Whilst they might not be as famous, or have the same international clout, as many of their Central European counterparts, Spain has a rich Christmas market tradition. Like many other European Christmas markets, Spanish Christmas markets offer craft stalls, delicious food and drink, and the opportunity to purchase a Christmas tree for you home. The Spanish nativity tradition is also well represented, and it would be near-impossible to find a Christmas market in Spain that didn’t sell nativity scenes and figures. You’ll also find stalls selling tricks, props and practical jokes to prepare for December 28th, which is Dia de los Santos Inocentes in Spain (this is the equivalent of April Fool’s Day, and is an incredibly big day in the country).
Here’s everything you need to know about Christmas markets in Spain, including the best ones to visit this Christmas:
Fira de Santa Llúcia, Barcelona
To demonstrate just how long Christmas markets have been being held in Spain, the Fira de Santa Llucia in Spain has been held every year since 1786. The market is held from 26th November to 23rd December and this year you can expect to find more than 100 stalls. So, what should you expect to find if you’re shopping here? Handmade Christmas gifts, churros and chocolate, and two of the largest Catalan Christmas traditions. First is the Caganer: the figure of a bare-bottomed person defecating, which is often included in the nativity to bring prosperity. Second is the Tio de Nadal: another fecal-based Catalonia tradition, featuring a smiley faced log which children hit with a stick until it poops sweets and small gifts.
Feria del Belén, Sevilla
If you’re hoping to build your own Spanish nativity scene, or add to your existing one, then there’s only one place to go: Seville’s Feria del Belen is the largest Christmas market in Spain that solely sells nativity items, such as figures, buildings and animals to create the perfect scene. The market is held from 5th November to 23rd December and you’ll find it at Calle Fray Ceferino González and Avenida de la Constitución.
If you’re not interested in Spanish nativities then there are still plenty of good reasons to head to Seville. The city is setting up two temporary ice-skating rinks, which you can find on Muelle de las Delicia and in the Jardines del Prado de San Sebastián.
Christmas Market Puerto Portals en Mallorca
If your idea of a perfect Christmas Market looks more like something you will find in central Europe than a traditional Spanish offering then this is the market for you. You’ll find German-inspired gluhwein stalls, British roasted chestnuts, and gingerbread to quench your appetite. This year the market will take place between 16th December and 6th January, and will be held in the Puerto Portals. As well as traditional market stalls, you’ll also find local choral performances and an ice rink.
Plaza Mayor, Madrid
Plaza Mayor hosts a large and traditionally Spanish Christmas market, which offers over 100 stalls. Each stall is housed inside a wooden log cabin, creating a wonderfully Christmassy atmosphere. This is considered to be one of the best Christmas markets in Spain, and takes place between 26th November and 31st December on the Plaza Mayor in Madrid. You’ll be amazed at how wide a range of products are available here: whether you’re looking for a Christmas tree or a handful of mistletoe, nativity figures or gifts, it’s an incredibly popular shopping event with a huge selection of options.
Navidad en Plaza del Pilar, Zaragoza
Whilst Zaragoza hosts a typically Spanish Christmas market where you can find delicious pastries, Christmas decorations, and craft gifts, it is the nativity here that makes the market worth visiting. In front of the city’s Basilica del Pilar, you’ll find a huge nativity scene which covers an incredible area of over 8,000 meters squared, retelling the Christmas story. If you’re travelling with young children then you’ll also find a Santa Claus village here that is sure to be a big hit.
Mercado de Bib-Rambla, Granada
When it comes to finding a Christmas market with an awe-inspiring backdrop, Granada is hard to beat. The market takes place on the city’s main plaza with the imposing cathedral behind it, and will be hosted from 26th November to 6th January this year. Like so many of the other Christmas markets in Spain, you can expect to find sweets and pastries to eat and enjoy, handmade gifts such as ceramics and jewellery, as well as tree ornaments and nativity figurines to decorate your home.
Mercado Santo Tomás, Blibao
Food lovers rejoice, because the Mercado Santo Tomas is back! Hosted on the 21st December, this market is actually hosted to celebrate the feast day of Saint Tomas, but many local residents use it as the ideal opportunity to stock up on their festive ingredients. Here you’ll find a host of Basque delicacies, such as cheeses and meats. As you browse you can also enjoy sidra made from locally grown apples and glasses of locally produced wine.
Mercado Navideño de Córdoba
Finally, although it doesn’t have the longevity of many of the other markets on this list, the Christmas market in Cordoba has quickly developed a reputation for being one of the most atmospheric. Held between 15th November and 22nd December, you can expect to find 40 wooden cabins that will sell a mixture of wooden toys, nativity figures, sweets and other snacks for you to enjoy. What makes this market really special, though, is the abundance of activities available for children; from magic shows to theatre performances, you’ll always find something to keep your kids entertained.
Are you thinking of moving to Spain? Or looking for a holiday home so that you always have a place to stay when you visit over the Christmas period? Then why not get in touch with our locally based property experts, who are perfectly placed to help make you dream of Spanish home ownership a reality. We’re already excited to work with you!