22 nov 2013

Let there be light! Madrid’s Christmas Lights 2013

Madrid’s Christmas lights – 
the Spanish Capital shines!
Madrid’s six-month long summer has drawn to a close and suddenly winter is upon us, just in time for Christmas! A brisk wind is blowing the fallen autumn leaves of Retiro, the shops of Gran Via are already stocking up on presents, and stalls selling roasted chestnuts and toffee apples are dotted around Atocha. Make no mistake, Christmas spirit is spreading among Madrileños! But the best of beautiful Madrid at Christmas is yet to come… on the 29th November at 6pm, the Madrid Christmas lights will be switched on!

Better than ever: Madrid exceeds itself yet again

Although the economic crisis is abating, Madrid has managed to lower the cost of the displays by 16% from last year, by switching to energy efficient lights and also allowing companies to sponsor displays, for example, the state lottery is sponsoring the tree in Plaza del Sol. The cost reduction is even more impressive when you consider that there are far more illuminated areas than last year! As if this wasn’t enough, Madrid has capitalized on its creative culture to make this year’s displays unforgettable – Spain’s best-known architects, fashion designers and graphic designers have lent their vision to adorn the city in breathtaking style!

The Christmas tree in Plaza del Sol
– Madrid’s Christmas centrepiece

Christmas Lights - Dates and Times

Madrid’s Christmas lights will start on 29th November and finish on 6th January 2014 and have the following schedule:  

  • Sunday-Wednesdays: 6pm – 10pm
  • Thursdays – Saturdays: 6pm – 11pm
  • 24th Dec and 5th Jan: 6pm – 3am
  • 25th Dec and 1st Jan: 6pm – 12am
  • 31st Dec: 6pm – 6am

Unmissable – Madrid’s Christmas lights

The beautiful illuminations really are a sight to be seen, so AIL Madrid recommends the following places to see this gorgeous city in a whole new light whilst enjoying your Christmas Spanish Course in Madrid:

The Plaza del Sol is the beating heart of Madrid and the place where Madrileños gather to celebrate the New Year together. So it is only fitting that Sol will have some of the most extravagant lights imaginable! As if the displays in all the shops weren’t impressive enough (El Corte Inglés in particular makes you want to reach for your sunglasses), the Plaza is now dominated by a metal Christmas tree, 35 metres high and 14 metres wide, that will be the centrepiece of the Christmas decorations adorning the city! If you only visit one place this year to see the lights, make sure it’s Sol!

The Madrid Navibús – see the 
Christmas lights in style!
Of course, there will be Christmas lights in all of Madrid’s famous sights: in Plaza Mayor, in Calles Velázquez and Goya (a stone’s throw from AIL Madrid itself!), Fuencarral, Paseo del Prado and even Gran Via (as if it didn’t shine brightly enough the rest of the year!). The decision of where to go is entirely yours… But trying to see it all on foot might be a little… ambitious, so we politely suggest the Madrid Navibús, where for 2€ you can ride through the city from Calle Serrano on an open-topped bus, seeing Madrid in all its Christmas glory in 50 minutes! So not only will you be topped up to the brim with festive glee but thanks to your Christmas Spanish Course, your Spanish levels will be shining through as well.

Christmas comes but once a year, so make sure that if you are in Madrid this winter, you see all that this city has to offer… a truly unforgettable experience!

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