7 fun ideas to do in Madrid in December

Madrid is magical during the Christmas Time. With all the lights, lotteries and fun activities it was the perfect time of the year. There is a lot do explore in Madrid and we are here to give you the ultimate guide! Discover this wonderful city in December.



1. The Christmas Lights

It cannot be missed, the beauty of the city is lighted with all kinds of lights. It is displayed with all kinds of colors. Enjoy a nice walk through the neighbourhood of Salamanca and find the most beautiful lights! It might be fun to start at Cibeles. 

The lights are in Madrid from November 26 to January 6: 

  • Sunday to Wednesday: 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Thursday to Saturday and on the eve of public holidays: 6 p.m. to 12 midnight
  • 25 December, 1 and 6 January: 6 p.m. to 12 midnight
  • 24 December and 5 January: 6 p.m. to 3 a.m.
  • 31 December: 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

2. Belens

You can buy the Belens on the Plaza Mayor but you can also visit them in real life size! We have made a list with Belens you can visit! 

  • Belén del Ayuntamiento de Madrid. Patio de Operaciones. CentroCentro. From November 28 till January 5. Closed: January 1st. 
  • Belén Municipal de Plaza de la Villa. Plaza de la Villa. From December 4 till January 5th
  • Nacimiento Plaza Mayor. From December 1st until January 6th
  • Real Casa de Correos. Calle del Correo, 1. Puerta del Sol. From December 1st until January 6th

December Events

3. Plaza Mayor Market 

When going to the Plaza Mayor, you will see a Christmas market! Each year there would be 104 stalls, but due to Corona this is now 56. Nevertheless, it is still fun to go! The whole Plaza Mayor is filled with lights. The stalls are mostly selling the Belens (the stall with Jesus, Maria and the three wise kings, the scenery we all know;) The restaurant on Plaza Mayor is open, and here you can go for a drink or a hot coffee after the market. 

There is also a huge christmas tree full of lights. You should definitely see it! The market will be held from 27 November to 31 December.

4. Lotería de Navidad

Lotteries are kind of a big thing in Spain 😉 Maybe you have seen the lines of people waiting to buy a lottery… On December the 22nd at 9 p.m. there would be a lottery draw in the teatro real. During that day the orphan children of the institute San Ildefonso are singing the winning numbers and the connected prize. 

Where can I buy a ticket? Check out your local Renfe stop, Puerta de Sol, or ask a friend or co-worker a convenient location close to your school or workplace.

5. Spanish Dessert

Spain is a city with lots of traditions. One of their traditions is to eat a Turron, an almond nougat. There is no doubt that Christmas is the sweetest date on the calendar. Put your diet aside for a few days, and take a tour of the oldest patisseries in Madrid! For example, Casa Mira. Long queues have been forming since 1942 outside Casa Mira where you’ll find a huge selection of turrones all year round! Worth the visit. 

6. Shopping 

In need of some new clothes? Enjoy shopping in Callao and Sol and be amazed by all the lights there. In Callao there is this big ball completely with lights and in Sol there is a huge Christmas tree. You will be amazed when you see it!

7. Royal Botanic Gardens

Close to Prado Museum is the Royal Botanic Garden. It is a beautiful visit in day time, but now also at night time! Starting 19:00, the lights will go on. As if you are walking in wonderland. The lights are everywhere. There is a whole show. Check here the site to check some videos and to buy tickets. The tickets are €15

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