Magical Christmas lights, carol singing in the street and the smell of chestnuts in the air – Granada at Christmas is a special place. If you find yourself in this magnificent city during Christmas time, prepare to be enchanted and mesmerized. Beginning on the 1st of December and climaxing with the 6th of January, there are plenty of Christmas activities and traditions you can join in and experience in Granada at Christmas. Enjoy a magical atmosphere in this beautiful city and take in all its sights during this special time. The cathedral, the Alhambra and the Albayzín, the neighbourhood with beautiful white houses, seem all even more impressive and stunning during Christmas time.
In contrast to other countries, in Spain, the climax is not on Christmas Eve or on Christmas day, it is actually on the 6th of January. The 6th of January is Three Kings Day, it is also called Epiphany Day. On this day, the Spanish people exchange their gifts and have a big celebration. This is why Christmas time lasts until past the new year in Spain.
1. Christmas lights
It is a must, to stroll after sundown around the city. Every day beginning in December from 6.30 until midnight, Granada glows up in 2.500.000 lights leaving the city’s atmosphere romantic and magical. The beaming light will make your walk unforgettable. Furthermore, passing all the sights in the beautiful hue of the Christmas lights gives a totally different vibe than during any other time of the year. On weekends the lights are turned on until 2 am. On Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, they are beaming until 5 am. Check out Gran Via, Puerta Real, Calle Mesones and Reyes Católicos in the city centre since there are the most lights. Moreover, the decorated shop windows add to the atmosphere of the gleaming Christmas lights. This will captivate you and put you in the Christmas spirit.
2. Granada at Christmas: Concerts
Another way of experiencing the true Spanish Christmas spirit is by going to one of the many Christmas concerts in Granada. During Christmas time there are specific Flamenco shows and concerts by typical Rociero choirs who perform typical Andalusian folklore. Check out Teatro Isabel la Católica in the centre of Granada or find a show in the caves in the Sacromonte neighbourhood for a truly authentic feeling. Moreover, the Palacio de Congressos de Granada hosts concerts and other festive activities during this time as well.
Since the Christmas time lasts until the 6th of January in Spain, it is also important to mention the traditional New Year’s concert. This amazing show is performed at the stunning Auditorio Manuel which is located on the hill of the Alhambra.
3. Christmas markets
Around the 1st of December, the primary Christmas market with a lot of cute stalls is opened. Go to Plaza Bib-Rambla for a traditional Christmas market in Granada. If you are looking for authentic nativity figures and other decorations for your house, you should go there to purchase what your heart wants for the festive season. At Puerta Real, you will find festive stalls selling different crafts like ceramics or silver and traditional Spanish Christmas sweets.
The Christmas markets are open from December until the 6th of January. Do not miss out on them as they not only put you in the Christmas spirit but you can also buy some Christmas presents for your loved ones or treat yourself to some sweets.
4. Nativity scenes in Granada at Christmas
While in central and northern Europe the Christmas tree lights grab most of the attention, in Granada the display of the Nativity Scene is in the focus. You will be able to spot Nativity scenes all over town. Shop windows as well as offices are decorated with nativity scenes instead of Christmas trees. This tradition is thousands of years old as it originated in the 13th century.
Every year the town holds a competition for the best display of the nativity scene. The three categories that determine the winner are the expertise of the artisan, popularity and tradition. Approximately 40 organisations take part in the competition. Walk the Ruta de Belenes (Route of Nativity scenes) and check which displays are your favourite. Take in this beautiful tradition and enjoy the atmosphere in Granada during Christmas time. The Belenes are displayed from the 15th of December until the 6th of January.
Furthermore, do not forget to go to the Christmas market at Plaza Bib-Rambla to buy figurines for setting up your Nativity scene at home.
5. Festive Fun at Poblado Navideño
Are you looking for something fun to do for young and old? Visit the Christmas fun fair at Plaza del Humilladero for a full day of family fun. The Christmas town of Humilladero or Poblado Navideño is equipped with a 30-meter Ferris wheel and a big sledge track. There is also a beautifully festive Christmas carousel, and two zip lines – one for adults and one for children. If you are in Granada at Christmas, you need to go on a ride on the Ferris Wheel. You will have an amazing and stunning view over the city which you can only get at this time of the year. Moreover, you should check out the newly added ice rink at Bib-Rambla. Bring your own skates or borrow them there and glide over the ice underneath the glimmering Christmas lights in Granada.
The Christmas Fair in Granada is a must if you are coming with children, but also if you just want to have a fun day outside enjoying Christmas time in this stunning city.
If you want more information about the city of Granada, check out this website https://www.granada.org/inicio.htm.