This year the cold weather left us waiting for quite some time, but eventually in November winter-weather finally started. Although we, at Mad4You Hostel, are more in favor of summer, we also have a weak spot for winter. The early dark days, the sound of rain against the windows, laying on the couch or in bed under a big blanket with a nice hot cup of warm chocolate milk… Who does not love that? Luckily in Madrid during daytime the sun is out and although temperatures drop, sometimes even to zero, you can always find a terrace to get a little sun kissed on the cheeks while sipping on a cup of coffee in your warm coat.
Madrid is a vibrant city and all year round there are many things you can do, also during wintertime. We, at Mad4You Hostel, like to have fun while staying active and we believe our guests have similar ideas, when visiting Madrid. Therefore, we would like to share with you, in this month´s blog post, the best ways to practice winter sports while visiting Madrid. Fan of the cold and like to have fun, while exercising a bit at the same time? Keep on reading, because this blog post is written for you!
Ice skating in Madrid
A must-do during winter in Madrid is going ice skating. The city is filled with different ice rings to have loads of fun. At every ice ring you can rent skates and you can find different stands or a bar where you can find sweet- and savory snacks and hot drinks. It is a great activity to do with hostel-friends. You will be having loads of fun, while doing a bit of exercise. It is a win-win!
Centro Comercial Palacio de Cristal (Calle Silvano, 77 – Metro 4: Canillas)
Inside of the shopping mall Palacio de Cristal you will find a large ring, with the size of an olympic ice skating ring, with 1,800 m2 of ice. You can encounter people with all types of skate-levels, from pros, who fly trough the air on their skates, to beginners, who spend more time on their bum. Before you go, check the timetable on internet, as opening times may vary depending on the day. From Mad4You Hostel you simply walk to the metro station of San Bernardo, from which you take the brown line, number 4, which goes directly to Canillas. Very easy!
El Pabellón de hielo de Leganés (Avenida Alemania, 2 – Metro 12: Julian Besteiro)
Outside of the city of Madrid you can find a large ice ring of 1,450 m2. Before you go, check the timetable on internet, as opening times may vary depending on the day. From Mad4You Hostel you walk to the metro station of Tribunal, from which you take the dark blue line, number 10, to the end station called Puerta del Sur. At Puerta del Sur you hop onto the circular line, number 12 and get out at Julián Besteiro. Please take into account that after Puerta del Sur, you will be entering zone B of the metro network. You will need a special metro ticket for this journey, which you can obtain at any metro station.
Last year we also had a few smaller and temporary ice rings throughout the city of Madrid. For example, the one called La Galaría de Cristal at Palacio de Cibeles and some other rings located on Plaza de Colón, Puenta de Vallecas, Vicalvaro and Villa de Vallecas. This year we have not received any news yet if these smaller ice rings will open again, but we will definitely keep you posted through our social media platforms.
Skiing in Madrid
This might come as a surprise to some of you, but in Madrid you can actually ski! About one hour outside of the city of Madrid, but still within the province of Madrid, you can find the ski park Valdesqui. This park has 29 slopes and 15 ski lifts. Valdesqui is already operating for over 40 years and is a very loved among the people of Madrid. We highly recommend you go if you love to ski and would like to scrap ¨skiing in Spain¨ of your bucket list. A day pass at Valdesqui costs 38€ and for half a day you pay 22€. You can also rent your material and for a skier the price is around 26-30€ for skis and boots and for a snowboarder the price is around 27-31€ for a board and boots. Moreover, you can rent any other necessities, like a helmet, ski pants, gloves, snow glasses and a hat. You can even book classes to learn how to ski at Valdesqui. A private class for one person for one hour is 45€, but if you are two you only pay 26€ each (52€ in total). The opening hours of the slopes are from 09:00 to 16:15, but the last lift goes up at 16:00. To get to Valdesqui first you have to take the metro at San Bernardo and take the brown line, number 4, to Arguelles (it is just one stop). At Arguelles you switch lines and hop onto the yellow line, number 3, and get out at Moncloa (also just one stop). At Moncloa you exit the metro station and walk to the busses where you take bus 691 to Navacerrada. You get out at the stop Ctra. Valdesquí-Estación De Valdesquí from which you have to walk around 14 minutes. The metro ticket is approximately 1,5€ and the bus ticket around 6€, both one-way. Do not wait any longer and show your best ski moves on the slopes of Madrid!
