Tourist at a Christmas market
Tourist at a Christmas market

Experience the magic of Christmas in Spain

At this time of year, the most beautiful streets and squares are lit up, the air smells of turron and other sweet treats, you can hear carols... Come and live your Christmas wishes.


We are waiting for you with open arms! Come and experience our traditions, such as celebrating New Year's Eve by eating 12 grapes to the chimes of midnight and receiving presents from the three Wise Men. Here are some suggestions, including the most spectacular markets, nativity scenes and decorative lights that transform our cities into a Christmas wonderland. Give yourself the best Christmas present: the trip of your dreams to Spain.
Tourists enjoying Christmas

Five presents for a Spanish Christmas

Christmas is perhaps the most traditional, family-oriented celebration in the whole world, and in Spain it lasts until 6th January. Visiting the country between the middle of December and the start of the New Year is a time that’s always full of lovely moments for sharing. Here are five of the most popular Christmas traditions in Spain.

Christmas market

Christmas markets in Spain

The markets have become another Christmas attraction in Spain. Searching for special gifts among beautiful wooden stalls in central squares, on riverbanks, promenades and other charming areas of Spanish cities and villages is a December tradition.

The nativity scene in Vitoria, in the Basque Country

Some of the most spectacular nativity scenes

Among the most anticipated Christmas events are, without a doubt, the magnificent nativity scenes that can be visited in many cities in Spain. From those that exhibit figures of great historical and artistic value to those of monumental size, or the most creative, built with materials as unthinkable as sand or... chocolate!

Turron (nougat)

Five festive gastronomic experiences

The lights, the presents, the decorations, the great food... Christmas is a holiday full of traditions and we want to help you discover some of the most delicious ones during your holidays in Spain. It will also be very easy for you to find special menus in restaurants and hotels and the bakeries will be overflowing with Christmas confectionery. 

Christmas lights in Madrid

Experience the magic of Christmas lights in these Spanish cities

Travelling at Christmas is always special. There’s a charm in the cities like no other time of the year. We reveal to you which cities in Spain have a great Christmas atmosphere and the most incredible sparkle about them. Happy holidays!

© Álvaro López / Madrid Destino


There are a multitude of Christmas plans from the switching on of the lights at the end of November to 6 January. Did you know that over 40,000 people run through the centre of Madrid on the last day of the year? Or that loads of parks and gardens offer sound and light shows at night at this time of year? Discover some of our most popular events and parties:
Recreation of the 'Naturaleza Encendida Origen' light show 2022-2023

Naturaleza Encendida – Insects Madrid

An evening stroll through Enrique Tierno Galván park, where light and music bring life and colour to a surreal world of nature.

© Real Jardín Botánico - CSIC

Festive Christmas garden lit up at a prior edition in Berlin

els llums de sant pau (The Lights of Sant Pau)

Every night over the festive season, the modernist site of Sant Pau, declared a UNESCO World heritage Site, are transformed into a magical fairytale Christmas garden dotted with lights.

© Christmas Garden. Michael Clemens

Christmas garden lit up in a previous edition in Stuttgart

The Botanical Lights – Christmas Garden. Malaga

La Concepción Historical-Botanical Gardens in Málaga are transformed into a magical Christmas garden full of festive lights and colourful decorations.

© Christmas Garden

Three Kings Parade in Alcoi-Alcoy

Three Kings Parade in Alcoi-Alcoy

It has been held since 1885 and is the oldest parade in Spain.


Puerta del Sol in Madrid

New Year's Eve in Spain

In Spain, 31 December is a very special celebration, where the fun and partying go on well into the early hours. If you want to get the year off to a good start, come and celebrate New Year’s Eve in Spain. You will have a great time eating the traditional 'lucky grapes'...

© Black Farm /

Naturaleza Encendida ‘Explorium’. Tenerife

Naturaleza Encendida ‘Explorium’. Tenerife

The Palmetum Gardens of Santa Cruz de Tenerife are the natural setting chosen to host an immersive light experience full of surprises this Christmas.

Christmas Race Regatta

Sailing: Christmas Race Regatta

Once again, the most Christmassy regatta - the Christmas Race - is being held in the waters of the Costa Brava this year.

© Alfred Farre

Nativity Play and Three Kings Parade in Santillana del Mar

Nativity Play and Three Kings Parade in Santillana del Mar

Santillana del Mar holds this festival, in which local people perform scenes related to the birth of Jesus, every year.

© Archivo Fotográfico del Ayuntamiento de Santillana del Mar (Cantabria)

Interior of Palma Cathedral

'El canto de la Sibila' (Song of the Sibyl) in Mallorca

has been declared Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. This tradition is rooted in the representations in the liturgical celebrations of medieval Europe. It takes place on Christmas Eve in all the churches on the island of Mallorca and is well worth seeing.

© Renata Sedmokova / Shutterstock

San Silvestre Race in Vallecas, Madrid

Run: San Silvestre Vallecana

One of the most popular races in Spain is held on the last day of the year in the capital: the 10 kilometre San Silvestre Vallecana.

© Carrastock /

Naturaleza Encendida ‘Origen’. Barcelona

Naturaleza Encendida ‘Origen’. Barcelona

Tourists at Christmas

The Day of the Holy Innocents

This is one of the most popular and entertaining Christmas traditions in Spain. December 28 is the day when everyone is allowed to play practical jokes and when it is customary to buy prank items at Christmas markets like the one in the Plaza Mayor in Madrid.


Who says you can't do anything in winter? Sunny days are still common in Spain, even if the temperatures drop. Take the opportunity to visit one of more than 30 ski resorts or discover cities that shine particularly brightly at this time of year. Or forget about wrapping up warm by visiting the Canary Islands. Discover the unique magic of winter.
Lakes of Covadonga, Asturias

Plans for winter

Winter, which officially starts around 21 December and ends around 21 March, is a great time to travel to Spain for many reasons. For one thing, you can enjoy everything you love about winter, but it's usually sunny, with milder temperatures than most of Europe and not much rain. In many places cold weather means snow and winter sports, and everywhere there are traditional seasonal dishes to warm you up.

View of the Alcázar fortress in Segovia

Some of the best cities to visit at this time of year

The arrival of winter heralds a time of continuous festivities and sweet traditions in Spain that animate its towns. Some cities shine particularly brightly in winter, and because of more than just the magical festive lights that decorate the streets. Why not enjoy a hot chocolate while reading about some of these Spanish cities?

Las Teresitas beach, Tenerife

Why visit the Canary Islands now?

Here are 7 reasons we think will convince you to start planning a holiday in the Canary Islands. You can enjoy winter moments as unique as a sun-soaked Christmas, or a relaxing New Year’s Day on the beach.

Snowboarding in Formigal

Choose from over 30 ski resorts

Do you like skiing? Would you like to go on holiday to practice your favourite sport or to get started if you have never done it before? Spain is the second most mountainous country in Europe, and one of the reasons for it to be your number 1 ski destination is the number of hours of sunshine in the middle of winter.

© Blazar SLU

Skiing in Sierra Nevada

Skiing in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, a dream getaway in the snow

There is no doubt that Spain is an all-terrain country. It is ideal for enjoying a sun and beach holiday, and it is a perfect destination for winter sports, such as skiing. It offers numerous mountains with ski resorts, groomed slopes, cable cars, accommodation and all the necessary services to enjoy the cold while you slide through the snow.

© Sierra Nevada - Cetursa