20 nov 2018

Holiday Lights in Madrid

In just 3 days the city will finally turn on the holiday lights, after what seemed like weeks of unlit lights hanging in the streets. Each street has a different theme, from boxes of presents on Calle Goya, to snowflakes on Calle Mayor, to giant chandeliers on Jose Ortega y Gasset. The lights will be up all this month, and extend into the first week of January, so take advantage of a dry night (what is with all this rain lately?) and grab your honey or some friends and take a jolly walk through Madrid to enjoy the lights.

While on your walk, you may want to visit one of the many Christmas markets that are set up throughout the city. There are some especially for kids, like “Cortylandia” in Plaza Felipe II. Corte Ingles runs this of course, so don’t be surprised if after enjoying some kiddie rides your children want to scour the store for pricey toys.

A great market for enjoying the holidays is the large annual market in the Plaza Mayor. There are plenty of stalls selling holiday decorations and collectibles. You can buy a Christmas tree here, including those small apartment friendly ones, along with wreaths and other evergreen decorations. There is a carousel for the kids (and adults. Hey, why not?) and of course tons of lights. The lights in the Plaza Mayor are giant circular orbs that hang from the sky. Festive, yes, but also sort of like experiencing a UFO invasion.

Surprisingly, there were no food stalls at the main Christmas market. Upon arriving I was searching for some semblance of holiday fare (my mind instantly brought me back to my last gluhwein and kartoffelpuffer experience in Germany), but this market was really more for presents and decorations. I did find a stand that sells nuts (the kind they carmelize) in the little Christmas market just south of Sol in front of Cine Ideal. And of course there are lots of bars and restaurants in this area to top off the night with some wine or hot chocolate.

Enjoy the holiday season, everyone!

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