08 Dec Christmas in Madrid
Madrid’s Christmas Markets
Iconic Plaza Mayor is home to the capital’s longest running traditional Christmas market. From elaborate Christmas ornaments to delicious artisan food, and quirky handmade gifts, there are a tremendous variety of products on offer, in a classically festive setting.
Other well-known markets include Plaza de España, Santo Domingo and a charming food market in the Plaza de Opera, though practically every square in Madrid, big or small, (as well as an increasing number of private indoor spaces) hosts some kind of pop-up marketplace.
In fact, the Pop-Up scene in Madrid has grown increasingly popular, with temporary hotspots appearing overnight as if by magic, appealing to our child-like sense of wonder with eclectic, innovative concepts. Here are some of our top picks for spoiling loved ones and yourself in the hectic run up to Christmas.
Another stress-free alternative to conventional Christmas shopping madness, the folks behind Nomad have been running this exceptionally popular market for well over a decade. A sustainable, home-grown alternative to the excess and consumption many encounter at this time of year, Nomad will also host enlightening workshops, a chill out zone, an area dedicated to ecological and artisan products and a quirky space for little ones.
Mercado de la Cebada de Madrid
16th – 18th December
Friday 17.00 – 21.00h, Saturday and Sunday 12.00 – 21.00h
The much-loved Malakids! Market will be returning this year for a special Christmas edition on the 26th and 27th December, offering an abundance of children’s activities in Malasaña. This novel concept sees fashion, leisure, culture, games and technology aimed at younger patrons, with many independent brands showcasing their crafts. As in previous years, the Malakids! Market will be held in the La Sede Garden, an urban oasis specially adapted for children of all ages and heights, where plenty of activities and workshops lie in store.
la Planta Jardín de Lasede del Coam
26th – 27th December
Mercado de Diseño
Exclusive products ranging from cosmetics, perfumery and illustration, to ceramics, furniture, florists and gourmet food will be available for purchase in this designer market. Look out for brands including Paul Erroz, Maria Torné, Mark Gamon, Ana Prada, and Bela Lali as well as Octagon Design, Bluebeard, Lord Wilmore and Tiny Heaven for one of a kind Christmas presents that your loved ones will never have seen before! Alongside the market is a cultural program with various workshops, exhibitions and live music as well as a Kids Zone, food trucks and gastronomic treats.
17th – 18th December
11.00 – 22.00h
We Love Animals – The Christmas Edition
Madrid’s only pop-up dedicated entirely to animal lovers and spoiling one’s four-legged friends will be popping up in Chamberi from the 16th to the 18th December for its annual Christmas edition. Selling animal-related clothing and accessories as well as cosmetics strictly not tested on animals, and natural, eco friendly homeware, WLA is perfect for spoiling two as well as four-legged friends. Specialising in gourmet vegan products, as well as gifts and treats for pets to suit any budget, they even sell beer for dogs!
C/Corredera Baja de San Pablo, 8
16th – 18th December
Friday 17:00 – 21:00h, Saturday 11.00 – 21:00h, Sunday 11.00 – 20.00h
A Christmas Carol – Family Theatre
“A family show for English speaking audiences (and not so English speaking either!) Face 2 Face Theatre Co.’s adaptation brings a whole new comical twist to this timeless tale. Set in Victorian London; where the privileged in their fancy parlours prosper, while the poor struggle to survive, A Christmas Carol speaks to all ages as it tells the tale of the cynical Ebeneezer Scrooge. With a heart hardened by a tragic childhood and lost love, Scrooge would rather Christmas never came around each year to disrupt his money grabbing ways… until he gets a nightmarish series of wake-up calls from the spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Future.
Face 2 Face’s much loved production captures A Christmas Carol’s magic and humour and will have you rolling in the aisles as well as reflecting on the joy of giving. With its evocative songs, clever improvisations, hilarious gags and magical stagecraft, it’s the perfect holiday season treat for everyone!”
Recommended +7 years.
El Teatro Figaro
Every Saturday at 16:30h and Sundays at 12:30h from 3rd to 18th December
The Navibus Christmas Lights City Tour
Madrid’s Christmas lights have been designed by a series of celebrated Spanish artists and designers, who have festooned the city with everything from chandelier-inspired light sculptures to minimalist conical Christmas trees. Wander the streets at your leisure, or, to get to grips with the sheer volume of sparkling lights, hop on the Navibus (as in, Navidad)! A relatively recent addition to Madrid’s festive circuit is the rather novel dedicated Christmas Bus, offering a high-spirited tour of the spectacular Christmas lights until 6th January.
The Ice Circus
Created, produced and driected by Productores de Sonrisas, this is a spectacular show for the whole family. “El circo de hielo (The Ice Circus) tells the story of a lost garden inhabited by an artist who creates the most stunning sculptures. This artist-cum-gardener gets furious at two youths who’ve unintentionally broken one of his unique works of art. The sculptor then casts a spell, turning everything around him into ice – including himself. However, once every 100 years all the figures come to life for a while and life spreads all over the magic garden. This time, a little ice skater can break the spell …”
Escenaria Puerta del Angel, C/Herradura, 3
26th November – 15 January
Posh Christmas Nibbles in Mercado San Miguel
Though not strictly limited to Christmas time, the spectacular wrought iron structure of the Mercado San Miguel takes on a particularly special atmosphere at this indulgent time of year, (when let’s face it, food is at the forefront of everyone’s thoughts!). Close to the beautiful Plaza Mayor, (home to what are quite possibly the largest Nativity figurines in the world – they are gigantic), the covered market of San Miguel makes the ideal pit stop to rest weary feet and reward yourself after a frantic day’s Christmas shopping. Stop by for a crisp glass of cava and some of the most scrumptious delights in all of Madrid.
Warm Up with Chocolate and Churros
A year-round staple in Madrid, the ubiquitous hot chocolate + churros combo is a pre-requisite for any Christmas outing! This is no ordinary powdered cocoa with luke-warm milk – the hot chocolate in Madrid is strong, viscous and perfect for dipping!
There are hundreds of chocolaterias across the city, each with its own (top secret) recipe and charm, but three of the most renowned are:
Established in 1894, San Gines is synonymous with Churros con Chocolate in Madrid (So much so that they don’t even need a menu). Open until 7am, it is a popular central pit-stop for late night revellers looking to stock up on something sweet. The velvet green seats, marble tables and mirrored interior feel opulent and festive. Expect to queue for a table at peak times, but believe me it is worth it!
Pasadizo San Ginés 5
La Mallorquina is another atmospheric 19th Century pastry shop and bar. Avoid the counter and sit upstairs in the 1950s era salon, with dapper, friendly waiters, for an authentic experience.
Just up the road, another of the city’s oldest and best pastry shops, and a favourite of many for hot chocolate in Madrid! This elegant family-run tea-room has been in business since 1855, and has welcomed royalty and glamorous Hollywood starlets.