As the holiday season approaches, Madrid transforms into a winter wonderland decorated with twinkling lights, cheerful decorations, and the inviting aroma of holiday treats. Whether you’re a local looking for the ultimate seasonal experience or a visitor looking to discover the heart of the city’s festive spirit, this guide promises to illuminate the most magical corners of Christmas Markets in Madrid scene. Join us and check out the key dates and schedules of Christmas markets in Madrid in 2023. So grab a cup of warm chocolate, wrap yourself in your coziest scarf, and go on a Christmas journey with us!
1. Christmas in Madrid
Christmas in Madrid is truly special. As the capital of Spain, the city becomes a magical wonderland. Madrid comes to life with vibrant energy, and its center takes on a unique glow and atmosphere. It’s a place where Spanish tradition meets the charm of Xmas markets in Madrid, creating an ambiance full of joy and holiday magic. Visitors come to the city by the thousands to admire the rich cultural offerings and experience the unique festive spirit of the Christmas markets in Madrid in 2023. Strolling through the city center, you can marvel at decorated Christmas trees, participate in traditional Spanish Christmas celebrations, and enjoy the city’s unique festive attractions, including Xmas markets.
2. Best Christmas Market in Spain: Plaza Mayor
Plaza Mayor in Madrid is a square loated at the heart of the city. It is a popular meeting place, and tourist attraction, and is frequently utilized for organizing various cultural and commercial events, such as Christmas markets in Madrid 2023.
The Christmas Market at Plaza Mayor is an unforgettable destination that enhances the festive ambiance in Madrid. Spanning one of the city’s most important squares, this market captivates with its charm and diversity. It is open from November 24 to December 31 (10:00 AM-10:00 PM and 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM on Sunday) and offers visitors more than 100 stands with a wide array of traditional Spanish crafts, Christmas decorations, and local delights. Entrance to the Christmas market is free, and the atmosphere is family- and pet-friendly.
This square often displays traditional Spanish Christmas nativity scenes called “Belenes“. These handmade scenes from the life of Jesus are often impressive in their detail and are an important part of the Christmas tradition. You can also meet the Santa Claus, who is present for photos and fun with children. It is a place for organizing concerts, band performances, and other cultural events that further diversify the holiday atmosphere. Plaza Mayor Christmas market in Madrid is decorated with a huge Christmas tree, and the entire square is lit with thousands of colorful lights, giving it a unique, magical look.
This Christmas market in Madrid offers a lot of traditional Spanish Christmas dishes, such as turrón, polvorones, churros, and more. Tourists can find all kinds of Christmas figurines, musical instruments, toys, and joke items. The bonus is its at central location in the heart of Madrid, making this xmas market in Madrid easily accessible for everyone to partake in this magical Christmas experience.
3. Feria de Artesanía de la Comunidad de Madrid
This Christmas market in Madrid has been held since 1988, and brings together over 155 craftsmen from all over Spain. It is organized by the Madrid Artisan Association (AMOA). Feria de Artesanía de la Comunidad de Madrid is an event focused on promoting traditional craftsmanship and local artistic products. It will be open from December 1 to December 30 from 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM, except the Christmas Eve (which will be open until 3:00 PM) and December 25, when it will be closed.
Craft workshops from the Community of Madrid will take part in this xmas market, but there will also be representatives of other autonomous communities who will put their products on sale. Workshops that, with their typical crafts and specificity, contribute to making this must-have craft event a reference point in Spain. Representatives of various craft professions are represented among the participants, including ceramicists, potters, costume jewelers, leather workers, engravers, jewelers and goldsmiths, fabric decorators, hatters, toy makers, and artistic glass makers. This Christmas market in Madrid the perfect place to find unique Christmas gifts, from jewelry, imitation jewelry, toys, millinery, and bookbinding, to ceramics, leather goods, pottery, and textiles.
The fairs often offer craft and educational workshops, allowing visitors to learn traditional techniques, participate in project work, and discover more about local artistic traditions. Feria de Artesanía is often complemented by cultural events such as concerts, folk performances, and artistic presentations, adding entertainment and educational elements to the event. In most cases, it is an event open to everyone, including children and pets.You can also find a diverse range of food representing the local flavors and specialties of the region at this Christmas markets in Madrid in 2023, for example, tapas, paella, empanadas, queso, churros, tortilla Española, traditional sweets, and seafood.
