Christmas time is almost here. For some people, this means it is time to travel, to go tourism…
Madrid is an ideal city to spend this time: there is a good vibe, parties and it is never too cold to stay indoors. This means, no matter what you do or where you go, there will always be people in the streets doing the same as you or maybe something different.
One of the things you can’t miss is Puerta del Sol, in any given Christmas day you would enjoy the traditional Christmas tree and if you want some party, just change years in this square as it is the most popular place to be. The traditional grapes and the bells (Spanish traditions) to welcome the New Year are celebrated in this square. Go around the surrounded areas, Callao, Preciados, Arenal up to Isabel II Square (just in front of the Royal Theatre) it is all “down town” and you know what that means during this time of the year, Christmas lights, colorful streets, and surprises.
No matter what time of the year you come to the city it is traditional the calamari sandwich (or bocadillo de calamares). Get around Plaza Mayor and you will find many places with this on their menu. A cheap option just in the middle of the city will also allow you to rest before you keep going with your day.
Plaza Mayor is another mandatory stop, with its multiple shopping tents full of Christmas items for the Nativity but also wigs and hats, don’t forget the trees! There are also street shows, musicians, artists and a traditional carousel for the little ones.
A recommended stop to fill up your energy and get warm is San Ginés Chocolaterie. It is said that it holds the best hot chocolate in the city, take it with some churros or porras and enjoy.
Whether you come with kids or not, take a look at the Christmas program designed by the City Hall, for sure there will be more than one interesting activity you can enjoy. Last year we went ice-skating but there was an inflatable castle for adults and children. And if you come without children you would also find activities for yourself. Just take a look at the program of this year (2016).
Enjoy, they are only a few days to rest. And if you come before the 22nd (day of the “Fat” Lottery game) just go and buy if you dare (the queues usually go around the block) one ticket at Doña Manolita it has been a lucky place for many years.
Enjoy all the wonders this city can offer.
And if you have time and a car, go to Navacerrada and play with the snow (if there is any).
Ups! We almost forgot: Spanish Christmas season end on the 6th of January, if you are around by then don’t forget to watch the 3 Wise Men or 3 Kings Parade (especially if you come with children). Just check the program of this year (2016) for children, shows, concerts, city events and sport-related activities.