Who does not like Christmas season? Streets full of lights, never-ending family get-togethers, unlimited food and drinks and closing the year with a great party. At Mad4You Hostel we love love love this time of the year. This is why we are writing this special Blog, sharing the Spanish traditions that you might not be familiar with.

Who does not like Christmas season? Streets full of lights, never-ending family get-togethers, unlimited food and drinks and closing the year with a great party.

At Mad4You Hostel we love love love this time of the year. This is why we are writing this special Blog, sharing the Spanish traditions that you might not be familiar with.

And, if you have made the wise decision of spending some time in our beautiful city during the month of December, we have prepared a list of some cool stuff to do and see during the holidays.

Lights and Nativities

First of all we, invite you to hop on the Naviluz; a Double Decker bus that goes around the city showing you the most breath taking Christmas illuminations. You can take the bus from Plaza de Colon (in front of the Jardines del Descubrimiento) and it will only cost you 2€. Find out all about it through this link:

http://www.espaciomadrid.es/?p=36752

Address: Calle Serrano, 30 – Metro: Serrano

Once you get off the Naviluz, how about checking out some of the many beautiful Nativity scenes displayed all over town?  Spain being a very Catholic country, you can find plenty of them made with different kinds of material.  Discover the most interesting and creative ones by taking a look at this guide:

http://guias-viajar.com/madrid/capital/ruta-visitar-belenes-navidad-madrid/

Still thinking about beautiful blinding lights, we strongly suggest you not to miss out on Sol de Invierno, an amazing light installation placed on the Madrid Rio (the city river) to celebrate the winter solstice on the afternoon and night of the 21st of December.

Address: Puente del Rey (bridge) – Metro: Príncipe Pio

Another novelty this year is Constelaciones, a light installation called Suspés. Thanks to a process called pixel mapping, 81 helium balloons and LED lights simulate stars and constellations twinkling together. There will be 8 to 10 minutes passes from 6pm to 10pm on 4 January. Prepare to be amazed!

Address: Matadero, Paseo de la Chopera, 1 – Metro: Legazpi

Christmas Markets

Do you agree that Christmas markets are one of the best things to see during the holidays? Cinnamon smell in the air, snowy trees, handmade decorations for your house, perfect gifts for your beloved ones… Such a magical place to be!

The most famous one in Madrid is definitely the market on Plaza Mayor, open from the last week of November until December 31st.

Address: Plaza Mayor – Metro: Opera

Keep on shopping at the Feria de Artesanía de la Comunidad de Madrid (Arts and Crafts Fair): on Plaza de España (just 10 minutes by foot from our Hostel!) hundreds of handmade items are sold from the 10th of December until the 5th of January. During the last edition more than 170 artisan workshops took part at this market and we are sure it is the perfect place for you to find that special and unique gift you are looking for!

Address: Plaza de España – Metro: Plaza de España

One of our favorites is the Navideña Feria Internacional de las Culturas (International Christmas Fair of Cultures) hosted at one of Madrid’s most interesting cultural centers: Matadero. Its program includes over 250 different activities from traditional dances to storytelling. In the 75 stands you can also try local gastronomic delights and buy beautiful crafts.

Address: Matadero, Paseo de la Chopera, 1 – Metro: Legazpi

Other Events

Did you know that at Plaza de la Luna you can find an ice rink? Skate with your friends for just 5€ (7,50€ on weekends) you do not even have to worry about the skates because the rent is included in the ticket :). It is open from 10:00 until 22:00, are you going to join?

Address: Plaza de la Luna – Metro: Gran Vía

Another super Spanish tradition is the Christmas Lottery: the lottery drawing takes place on December 22nd, at 8:00 in the morning, when many TV and radio stations air the announcement of the winning numbers live. Share a ticket with someone and maybe you can be the next lucky millionaire!

Important Spanish Dates

There are three very important days for Spaniards during the Christmas Holiday. The first one is the 24th of December, called Nochebuena (Christmas eve): long family dinners waiting for midnight when kids can finally open the presents brought by Santa Claus (Papa Noel) and the adults play cards and chit chat until the morning lights. What is usually served during the Nochebuena dinner? Langostinos (prawns) and jamon (we are sure you already know that it means… Ham!) are a must on the table.

And then, of course, there is the 31st of December, called the Nochevieja (New Years eve). It usually starts with a big fat dinner that leads to eating the 12 grapes tradition, which consists of eating a grape with each bell strike at midnight. If you happen to be in Madrid during New Years eve, here we provide you with some plans that you might want to take into consideration:

If you like Indie Pop music, then your plan will definitely be Ocho y Medio (club But), entrance is 25€ with a drink included.

http://ochoymedioclub.com/

Sala But, Calle Barceló 11 – Metro: Tribunal

Mondo Disko is definitely the best techno/electronic club of the city, and for only 28€ (2 drinks included) you will be able to enjoy good music in an amazing venue.

http://www.grupo-kapital.com/

Sala Coco, Calle de Alcalá 20 – Metro: Sevilla

Fabrik and Kapital are two of the most popular and biggest clubs of the city (have you ever heard of the disco that is seven floors high?) and of course they are having a big party for the 31st.  At Fabrik you can go nuts at the biggest University Party of the city for only 25€ and at Kapital the entrance is 35€. Fun guaranteed!

Kapital, Calle de Atocha 125 – Metro: Atocha

Fabrik, Av. de la Industria, 82 – Metro: Humanes de Madrid (Shuttle bus available from Plaza de España)

For more parties we suggest you to take a look at this website, specialized in New Years Eve events:  http://www.fiestasnocheviejamadrid.com/

If you are not much of a big club person do not worry, we got you covered: our neighborhood Malasaña is the perfect place to salute the new year by celebrating in the streets, having talks with strangers and just enjoy the vibrant alternative atmosphere of our unique district. And then, when the sun comes up, how about churros with hot chocolate in perfect Madrid style?

The holiday season ends with the 6th of January, known as Reyes (The Three Wise Men), who are pretty popular amongst children because they usually come with a lot of presents and with the delicious Roscon de Reyes, a ring shaped pastry decorated with slices of candied fruits in different colors. If your slice contains a bean or a little wise man then dinner is on you! 😉

Well, there is not much left to say apart that the whole Mad4You Team wishes you the greatest Christmas and the happiest New Year! If you are going to be in our Hostel during the upcoming holidays, stop by at reception for some Christmas sweets!

Do not hesitate to drop us a line anytime at info@mad4youhostel.com or call us at 0034 915 217 549!

Big hugs from the Team!