It’s Christmas in Spain and the season for Spanish traditions such as munching on turrón, Christmas lottery or heading to the best Christmas markets in Spain to do some holiday shopping.
Here are some of the most well known Christmas markets in Barcelona, Madrid and Seville to visit, that typically run from around the end of November up until early January.
Christmas markets in Spain are all about lights, sweets and nativity scenes, giant Christmas trees and the sweet smell of caramelizing almonds to the tune of festive holiday music.
Here’s our pick of the top 3 magical Christmas markets in Spain.
Fira de Santa Llúcia, Barcelona
The “Fira de Santa Llúcia” is the oldest and biggest Christmas market in Barcelona and probably the most popular in Spain. Hosted every year in front of the Barcelona Cathedral in the Gothic district, earliest records of the market date back to 1786. In recent years, Fira de Santa Llúcia has had close to 300 stalls selling souvenirs such as Nativity figures and other traditional Spanish Christmas activities for adults and children. This sweeping market is bursting with traditional Christmas food and few oddities that you’ll only find here in Catalonia. An olive snack to go and a nice group of friends to visit the market, remember it runs from 24th November to 23rd December.
Madrid’s main Christmas Market
Madrid’s main Christmas Market fills the grand Plaza Mayor since 1860 with twinkle lights, Christmas music and wonderful smells. One of the biggest in Spain, it has 104 booths, selling everything from figurines for the Nativity scenes (Belén) to handmade toys alongside fancy dress costumes and joke items ready for Día de Los Santos Inocentes – Spain’s version of April Fools’ Day – on 28th December. The market runs from November 24th until December 31st.
Artisan Christmas Market, Seville
The city of Seville goes all out with the “Artisan Christmas Market”, which runs from 15th December to 5th January in Plaza Nueva. The Spanish Christmas market is dedicated to seasonal local crafts in the characteristic Andalusian style.
Also “Feria del Belén” a Spanish Christmas market focusing only on ornaments for Belén (Nativity scenes) and Christmas trees, is one of the most visited Christmas markets in Spain of its kind where you can buy anything from Mary, Joseph and The Three Kings. Located in the historic centre, near the Cathedral it runs from November 18th to December 23rd.
The cities are filled with coloured lights, Christmas carols are playing on the TV, and in the shop windows, hundreds of gold and red ornaments highlight their products. But the time spent with family and friends are the most important Christmas tradition in Spain. Families gathered together for Christmas’ Eve and Christmas Day is the most typical Christmas scene in Spain, with olives snack of course.