We will be in Madrid during the National Day of Spain holiday. Does anyone know if museums, etc., close on this day? Also, any events/celebrations, or is this a low-key holiday? I appreciate any information that could help me shape my itinerary.
October 12 is the National Day of Spain (Fiesta Nacional de España), this is a public holiday so everyone has the day off. This means many locals will be traveling around Spain for the long holiday, a bit like what happens in the 4th of July in USA. Outside of the main touristy zones you may find some smaller shops/restaurants closed. Public transport runs normally. Major museums and tourist sites should not be affected, thought you may find an uptick of visitors to these sites on the 12th, as locals have the day off.
Madrid is the epicenter of the National Day of Spain, there are a number of patriotic events that could restrict access in the city center, the largest example being the huge Military Parade (Desfile Militar) presided over by the King of Spain that goes straight through the streets of central Madrid.
The Desfile Militar is something attended by thousands of locals and is quite a unique event, the Parade showcases the variety of different historic Spanish Military Units, the biggest crowd pleasers are the Spanish Legion (like the French one) and the Moroccan Regulares. I'd say make a day out of it, join the locals, and enjoy the festivities, walk around and explore.
Just one small comment on Carlos' reply, and it will not affect you in Madrid, but in some places, like Zaragoza, the 12th is the Pilarica, the Dia del Pilar. The whole week will probably fiesta in the city.
Thanks to all for the input; very helpful and appreciated.
Special thanks to Carlos for the date correction! 😀
Happy to help