Christmas is an internationally recognized holiday that is observed by individuals from a variety of nations and cultural backgrounds. While many of these people have their own customs and traditions for marking the occasion, exploring new ideas and cultures can be enlightening. The chance to discover and accept such different cultures resides in the significance of changing the casual manner of celebrating Christmas.
Spending Christmas in Spain gives a unique viewpoint on the holiday occasion and surely offers a lovely alternative to the traditional Christmas celebration thanks to its rich history, ingrained traditions, and colorful society. Christmas in Spain offers a wide range of fascinating experiences, from the lovely nativity representations found everywhere to the delectable feasts and festive markets.
In this article, you’ll have a chance to embrace Spanish traditions, broaden your perspective, increase appreciation for this distinctive culture, and make lifelong memories by witnessing its shining majesty.
5 Best Places to Spend Magical Christmas In Spain
Christmas in Spain reflects an alluring ambiance inspired by happiness, enthusiasm, and the festive spirit. Fascinating cuisine, long-standing cultural traditions, unique customs, charming Christmas markets, and continuous celebrations are just a few of the greatest components Spain has to offer to make your Christmas the most memorable one yet.
You will undoubtedly ensure the best of the festive season and participate in the excitement with these Christmas highlights wherever you are in Spain.
Let’s explore the top 5 cities to spend Christmas in Spain:
1. Sierra Nevada
Families are welcome to enjoy themselves at Sierra Nevada, one of the most prevalent ski areas in Spain. While deciding to spend Christmas in Spain, winter sports enthusiasts can experience Sierra Nevada’s night track, El Ro, throughout the Christmas season. There are about 2,2 km of snowy trails that circle Mulhacén, excellent for the most courageous. Additionally, if there is plenty of snow, you might consider taking the Maribel Route, which runs parallel to El Ro but much higher up the mountain.
In addition to winter activities, Siera Nevada offers concerts, kid-friendly events, snow scavenger hunts, and even a Reyes Magos Parade with firework displays.
Malaga experiences mild winter temperatures, with average daily highs in December and January of 17 degrees Celsius. This is significantly warmer than the winters in Seville or Granada.
Calle Larios, the major shopping route in the Old Town, is the most astounding of all the streets in Malaga City Center that are illuminated with lovely Christmas lights. Every year, hundreds of thousands of LED lights are used to decorate Calle Larios, giving the area a wonderful appearance.
Because of the magnificent lighting display put in place on Calle Larios, Málaga has gained recognition on a global scale. The city’s main commercial thoroughfare is encircled by a huge arch building that is a spectacular sight and draws hundreds of tourists each year. Every year, Málaga hosts performances, Christmas markets, and other cultural events. Along with these delights, it is famous for hosting the Three Kings Procession.
Despite being outside of the typical tourist season, December is a fantastic month to visit Barcelona. Since there is less rain in Barcelona and the daytime highs are around 15 degrees Celsius, it is much simpler to go around enjoying yourself in this captivating city.
With decorations constructed from colorful crystals, Barcelona has its own extremely distinctive method of illuminating the streets, especially the big ones like Las Ramblas, el Paseo de Gracia, and la Diagonal.
In Barcelona, there are plenty of locations where you can participate in Christmas markets and other celebrations. The oldest and most significant Christmas markets in Europe are found in Fira de Santa Licia. It was established in 1786, and Barcelona locals still travel there to purchase their Christmas trees, ornaments, and Christmas figures. You can also witness the parades, which feature floats, tens of thousands of performers, dancers, and enormous balloons.
Madrid is a traditional Christmas destination and unquestionably one of the best places to celebrate the holiday. The entire city center is decorated with lights, and marketplaces overflow with specialty foods and holiday shopping. The idea of traveling to Madrid for the holidays is amazing! It is a hectic period to be in the city, so make sure you prepare ahead.
The Christmas Market in the Plaza Mayor, the enormous light tree in Madrid’s main square, Puerta del Sol, and the customary chocolate con churros at San Ginés are must-see holiday attractions in the nation’s capital.
