Christmas is so full of wonder, meaning and tradition. Even though some people don’t like this celebration, the truth is that Christmas time is loved by the majority of us: lights in the streets, days off, shops full of “tentations” to buy, reunions with family and friends (which also mean “eat as much as you can with no regrets”)… At FeelAtHome we love Christmas and we are so happy when this celebration draws near: Barcelona and Madrid, our FeelAtHome cities, live Christmas in a special way.
And today we would like to talk you about Christmas in Madrid. Are you planning to take holidays and visit Madrid during Christmas? The first thing you must know is the weather in Madrid at Christmas. If you think that the climate in Madrid (and in many other parts of Spain) is warm all year round, we are sorry to tell you this: the winter in Madrid is not especially “hot”. If in summer we have temperatures above 40º, in winter the climate changes drastically, with temperatures below 10º. but don’t worry, there’s nothing a coat, gloves and a hot drink can’t fix.
Now we are ready to tell you how to live your best Christmas in Madrid and to propose you a list with things to do at Christmas in Madrid.
Attend the Christmas Lottery Draw (“el Gordo”)
There is no Christmas in Spain without the Christmas Lottery Draw. Every 22nd of December, the Teatro Real in Madrid hosts, from 2012 onwards, the event that gives an “official” start to Christmas. It is a tradition to buy a lottery ticket (also known as “tenth”) and dream of getting rich while the children of San Ildefonso sing the winning numbers that come out of the “bombo”.
Currently, attending the draw is quite a spectacle (disguised people and festive atmosphere) that can be accessed for free from 8 am.
Procession of Light
Every evening-night of December 21, since 2016, Madrid Rio is illuminated with lanterns and other light elements in the long awaited parade of light to welcome the winter.
And to warm up the atmosphere, the party is completed with music performances and artistic and pyrotechnic shows.
Naviluz, the Christmas bus
Also typical is the Naviluz or Christmas Bus, a double-decker bus that allows locals and visitors to enjoy Christmas in Madrid and the Christmas atmosphere. The bus travels in less than an hour the main streets of downtown Madrid and allows us to live and enjoy the Christmas lights in Madrid.
Normally, the bus starts at Plaza de Colón (next to the Jardines del Descubrimiento) and ends at Calle Serrano.
Visit the Christmas Market in Plaza Mayor
Like other major European cities, Madrid also has its Christmas market. The Plaza Mayor is the place where the Madrid Christmas Market is set up every year. 104 booths where locals and tourists can find everything from food to cribs, Christmas decorations and jokes.
This event is organized every year by the Christmas Market Association of the Plaza Mayor.
San Silvestre, the best way to “run” to the New Year
And why not finish the year running a popular race? Or rather, THE popular race. Every December 31st, since 1964, Madrid hosts what is undoubtedly the most popular race in Spain: the San Silvestre Vallecana, sport and party in a 10 kilometer race.
The Popular Race, which every year has 40000 runners, begins at 17:30 hours. The festive atmosphere floods the streets of the city, with many people disguised as elves and Santa Claus. And from 20:00 hours, the main course with the International Race, in which the most important runners of the moment participate.
New Year’s Eve 2019 in Madrid
Every year, the iconic Puerta del Sol in Madrid becomes the epicentre of New Year’s Eve not only in the city, but also in the rest of Spain. Every December 31st, thousands of people crowd this emblematic place every year to welcome the new year with the 12 bells (and their respective 12 grapes, which symbolize luck for the twelve months of the year).
A spectacle that every year is broadcasted live by all the Spanish channels, while the families gather, expectantly, in front of the television to eat the grapes without making a mistake with the sound of the rooms and the bells.
The Three Magic Kings Parade 2020
The magic of Christmas in Madrid culminates with one of the most special days, especially for the little ones: the Night of the Kings. Every 5th of January, their Majesties the Three Kings stroll through the streets of the city in a spectacular parade as they throw candy to the thousands of attendees who fill every corner of the city.
The ride ends with the arrival at Plaza Cibeles, where a final show of music and fireworks takes place. That night, you already know what the tradition says: the Three Wise Men will come by our houses to leave us gifts, so we recommend you go to bed early and, above all, leave some cookies and milk to warm them up.
It is also very typical to try the traditional “roscón de Reyes”, a sweet with surprises inside: the figure of the king, which is said to bring good luck to the lucky one who finds it, and the bean. If your piece of roscón contains it, you will have to pay for the whole roscón.
If you are looking for accommodation in Madrid during Christmas, in FeelAtHome we offer you a wide range of rental apartments in Madrid. In addition, you must know that booking with us has a lot of advantages:
- Best price guaranteed
- 5% discount
- Free transfer
- Choosing the specific available apartment that better meets your requirement
You can also enjoy Christmas in Barcelona with us. This Christmas, we’re sure we will make you Feel At Home!