It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
Christmas season is here! Maybe you are staying in Madrid for the holidays or just have a few weeks before going home. Either way, you certainly have some time for the plethora of December events happening around the city. If you are one of the fortunate ones who have a long weekend coming up, December 6th to the 9th, there will be time to wander around and experience some of the great festive attractions. Therefore, Smart Insiders wanted to provide our readers with a special December events calendar for all the important things going on this month.
The special Christmas lottery.
Maybe you’ve been living under a rock the past few months, but if not you may have noticed the Christmas lottery hype. This event is one of the most noteworthy events during the holiday season in Madrid. As a result, many people enter and the payoff is worth it. On December 22nd anyone who has bought a lottery ticket, which would be most Spaniards for almost every family, group of friends, or workplace, will be anxiously awaiting to know who the winners of the big prize will be.
What’s the big prize?
This year the lottery will give out 2240 million euro in cash prizes! The Teatro Real opera house hosts a live show where they will draw the winning ticket.
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 is close to your school or workplace.
Can I watch the drawing?
Visitors can attend the event at the theatre for free. Doors open at 8:00 am and will fill up on a first-come, first-served basis. Also, if you’re planning to attend make sure to get there early since there are only 600 seats available.
Cortylandia: the land of Christmas.
Cortylandia is one of the customary Christmas attractions in the heart of Madrid. It’s set up every year by El Corte Inglés in front of its Preciados department store. Almost everyone has time to see this attraction for two reasons. The show is outside and the running time lasts about 15 minutes. For the reason that the display changes every year, this is a must-attend event to compare and contrast past displays.
Cortylandia Madrid schedule:
- Monday to Friday: Morning: 12:00, 13:00, 14:00. Afternoon: 18:00, 19:00, 20:00, 21:00
- Saturdays, Sundays, Holidays: Morning: 12:00, 13:00, 14:00. Afternoon: 17:00, 18:00, 19:00, 20:00, 21:00
- December 24 and 31: Morning: 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00 Afternoon: 18:00, 19:00, 19:30
- December 25th and January 1st: Afternoon: 18:00, 19:00, 20:00
What is a Belene?
Another tradition in Madrid is the iconic Belenes (Nativity Scenes) that many churches display. All the Belenes are handcrafted nativity scenes that you can visit during Christmas all the way up until the first week of January. Similarly, it’s normal for many establishments and homes to display a Belene. If you would like to buy your own there are many places to do it this Christmas season. The most noteworthy place to shop is the Plaza Mayor Christmas market. Maybe you don’t have room for a large nativity scence, but don’t worry! You will come across many different styles and sizes, both big and small.
Here are just a few of the locations that have beautiful Belenes.
Belene’s location and hours:
- Nativity of Cibeles December 7th – January 7th: Palacio de Cibeles
- Nativity of Puerta del Sol Until January 5th: Casa de Correos. Puerta del Sol
- Nativity of the Royal Palace Until January 14th: Palacio Real de Madrid
- Nativity of Museo de Historia de Madrid Until January 28th: Calle Fuencarral 78
- Almudena Cathedral From December 25th to January 14th (Closed December 25th, January 1st, and January 2nd): Calle de Bailén, Madrid
Christmas carousel in Plaza de Oriente.
Finally, the Plaza de Oriente will be have a beautiful double-decker carousel that is bound to be featured on Instagram, therefore bring your camera! According to the tradition, around the Royal Palace in Madrid you will see lights and colours traditional to the Christmas season. Among other attractions, the double-decker carousel, which plays festive tunes, also has incredible views of the square. This is a fun attraction to visit with friends while having a fun photo op. 🙂
Other December events in Madrid.
Above all, the Christmas lights and markets around Madrid are a Christmas staple. From Plaza Mayor to Puerta de Alcala you will be able to get into the Christmas spirit by shopping for local Spanish goods while being awestruck by beautiful lights around the city. To get more information about markets and lights click below!