4. Christmas Market in Plaza de Isabel II
The Christmas Market in Plaza de Isabel II is another type of craft fair for the Madrid community. It’s a handicraft event that brings together local artists and craftsmen. The market provides an excellent opportunity to purchase unique gifts and Christmas decorations. Plaza de Isabel II is adorned with colorful stands offering a wide range of products, including jewelry, ceramics, Christmas ornaments, and traditional Spanish delicacies. This local Christmas markets in Madrid will be open from December 30 to January 8 (10:00 AM- 10:00 PM).
The market often takes place in the pre-Christmas period, adding a magical atmosphere to Plaza de Isabel II. It is open to everyone, and the atmosphere is welcoming for both adults and children. The diversity of products also includes food, especially local dishes. Whether you are a fan of traditional Spanish cuisine or vegetarian snacks, you will surely find something to enjoy.
Concerts and artistic performances often take place on the fair’s stage, adding to the festive atmosphere. Meetings with Santa Claus are organized for the youngest, which adds joy and excitement to the children. Craftsmen present their skills in creating traditional products such as sculptures and ceramics. The stands at the fair are often beautifully decorated, creating a picturesque setting perfect for taking photos and enjoying the festive atmosphere.
5. Cortylandia Fair
The 2023 Cortylandia Christmas Markets in Madrid is one of the best places to visit in Spain. It is located at one of the major shopping centers in Madrid and is open from November 24 to January 5, 2024. At the entrance to El Corte Inglés, you can see the Cortylandia show: spectacular lights and sounds that draw crowds of residents and tourists every year. The 15-minute spectacle occurs multiple times a day with a different theme. However, it always features gigantic puppets singing Christmas songs. The song “Cortylandia” brings the show to life and has already become a Christmas tradition created by composer Álvaro Nieto.
The Cortylandia market consists of 46 places this year, including stands, food trucks, and a nativity scene from a private collector Miguel Vargas, who worked with more than 300 figurines and created them in a handcrafted method. Over the years, Vargas collected figurines from artisan workshops depicting religious images that have disappeared. This reconstruction tells us the main scenes of the birth of Baby Jesus. This Chrsitmas market is free and especially kid-friendly, with interactive performances and attractions for them. In the Corte Inglés, the royal pages and Papa Noël wait for letters from children
Among the restaurant brands present in those Christmas markets in Madrid is a proposal of chef Dabiz Muñoz, which he calls Pollos Muñoz, with his Chicken Waffle, La Pedroche Cheesecake or Arzábal with its unique mulled wine and the best croquettes in the world. You can try Malvón empanadas, squid sandwiches, traditional churros with chocolate, and much more. There are also stands with gifts and Christmas decorations, where you can find many Christmas gifts, such as tableware, textiles, table decoration accessories, candles, household items, and orange flowers.
The Castellana fair is one of the most charming Christmas markets in Madrid 2023. It exudes a festive atmosphere along the elegant Paseo de la Castellana. The Christmas markets in Madrid feature extensive stands with handmade ornaments, gifts, and traditional Spanish items. Christmas trees and decorations are amazingly showcased, encouraging you to buy unique presents for loved ones. This market is open from November 20 to January 5, 2024 (12 AM-11 PM).
The market is open to everyone and is often free to enter. In addition to decorations, a diverse array of items are available for sale, including clothing, jewelry, and decorative articles. Various sales points also sell items such as Christmas decorations and nativity figures. And other stores that have their own space, like Disney or Lego. The culinary offerings are also noteworthy, with food stands providing traditional Spanish dishes and holiday treats. For those with vegetarian or vegan preferences, there are delicious options as well.
This market has the most interesting gastronomic proposal and has even conquered TikTok. Their food trucks sell hamburgers from Dabiz Muñoz, one of the best chefs in the world, Santerra croquettes, chosen as the best croquette in Spain, or chocolate with churros from San Ginés. In addition to food trucks, there is also a 40-meter nativity scene and a light and sound show displayed every half hour (from 6 PM) on the facade of the main building of El Corte Inglés de la Castellana.
The market is family-friendly, with various attractions for children such as meetings with Santa Claus and carousels. Furthermore, it is pet-friendly, allowing families to enjoy shopping with their four-legged companions.
