Many people like to take advantage of the holiday season to do some traveling, and there’s no better place to go than Madrid. The Spanish capital really goes all out for the holidays, which include Christmas, New Year’s, and 3 Kings Day. If you’re spending the holidays in Madrid, here are the things that you have to do to spend them like a madrileño!
See the Corte Inglés a lit up
The first thing on the checklist is to see the Corte Inglés department store at Callao lit up in all it’s Christmas glory. Every year, the store goes all out on Christmas decorations, as well as the surrounding streets in the city center. The lights are quite fantastic, and you can head up to the top floor of the store to get an even better view. Take in all the lights from the top in an unforgettable, magical moment!
Stop by the Christmas market in Plaza Mayor
Another sign of the holidays in Madrid is the annual Christmas market in Plaza Mayor. Plaza Mayor is the city’s most notable and famous plaza, and it, too, goes all out when it comes to Christmas. Bright lights, a spinning carousel, and 100 kiosks selling different goods set up for the holiday season, and last through early January. You can buy toys, arts and crafts, sweets, and so much more at this market.
Take a selfie in Puerta del Sol
It’s obligatory to pass through Puerta del Sol, another of the city’s popular public hangouts, and take a selfie with the yearly Christmas tree. A sign of Christmas in Madrid is the conical tree made of metal that is completely lit from top to bottom. It’s open at the bottom so that visitors can walk through the tree and gaze up at the array of lights above. It makes for an awesome picture, and an even memory to remember the holidays in Madrid by.
Ride the Christmas Tour Bus
For only 4€, you can hop on the double-decker Christmas Tour Bus that leaves from Plaza Colón! This bus tour lasts about an hour and shows you all of the best Christmas lights and decorations in the city. The tour bus will cruise you through the streets of the Spanish capital to see the very best examples of the holiday spirit from a bird’s-eye view. This is an activity that’s fun for all ages and sure to be a fun, family event.
Celebrate New Year’s like a local
On December 31st, Spaniards pack into Puerta del Sol to count down the new year and ring it in with a bang. It’s customary to try to eat 12 grapes during the last twelve seconds before midnight, one grape for each month. These grapes are said to bring luck, so try to eat as many as you can! Also, be sure to have a glass of Spanish cava to wash the grapes down before you dance the night away.
Try the typical holiday foods
The holidays are the best time to indulge on delicious Spanish foods. Around Christmas, Spaniards love to chow down on delicacies like Spanish ham, cheese, grilled prawns, and so much more. If you have a sweet tooth, be sure to try Christmas sweets like turrones (nougats) and polvorones (cookies). Pair it with Spanish wine or cava and you’re really ready to celebrate the holidays in Madrid!
Buy some lottery tickets
Every year before Christmas, Spanish people hurry out to buy their ticket for the Christmas lottery, known as El Gordo. El Gordo, “The Fat One,” is the most popular lottery of the year and has been around since 1812. This lottery brings in more than 2 billion euros to be split in the prize pool. Even though you might not win, you’ll understand the excitement as they call out the numbers one by one to see who’s taking home some of the prize. If you miss the Christmas drawing, be sure to get your ticket for El Niño, the lottery on January 6th, 3 Kings day!
If you’re spending the holiday season in Madrid, treat yourself to comfort and style and come stay with us at Olala Homes! Our chic and inviting apartments are the perfect place to cozy up at feel at home!