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Guide to visiting Madrid at Christmas

As a European capital, Madrid dresses up every year to celebrate Christmas and say goodbye to the year.

The streets are filled with lights and atmosphere, and many tourists visit the capital to do their shopping or simply enjoy the festive spirit.

If you are going to be in Madrid for Christmas and you are looking for activities and things to see, read carefully, because we bring you the best guide to spend Christmas in Madrid: shopping, walks under the lights and a gastronomic New Year's Eve experience you won't forget.

When do they turn on the Christmas lights in Madrid?

The festive season doesn't officially begin until lights of all colours illuminate Madrid's streets and squares. This 2022, Madrid's lights will be switched on 24 November at 7pm and will last until 6 January, on Three Kings' Day. These are the times when you can enjoy the Christmas lights in Madrid:

  • From Sunday to Thursday - 18h to midnight

  • Fridays and Saturdays - 6pm to 1am

  • 24th December and 5th January - 6pm to 3am

  • 31st December - 18h to 6h (all night)

This year more than 230 locations in Madrid will be illuminated with chains, fir trees and various lights. Why don't you hop on the Christmas bus on a route through the centre of Madrid to see them in person?

What to see in Madrid during Christmas

Madrid traditionally fills up with leisure, culture, and entertainment in the last weeks of the year. Here are some of the most typical things to do at Christmas in Madrid.

  • Christmas Market in Plaza Mayor. Here you will find everything you need for the festive season, from decorations to unique gifts for your loved ones.

  • Nativity Scenes in Madrid. Join the tradition and visit the nativity scenes on display in the Town Hall, Plaza de la Villa, Plaza de España, the Royal Palace and other buildings and squares in the city.

  • Christmas shopping. Find the perfect gift for your siblings, parents, children, or that special someone. Check out our article on shopping in Madrid city centre to find out which areas you can't miss.

  • Shopping centre El Corte Inglés dresses up for Christmas every year with a fun musical show of animated figurines. If you are in Madrid with children, this is an ideal plan for the whole family.

  • Ice skating. Make the most of the cold weather to practice this outdoor sport in a fun activity for couples or with the little ones in Madrid. One of the largest ice-skating rinks is located in the Galería de Cristal of the Palacio de Cibeles.

  • Chocolate with churros. Take shelter from the cold in Madrid's churrerías and enjoy the traditional combination of hot cocoa and churros - there's no greater pleasure after a long afternoon of shopping!

Celebrate New Year's Eve at Hotel Único

Now you know everything you can do during Christmas in Madrid, but do you have plans for New Year's Eve? We invite you to say goodbye to the year at Hotel Único Madrid, where we offer a luxury experience ideal to enjoy as a couple or with friends.

Our RFXM restaurant offers you a select menu personally designed by the 2 Michelin-starred chef Ramón Freixa. Enjoy a gastronomic proposal in style starting with a delicious appetizer accompanied by Live Jazz, followed by a menu of caviar and the best rice, fish and meat dishes. A menu that will surprise you from start to finish, paired with the best wines and champagnes from our cellar.

This is one of the few Michelin-starred restaurants offering a menu on this special date, so take the opportunity! You can check out all the details of our New Year's Eve menu here.

The New Year's Eve evening doesn't end with dinner, afterwards you can enjoy a cotillion and the traditional New Year's grapes tradition, and continue the party with the music of our DJ in The Bar.

Don't wait any longer and book your New Year's Eve dinner at our 5-star hotel in Madrid.

November 22, 2022