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.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, The Travel Bunny will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. Thank you!

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 for Christmas in Madrid, 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 while you celebrate Christmas in Madrid.

christmas market in madrid

Christmas markets

Would it be Christmas in Madrid 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 that you can’t miss when you celebrate Christmas in Madrid, 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 in madrid
Decorations for Christmas in Madrid

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 the festive street while you’re celebrating Christmas in Madrid 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 after Christmas in Madrid, on January 5: it usually departs from Avenida de la Castellana at 6 pm and lasts for more than two hours.

About the author

giulia lopez guest post writer on the travel bunny

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

You too can become a guest blogger on The Travel Bunny. Just submit a free guest post.

Other articles you’ll enjoy on The Travel Bunny travel blog
Spain travel costs in top destinations
Christmas customs and traditions in Europe
10 of the most romantic hotels in the world