Christmas markets are widely popular across Central Europe with both Germany and France having the most famous and well-known offerings. But in recent years Spain has been growing their Christmas markets too, and these are becoming more and more popular. If you’re spending Christmas in Spain then visiting a market is a great way to celebrate the season. Whether you’re looking for small craft markets, traditional nativities, or an elaborate market like the one in Madrid’s Plaza Mayor, you’ll find plenty of fun and atmospheric Christmas markets to enjoy across Spain.
Something that is unique to Spanish Christmas markets that you won’t find anywhere else in Europe are the stalls selling practical jokes which Spanish people traditionally use to prank each other on Día de los Santos Inocentes on December 28th, the Spanish equivalent of April Fool’s Day. And of course there are gifts, Christmas ornaments and indulgent sweet treats too.
These are the best Christmas markets in Spain to visit right now:
Plaza Mayor, Madrid
This is the largest Christmas market in Spain and it takes place from November 24th to December 31st on Madrid’s cobbled Plaza Mayor. 104 wooden cabins are installed across the square and this 100 year old Christmas market is considered the best in the country. Buy your christmas tree and decorations, gifts for friends and family, or simply visit to soak up the atmosphere and indulge in the local sweet treats and street food.
Navidad en Plaza del Pilar, Zaragoza
One of the later Christmas markets this one is held December 1st to January 7th in Zaragoza's Plaza del Pilar. The highlight of this market is the vast nativity scene which covers over 8,000 metres squared in front of the Basilica del Pilar and tells the Christmas story. After you have explored the nativity head to the small market for Christmas pastries and shopping. There’s also a Santa Claus village where children can meet the man himself.
Fira de Santa Llúcia, Barcelona
Held since 1786 this is the oldest Christmas market in Spain and now boasts more than 100 stalls. It is held from November 24th to December 23rd it's located in the Barrio Gótico in the square in front of Barcelona Cathedral. This market is most famous for selling traditional Catalan christmas figures including the cananers (the pooping man). Also look out for stalls selling Tió de Nadal, another scatological Christmas tradition popular in Catalonia, which involves beating a smiley-faced log with a stick until it poops presents (often sweets) for all the children.
Feria del Belén, Sevilla
What makes this market unique is that it is dedicated solely to selling figurines that can be added to the nativity scene, which is very common in Spain. Held from October 28th to December 23rd this year, it takes place on Calle Fray Ceferino González and Avenida de la Constitución.
Alongside the figurine market you will also find an ice skating rink as part of the Sevilla On Ice thematic park on from November 30th until January 7th.
Mercado de Bib-Rambla, Granada
Granada’s traditional Christmas is held in the main plaza close to the imposing cathedral and this backdrop is what makes the market so special and unique. This year the market will be held from December 1st until January 6th. This is a great market to choose if you’re looking for Christmas decorations and nativity figures. There are also a good number of gift options, while you should miss the Christmas sweets and pastry stalls. Why not buy some to eat while you shop?
Mercado Navideño de Córdoba
Córdoba's Christmas market is held with the Association of Nativity Scene Makers of Córdoba meaning that it's mostly dedicated to buying models and figures for your Nativity scenes.It will be hosted from November 24th until January 7th.
The market is held in the Plaza de las Tendillas and is an ideal destination for this unique and niche shopping experience. This year the market will be expanded to make it more family friendly and there will be several attractions for children including a carrousel, a princess castle and a mini train.
Mercado Santo Tomás, Bilbao
This isn’t officially a Christmas market but rather a cheesemarket that takes place on 21st December meaning its the perfect time to stock up on delicious local cheeses for your Christmas cheese boards.
Artisan products showcase the best Basque gastronomy including locally made cheeses, and preserved meats. This means you’ll also find delicious chorizos and local ciders which are also ideal for your festive table.
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