'Tis the season for holiday shopping and winter decorations. Drop by a local Christmas market to see all things that shine, shimmer and sing holiday spirit:
Fira de Nadal a la Sagrada Familia
30 November - 23 December 2012
This is probably Barcelona's most well-known and classic Christmas market. It is very specific to Christmas time, with a large percentage of the stalls selling Christmas trees, decorations and mistletoe. The market runs around the gardens outside the Sagrada Familia. It is more spread out than the Fira de Santa Llúcia but it has similar products. Sitting at the foot of the Sagrada Familia, it makes for an impressive setting and offers the opportunity to see the building and the market in one trip.
Fira de Santa Llucia Christmas Market
Open From 25 November to 23 December 2012
Fira de Santa Llúcia is just in front of the cathedral, with impressive nativity scenes dotted around the square, and stallholders selling hand-carved nativity figures.
Col.lectiu d’Artesans de l’Alimentació
This is available year round but with a far greater frequency during the Christmas period. It is in a small square near the Church Santa Maria del Pi, with about 20 stalls selling honey, chocolates, cheeses, patés, herbs, wines and cakes. Prices are fair considering the central location and high percentage of tourists.
Mostra d’Artesans de la Ribera
This is a craft market in the Born area. It is small but worth a visit due to its location. The Born area in general is good for shopping, with many boutiques and independent shops and is also very pretty during the Christmas period, with dim lights and narrow streets. The market itself offers classy products such as hand-made jewellery, scarves and ornaments.
Open from late November to early January
Madrid’s Christmas market has been going since 1860 and many of the stall holders still sell the traditional Belén nativity figures alongside fancy dress costumes, joke items and tinsel wigs ready for Fools' Day on 28 December. It's the ideal location for the annual event held here. More than a hundred stalls line up in the square to sell all things related to Christmas. The market itself is almost a hundred and fifty years old. Vendors sell Christmas trees, Christmas tree decorations, ornate statues, materials needed to make a Belén, the Spanish name for a nativity scene.
Children's Christmas World
Every December, Madrid's El Retiro Park (Parque del Retiro) is transformed into a lively Children's Christmas World (Ciudad de los Ninos). The theatre, puppets, storytelling and dance performances are sure to keep children (and parents) occupied in the run-up to Christmas. Click here
for more information.
For information on Christmas events in Madrid: www.navidadmadrid.com/en
Sevilla Christmas Market
Snow and cold weather does not seem to be able to dampen the magic of the season one bit. In addition to Christmas decorations and all things needed to recreate the nativity scene, makeshift shops also sell breads and cakes and spirits without which any celebration would be incomplete. Most of Seville's holiday activities can be found in or around the centre of the city from December to early January. Start your Christmas tour in the area surrounding Seville's mammoth Gothic cathedral to absorb the festive season.
Granada Christmas Market
During the Christmas season, other than lights and Christmas trees, there are abundant displays of the nativity scene. So elaborate are the recreations that many of them include live actors and real animals. The Christmas market here sells candles, flowers, unique handmade gifts and sweets in addition to all the regular typically Spanish Christmas decorations. The Christmas markets located in the central square of Bib-Rambla, around the corner from the Renaissance Cathedral, provide a classic Christmas experience. To view a traditional nativity scene, head to Plaza del Carment, or the City Hall Square. Christmas celebrations extend to the Kings’ Parade on January 5, which can be seen making its way through Grandad's main avenues.
Teulada Christmas Market
In the square of the Ayuntamiento, Teulada is a small beach town on the Costa Blanca. Open for just one day, locals and visitors can browse an assortment of gift and holiday items the Sunday before Christmas.
Teodora Todorova / Expatica