“Santa Claus is coming to town!” can you feel it? Oh, dearest young internationals, this is our favourite time of the year: the magical Christmas! The city turns into a fairytale, made up of lights, cherish atmosphere, Christmas markets in Madrid and decorations throughout the streets. If you guys are living in Madrid and spending December in the Spanish capital and you’re looking for the best highlights for an unforgettable Christmas, here we are to share some hints and tips about what to expect in Madrid over the holidays.
Navidad in Spain will not look like in the typical X-Mas cards: turkey, angelical carols, snow...Madrid has its unique, joyful way to celebrate! Many lights and street parties are the main holiday characters here.
*COVID-19 alert: due to the government guidelines for the global pandemic situation, many public gatherings and festivals have been cancelled in this Christmas 2021 celebration. Double check them on the official website of the Community of Madrid.
The Spanish capital is dressing up for the holidays! Christmas lights in Madrid spread joy, music and positive vibes all over the city, turning it into a true winter wonderland. You’ll be amazed because in the city centre (and not only), almost every little street and big avenue is lightened up, offering a kind of great spectacle. Get ready to admire these luminous shows while sipping some hot chocolate or tasting delicious roasted chestnuts.
This year, Christmas lights switch-on will be on the 26th of November and will stay lit every night until the 6th of January 2022, until midnight. When the sun goes down, you’ll be able to admire this incredible lights attraction everyday from 6.00pm to midnight. Special time shifts will be applied on Christmas Eve, the 24th of December 2021 and the 5th of January 2022, when the lights will stay switched on from 6.00 pm to 03.00 am in the night and on the 31st of December, from 6.00 pm to 06.00 am in the morning.
*COVID-19 alert: Naviluz is the bus city tour most famous in Madrid, which hosts the amazing guided route showing locals and tourists the amazing Christmas lights in the city. This year, service is still to confirm.
What to expect? Millions and millions of LED lights are hung above the wonderful streets of Madrid. Let’s have a look at the great installations!
Every neighbourhood has its different lights, boasting a unique design and colours, reflecting its own identity.
Which are the most beautiful Christmas trees? You can find them in the major plazas in the center of Madrid. In Sol there’s a huge one standing in the centre of the square while Plaza Mayor is home to a beautiful tall white tree rising next to one of the best Christmas markets in Madrid. They’re pieces of art made by fashion designers and architects and spreading warm and joyful vibes all over the city.
“Naturaleza encendida“ is a winter fairytale landscape that lightens up the enchanting Royal Botanical Gardens of Madrid, in the Los Austrias historical area, boasting impressive natural figures inspired by plants and animal life.
The enormous Light Ball is the “cherry on top” of the most famous avenue in Madrid: Gran Vía. at the crossroad between Calle Alcalá and Calle Gran Vía, right in front of the iconic Metropolis Building, the 12 meters of diameter Christmas Ball spreads lights everywhere, boasting spectacular light shows with synchronized lights and sounds.
Opened in 2020 in Calle Sevilla, the Four Season Hotel is located in one of the most impressive and historical buildings in the city.
By walking there, you will be able to admire a majestic christmas tree all over the front façade and get the perfect Insta-shot!
This year, new spaces have been added to the magical street light parade in Madrid. The most beautiful among them: calle Alcalá entre Sevilla and Sol; Duque de Medinaceli-Jesús; the squares Plaza Elíptica, de las Salesas, del Encuentro and de Oporto; Usera market and the area nearby Joaquín Costa-Francisco-Silvela bridge.
Arches, chains, firs, almond trees, and more… This year the newbie is the Spanish flag in the areas Prado - Recoletos (entre Colón y Neptuno), the bridges of Juan Bravo and Raimundo Fernández Villaverde and in the cultural center Fernán Gómez.
Two and a half years later, the renovation of Plaza de España is finally over; this unique square now looks brand new and is a magnificent space for madrileños and tourist to admire a beautiful Christmas Tree.
With more than 800 balls, luminous strings and 27,000 lights with LED technology, the huge tree is located at the crossroads between Plaza España and Gran Vía.
The enchanting building that once hosted the North Station has already been lit up to bring us joy with the spectacular lighting (in a Fernandine-style, also called Elizabethan). A real light waterfall, covering the entire façade of the station. If you want to visit it, you’ll also be able to sit on the outside terrace and grab a drink or a hot beverage and chill with your friends.
Let’s move to the other important and typical activity of Christmas Madrid: the markets, of course! Food, beverages, handcrafts, clothes and much more. In these lovely open-air spaces you’ll find the best festive atmosphere (inspired by the traditional German Christmas markets) to spend a unique time with your beloved ones.
Beside the Christmas markets in Madrid, street festivals and parades are the main characters of the Spanish holidays. Make sure to put all these beautiful shows on your agenda!
*COVID-19 alert: many of the street parades have been suspended or reduced due to the pandemic situation. Check them out on the official Community of Madrid website
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