Another great place to practice your skiing skills is at the shopping mall Xanadu. Inside the shopping mall of Xanadu you find one large ski slope of 18.000m2, which is called Madrid SnowZone. Two-hour access is 29€ and includes material. For 4 hours you pay 39€, also with material included. Furthermore, for a little extra you can rent clothes, skiing sticks, a helmet and for a good price you can buy your own gloves, socks and a hat. A class for one hour for one person is 39€ and if you are two you pay 30€ each (60€ in total). Besides skiing and snowboarding you can also do the snow-activity called tobogganing, which is sliding from narrow ice-slides while sitting in an inflatable doughnut. Soon they will also offer the possibility to slide from the slope with snowbikes. We cannot wait to try this out! Also, after your fun in the cold, you can check out the shopping mall. Xanadu has more than 200 shops, around 15 restaurants and 11 bars and coffeeshops. So, if you still need to do some Christmas shopping or want to have lunch or dinner, you can do it all within the same building of the mall.
Madrid offers many other activities during wintertime. Also, ones that do not require so much physical activity. Perhaps you can check out the street vendors that sell hot chestnuts. For a small price you can buy a bag full of these delicious “castañas”, as they are called in Spanish. Their smell is a true Christmas reminder for us, and the chestnuts are actually a very healthy snack. They are filled with fibers and carbs and are low on calories. You should definitely try them! Also, the famous ¨chocolate con churros¨ is something that you must try when visiting Madrid in the cold. The thick and hot chocolate milk with the greasy and delicious churros sticks are just the best thing to have when it is cold outside. Check out Chocolatería San Gines nearby the square of Puerta del Sol. This one is the most famous chocolatery of Madrid and is open 24hrs per day, so you can also get your chocolate con churros when leaving the club. The oldest chocolatery of Madrid is actually located very near Mad4You Hostel. It is called “Chocolatería 1883” and you can find it on the street of Espiritu Santo, 8. We do want to warn you that Chocolatería 1883 is not open very often (for unknown reasons). The last chocolate place we want to recommend you is “Churrería La Mejor”, located very near Mad4You Hostel on Calle del Divino Pastor, 3. We personally recommend you this churrería, as it is not a tourist place at all, and the churros are extra delicious.
Another element that makes Madrid a very magical place in winter are the Christmas lights. During winter, the entire city is decorated in the most precious lights. Also, every year the decorations change a bit and surprise the people of Madrid again and again. A great way to check out the Christmas decorations in Madrid, and we have mentioned this is previous blog posts, is touring on the Naviluz bus. The Naviluz is a bus specially operated to see all Christimas decorations of our precious capital city. Our recommendations are that you buy your tickets in advance, bring a blanket and a thermos with some hot coco (preferable with rum) and enjoy this beautiful ride.
You are coming to the end of the blog article of this month. We hope that you enjoyed the post, learned about which winter sports to do in Madrid during your visit, but most of all we hope we have made you enthusiastic to come to Madrid and enjoy our wonderful and vibrant city.
If you liked this blog post, about “Winter sports in Madrid”, we also recommend that you read the one that we wrote about “The best places to practice outdoor sports in madrid”:
Moreover, we wrote a very cool blog about the winter season in Madrid, in the article ¨ How to enjoy Madrid in Winter to the Fullest¨. Check it out here:
And lastly, for those coffee addicts who, especially during winter, need more than one cup of delicious darkness to stay warm, check out our blog called ¨Best Coffee Places in Madrid¨ in which we recommend you the best coffee places in Madrid and what to order:
Please, do not forget that for anything you may need in Madrid or any question you may have about our Mad4You Hostel, you can always contact us by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 0034 915 217 549. We will be happy to help you with anything you may need.
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Hope to see you soon at Mad4You Hostel!
The Mad4You Hostel Team