Get to known the festivities of San Isidro in Madrid
Get to known the festivities of San Isidro in Madrid
Come and discover the history of San Isidro and the traditional customs of Madrid. Are you going to miss it?

The months go by, and every day the month of May is closer, a long-awaited and special time for the inhabitants of the capital. Thousands of people from Madrid flock to San Isidro meadow to enjoy chotis, donuts, and friends and family company. It is one of the most authentic and traditional festivals in the city. Do you want to discover what San Isidro festivities have for you in Madrid? Do not miss this post, we tell you some curiosities of this party and how you can enjoy them to the fullest.

The reason behind the close relationship between Madrid and San Isidro dates back to ancient times. It is believed that he was born on April 4, 1082 in the capital and that he gained popularity as a result of all the miracles he worked in the city and its surroundings: feeding the needy with an endless pot, making water spring from with a stroke of the stick...

All miracles of San Isidro were related to agriculture, which is why he is the patron saint of Madrid as well as of farmers and of numerous towns with an agricultural tradition, especially those most deeply rooted in Catholicism.


In addition to visiting the Collegiate Church of San Isidro or attending its emblematic mass, there are many activities you can do to live the experience of San Isidro in Madrid. All the traditional customs that we tell you about below are part of a historical and patrimonial past of the city, you decide which of them you start with.

Follow a guided tour. Although it is not a tradition, free tours organized by Paseo Madrid to learn about the history and heritage linked to San Isidro festivities in Madrid are the perfect plan to put yourself in context before the festivities start.

The pilgrimage and saint's water. The pilgrimage takes place in Pradera de San Isidro and its surrounding streets. It is customary for the chulapos and chulapas to drink the water from the saint from a spring attached to the Hermitage of San Isidro.

Attend the vigil for the body of San Isidro. On the occasion of the 400th anniversary of his canonization, this year, San Isidro festivities in Madrid will be more special than ever. In addition to the traditional festivities, the body will be exhibited in different places of worship from May 21st to 29th, dates on which it will be taken to Almudena Cathedral for a vigil before being returned to the collegiate church, something that hasn't happened for about 40 years.

A masterpiece snack. The pilgrimage is not the only tradition that takes place in Pradera de San Isidro. As Francisco de Goya immortalized in a painting that can now be seen at Museo Nacional del Prado, another traditional custom that takes place here is snacking on doughnuts and lemonade.

A piece of advice: if you are going to order a lemonade, you have to know that the one from Madrid contains wine, lemon, sugar, and chopped fruit (usually apple). Also, be careful with doughnuts, there is a wide variety! Make a mix or choose between the 'silly ones' (with egg), the 'lists' (with egg and covered in icing sugar), the Santa Clara ones (with a layer of white meringue) and the French ones (with almonds).


Discovering all these customs of San Isidro festivities in Madrid in an easy and comfortable way is possible by reserving a hotel as central as Hotel Quatro Puerta del Sol.

With a privileged location just 80 metres from Puerta del Sol, if you want to explore Madrid on foot, staying at Hotel Quatro Puerta del Sol will be the best decision you can make. This hotel has been recently refurbished and decorated to create a welcoming environment for you to feel at home while experiencing for yourself the importance of San Isidro in Madrid.