There is no better way to get into the festive spirit than by visiting a traditional Christmas market. Spain might not be as well known for its Christmas markets as other European counties, such as Germany or France, but perhaps it should be. The country offers a host of fabulous Christmas fayres where visitors can buy all of the supplies they need to prepare a traditional Spanish Christmas feast, do their Christmas shopping, or just soak up the laid-back Christmassy atmosphere.
Whether you live in Spain or are simply visiting for the holiday season, here’s our guide to the best Spanish Christmas markets that you can visit in 2019. You’ll soon be feeling more festive than Santa Claus himself!
Mercadillo Navideño Jardin Botanico La Concepción, Malaga
Malaga is famed for its wonderfully festive atmosphere throughout December, thanks to the lavish Christmas lights that adorn the city each year. The lights are switched on at the end of November and are soon followed by the Christmas market.
The market here is one of the newer ones in the country, but it makes a big impression. Set against a historical 19th century palace, you’ll find stalls selling delicious local produce, handicrafts, and plenty of attractions for children too: it’s a fun experience for the whole family .
Feria del Belen, Seville
Feria del Belen is a Spanish Christmas market of note because it is so uniquely Spanish. Visitors travel from all over the country to visit this Christmas market which focuses entirely on selling ornaments for Beléns (Nativity scenes) and Christmas trees. You’ll find an incredibly diverse range of ornate decorations to suit all styles and tastes.
During the festive season the market takes place at the Avenida de la Constitución near Seville’s historic, gargantuan Gothic cathedral and Archivo General de Indias. You can visit this unusual Christmas market from 18 November until 23 December.
Fira de Santa Llucia, Barcelona
If you’re looking for the largest and most established Christmas market in the country then Fira de Santa Llucia is the perfect choice. This is considered to be the most popular Christmas market in Spain and has been hosted in Barcelona since 1786.
The market is situated along the Avinguda de la Catedral in front of the Barcelona Cathedral in the Gothic district and boasts almost 300 stalls. Here you will find local craftsmen selling souvenirs such as hand-carved Nativity figures, including the cheeky caganer(defacating farmer) found only in Catalonia. The market Runs from 24 November to 23 December and focuses on creating a fun, family-friendly atmosphere where every visitor is encouraged to proactively become involved in the festive spirit.
Mercado de Navidad de Plaza Mayor, Madrid
Another long running Christmas market, the Plaza Mayor Christmas market in Madrid was first established in 1860, and has continued to grow over the years. What makes this Christmas market unique is the focus on selling fancy dress costumes, joke items and tinsel wigs to ensure that visitors are ready for Día de los Santos Inocentes – Spain’s version of April Fools’ Day – on 28 December.
You can also find traditional nativity figures here as well as 104 stalls selling Christmas musical instruments and toys, from 24 November to 31 December.
Mercadillo Navideño Plaza del Pilar, Zaragoza
The best Christmas markets offer more than just a handcrafted shopping experience: they also offer entertainment and attractions for the whole family. It is this that makes Zaragoza’s Plaza del Pilar Christmas market so worthy of note. As well as forty different stalls offering the usual array of local food and handicrafts, you’ll also find stages where musical and dance performances take place throughout December, as well as a large ice skating ring and merry-go-round, child-size ferris wheel, and other fair ground rides.
Looking for something more traditional? Zaragoza offers that too! You’ll find a giant Belén with over 100 figurines as part of the attraction: a key part of any traditional Christmas market is Spain.
Mercado de Navidad, Granada
If you’re spending time in Granada this Christmas then the city’s Christmas market is well worth exploration: it’s small but perfectly formed. It features a traditional Spanish nativity compromising of live actors and real animals: it really is a sight to behold.
The market itself is located at the central square of Plaza de Bib-Rambla, around the corner from the Renaissance Cathedral. It is small, but still offers all of the traditional stalls you would expect: candles, flowers, unique handmade gifts and sweets, such as churros, and a wide assortment of Spanish Christmas decorations.
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