From: Friday, November 25, 2022
To: Thursday, January 5, 2023
Madrid Christmas & New Years 2022
As Christmas trees and decorations light up streets and squares, Madrid celebrates everyone’s favourite holiday with a programme packed with cultural and leisure activities.
The December Bank Holiday in Spain
- Christmas kicks off early in Madrid with the December Bank Holiday weekend featuring two national holidays on the 6th (Constitution Day) and the 8th (Feast of the Immaculate Conception). Known as a bridge-holiday, most Spaniards take the between-day off and party all weekend. Popular gay events include the Mad Bear Madrid Weekend.
Plaza Mayor Christmas Market
- Each year as Christmas rolls around, Madrid’s main square turns into a sprawling market featuring 104 stalls filled with nativity scene figures, musical instruments, toys and joke items.
- Organised by the Plaza Mayor Christmas Market Association, this hundred-year-old fair is one of the city’s most beloved traditions. The 104 stalls run by individual vendors sell Christmas favourites: figurines to make your own nativity scenes, Christmas decorations and gag gifts. The Plaza Mayor Christmas Market opens from 10 am to 9 pm (on Fridays, Saturdays, and holiday Eve it is open till 10 pm.)
- Stay close to the square at these top hotels. Consider the Petit Palace Chueca with great breakfast options and large balconies in most rooms.
Plaza de Santa Cruz Christmas Market
- If Plaza Mayor is very crowded, make your way to Plaza de Santa Cruz or Plaza del Carmen, located nearby. Take a ride on the vintage carousel that runs until the beginning of January. Make sure you purchase your own Belén. It’s a lovely souvenir that will always remind you of your special Christmas in Madrid.
- The nativity scene or Belén (Spanish for Bethlehem) has special significance in Spain. Each family has their own unique one. The size and complexity varies from a mere three figures to a whole town with rivers, lights and hundreds of figures.
Gigantic Light Ball
- November 26th to January 7th 2022 The Gigantic Light Ball at the iconic Metropolis Building sees the return of one of the big hits from last Christmas: a spectacular 3D light ball with a diameter of 12 metres, weighing seven tonnes and fitted with 43,000 led lights at the intersection of Calle Alcalá and Gran Vía, just in front of the Metrópolis Building.
- The lights on the sphere enable light and sound to be programmed and synchronised to create a spectacular pixel mapping session reproduced on a loop.
- Stay on Gran Via, one of the city’s most famous streets, close to all the major attractions and just an 8 minute walk to the gay bars and clubs. The Boutique Hotel H10 offers light and airy rooms in a beautiful setting, our top recommended 4 star property in Madrid.
Joy to the World
- An outdoor space of more than 12,000 square metres and 10,000 square metres inside Hall 3 at IFEMA MADRID are transformed to combine traditional activities with the latest technology for the Joy to the World celebration. Activities include a market with stalls selling sweets, clothes and articles related to Christmas, an ice-rink and slide, a Christmas merry-go-round, a Nativity scene, parades, and a 35-metre tall LED Christmas tree, the tallest in Europe.
New Year’s Eve at the Puerta del Sol
- On the evening of December 31st, all televisions in Spain light up with the image of the Puerta del Sol. Thousands of people flock to the square to usher in the New Year and eat 12 lucky grapes to the twelve chimes of the Real Casa de Correos clock.
- New features this year include the lighting of the Real Casa de Correos, housing the Madrid City Hall in a light, fireworks and confetti show right after the New Year chimes.
Gay New Year Events
- The We Party’s New Year Festival is one of Europe’s most prominent gay celebrations featuring world-class DJs and excellent stage productions in some of the city’s top clubs. Check out the entire program.
- Stay at the Room Mate Oscar in the centre of the gay district. This hotel is hot and happening during the big gay events, including the NYE festival.
