December has begun, and Christmas is just around the corner: so, if you’ve ever dreamed of saying 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, this is definitely your destination for your winter holidays or, even better, for Christmas itself. There are so many things you can do and see: markets, festive lights, nativity scenes, parades, and the list goes on.
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. Located in the El Barrio de las Lestras 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 a 7-day access to Dream Deals and save up to 30%. So, don’t miss out on any of the special things that are going around town on and get ready for the most incredible Christmas holidays ever.
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 will turn into cosy Christmas markets: there you can find local food, artisan products, and traditional crafts.
The biggest market you can find in Madrid is certainly Mercado de Navidad in Plaza Mayor: this doesn’t come as a surprise since this Plaza is the heart of the Old City and it’s been used as the main market since the 15th century. But there are 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, but don’t forget to check their exact running period in December.
Around Christmas time, Madrid is incredibly well-decorated: from 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 designer, architects, and graphic designers create new breath-taking light shows every year and 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.