Madrid hosts an array of fiestas that liven up the streets and welcomes its visitors to the city.
But Christmas deserves a special mention…The celebration begins with switching on the city’s Christmas lights which have been crafted by Spain’s most renowned designers, and is a truly magical experience!
For those of you who have a yearning for traditional dishes and delicacies, then Madrid is the right place to be. The city offers a variety of Christmas markets and gourmet offerings which includes “hojaldrinas” (a sweet Spanish pastry), “Mazapán” (a Spanish marzipan), “Polvorón” (shortbread), “Pan de Cádiz” (a traditional almond cake) and “Turrón” (a Spanish nougat).
If shopping is your forte then Madrid’s highly-acclaimed shopping routes – Serrano, Gran Vía and the Las Salesas will meet your expectations. Along these routes you will find world-class luxurious brands and opulent jewellery created by Spain’s leading designers. For the aesthete at heart, you will be sure to find some of the world’s most breath-taking artworks in some of the city’s finest galleries.
New Years is also a spectacular time of year to visit Madrid as you have the opportunity to become a part of the city’s traditional festivities. One of the city’s star attractions is the San Silvestre Vallecana, a 10 km race held on the 31st of December. When the clock strikes twelve all eyes are upon Puerta del Sol, the heart of Madrid, and is significant for the eating of the Twelve Grapes. This Spanish tradition signifies the beginning of a new year with locals and visitors alike, eating twelve grapes keeping in time with the ringing from the Real Casa de Correos (Royal House of the Post Office).
Another traditional Spanish highlight is the Three Kings Parade, a celebration which crosses the entire city and takes place on the 5th of January. On the 6th of January the festivities continues and locals wait outside restaurants and bakeries such as El Horno de San Onofre and Isabel Maestre’s for a slice of the Three Kings Cake, or Roscón de reyes (a Spanish ring shaped cake).
Be sure to look out for a bean before you take a bite; as this will mean that you will have to pay for the entire cake.
Contact our Iconic Journeys specialist to help curate your next vacation to Madrid.