7. Madrid Rio Christmas Fair
The Christmas market in Madrid Rio is one of the most picturesque holiday events in Madrid. This Christmas market in Madrid is located along the Manzanares River and offer an unforgettable Christmas atmosphere. The market is open from December 1 to January 7, 2024. Entry is free, making it accessible to everyone. Those markets have around twenty stands, a 10-metre-tall Christmas tree, and a carousel for the little ones. You can also enjoy a toboggan run and an ice skating rink.
Stands filled with handmade decorations, gifts, and delicious treats stretch along a long line, creating a magical ambiance. The fair offers a wealth of handmade Christmas decorations, often in a traditional Spanish style. Many of them are unique works of art, perfect as home decorations for the holiday season. This is a great opportunity to find original gifts for your loved ones. The fair often promotes local cultures and traditions, presenting regional products and crafts that are characteristic of particular regions of Spain. The culinary richness of the Christmas markets in Madrid Rio includes dishes such as churros with hot chocolate, roasted chestnuts, and local delicacies. Food stands often offer options for vegetarians and vegans, catering to diverse culinary preferences.
The fair is a place where various animations, concerts, and artistic performances take place, adding to the atmosphere of entertainment and joy. Children will certainly have a great deal of fun at this festive market, brimming with attractions and entertainment. Furthermore, it is also open to pets, adding to the family-friendly atmosphere. The entire fair area is usually beautifully lit with Christmas decorations, which creates a picturesque landscape and puts you in a festive mood.
8. Christmas Activities for Kids in Madrid
Engaging in festive activities with children during the holiday season is a delightful way to create lasting memories. In Madrid, a city vibrant with holiday spirit, there are numerous enhancing activities tailored specifically for kids. From magical Christmas markets in Madrid to captivating performances and interactive workshops, the options are plentiful, ensuring that the young ones experience the joy and wonder of the season.
8.1. Three Kings’ Factory
The factory is a unique place in the capital where adults and children can learn about the history of the Three Wise Men of the East, including the origins of the famous roscón as well as what happens from the moment the boys and girls write a letter of wishes until they receive their gifts. This special experience is available from November 24 to January 5, 2024, at Paseo de Juan Antonio Vallejo-Nájera Botas, 41.
Entry costs 9.99 euros per person (free for children under 90 cm tall). This place invites the public to discover the best secrets of Their Majesties through different rooms that will test the attendees’ knowledge of Christmas traditions. Children and adults alike will have fun singing Christmas carols and taking photos with the royal pages, without forgetting to hand in their letters for this year!
8.2. Three Kings Parade
The most enchanting Christmas night for everyone in Spain, particularly for children, occurs on the evening of January 5th, when the three Wise Men or Kings make visits to homes and bestow gifts upon all. You can take your little one on a huge parade that will take the Three Kings of the East, Melchior, Gaspar, and Balthazar, to the city center with a message of peace and solidarity for all.
The parade will take place from 6.30 PM to 9 PM approximately on the route: Paseo de la Castellana (Nuevos Ministerios corner of Plaza San Juan de la Cruz) – Paseo de la Castellana – Plaza del Doctor Gregorio Marañón – Paseo de la Castellana – Glorieta de Emilio Castelar – Paseo de la Castellana – Plaza de Colón – Paseo de Recoletos – Plaza de Cibeles (End of Parade). It will be an amazing experience for your little ones, and for the whole family! You can read our article if you want to learn more about the importance of the Three Kings Day in Spain.
8.4. Circo de Hielo – The Ice Circus
This performance allows you to witness artists from diverse backgrounds narrate enchanting tales on ice. The Ice Circus unfolds a magical narrative featuring fairies, fawns, and other fantastical beings, captivating the audience with their increadible acrobatics. The performers, adorned in stunning costumes, dance and glide with effortless precision, creating a spectacle that will leave you breathless.
The Ice Circus is not just a show; it’s a symphony of skill and artistry, a celebration of imagination set against the backdrop of a frozen fantasy. The Ice Circus promises an evening of joy, enchantment, and memories that will linger long after the final curtain falls. It will take place from November 24 until January 14, 2024. Entrance tickets are purchasing on the circus website, and you better hurry if you want to go, because sell out quickly!
8.5. Torrejón de Ardoz Christmas Market in Madrid
It is the Christmas Park of Spain, a unique space of more than 100,000 square meters in which to enjoy and surprise yourself with the magic of Christmas. This season are novelties such as the only ice rink on the lake, the full-scale nativity scene in Spain or the second edition of the Ice Festival, all this without forgetting the classics that everyone has been waiting for, the magic door, the lantern festival, the Christmas markets in Madrid or the area entertainment, in short, many attractions thanks to which you can spend great day with your children. The park is open from November 30 to January 7, 2024 (5 PM – 12 AM).
