Ten of the best Christmas markets in Spain

Ten of the best Christmas markets in Spain
Photo: AFP
They may not have the prestige of their Central European counterparts, but Christmas markets are becoming more and more popular across Spain from smaller craft markets to the vast collection of stalls in Madrid’s Plaza Mayor.

This is where you purchase a fresh Christmas tree – often sold still in a pot – and a new nativity figure for your Belén.

You will also find stalls selling practical jokes which Spanish people traditionally use to prank each other on the  Día de los Santos Inocentes on December 28, the Spanish equivalent of April Fool’s Day.

There will be wigs and masks for people to buy ahead of New Year’s Eve when many partygoers dress up in silly headgear.

You’ll find stalls of Christmas pastries and treat yourself to a warming cup of Chocolate con churros.

Plaza Mayor, Madrid

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In the run up to Christmas, Madrid’s cobbled Plaza Mayor is transformed into a Christmas market with more than 100 picturesque wooden cabin style stalls dedicated to Christmas fare. This is where you will find Christmas trees, Poinsettia and mistletoe as well as hundreds of different traditional figures for nativity scenes alongside Christmas lights and outrageous wigs.

 Fira de Santa Lúcia, Barcelona

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This Christmas market is located in the Catalan capital’s Barrio Gótico in a square besides the Santa Eulalia Cathedral.

This is the place to browse dozens of stalls selling Catalonia’s famous traditional Christmas customs, the caganer. These little figures showing a person squatting bare bottomed to defecate are included within nativity scenes supposedly to bring prosperity to the household.

Also look out for stalls selling Tio de Nadal, another scatological Christmas tradition popular in Catalonia, which involves beating a smiley faced log with a stick until it poops presents for all the children.

Mercado de Navidad Barón de Cárcer, Valencia

With more tan 300 separate stalls set within city’s central Mercado, this is one of the biggest Christmas markets in Spain. As well as all the usual decorations you’ll find crafts and Christmassy fare such as roasted chestnuts, gingerbread and speciality pastries. Look out for the huge varity of Turrons on offer, most locally made artisan nougat. 

Mercado Navideño de Artesanía en Sevilla

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This is an outdoor craft fayre held in Plaza Nueva in the Andalusian capital where you’ll find local artisans showcasing handmade quality goods from food to leather goods to pieces of art.

It’s a great place to browse for unique Christmas gifts.

If you are in Seville, don’t make this your only Christmas market though. Look out for the tables that are set up at the Alcázar palace in Seville where the cities convents showcase their Christmas pastries. You’ll find delicate almond cookies and anise-flavoured donuts, all baked and packaged in beautiful boxes by cloistered nuns.

Mercado del Pilar, Zaragoza

The Aragaon capital hosts a special Christmas treat creating a vast nativity scene infront of the city’s Basilica del Pilar.

Spread over 2,500 metres this Belén retells the Christmas Story and there’s a market that sells typical Christmas pastries, decorations and crafts.

You’ll also find activities for children including an ice-skating rink, kiddy fairground rides and performances with daily concerts and parades.

Mercado Santo Tomás, Blibao

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Blessed are the cheesemakers. Or rather those lucky enough to browse the stalls of local producers at the Christmas markets in Bilbao.

Artisan products showcase the best Basque gastronomy including locally made cheeses, and preserved meats as well as the usual Christmas decorations and handicrafts.  Head to the Mercadillo de Navidad in Calle Bailén or if you are in the city on December 21 for St Thomas’s feast day, there’s a special market to celebrate the day.

Look out for  “Talos con chorizo” Sidra made from locally grown apples and the local white wine, Txakoli.

You’ll also find the sweet Christmas pastries baked by nuns offered at stalls at the  Diocesan Museum of Religion Art in Bilbao. Almond lovers can choose from montecados, polvorones and marzipans.

Mercado de Bib-Rambla, Granada.

You will find Granada’s Christmas market in the plaza close to the imposing cathedral where stalls sell all the typical decorations you need to celebrate a Spanish Navidad, from nativity figures to handmade tree ornaments.

Christmas Market Puerto Portals en Mallorca

This market is of the sort you might find in central Europe, with gluhwein stalls and the heavy scent of gingerbread in the air.

There’s also performance from local choirs and theatre groups and the Christmassy atmosphere is completed with an ice-rink.

Costa del Sol

You'll find Christmas markets set up in towns along the Costa del Sol during December. 

Benalmadena, Torremolinos, Fuengirola, Puerto Banus and Estepona all have Christmas markets and it's worth looking round Malaga's Garaje Market with its dozens of art and antique stalls for unusual Christmas gifts.



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