One of our friends starts the countdown till Christmas in October. With every Christmas tree that he sees and with every plastic snowflake in a shop window he gets more excited, with the highlight being the annual broadcasting of Love Actually.
Hugh Grant might not come walking down Gran Vía, but there’s plenty of Christmas for everyone in Spain’s capital. This Friday the Christmas lights will be switched on in more than ninety streets. Since 2003 Madrid transforms the Dark Days into an enlightened event: this year almost four million bulbs shine their light on the city during fourty days.
Furthermore you’ll find a huge Christmas market on the Plaza Mayor, where you can buy decorations, candles and figurines to complete your Nativity set. Strangely enough the market is also full with wigs: Spaniards are probably one of the few people who relate Christmas to fake hair.
Although the market in Plaza Mayor is the most famous, you can also enjoy a nice market in Plaza España. It will be open from December 13th to January 5th. This market is also known as the Community of Madrid Craft Fair. In this street market you can buy handmade products of all kinds made by more than twon hundres artisans from across the country – Click here for an overview of the best Christmas markets in Madrid (in Spanish).
There are Nativity scenes across town at Plaza de la Villa, the Basílica Pontífica, and Madrid Cathedral, among other spots. And if you want something more sporty you can go ice skating on the Callao square or you can participate in the Madrid Santa Hustle (“Carrera popular del Papá Noel”) on December 12th. This curious tradition began in the US and has spread worldwide. In Madrid, this 5.5-kilometers Santa Race is a recent addition to the holiday season, which could eventually rival with the famous San Silvestre Race – held in the neighborhood of Vallecas each December 31st.
If you want to discover the festive spirit with us, Madway can take you on a special Christmas-route through Madrid, enjoying Christmas lights and explaining background stories about Christmas in the capital. We invite you on a luminous evening stroll from Plaza Mayor and Sol through Gran Vía and Hortaleza to Plaza de la Independencia and the chique Salamanca neighborhood. Dazzling guaranteed!