Fiesta de San Isidro
Fiesta de San Isidro ©
Madrid goes wild each May in honour of the city's patron saint, San Isidro, with a traditional round of partying, feasting and dancing in the streets that goes on for about 10 days around the designated saint's day, 15 May. The city's streets are dominated by music, and each neighbourhood (barrio) chimes in with their own street party or traditional celebration. The city's squares become centres for performances of everything from flamenco to rock 'n roll, while spectators feast on traditional ice cream and doughnuts. Traditional costume is the order of the day and the emphasis in all things is on tradition, with folk dancing and music dominating. Most of the festivities and events are public and free and can be enjoyed just by roaming the right streets. The locals make pilgrimages to the Pradera of San Isidro on the saint's day, where everybody is supposed to drink at the spring. The Pradera is the entertainment hub on 15 May, with people gathering for picnics and lots of food stalls popping up. San Isidro's fiesta also signals the start of the city's bullfighting season at the Plaza de Toros Monumental de Las Ventas. For more information dial the Tourist Information line on 010 (Madrid) or +34 (0)91 540 40404010.
Venue: Plaza Mayor, Plaza de las Vistillas, Plaza de las Comendadoras, Plaza de Felipe II, Parque del Retiro and the Centro Cultural de la Villa in the Jardines del Descubrimiento
Date: 11 - 15 May 2016