At Christmas time in Spain, Madrid is typically very crowded with tourists. However, if you can get past the crowds, you can enjoy the Cortilandia show at the El Corte Inglés department store, a ride on the Naviluz Bus that travels the length of the city to see all the lights, and of course some Christmas shopping on Madrid’s famed Gran Va.
If you’re looking for places to explore Christmas in Spain, Valencia ought to be at the top of your list of considerations. Comparing Valencia around Christmas to other times of the entire year will reveal an entirely different impression of the city.
Travelers to Valencia for Christmas are greeted by pleasant weather, authentic paella, and a spectacular light display thanks to the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, Calle San Vicente Martir, and Calle La Paz’s festive decorations.
Try Valencia’s specialty treats, including turrones, marzipan, and polvorones, in addition to the city’s Christmas scenes, food markets, and roasted chestnut stands. You can sample them at one of the many Christmas markets, such as the Plaza de la Reina market, which is the biggest in the city and the only one that is run by regional artisans.
Traditions Of Celebrating Christmas in Spain
You might need to be aware that each region of Spain has its own unique language and manner of saying “Feliz Navidad” before we delve into the specifics of the most amazing Spanish Christmas traditions, the majority of which occur between December 24 and January 6.
- Catalonia celebrates Christmas with various regionally specific customs, as well as some of Spain’s weirdest Christmas traditions, which involve decorating a piece of wood with a face and legs and placing it in the house or garden while keeping it warm with a blanket. After doing so, they discover the candies and other delicious delights they had hoped to obtain by pulling back the blanket.
- Many stores, neighborhood associations, and households in Spain decorate with the Gateway de Belén during Christmas. As a traditionally Catholic nation, Spain is home to many Christians who display these representations of Bethlehem, scenarios that use miniature models and characters to portray the Nativity Scene of Jesus’ birth.
- One of the most exciting Spanish Christmas traditions is playing the lottery “El Gordo” with a huge cash prize of €2 million. Since 1812, it has been held annually, and it has been customary for the winning numbers to be revealed live on television on December 22nd morning.
- Spain has its version of Santa Claus whose name is Olentzero. In Bilbao, Spain, on the evening of December 23, a man dressed as a peasant and smoking a pipe makes his way toward the Arriaga Theatre along the Gran Via, prepared to leave Christmas presents for the neighborhood kids.
- A day set aside for pulling practical jokes is customary throughout many civilizations. While the UK and many other nations are accustomed to celebrating April Fools’ Day on April 1st, Spain celebrates it on December 28th as part of the Da de los Santos Inocentes.
Mouth Watering Flavors of Christmas In Spain
The majority of Spanish Christmas meals customarily start with an assortment of different appetizers that may remind you of those buffets loaded high with mouthwatering foods. At the beginning of the Christmas Eve dinner, appetizer plates are frequently presented. These plates may include delicacies like ham, chorizo, and morcilla, as well as regional cheeses like Manchego.
The celebration of Christmas in Spain includes the most popular dishes like garlic soup, Andalusian stew, and the customary beef stew with sausage. Another important component of a Spanish Christmas meal is seafood, which is frequently served as the main course and is especially appreciated in the form of lobster, prawns, and seafood soup.
Among the most popular main dishes are fish roasted in the oven and rotisserie meat, particularly lamb or Ternasco lamb cooked in a woodfire oven.
The flavor that most describes Christmas in Spain is sweet. Each region has its own specialties, including nougat, cookies, marzipan, and, of course, Epiphany Cake, so there are a ton of Christmas snacks available during these celebrations.
As you can see, spending Christmas in Spain can become an unforgettable life experience that gives you an exceptional chance to discover and accept the significance of changing the casual manner of celebrating Christmas.
No doubt, celebrating Christmas in Spain provides a unique viewpoint on the holiday thanks to its rich history, vivid traditions, and warm-hearted society. While celebrating Christmas in Spain offers a wide range of fascinating experiences, exploring Spanish traditions during Christmas provides a chance to extend horizons and make lifelong memories by witnessing the shining majesty of winter wonderland and festive spirit.
Nato is a content writer and researcher with a background in psychology who’s eager to explore the wonders of nature. As a travel enthusiast and animal lover, she hopes to inspire others to discover and cherish the beauty and importance of the natural world.