Are you ready for Christmas in Madrid? We can all perceive the Christmas spirit in Madrid from the last weeks of November, isn’t it? Street lights are lit from 6 pm shopkeepers have already decorated their windows. In addition chestnut stalls line the streets of some parts of the city. Be sure to try typical winter and Christmas season dishes like cocido madrileño (chickpea stew), callos a la madrileña (tripe in Madrid style) or the traditional Roscón de Reyes filled with cream for dessert.
Moreover, there are Christmas markets, kids´ activities and religious events like the Nativity Play on exhibition in many churches and municipal halls all over the city. Christmas in Madrid is not usually snowy, but we have some ice rinks open to all skaters irrespective of skill and level. All in all, the Christmas illuminations in Madrid are one of the main attractions of the city center. You will be able to enjoy this colorful exposition from now on till January 6th everyday from 6 pm.
Are you visiting Madrid or is it your first Christmas in Madrid this year? If so you are in for a treat!
We have organized a practical Christmas Guide in Madrid whether you are a visitor or are already living in Madrid for years.
Christmas Lights Viewing Navibus:
Navibus, blend of Navidad (Christmas in Spanish) and Bus, will take you around the city to see the Christmas lights. It is the only official bus service to view Madrid´s Christmas lights. You can get on the bus from a stop in the Plaza de Colón area (Serrano Street, next to the Gardens of Discovery). Tickets are available online and in advance here. The route of the Christmas lights viewing starts in Serrano street then continues in Puerta de Alcalá, Cibeles, Calle Alcalá, Gran Vía, Plaza Callao, Jacometrezo, Santo Domingo, San Bernardo returning in Gran Vía, Alcalá, Plaza de Cibeles, Puerta de Alcalá, Velázquez, Ortega y Gasset finally back to Serrano street at the bus stop. The trip duration is between 40 to 50 minutes. You can take the trip every day till January 6th 2019. The ride times of the bus are from 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm. The bus has a panoramic upper deck so we recommend you to take warm clothes, scarves, and gloves if you decide to sit there.
Gospel Choir Concerts:
Concerts by gospel choirs are very common during the festive season in Madrid. Many choirs come to Madrid from the US during the Christmas season just for this, though there are also some local choirs. You can expect to attend free concerts in churches around the city or paid concerts in theatres or concert halls. One such event is the XXIV Great Festival of the Gospel of Madrid happening at Fernán Gómez Centro Cultural de la Villa in the Guirau and Polivalente Hall.
This year´s edition presents several exciting appearances. Audiences will enjoy gospel renditions by the likes of Chicago Mass Choir, Joshua Nelson, accompanied by The New York Gospel Project, Charleston Gospel Voices and The South Carolina Gospel Chorale, among others. The program is ideal for the whole family and offers additional activities like masterclasses and encounters between the audience and choristers. These bonus events are free for everyone who bought tickets to the main concert events. Ticket prices are €10 for children and €35 for adults. Get your tickets here.
Here follows the complete Gospel Concert Program:
- Chicago Mass Choir presents Connecting Souls on the 5th , 6th and 7th of December at 9pm
- Joshua Nelson & The New York Gospel Project presents The Gospel according to Joshua on the 8th, 9th and 15th of December at 9pm
- Local Choir All 4 Gospel / Charleston Gospel Voices presents El ritmo del Gospel on the 11th , 12th and 13th of December at 9pm
- The South Carolina Gospel Chorale presents Feeling freedom & fun on the 14th and 16th of December at 9pm
- Children’s concert Gospel for kids on the 9th and 16th of December at 5pm
Bonus Events Free for Ticket Holders:
- Oh Madrid Happy Day! On the 2nd of December at 12:30pm
- Masterclass with the members of Chicago Mass Choir on the 6th of December at 12:30pm with the participation by Percy Gray Jr, Chicago Mass Choir director, Feranda Williamson, soloist, and Jeral Gray Sr. pianist
- Encounters between the artists and the audience on the 12th and 15th of December at 8pm
- Encounter with Charleston Gospel Voices with the participation by Tony Washington and Mildred Daniels on the 12th December
- Encounter with Joshua Nelson on the 15th of December
Ice Skating Rinks:
One of the extraordinary attractions of Christmas in Madrid are the ice rinks. During the Christmas holidays, you can rent skates and have a fun time in one of the many rinks in Madrid.
This year the City Council has organized numerous ice rinks in various neighbourhoods. However, the one located in the Palacio de Cibeles deserves a special mention. You do not need to be a professional skater to join in the fun. There will be skates to rent at each rink…
Here follows descriptions of some of the more popular and centric ice rinks:
Skating in the Crystal Gallery:
The Crystal Gallery of the Cibeles Palace hosts one of the most attractive ice rinks. In the same space, called the Winter Gallery, other attractions that are very popular with children are offered. The skating rink of the Crystal Gallery will be open from December 21 to January 5th, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. December 21, from 4 to 9 pm. December 24th and 31st, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. January 1st, from 5 pm to 9 pm. January 5th, from 11am to closing depending on the needs of the Cabalgata (3 Wise Men Parade).
Skating in Plaza de Colón:
This outdoors ice rink was apparently inspired by the famous Rockefeller Center rink in New York. The rink is about 300 m2 and access is free. Beginner courses are also organized from time to time. You can skate here from December 1st to January 7th at 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Plaza Santa María de la Soledad Acosta Towers (Plaza de la Luna)
This rice rink charges €2 for access during the week and €7 from Friday to Sunday. The price includes the rental of the skates for a maximum duration of one hour. Join in the ice-fun from December 1st to January 7th , from 10 am to 10 pm (Friday and Saturday until 11 pm).
Madrid has the some of the most beautiful Christmas Markets in Spain. The most representative Christmas market is located in Plaza Mayor. It also happens to be the oldest Christmas market in the country. Apart from this, the city has many other Christmas markets as well. We will tell you about a few of them.
Christmas Market in the Plaza Mayor:
There are total 104 stalls of which 90 offer traditional Christmas products and 14 practical joke items. Here you can find every type of Christmas tree decoration, ornaments as well as gifts or crafts. The market is opening from the end of November to the end of December from 10:00 a.m to 10:00 p.m.
Christmas Market in the Paseo de Recoletos:
This handicraft market hosts potters, jewelers, leather artisans, glass toy makers, goldsmith etc. The market opens from the 1st of December to the 30th of December from 11:00 to 21:00.
Christmas Shopping in El Rastro de Madrid:
Descriptions of markets in Madrid are not complete without the mention of El Rastro. This the most famous outdoors flea market in Madrid and Spain in general. It consists of more than 1000 positions of sellers and merchants. You can find just about anything in this market. During the Christmas season you will find some original and fun Christmas themed presents. It opens on Sundays from 9.00 to 15:00.
Join us on our private food tour this festive season to savor the most typical Christmas dishes Madrid offers during the Christmas holidays her.