Christmas lights on the Calle Gran Vía, Madrid.

Experience the magic of Christmas lights in these Spanish cities


Travelling at Christmas is always special. There’s a atmosphere in the cities like no other time of the year. From the end of November, the streets of Spain start to light up with thousands of sustainable bulbs and traditional street markets. You can also admire the stunning Nativity scenes, the Procession of the Magi on 5 January, skating rinks and the wonderful aroma of roast chestnuts and churros for sharing in good company. We reveal to you which cities in Spain have the most incredible sparkle about them. Happy holidays!

  • Photos of Christmas lights in Madrid


    It’s impossible not to include the Spanish capital in this list. With its legendary market in the Plaza Mayor, which is centuries old, and the thousands of lights created by different artists and designers adorning the city. Specifically, in 2023 the lights will be lit on 23 November in a spectacular event at the remodeled Puerta del Sol square. Until 7 January, you can visit 230 different sites illuminated by 6,600 strings of lights, 115 cherry trees and 11 large light-festooned fir trees. Some of the most special figures are the great Menina of the Paseo del Prado, the giant nativity scene of Colón, the brightly lit fir tree of the Plaza Mayor square, designed by Roberto Verino, and the traditional 12-metre 3D ball, which on this occasion you can see in Plaza de España, near the Sabatini gardens.More ideas? There are several parks and gardens that offer shows with incredible lighted figures, such as “Naturaleza Encendida: Insects“, in Enrique Tierno Galván park; ”Brilla Zoo Madrid“, the largest lighted zoo in the world, in Juan Carlos I park; or ”El Manantial de los Sueños“, in the Alfonso XIII Royal Botanical Garden, which will also feature an ice show, a fairy walk, an elves' labyrinth and visits to Father Christmas' house.You can also hop aboard the ”Naviluz“ Christmas bus for a tour of the dazzlingly lit city, see out the year with 12 lucky grapes as the clock chimes midnight at the Puerta del Sol, enjoy the Procession of the Magi as if you were a child or savour hot chocolate and churros at San Ginés chocolate shop. You’ll have the time of your life!

  • Barcelona

    With the arrival of Christmas, different parts of the city transform into a real fairy tale. This year the lights will be lit on 23 November, and the majestic Passeig de Gràcia, which is celebrating its 200th anniversary, will be the setting for the switching on of the lights.If you want to visit a very special Christmas market, don't miss the one at Santa Llúcia, which has taken place around the cathedral since 1786. There is also a Christmas market next to the Sagrada Familia and another in Port Vell, with a fair installed by the sea presided over by a tree of LED lights and a large Ferris wheel. Also, at the Fira de Reis on Gran Via, you can stroll among stalls with decorations, sweets and toys... and on Epiphany it is open until dawn!In the theme park on popular Spanish architecture, Poble Espanyol, you can visit the house of Father Christmas and the Magi. This year the site will be transformed into ”Natalis“, a magical Christmas universe where you can discover how presents are made or enter the world of magic adventures with virtual reality sleigh rides, a snowball pool and wishing trees.Looking for more Christmas experiences in Barcelona? Be enchanted by classic melodies at the Palau de la Música Catalana or Liceu, ride the Christmas Tourist Bus or attend light shows such as ”Els Llums de Sant Pau“ at the Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site or ”Naturaleza Encendida: Origin“, in the Torre Girona gardens.

  • Calle Larios decked out with Christmas decorations in Malaga, Andalusia


    This image of Calle Larios has made its name as one of the most famous Christmas scenes in all of Spain. No one wants to miss how this shopping area is lit up with the incredible “Celestial Angels” light and music show that surprises everyone who visits it, and this year the lights will be inaugurated on 24 November.The city will glow with more than two million LED lights with different decorative figures such as chandeliers, and on the façade of the Cathedral, the videomapping show “Angel of Light” will be projected this year. Plus, in Malaga you will be able to buy souvenirs at the artisan markets of La Malagueta or in the bohemian neighborhood of Soho. And naturally, you simply can’t miss the municipal Nativity scene in the area of the Patio de Banderas at the City Hall,which is reinvented year after year. And an impressive light show returns this Christmas to the Historic Botanical Garden of La Concepción in Malaga, entitled “Angelical”. 

  • Vigo

    Starting on 24 November, around 11.5 million LED lights will illuminate 450 streets of this Galician city, which has become a Christmas icon in recent years. The decorations for 2023 include a tree of lights over 40 metres high at Porta do Sol, which will feature a sound and light show. Decorative figures such as a carriage, a Christmas forest, a big snowman, a giant gift box and a fantastic luminous castle palace will also shine again, situated in central streets such as Gran Vía or Policarpo Sanz.In addition to lights, Vigo offers other attractions for a great time. Among the most striking are a giant Ferris wheel where you can view the city from above and the ”Dinoworld“ exhibition in the González de Haz gardens. There are also Christmas markets such as the ”Cíes Market“ or the one in O Calvario, where you can buy Christmas products and artisan craftwork, ride with the little ones on children's rides and attend street shows.The Christmas activities in this Galician city do not end here – you can also go ice skating next to Samil beach, take a ride on a tourist train that runs through the city centre or attend shows such as the Circo de Nadal (Christmas Circus).

  • Photos of Christmas lights in Valencia


    This Mediterranean city is also perfect for spending an unforgettable Christmas. Starting on 1 December, Valencia will be enveloped in the Christmas spirit with its streets aglow with 225 lighted arches and 19 Christmas trees. You will also find around 10,000 gorgeous poinsettia plants.You can start your visit by taking a route that will guide you through the most emblematic nativity scenes, while you enjoy the beautiful Christmas lights in places such as the famous Plaza de la Reina. Another can't-miss stop: In the City Hall square, you will find a Christmas tree 20 metres high, a nativity scene with life-size figures and an ice-skating rink with a festive holiday atmosphere. In addition, in front of the Palacio de las Comunicaciones there is the traditional Christmas Carousel, and until 5 January you can enjoy the Traders' train route with the whole family, with tours that start in Calle Roger de Lauria. One tip: if you do your Christmas shopping in the shops in the historic city centre, you can get ”Divertivales“ or fun discount vouchers to enjoy all these attractions.Another idea you are bound to love: enjoying a Christmas Concert in the beautiful Church of San Juan de la Cruz. And if you are travelling with children, come to the City of Arts and Sciences, which is full of activities such as a Christmas market, children's workshops, puppet theatre and a wide range of food trucks. Plus, as has become tradition, circus magic floods Valencia on these dates. Specifically, the Wonderland circus, the Raluy Legacy 2023, the Alaska and the Wow set up in the city with incredible shows.

These are just some examples of Spanish cities that are perfect for visiting at Christmas. Although there are many more, such as Zaragoza, Seville, Granada, Santander, Oviedo

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