Christmas Lights in Madrid

December 24, 2018
madrid christmas lights alcala metropolis gran via luces navidad
Chrismas Lights will be lit on November 22 2019 at 19:30
It's the most magical time of the year and Madrid is spreading that Christmas cheer with warming Nativity scenes, beautiful decor and jaw-dropping illumination. Last night I set off to find the best Madrid Christmas lights equipped with my camera, tripod and an extremely patient husband. Madrid may not be famous for its Christmas markets like other European capitals but still has a lot to offer. Join us on our tour to see the capital of Spain shine like you have never seen before!
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The Christmas lights switch-on happens every year at the end of November, in 2019 it will be on the 22nd. The major activates the switch and the magic invades the streets of Madrid. From then until January 6, the lights are on every day at 6 pm.

The times for the Christmas lights are:

  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday: 6 pm to 11 pm
  • Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and the night before national holidays: 6 pm until midnight
  • Dec 25, Jan 1 & 6: 6 pm until midnight
  • Dec 24, Jan 5: 6 pm to 3 am
  • Dec 31: 6 pm to 6 am

madrid christmas lights puerta alcala luces navidad


There's a bus called Naviluz that tours the most emblematic streets in Madrid to see their Christmas illuminations. Tickets are quickly sold out so you have to book them as early as you can next year.

This year all that's left to do is walk and this is the tour I recommend:
Start in Calle Serrano. You can get there via metro (line 4 or line 9 stopping at Nuñez de Baloboa or Principe de Vergara) or cercanias (stop at Recoletos). Serrano and nearby streets like Jorge Juan are full of luxury stores, restaurants and cafes which are also beautifully decorated this time of the year.

Puerta de Alcala (pictured above), one of the most important monuments in Madrid, is at the beginning of Serrano. You will always see people taking pictures in front of it. With its spectacular decorations, it’s one of the walk’s highlights.

Follow the lights on calle Alcala (the longest street in Madrid) to the City Hall and Cibeles fountain. Right here you can also see the jabreath-taking lightning of Banco de España and Casa de America.

Continue straight on and you'll get to the iconic Metropolis building at the start of Gran Via. Worth mentioning is the beautiful Circulo de Bellas Artes, an impressive building with beautiful painted walls inside (think of a mini-Sistine Chapel) and a rooftop that offers jaw-dropping views of Madrid.

Final stop is Puerta del Sol, the heart of Madrid and Spain because it’s the center of the Spanish road network. This bustling square is all always full of people ans especially during Christmas time. Every year, there is a huge metallic Christmas tree. This is also the place where many Madrileños welcome the new year. The strikes of the clock in Puerta del Sol mark the traditional eating of the 12 grapes that give way to a new year.

You can also end your tour with the Christmas market in Plaza Mayor or have chocolate con churros in Chocolateria San Gines but bear in mind that these places are overcrowded during the holidays.

Read more about how we celebrate the holidays in Spain here.
Find more ideas of what to do in Madrid this holiday season here.
madrid christmas lights alcala luces navidad
madrid christmas lights alcala cibeles city hall ayuntamiento luces navidad
madrid christmas lights alcala casa america ayuntamiento city hall cibeles luces navidad
madrid christmas lights puerta del sol luces navidad


Have you been to Madrid during the holiday season? What your favorite place in the world to see Christmas lights?

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  1. beautifully illuminated city.

  2. I would LOVE to go to Madrid--now I want to go over Christmas!

  3. http://ladyfi.wordpress.comDecember 29, 2018 at 8:21 AM

    How wonderfully festive!

  4. Oh, Madrid goes all out for the holidays! I spent Christmas in Barcelona once and it was quite nice, but not nearly as many lights I feel! Thanks for linking up with #TheWeeklyPostcard for the final time!

  5. Oh what beautiful Christmas lights! These look magical! :)

    Hope that you had a wonderful Christmas :) It was a busy but fun one here as I hosted it this year for my family. We are still eating lots of delicious leftovers, haha! I'm starting to get back to blogging after my little break for a few days.

    Away From The Blue Blog

  6. Ah, Madrid looks so dressed up in this beautiful lights! I miss Europe at this time of year, when all the cities and small villages display Christmas lights and decorations. #TheWeeklyPostcard

  7. Christmas lights in Madrid look amazing! Thank you for sharing. I would love to visit Madrid some day.

  8. I am obsessed with Christmas decorations. I didn't know the lights in Madrid were so beautiful. Hopefully, I can make it there to see them for myself one day. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard

  9. This looks amazing! I would love to visit Madrid during Christmas season,

  10. Oh Christmas lights, one of my fav things to do this time of year is go out driving to look at lights and decorations. Thanks so much for linking up at #AThemedLinkup 6 for All Things Christmas. Shared.

  11. I would love to visit Madrid for Christmas. I love the Spanish nativity scenes.

  12. Wow, Cristine, these photos are stunning! What a beautiful place to be at Christmas time. Thanks so much for linking up with me.



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