There is plenty to do in Madrid during the holiday season. From Christmas lights, to the largest Christmas tree and a collection of nativity scenes, here are some of the best things to do and see in Madrid during the holiday season, according to the team of ShMadrid.
Related article: Christmas Gift Shopping in Madrid
Visit the Christmas Markets
During the holiday season, Madrid gets filled with Christmas markets, in which you can purchase a variety of items related to the holidays, like Christmas trees, ornaments, candles or individual figures to create your own nativity scene. Some booths also sell items like jewelry and handcrafted items that can make great gifts. You can also find booths selling tasty treats like turróns, polvorones, and churros with hot chocolate. Most of the markets open in the end of November and close on January 6th, the last day of the Spanish holiday season. The oldest and most famous Christmas market in Madrid is the one in Plaza Mayor. A lot of other plazas are joining in and creating their own Christmas markets, like Plaza de Opera, Plaza España, Plaza Santo Domingo, Plaza de la Luna, Plaza Isabel, and Plaza Benavente.
Enjoy the Christmas lights
During the holiday season Madrid gets turned into a wonderland, with Christmas lights that are turned on daily from 6 m to 10 pm or 11 pm, depending on if it is a weekday or the weekend. The lights have been turned on in the end of November and will be turned off on January 7th. The main locations of the Christmas lights are Gran Via, Puerta del Sol, Paseo de la Castellana/Paseo del Prado, Calle Goya, Calle Ortega y Gasset, and wherever there is a El Corte Inglés department store. During this season, there is a bus that takes visitors on a tour of the Christmas lights around the city, called Navibus. The bus costs only 2€ per person, taking visitors on a 50 minute tours that goes through Serrano, Plaza Independencia, Calle Alcalá, Plaza Cibeles, Gran Vía, Plaza Callao, Jacometrezo, Plaza Santo Domingo, Calle San Bernardo, Calle Velazquez, Calle Ortega y Gasset. The bus departs every 5 minutes from Calle Serrano, 30.
Related article: Madrid’s Christmas Markets
Visit the main Christmas tree
The most important Christmas tree in the city can usually be found in Puerta del Sol plaza.
Discover Madrid’s Nativity Scenes
There are several nativity scenes you can visit in Madrid. The largest one is Belén de Francisco Salzillo, in CentroCentro at Palacio Cibles. There are also nativity scenes at Plaza del Sol, the Royal Church of San Ginés, at the Corpus Christi Convent of the Nuns Jerónimas, at St, Michaels Basilica, the Church of Jesús de Medinaceli, and at Palacio de Cibeles.
What is your favourite activity during the holiday season?