Other popular weekly parties will hold NYE events over the festive season, including:
- MARTA CARIÑO – Two floors, multiple spaces. Coffee, drinks, food, an extensive cocktail menu with DJs, live music and a lot of fun. C/Silva, 4
- LA BOITE – On Sundays: “El Club de las Domingas” club awaits, ready to make you dance to the best commercial pop music and entertain you with original and unusual shows. C/Tetuán, 27
- DLRO LIVE – Night club offering different shows every day of the week. Playing pop and commercial music so you can’t stop dancing. C/Pelayo, 59
- VUELVETE LOCA – If you love the Drag scene and pop music, you should visit this venue where you’ll be able to dance all night long. C/Hortaleza, 43
- LL BAR – Part of the scene for more than 25 years, this bar offers daily Drag shows which will not leave you unimpressed. C/Pelayo, 11
- KLUSTER – Every Saturday: for lovers of house music and techno. You’ll find an impressive stage in an old theatre, huge LED and the most avant-garde laser show. C/Covarrubias, 42
- BEARBIE – Every Friday and Saturday, pop and disco music at Chueca’s bear friendly club. Plaza Pedro Zerolo, 2
If you don’t want to hit the clubs, head to Chueca, the city’s gay district, where the streets are full of NYE revellers and partygoers. The neighbourhood is one of the most cosmopolitan and vibrant places in Madrid. Plaza de Chueca and Plaza de Pedro Zerolo, renamed in 2015 for the late Spanish activist who fought tirelessly for the LGBTI+ cause, are the heart of the district.
Calle Fuencarral, Malasaña and Salesas, adjacent neighbourhoods, join forces with Chueca to offer visitors an unmissable experience. For example, Calle Fuencarral is well known as one of the most popular shopping areas of the city, Malasaña is the meeting point of the most modern creatives, and Salesas embodies a chic, bohemian spirit and is an elegant district of the capital.
For many in Madrid, NYE is celebrated over a long and luscious dinner. Reservations should be made well in advance. Here are some of our top recommendations in the city for everything from brunch to a light snack, the traditional to something special.
- Brunch, try Zafyro Café Club with an eclectic mix of options, plus lots of eye candy.
- Tapas, visit La Tape – Traditional Spanish – crowded, crazy, great beer.
- Los Chuchis – Amazing mix and even some home food Spanish style – sausages and shepherds pie – fun.
- Roostiq – Right in the heart of Chueca – close to the bars – amazing Spanish bbq.
- Lhardy – It’s a bit fancy but the best transitional Spanish food
- Cada Alberto, Goldilocks would say this is just right – not too fussy but not too tapasy either
- Restaurante Casa Benigna – Amazing Paella with a real quirky vibe.
Enjoy delicious hot chocolate, churros and other treats.
- Head to Chocolateria San Ginés for some delicious hot chocolate con churros, a must when you are in Madrid. Try their Turrón, a homemade Spanish candy bar with honey, egg whites and pine nuts or almonds.
January 5th – Cabalgata de los Reyes Magos
- Spaniards believe that Melchior, Gaspar and Balthazar are responsible for bringing Christmas presents, not Santa Claus. The Cabalgata de Los Magos is celebrated each year on the evening of January 5th. A massive parade weaves through Madrid, and during that time, children hurry to catch candy thrown from the floats. The centrepieces of the parade are three elaborately decorated floats carrying the Reyes Magos (Three Wise Men).
- Parade Route (from 6.30 pm to 9pm approximately): Paseo de la Castellana (Nuevos Ministerios corner of Plaza San Juan de la Cruz) – Paseo de la Castellana – Plaza del Doctor Gregorio Marañón – Paseo de la Castellana – Glorieta de Emilio Castelar – Paseo de la Castellana – Plaza de Colón – Paseo de Recoletos – Plaza de Cibeles (End of Parade).
Madrid has several ice skating rinks built purposely for the Christmas celebrations. All open in the early morning and close typically at 10 pm.
- Galería de Cristal inside CentroCentro – the City Council located in Plaza de Cibeles.
- Pista de hielo Javier Fernández on Plaza de Azca.
- Pista de hielo Villa de Vallecas on Paseo Federico García Lorca (Villa de Vallecas Metro station).
- Pista de hielo Puente de Vallecas on Entrevías-Asamblea de Madrid Renfe station.
- Palacio de Hielo Dreams on Calle Silvano, 77 (Canillas Metro station).
Naviluz, The Christmas Bus
- This year sees the return of Naviluz, the Christmas bus, which takes passengers down some of Madrid’s most emblematic streets to show off the city’s wonderful display of Christmas lights. Starting on 26 November and ending on 6 January 2022, the bus runs numerous times a day.
