Many cities jump at the opportunity to outdo themselves when it comes to Christmas lights and markets every year. Some even start at the beginning of November (see London) to whip out the lights, put up the trees and have fake Santas singing ho ho in the street. Whether you like Christmas or what it stands for, you can’t deny the enchanting feeling it gives to people of all ages. The kids like the presents, the teens like the time off school, the young adults like seeing their family again, the adults enjoy bringing joy to their kids with presents, the grandparents get to see all of this unfold. Madrid takes full advantage of this, so make sure to check out these special seasonal pop-ups.
First and foremost, the main square where you will find the traditionally small wooden huts selling all sorts of small festive things, plaza Mayor. Over 100 of these are set up in the square, so it’s very dense, and you’re bound to find one or two things you might want to bring home. If you’re wondering why it feels like you’re walking through a few halloween/carnival/joke stalls, it’s because April fool is actually in December in Spain, so bare that in mind if a prank is pulled on you on the 28th.
Callao Plaza Christmas Market
Here is the home to El Corte Ingles’ annual winter installation, a great big wooden cabin full of Christmas decorations and accessories with a great big lit-up Christmas tree overlooking this festive square.
Here you will find the artisanal Feria Mercado de Artesanía, home to a group of talents from all over the country, selling accessories, goods, toys, leather, jewellery and much more. Perfect to find that special, handmade and unique gifts for your loved ones.
Plaza de Jacinto Benavente
The famous little square with the bronze sweeper tends to have over 20 little wooden cabins and huts offering a wide array of accessories, jewellery, gifts of all sized, decorations and the Christmas-must “roasted chestnuts!”. Another cute detour for anyone looking for an original gift.
Christmas lights: When will they be turned on?
23 November at 6pm, until 6th January.
Over 80 public spaces and streets will host Christmas lights and decorations this year, from the obvious Gran Via to Plaza Mayor, Chueca square and many many more. Tis going to be a bright Christmas.
Traditions in Madrid:
If you’ve ever noticed, around Christmas time, there are two very long queues that form on the streets: one is to buy the Christmas Lottery ticket, and the other is to buy Turrón, Mantecados & Roscón de Reyes. If you’re interested in the festive pastries, then you might want to go to the most popular place in town for it: Casa Mira (Carrera de San Jeronimo, 30).
Towards the end of November we will be updating this list of things to do and places to go as we edge closer to the big day!