Madrid is gorgeous. No doubt. But it has one huge problem: it’s totally landlocked.

This is very, very bad news in the summer.

With temperatures hitting over 40 degrees in the summer– that’s over 100 for you Americans out there– you quickly learn what it feels like to become a wilting plant in Madrid in June, July, and August.

So, how do you keep cool? Follow these tips, and you’ll be on your way to surviving your first Madrid summer!


1. Head to a terraza

When in Spain, do as the Spaniards do: sit for hours on a lovely, shady terraza.

For the uninitiated, terrazas— the outdoor terraces at many bars or restaurants– are a sort of way of life in Spain in the summer. And what could be better? Good friends, good drinks, and good people-watching. Extra points for rooftop bars!
And it’s COOL. Well, cooler than sitting at home, at least.

2. Pick a shady spot in the Retiro

When in doubt, take a walk to the Retiro.

It might not be the kind of dreamy oasis that you might be fever-dreaming about when it gets up over 40 degrees celsius in the deep Spanish summer, but it’s a definite improvement.
Pack a picnic and head over there. There are plenty of cozy, completely sun-free corners to enjoy. You won’t be disappointed!

3. Public pools

Looking for a more intensive cool-down? Head down to your local municipal pool.

Pretty much every neighborhood in Madrid has its own pool, and the price of entry is more than fair when you’re looking to escape the heat. Some of them even have bars, small restaurants, and big, grassy areas to hang out at!

4. Stand in front of a shop

Go to Gran Via. Pick a store. Stand in front of said store and soak up all the precious, precious AC that you can. Repeat.

5. Visit a lake

Aquí no hay playa — you’ll hear this phrase plenty from locals during Madrid summers. But while there’s no beach in Madrid, there are lakes!
On the outskirts of Madrid, you’ll find that there are plenty of places to swim, relax, and escape the heat. Take your pick!

6. Get out of the city!

Go. Just go. The summer here is just too hot. Seriously.

Honestly, half the city of Madrid leaves for the months of July and August. Hitch a ride to the beach. You’ll thank yourself for escaping the heat.

Do you have a unique way to keep cool during hot Spanish summers? Tell us about it in the comments!