3 reasons why you should celebrate Christmas in Madrid

December is here, and Christmas is just around the corner. So if you want to say Feliz Navidad in a caliente tone of voice, now’s your time to do it. In fact, there are hardly any cities that go deep into the Christmas spirit as Madrid does. If that sounds like you, Christmas in Madrid is just the thing for you. There are so many things you to do and see: markets, festive lights, nativity scenes, parades, and many more.

Keep in mind that all the hotels and restaurants sell out pretty quickly, so make sure you book in advance. If you still haven’t found your place to stay, here’s your answer: Radisson Blu Hotel, Madrid Prado. The hotel is in the El Barrio de las Letras district, just a few minutes from top attractions such as the Prado Museum, the Thyssen and Reina Sofía Museums, and Retiro Park. This boutique hotel will guarantee a stylish retreat in the heart of the Spanish capital.

The central location of this hotel makes it a great starting point for exploring the city. Also, if you book now, you’ll have 7-day access to Dream Deals and save up to 30%. So, don’t miss out on any of the special things around town and get ready for the most incredible Christmas holidays ever.

christmas market in madrid spain

Christmas markets

Would it be Christmas without the markets? The Spanish people are not the types to spend their days inside: they’d rather be outside, and for good reason. Many plazas and street corners become cozy Christmas markets. There, you can find local food, artisan products, and traditional crafts.

The biggest market you should visit during your Christmas in Madrid is certainly Mercado de Navidad in Plaza Mayor. This Plaza is the heart of the Old City. Actually, it’s been the main market since the 15th century.

However, there are some other big markets around town, such as Fiera Mercado de Artisania (Plaza de Espana), Navidad en Oriente (Plaza Opera), and Medieval Christmas Market (Plaza Jacinto Benavente).

All the markets usually open at 12.00 and close around 21.00. Still, don’t forget to check their exact running period in December.

Christmas lights

Around Christmas time, Madrid is incredibly well-decorated. Starting in late November, the streets of Madrid, its buildings, and its squares are filled with colorful twinkling lights. Christmas decorations are literally everywhere, and a magical atmosphere fills the air. Renowned designers, architects, and graphic designers create new breath-taking light shows every year. That’s the reason why everybody wants to see them!

If you don’t want to miss these incredible holiday sights that adorn the whole city, make sure you go to Gran Via, Puerta del Sol, and Paseo de la Castellana; and in the Barrio Salamanca district, don’t forget Calle Goya and Calle Ortega y Gasset. So, just jump into Madrid’s festive street and be ready to take so many pictures along the way: your Instagram feed will have to be updated!

Three Kings Parade

If you have every intention to live these winter holidays like a true Madrileño, you absolutely can’t miss the Three Kings Parade (or, if you want to mix in with the locals, La Cabalgata de Los Reyes Magos). Following the New Year’s Eve, this stunning celebration keeps the Christmas spirit alive: everybody gathers in the city’s street to welcome the Three Kings passing through Madrid.

It’s an incredibly jaw-dropping night and the parade is literally a theatrical eye-opener with camels, carriages, shepherds, townspeople and, obviously, the Three Kings, Melchior, Gaspar, and Balthazar, marching through the crowds with presents for all. This famous parade falls on January 5: it usually departs from Avenida de la Castellana at 6 pm and lasts for more than two hours.

About the Author

“My name is Giulia, 29, coffee lover, language enthusiast, amateur musician. But most of all, travel addict. Discovering new countries and new cultures has always been my true passion, and lucky for me it all became part of my everyday life. Now collaborating with several travel agencies, travel blogs, and tour operators across the world.”

11 Thoughts to “3 reasons why you should celebrate Christmas in Madrid”

  1. We were just in Spain in November/December but missed Madrid. We should visit next time around the holidays based on all the great advice here!

  2. I always think of Christmas in the Germanic countries when I’m thinking of Christmas in Europe, but how could I forget Spain and Madrid! The light shows and parade sounds amazing, and it’s great that it takes place after Christmas itself when festivities in other countries start to die down. I hope to be there one day around these holidays 🙂

  3. Heather

    Although I have been to Madrid many times on my 9-10 trips to Spain, I’ve never been at Christmastime but I can only imagine how beautiful it is! I am surprised that the ones in Madrid also close at 9. I just recently got home from my first European Christmas Market (in Austria) and they all closed between 9-10pm. That is so early to me for Europe and I thought I bet they are open later in Spain since Spain is notorious for later nights, but no so much huh?

  4. I have not been to Madrid or Barcelona. Christmas may be a good time to do it. The only problem is that it is low 50s (F) at Christmas time!

  5. The Three Kings parade sounds interesting, would be nice if you could share some photos ! =)
    I have been to Barcelona only, and wanted to visit Madrid ! Maybe good to do it over Christmas ! =p

  6. I do not know Madird yet. But since we are huge fans of Christmas markets, why not combine both. Thanks for the great tip.

  7. I had no idea Madrid would be so Christmasy! It sounds like it would be a magical place to visit during the festive season and The King’s Parade sounds amazing!

  8. Madrid looks so beautiful during a normal part of the year, so I bet it’s just incredible at Christmas time! It would definitely be a different vibe than what I’m used to – no snow or pine trees and steaming cups of hot chocolate. But that parade sounds like so much fun, as do the Spanish Christmas markets!

  9. Christmas in Madrid looks wonderful! I’ve recently discovered how amazing Christmas markets are and I want to visit as many as I can! Madrid is now on my list for (hopefully) next year!

  10. I’ve heard Madrid is just magical anytime of year but it looks even better at Christmas. I’ve always been interested in how other countries celebrate Christmas and for a country so close to the UK I don’t really know so much about the traditions here, so that’s fun to discover!

  11. The Three Kings parade sounds like so much fun and so original! I would not ever have thought about traveling to Madrid for the holidays but it certainly has a special appeal. Thanks for sharing something totally new for me.

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