Christmas is the best season to observe some of the great Spanish traditions like waiting on who wins El Gordo, munching on turron, or visiting the best Christmas markets for some holiday shopping in Spain.
From a range of seasonal sweets ‘dulces’ to the well-known pooping ‘caganer’ figurines and the famous Nativity scenes, we have listed the best Christmas markets in Spain where you can find something for everyone to enjoy the authentic Spanish Christmas and bring back some locally-themed gifts.
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When do Christmas markets begin in Spain?
People across the country get together in families during Christmas in Spain to celebrate the season. The season celebration starts in the mid of December and lasts until January 6 by starting with Christmas presents.
If you are planning to visit Spain during winter, do not forget to visit these Christmas markets where both tourists and locals share and buy presents.
What are the best Christmas markets in Spain?
Listed here are some of the most famous Christmas markets you can visit. If you are into some festive cheer in this season, these are the best Christmas markets which usually run from the end of November till early January.
13 Best Christmas Markets in Spain
Fira de Santa Llúcia
Fira de Santa Llúcia is one of the oldest Christmas markets in Barcelona, Spain. It is also one of the largest Christmas markets in Spain being hosted in a plaza ahead of a gothic cathedral in Barcelona. This 229 years old Christmas market always remains bursting with oddities and traditional Christmas fairs that are only found in Catalonia.
Along with the decent shepherds at Fira de Santa Lucia and native sculptures of the Virgin Mary, there is a cruder figurine of the crapper, the caganer. This pooping character has been hidden in the religious scenes for centuries in Catalonia.
The caganer is adorned with peasants’ clothing. You can easily spot him as soccer stars, politicians, and other famous personalities.
There is a kind of trend to show things which poop in Catalonia Christmases. Tió de Nadal, a log that poops treats and toys when it is beaten with a stick, is yet another most popular attraction to see at the Fira de Santa Lucia. This Christmas market opens from November 27 till December 23, and the timings are 10:30 to 8:30 pm.
Fira de Nadal a la Sagrada Familia
Located on the foot of Sagrada Familia at the gardens, there is a beautiful setting of Fira de Nadal a la Sagrada Família. This offers a great opportunity to witness the masterpiece of Gaudi’s era and the market and park in just one trip. It is one of the most popular fairs, as well as traditional Christmas markets located along Fira de Santa Llúcia.
The exact dates of the opening of this market are not confirmed. But Fira de Nadal a la Sagrada Família has plenty of stalls to offer a huge range of sweets, Christmas trees, mistletoe, and decorations. It runs from November 26 to December 23.
Feria de Atracciones de Navidad
By adding a funfair to Christmas markets in Valencia Spain, it’s a step ahead of Barcelona and Madrid. Feria de Atracciones de Navidad takes place between Avda De Francia and Calle Ingeniero Manuel Soto with all the traditional stalls, lights, festive music, and candy floss.
You can also enjoy a lot of rides here, ranging from Ferris wheels to ride-on kids’ train and bumper cars. The fair lasts from November 25 to January 22.
The third-largest city in the country, Seville, goes gaga when Christmas arrives. Cone-shaped Christmas trees soaring up to 3 to 4 stories high in plazas across the city, lights dangling in almost every street, and the street lamps covered in garlands, there is so much to explore in Christmas markets in Seville Spain.
There is a festive spirit in almost everywhere in Plaza Nueva located a few strides away from the massive gothic cathedral of Seville. Each December, the 72 artisans gather here to sell handmade crafts. It’s like God sends unique gifts for everyone.
Exposición de Dulces de Conventos de Clausura de la Archidiócesis Sevillana
Opens on December 5 and lasts a whole week, and the Exposición de Dulces de Conventos de Clausura de la Archidiócesis Sevillana has a huge range of nun-made sweets to offer along with having the longest Spanish name of Christmas markets ever.
There are different varieties of sweets available that can lure anyone like muffins, truffles, almond powder cookies, and anise-flavored doughnuts.
