Over the last few years, Christmas has become established as one of the favourite times of the year for travelling. And not just to visit family or return home from abroad. European cities dress up in December with spectacular Christmas lighting, activities for all and a bustling environment driven by typical Christmas shopping. In Spain, where temperatures are a lot milder than in other continental destinations, two cities stand out among the rest for their leisure opportunities and the beauty of their decorated streets. Read on to see why you should visit Madrid and Seville this Christmas!
Christmas in Madrid
In December, the Spanish capital welcomes thousands of tourists looking to experience the lively atmosphere of its busy streets. This year, the Christmas lights were switched on on November 24, with impressive new designs in iconic areas such as the calle de Alcalá, and large trees of light in Plaza de Colon, Plaza de España and the Puerta del Sol.
And to make sure you don’t miss any of the most attractive features of this year’s Christmas lights, Madrid City Council has organised a tourist bus called Naviluz (Christmas lights) to take you to see them all, starting at calle Serrano, on a tour lasting 45 minutes. Also not to be missed are the Christmas market in Plaza Mayor and the craft fair in Plaza de España, where you’re sure to find the perfect present, or the nativity scene in the hall of the Palacio de Cibeles, the seat of the City Council.
This year brings the third edition of the Navideña International Fair of Cultures, an event with over a hundred participating embassies to showcase different ways of celebrating Christmas in countries around the world.
And then there’s the many exhibitions currently showing in the capital, such as Harry Potter “The Exhibition”, Sorolla in His Paradise or Zuloaga in the Paris of the Belle Epoque, and an endless list of leisure opportunities, with well-established musicals such as The Lion King, skating rinks, concerts and sporting events. And the final touch to Christmas, of course, the Three Kings’ Parade on 5 January.
Christmas in Seville
Sevilla, chosen by Lonely Planet as Top City for visiting in 2018, has a wealth of attractions which warrant its standing as one of the most interesting destinations in Europe. And Christmas is certainly one of the best times to plan a trip. The “Alumbra Sevilla” (Light up Seville) programme includes an endless number of activities and events for tourists and locals alike throughout the month of December.
Top amongst these is the Christmas lighting, mainly in the centre of the city and specifically in and around the Plaza de San Francisco, where five giant balls have been set up to include a light show every day at 19.00, plus a spectacular gallery of animated lights in the nearby Avenida de la Constitución. In calle Trajano there is also a special set-up called “The Labyrinth”, with paths of light and colour which bring the area of the Alameda de Hércules to life. From 22 December there will also be a large ball installation from which snow will fall.
Then there are exhibitions, such as “Disney, the Art of Storytelling” at CaixaForum and “The Magic of Hogwarts” in Marqués del Contadero, which will be the delight of young and old, especially those who have grown up with Disney films and the Harry Potter books.
Accommodation in Madrid and Seville
If you want to experience all that Christmas has to offer while staying in some of the best areas of these two cities, visit our website and book one of our homes, equipped with all the conveniences you will need and decorated in style to make your trip a truly unforgettable one.