Christmas: Madrid and its illuminated sky

November 29, 2014 Press

Navidad: Madrid y su cielo iluminado - Carrera y Carrera

Madrid can boast having many celebrations with which to make its streets festive and welcome visitors to the city throughout the year, but there are few celebrations that radiate as much joy as the arrival of Christmas.  In late November when the lights are turned on, the magic begins in the city.

Throughout the holidays, lights of every color flood the city.  Streets, plazas, and buildings are illuminated by millions of lights that decorate the city and make night strolls an unforgettable experience.

During Christmas, the most iconic places in Madrid are adorned with huge Christmas spruce trees decorated by important Spanish designers such as Agatha Ruiz de la Prada.  The Spanish creator used two of the most characteristic elements in her designs to decorate her tree: stars and red hearts that together formed a spectacular mosaic.  The concept of the traditional tree is reinvented in this way, to the extent that in some cases one can even go through the tree as if it were the entrance to a magical world of fantasy.

Christmas is the time of the year during which the Plaza Mayor is home to Madrid’s most famous traditional Christmas market.  The plaza is filled with all kinds of stalls where one can buy handmade figures for the Nativity, decorations for the house, and even the typical tree with all of the ornaments, lights, and wreaths imaginable.  The plaza is decorated with stunning Christmas lights and is one of the favorite meeting places of the locals during these special days.

One of the most iconic buildings of Madrid – the Cibeles Palace, which is now City Hall – often has been majestically illuminated during Christmas with lights that project Christmas themes on the building façade.  Just in front of the Palace is the Cibeles Fountain, one of the city’s landmarks and a frequent subject of photography for the many visitors to Madrid at this time of year.


The junction of Madrid’s Alcala Street with Gran Via is one of the most well-known points of the city, in large part because it is the location of one of the most iconic buildings in all of Madrid: the Metropolis building.  During Christmas it is a luxury to take a romantic stroll in this area under the Christmas lights that adorn the city at this time. 

Madrid’s Arenal Street is one of the commercial arteries of the city.  It is a pedestrian street full of shops where one can purchase anything from city souvenirs to wedding gowns.  This year the Christmas lights that decorate this street will be designed by the German architect Ben Busche, known for his minimalist style that will surely transform the traditional lighting of this street. Pictured is the Christmas lighting of Arenal Street in previous years.

One the most famous streets in all of Madrid is the Gran Via.  It is one of the nerve centers of the city and one of the capital’s busiest streets at any time of day.  During Christmas it is another one of the most impressive and beautiful areas of the city to visit.  It is exactly at the junction of the Gran Via and Montera Street where every year may be found one of the impressive spruce trees decorating the city during this most special time.

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