The white-clothed tables are filled with towers of boxes in Royal Alcázar palace of Seville inside the palace for a week every December. However, these are not just cookies boxes. Each box is handmade by cloistered nuns from the convent.
If you want to taste some nun-made sweets, join the Seville food tour offered by Devour Seville Food Tours to taste some taps, daytime sweets, and traditions. You can also buy cookies by visiting a convent.
Mercado Santo Tomás
It is one of the best Christmas markets in Spain in 2019, where the season starts quite early. The major cities in the Basque Country are filled with festive bliss of agriculture for celebrating St. Tomas Day.
Cheesemakers, ranchers, farmers, and chefs, all come together and gather to offer something in Bilbao. In return, thousands of tourists and festival-goers flock here at the Plaza Nueva and Arenal Plaza to greet them.
You can find the old-school tortilla-like wraps filled with thin chorizo “Talos con chorizo” and the flow of Sidra (locally made hard cider) and Txakoli (Basque white wine). The Mercado Santo Tomas presents a great way to start holidays and stock up your house with local products for feasting. The market opens on December 21 all day.
Dulce Navidad del Convento
December is the sweetest time of the year to visit the Diocesan Museum of Religion Art in Bilbao. Nuns from lots of convents gather around to set up their stalls in the museum and offer traditional treats. Feast on the delicious Christmas sweets like chocolates, turrón (toffee or almond bars), montecados (mild powdery almond cookies), polvorones (powdery almond cookies), and marzipans.
Tejas (crunchy almond bark), rosquillas (anise doughnuts), perrunillas (cinnamon cookies), pasta de Limon o café (coffee or lemon-flavored cookies) various liqueurs and jams are some of the best treats offered by the nuns made by them.
Plaza del Pilar
The lavish nativity scenes built in schools, churches, homes, and businesses are some of the hallmarks of Christmas in this country. This Spanish tradition on Christmas takes on to the whole new scale of humans. A huge 1500 sq. m. Nativity scene comes out like a maze in the shadow of the huge Basilica del Pilar.
More than 50 figurines are presented here to recreate the event when Jesus was born. The primary Christmas market of Zaragoza is located in the plaza opposite the scene of the nativity.
Ahead of the typical sweets and decorations, the market is filled with activities for children. Here bands and parades are always open from December 12 to January 6.
Mercado de Navidad de Plaza Mayor
The Madrileño locals gather here from November 27 to December 31 to make the stunning central plaza one of the major attractions of festive cheer. The market remains open from 10 am to 9:30 pm. The plaza is filled with more than 100 stalls offering different varieties of Christmas supplies.
Some of the best stalls are the ones laden with tiny trees, mountains of figurines, and mini mangers. It has everything you might need to form the nativity scene, even live moss.
There are plenty of trickster toys available under the canopy of lights hanging around the market for the Dia de Los Santos Inocentes on December 28, the April Fools’ Day in Spain.
Located in front of Opera House, Plaza Isabel II is decorated with Christmas treats every December. The shops are set up by bakers, pastry chefs, and skills sweets makers offering fresh candied fruits, churros with chocolate, turron Christmas chocolate, caramelized nuts, marzipans, polvorone Christmas cookies, and lots of traditional desserts. The market opens from 10 am to 10 pm on weekdays and until midnight on holidays from November 29 to January 10.
Christmas is coming, and so the Christmas markets in Malaga. You may want to get there for shopping and enjoying the pleasant environment with Christmas lights and stalls, which are very elaborate each year. Here are some of the best markets in Malaga to do Christmas shopping.
This Christmas market is filled with art and crafts as well as antiques in the Soho of Malaga. It is well located in a place, which was once a garage in a typical London theme. You may get here when it’s cold or raining outside.
It is a renovated center where you can find a lot of stalls for Christmas shopping at the beginning of December.
Have fantastic insight into the local culture in these Best Christmas markets in Spain. Shop some holiday gifts for your family and friends as well as for yourself.
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