This is the season to discover the pleasures of Christmas shopping and the sales.

Winter brings the holiday season, a time for gathering with family and friends, and for exchanging gifts and good wishes. In Spain, shopping at this time of year is heart-warming and a lot of fun. Christmas carols, lights and colours fill the streets, squares, and shops, and in them you'll find a huge variety of gift ideas and inspiration, with something for everyone.

Christmas markets can be found in many towns and cities at this time of year. Some of the most popular markets are on Plaza Mayor in Madrid, the Fira de Santa Llúcia in Barcelona, the streets around Seville Cathedral, in Málaga Park, on Calle Bailén in Bilbao, or on Plaza del Pilar in Zaragoza. Here, you'll find Christmas decorations and figures for nativity scenes, toys, crafts, curiosities, and joke items for playing tricks on people on 28 December, the day of the Holy Innocents, Spain’s equivalent of April Fools’ Day. Go to the local Tourist Office anywhere in Spain to see where these traditional markets are held. Don’t forget to visit the traditional shops as well, where you can find exceptional craft items, made with exquisite care from high-quality natural materials. And while you’re shopping, nothing better than taking a break to try the traditional sweets and pastries offered at this time of year in cafés and cake shops.

The long Christmas season in Spain gives you more time to find the perfect gift. The festivities continue until 6 January, the day on which the Three Kings arrive with presents for children who have been good all year. Time certainly flies when you’re shopping in Spain.

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