It’s the most wonderful time of the year with Christmas being just around the corner. Madrid hosts many fiestas that liven up the streets and excite visitors from all around. From the end of November to early January, the city is lit up in colorful lights that help to create Christmas cheer and glee. You will also be able to find Christmas trees that stand tall in Puerta del Sol, Plaza España, Plaza de Callao, and many other locations.
Christmas Eve (Nochebuena) is a night that families all across Spain get together for long, Christmas meals. It is quite popular in Spain some type of dish that includes seafood. Seafood is commonly eaten as appetizers or as a first course. Most people then go to Midnight Mass or ‘La Misa Del Gallo’ (The Mass of the Rooster). It is called this because a rooster is supposed to have crowed the night that Jesus was born. After the midnight service, people walk through the streets carrying torches, and play guitars and drums. One Spanish saying is ‘Esta noche es Noche-Buena, Y no Es noche de dormir’ which means ‘Tonight is the good night and it is not meant for sleeping!’
Although almost all restaurants and shops are closed on Christmas, the streets are busy and filled with people throughout. It is common for families in Madrid to be out and about Christmas day strolling through popular areas such as by the palace, through Plaza Mayor, Sol, and Retiro.
You can go to Puerta del Sol to enjoy a nice and warm cup of hot chocolate to accompany churros at San Ginés. It is a chocolateria that has served chocolate con churros since 1894 and is one of the most famous chocolaterias in all of Spain. The churros are to die for as they are freshly cooked and ready for dunking. Yum!
Visiting Christmas markets in Madrid can be a fun and festive way to spend your holiday. Madrid’s Plaza Mayor is known by locals and tourists to be one of the biggest and top markets in the area. The market has a total of 104 stalls that consist of holiday products such as Christmas tree decorations, crafts, statues of the nativity, and so on. Another popular Christmas market that is a must to attend is in Plaza de España. Here you will find handmade gifts to purchase for your loved once such as pottery, jewelry, fabric, and toys.
A short metro ride away from the Plaza Mayor market, you can find the popular department store El Corte Inglés. During the holiday season, it is known to present Cortylandia, a light and musical show with animated figures, as well as audio visual projections. These festive additions to the store will be going on until January 5th.
So don’t miss the opportunity and enjoy Christmas in Madrid!
Watch our ‘Christmas in Madrid’ video, here