9. What to Eat in Madrid During Christmas
During the Christmas season in Madrid, there is no shortage of delicious dishes that reflect the tradition of Spanish cuisine. On Christmas markets in Madrid 2023, it’s worth trying “Caldo de Navidad”, a traditional Spanish Christmas soup that warms and adds flavor to festive meals. Another integral part of the Christmas flavors is Turron, a sweet treat made with almonds and honey. Polvorones, crumbly cookies, and Roscon de Reyes, a sweet bread served during the Feast of the Three Kings, are also favorite festive bakes. These traditional flavors will immerse you in the holiday spirit and allow you to discover the unique tastes of Spanish Christmas. You can learn more about the christmas tastes from our article on Spanish Christmas Delicacies.
10. Weather in Madrid During Christmas
While visiting Christmas markets in Madrid, we can expect wintry conditions, although snow is not always guaranteed. Average temperatures range between 4 and 10 degrees Celsius, making Madrid cool yet fresh and pleasant. December is also one of the rainier months of the year, so it’s advisable to bring an umbrella. Dressing in layers is a good idea to be prepared for potential temperature fluctuations and fully enjoy the festive atmosphere.
On top, consider wearing a warm sweater or jacket over a flexible shirt. A high-quality coat or rain jacket and comfortable shoes will be helpful in rain. Don’t forget accessories like a scarf or gloves to provide protection against the cold. Being so prepared, you can confidently explore Christmas markets in Madrid in 2023!
11. Other Things to do in Madrid in Christmas
Christmas markets in Madrid in 2023 are not the only attraction in the city. One of the most popular things to do in Madrid during Christmas is ice skating. This year, figure skater Javier Fernández has established an ice-skating rink at Plaza de Colón, offering the opportunity to partake in this joyful activity for children and adults.
The rink is open from November 25 to January 7, 2024, and serves as an enjoyable venue for spending the afternoon and contributing to a charitable cause. Ten percent of the proceeds from the rink will donated to the Spanish Down Syndrome Foundation. Another ice rink was installed in the Plaza de España with a craft fair and food stands (from November 23 to January 7, 2024). Explore beyond the ice rinks, and you’ll discover the vibrant allure of flamenco shows, tapas tours, and other festive activities that contribute to making Christmas markets in Madrid in 20231 exceptional.
11.1. Walking around el Retiro in the snow
Walking in El Retiro covered in a blanket of snow, is a truly magical experience. The serene landscape, adorned with glistening snowflakes, transforms this iconic park into a winter wonderland. The crisp air, the hushing sound of footsteps on snow, and the picturesque surroundings create a serene atmosphere, making it an enchanting destination for a winter stroll. The snow-kissed trees and frozen ponds add a touch of charm, turning El Retiro into a captivating oasis amidst the winter chill.
11.2. Puerta del Sol with Christmas lights
Walking through Puerta del Sol adorned with festive lights during the holiday, is a spectacle that truly captures the spirit of Christmas. The iconic square transforms into a dazzling display of twinkling lights, creating a magical ambiance. The vibrant decorations, festive colors, and the joyful atmosphere make Puerta del Sol a must-visit holidays destination. Whether it’s the grand Christmas tree, the radiant decorations, or the lively energy of the crowd, experiencing Puerta del Sol illuminated with holiday lights is a memorable and heartwarming part of the seasonal celebrations in Madrid.
11.3. Visiting Almudena Cathedral in Christmas
Visiting Almudena Cathedral during Christmas is unique experience. The majestic cathedral, stunning architecture, and rich history becomes even more enchanting during the holiday season. The cathedral exudes a warm, welcome atmosphere with festive decorations, twinkling lights, and perhaps a nativity scene.
Attend a Christmas Mass to witness the spiritual side of the celebrations or explore the cathedral’s beauty illuminated by the seasonal glow. Whether you seek a moment of reflection or an appreciation for the cultural and religious significance of the Christmas, Almudena Cathedral offers a memorable and meaningful visit during this joyful time of the year.
Do you need more information about the city? You can take a look at Madrid’s official Tourism website. Also, you can read about Madrid Nightlife, and if you cannot be in the city for Christmas, read the article 10 Best Things to Do in Madrid All Year Round and come as soon as possible!