotels, restaurants, hostels, even in clothes shops, gyms… they all have food and cocktails offers, some of them have pool brunches, and they are perfects to spend the afternoons or evening just chatting withs friends, drinking something cold with your feet in water.  
There are also some wonderful summer cinemas, outdoor, where you can drink or eat something watching from the last movies to the black and white classics. Oh! and another great option: the 16.00 H movie in one or the many cinemas in the city center which shows films in original language… the most probably you will have a totally refrigerated cinema just for yourself, where you can enjoy a great movie… or a great siesta. 
And of course… la movida. Going to any disco, pub without queues, you don´t need to be on the VIP list… in fact you will be the VIP just for being there in August. Do not think in just surviving when the city is waiting for you to be tasted!!!



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63 thoughts on “How to survive August in Madrid

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