San Isidro Festival in Madrid

ChicRoom Barcelona is proud to be expanding into the beautiful city of Madrid. We now have 11 different apartments to offer you for an incredible stay. They are located in different areas of Madrid but all the apartments have been hand selected and are guaranteed to make your stay as comfortable and luxurious as possible. Next month we have the perfect excuse for you to escape your day to day routine and explore the city during one of its most exciting and popular festivals whilst staying in one of our beautiful holiday apartments.

The San Isidro Festival presents the best of Madrid culture whether it is old or new, from bull fighting to street dancing, you are bound to find everything you could want and enjoy the concerts, plays, parades, fairs and special exhibitions – most of these you can enjoy free of charge.  This festival is said to be the most significant and emblematic festival of the year for Madrid. It is a festival where the whole city gets involved and it spreads across the 9 days around the 15th of May.

While visiting Madrid during the San Isidro Festival you will be able to fully immerse yourself in traditional Spanish culture and live like a Spaniard in one of our holiday apartments. The history behind this spectacular event is that the San Isidro Labrador was canonized on May 15th 1622 as he miraculously made water rise up a well in order to save his son. In order to find out more, you can visit the church on Calle Toledo during the festival – which is now built over the site where the miracle took place. The church puts on a small museum exhibition and it is definitely worth a visit if you are interested in the history behind the festivities.

During the weekend of this festival you will be surrounded by partygoers in the day and the night. If you want to let you hair down and join in with the masses then head down to the Plaza de las Vistillas, Plaza de San Andrés and Puente de Segovia in the neighbourhood of Austrias near Plaza Mayor. These plazas have bars and pop up ‘chiringuitos’ for everyone to enjoy a big glass of mojito, beer or whatever you fancy! There is a real party atmosphere that should not be missed!  There are other events during the festival where the party atmosphere fills the city, you can enjoy free open-air concerts across the city or head to the Pradera and enjoy a picnic amongst the hundreds picnicking there. The Pradera also has many food and drink stalls where you can find all sorts of food if you haven’t prepared a picnic. This is an emblematic part of the festival and on the Sunday of the festival,  the area is considered the Pradera de San Isidro due to its picnicking tradition and the place where people gathered at the end of their pilgrimage.

If you enjoy music and want to visit the best of the free concerts, you should check out Casa Del Campo where there are huge open-air rock concerts for all to enjoy and are a sort of small music festival.

There are other traditions that are typically Spanish that should not be missed. This includes the controversial Spanish sport of bullfighting; it might not be for you but you may want to experience this part of traditional Spanish culture. San Isidro is considered the biggest bullfighting festival in the world and the best fights with the most prized fighters are saved for this time. There is a bullfight every afternoon including one special event called ‘La Corrida Goyesca’ where traditional Goyesco outfits are worn. If you want to experience a traditional part of Spanish culture then you should book your tickets as far in advance as possible as they go really quickly. Some days you are able to purchase tickets for as little as 8€.

There are various carnivals and fairs that are set up too throughout the festival. On the first Saturday afternoon of San Isidro (usually), you should head down to the main streets of Madrid to watch the parade. There are huge figurines that walk the street and smalle
r people with paper mache heads. It has been a tradition since the festival began and so you shouldn’t miss it!

You might also come across locals dancing the traditional dance of ‘El Chotis’. This is a traditional dance that was originally danced by the working class as they dressed up and danced brightly despite not having much money.

Check out this link from 2016 to see what you might be missing: https://youtu.be/PQAfg4xnkgA

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