Madrid is a beautiful and exciting destination to visit ANY time of the year, but if you happen to be there around Christmastime, you’ll be able to fully unwrap and enjoy all the cheer, quirk and tradition it has to offer! Here are eight merry traditions you should expect to encounter during Christmastime in Madrid.
1. DÍA DE LOS REYES
Holiday celebrations go strong until January 6th—Día de los Reyes. On the Día de los Reyes, the “Three Kings” bring presents to children. Be prepared to celebrate Christmas Eve, Christmas day and Día de los Reyes!
2. LIGHTS IN THE CITY
Designers from around the world come to decorate Madrid’s street with glitzy, elegant lights.
Consider taking the open-air Navibús to get a glimpse of all the ornamentation. It’ll bring you down all of the main avenues to gawk at the lights. Just remember to dress warmly!
*The Navibús runs daily from Plaza Colon until the 6th of January. The ride is about 40 minutes long and it costs 2 euros.
3. CHRISTMAS TEA AT THE TEA SHOP
The Tea Shop always offers samples in the front of their stores out of their glass teapots, and during the holidays you’ll get to try their splendid Christmas tea. A heartwarming mix of almonds, cinnamon, oranges, cloves and apples, it embodies the season. This would be a lovely gift to bring to those back home.
4. CHRISTMAS MARKETS
Perhaps not as impressive or dazzling as many of the other Christmas markets in Europe, it’s still fun to get into the spirit and wander the markets with all the little wooden houses, christmas trees and dangling lights.
Do make sure to keep your eye out for pop-up Christmas markets.
This one, The Hovse in Chamberí, is in a converted three-story mansion. It’s filled with trendy artisan goods made by designers and there’s even a vermuteria and rooftop bar!
5. LISE & LETI HOMEMADE COOKIES
Who doesn’t love cookies at Christmastime? Find these scrumptious creations on Calle de la Cruz 12 (closed Mondays).
6. CREMA DE ORUJO
Crema de Orujo is a liquor similar to Baileys and is often given complimentarily in Spain after a meal in the winter. Drink it as a shot or enjoy it over ice—it’ll warm you right up!
7. RESTAURANT TERRACES
Enjoying a meal and drinks outdoors does not stop in the wintertime in Spain. The merriment merely continues—accompanied by outdoor heaters and blankets for every chair. Once you’re bundled up and warm, accompanied by some Crema de Oruja or a glass of red wine, a comfy terrace dinner is to be enjoyed.
8. LA CARRERA DE PAPA NOEL
For only 12 euros you’ll receive a Santa suit AND a gift will be donated to a child. OH, and you’ll be running a 5.5K with 5,000 other people dressed as Papa Noel! If you’re not up for participating, it’s still a wonderful and quirky event to witness!
Want to explore Madrid some more? Check out the Discover Madrid page to find more restaurants, bars, museums, shopping, and more!
About the Author: Hola, I’m Erica. I’ve been suffering from a wicked case of wanderlust for quite some time now. Follow me on my never-ending search for the cure at theonewithwanderlust.com