I recently returned from my two-week sojourn in Madrid, and now that all the cheap red wine and desert air has been filtered out of my blood, I’m ready to talk about it. So why did it take me an entire week to process my time spent in Madrid before writing about the experience? Because I had to think about how to say that August is definitely not the time to visit the Spanish capital without sounding like a dick.
But seeing as I’ll probably sound like a dick anyway, let’s just get down to it: Madrid is not the most tourist-friendly city to begin with in terms of sightseeing and other daytime activities. It’s a metropolitan city where people live and work, and for pretty much the entire month of August, they leave for more thrilling and less sweltering locations. That’s just how it is. Of course I had an amazing time — it was a vacation, after all. But in terms of finding things to do in Madrid in August that appeased my restless travel persona (whose motto is “Sitting Is The Enemy”), I had to rearrange my priorities to make the most out of the ghost town that the city turns into during the Dog Days of summer.
Roam the streets and hit up some rebajas
Unlike in the States where you can find sale racks spilling over with marked down swag, sales in Madrid (known as rebajas) come around only twice a year in winter and summer. Almost every store in town participates, and some of the markdowns are huge enough to have you buying some things just because they’re cheap. The leopard print sweater I got for 8 euros is proof of that fact.
August marks the tail end of the summer rebajas in Madrid, so be sure to hit up the kitschy boutiques in neighborhoods like Malasaña and Chueca. Or, if a bigger chain store is more your speed, there are more Zara outlets than Starbucks in Madrid so walk aimlessly and I’m sure you’ll bump into one.