- The journey lasts approximately 50 minutes and buses run every 10 minutes, from 6pm to 11pm (Sun-Thur) and 6pm to midnight (Fri-Sat and holidays).
- This year’s route is the following: Plaza Colón (next to the Gardens of Discovery) – C/ Serrano – Plaza de la Independencia – Plaza de Cibeles – C/ Alcalá – Gran Vía – C/ de los Reyes – C/ Maestro Guerrero – C/ San Leonardo – Plaza de España – C/ Gran Vía – C/ Alcalá – Plaza de Cibeles – Plaza de la Independencia – C/Alcalá – C/ Velázquez – C/ Ortega y Gasset – C/ Serrano until the corner of C/ Goya.
We have chosen Hotels close to the gay bars that have high reviews:
Gay Map of Madrid
Most of the gay bars in Madrid are located in Chueca, the city’s gay village and epicentre of all Spanish gay life. Hotels here fill up fast, so book well in advance, especially for key events.
Recommended Hotels in Madrid By Booking
Book with confidence. Get the best Prices from our partner Booking.com
We have chosen hotels in Madrid that keep you close to all the shops,restaurants & bars
5 Star, Luxury
Spacious air-conditioned rooms and suites all have a TV with cable and satellite channels. Each has a desk, safe, minibar and private bathroom with a hairdryer. Just a few of the extras in certain rooms or suites include butler service, and Nespresso coffee machines. Iconic views of Madrid’s Gran Via Avenue are offered at the elegant rooftop terrace
4 Star, Readers Choice
The stylish rooms and suites in the hotel are fitted with a coffee machine. Each room is comes with a private bathroom with a bath or shower. The hotel’s rooftop terrace includes a lounge area with views of the Gran Via and an interior bar cafeteria for your comfort. Guests have access to Picalagartos Restaurant that is run by chef Manuel Berganza
Iberostar Las Letras
4 Star, Great Value
Set in a restored historic building, this design hotel offers a seasonal rooftop terrace with a stylish bar and a seasonal pool with spectacular views over Madrid. Rooms have a flat-screen TV. Free high speed WiFi. Rooms have high ceilings, large windows and a seating area. They are individually decorated with quotes by famous writers and poets.
Room Mate Oscar
3 Star, Location
Room Mate Oscar is a stylish hotel located in central Madrid, between Gran Via and the Chueca district. It offers free Wi-Fi, rooms with flat-screen TVs and a rooftop bar. Room Mate Oscar features chic décor with bright colours throughout. Each of its air conditioned rooms is spacious and comfortable. All have a minibar and a fully equipped bathroom.
Video Of A Christmas in Madrid
A look at the lights you can expect this year.
Recommended Hotels in Madrid By Expedia
Book with confidence. Get the best Prices from our partner Expedia
We have chosen hotels in Madrid that keep you close to all the shops,restaurants & bars
5 Star, Luxury
This smoke-free hotel features a restaurant, 2 bars/lounges, and a 24-hour fitness center. Additionally, 24-hour room service, a business center, and conference space are onsite. All 159 soundproofed rooms feature free WiFi and 24-hour room service. Guests will find TVs with satellite channels, and other amenities include minibars and premium bedding.
4 Star, Stylish
Along with a bar/lounge, this hotel has a snack bar/deli & a rooftop terrace. Free manager’s reception are also provided. Other amenities include a 24-hour business center, a coffee shop/café, and coffee/tea in a common area. All 109 soundproofed rooms feature free WiFi & minibars. Soaking tubs, standard amenities include premium bedding & flat-screen TVs.
Casa de la Lírica
4 Star, Readers Choice
This smoke-free hotel features a fitness center, a bar/lounge, and a snack bar/deli. Other amenities include a coffee shop/café, conference space, and concierge services. All 83 soundproofed rooms feature free WiFi and minibars. For a bit of entertainment, flat-screen TVs come with digital channels, pillow menus and free weekday newspapers.
3 Star, Modern Classic
Along with a restaurant, this smoke-free hotel has a bar/lounge and a snack bar/deli. Additionally, a 24-hour business center, a conference center, and a coffee shop/café are onsite. All 175 soundproofed rooms feature free WiFi and memory foam beds. Other amenities available to guests include minibars, room service, and pillow menus.