Madrid – The Ultimate Bucket List Addition

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Madrid is a vibrant and stunning city, representing ancient Spanish traditions and providing all kinds of tours, activities and traditions for all tastes. This post comprises an additional set of experiences that can be added to a list of things to do in Madrid, and in particular during the Christmas period.

During Christmas

Plaza Mayor Christmas Market (source: Timeout Spain)

Like most cities in Europe, especially capitals, Madrid offers a range of Christmas markets during December. Expect to find traditional food, decorations, gifts and more. the most popular market takes place in its main square, Plaza Mayor, which turns into a fantastic market featuring 104 stalls filled with all kinds of items.

It is organised by the Plaza Mayor Christmas Market Association, and it is considered one of the city’s most beloved traditions, which started more than a hundred years ago.

But that’s not all, other Christmas markets with visiting are:

  • Plaza de Juan Goytisolo 
  • Plaza de Isabel II
  • Paseo de Recoletos (Feria Mercado de Artesanía de la Comunidad de Madrid)
  • Beefeater Xmas Market (Fundación José Ortega y Gasset)
  • Mercadillo del Gato (Hotel The Westin Palace)
  • Mercadillo navideño de Madrid Río
  • Caseta de El Corte Inglés en Callao y mercadillo de la Castellana

Additionally, if you visit Spain in the month of December, you cannot avoid the celebrations of the annual Christmas lottery. A traditional lottery held in Spain every year that dates back to 1812. The official name of this event is El Sorteo Extraordinario de Navid, but it is commonly called El Gordo.

This lottery is unique to and includes the entire country of Spain. The grand prize this year is in excess of 2.4 billion euros. There are 17 tiers beneath the top level. There are so many prizes awarded in this lottery that almost everyone wins something. The event is national and brings with it celebrations in virtually every city and town. If you are not lucky enough to book a Christmas trip to Spain, you can purchase El Gordo Lottery Tickets online.

Flea Markets

Mercado de la Cebada

You cannot visit Madrid or any other large city in Spain without visiting the famous flea markets. Flea markets are where you can find unique items, clothes, books, fresh foods, and anything else you can think of. The vendors are ready to bargain. But, do not just go to the main flea markets that are everywhere tourists frequent.

Go where the locals go. Try Mercado de la Cebada bi-level market. Notice centuries-old landmarks which are near the location. Take your time and enjoy authentic Spanish food that is inexpensive and delicious. Also, visit some of the freestanding wine bars. An afternoon at this flea market is fun and different. You will have a truly local experience and pick up some fantastic deals.

Tours

Palacio Real de Madrid

Madrid is a lively city filled with art, historical architecture, statues, restaurants, wine bars, and coffee shops. Its people are diverse, and visitors are plentiful. There is so much to do and so many neighbourhoods to visit that you may need help to see everything. This explains the popularity of the tourism industry that thrives in the area.

Here are some of our favourite tours:

Royal Palace of Madrid

Small groups of travellers are taken before public hours for a tour of “Palacio de Oriente”. See parts of the palace that are normally not seen by the public through your private tour. The palace was once the official residence of the Spanish Royal Families. The palace has more than 3400 rooms and is now used for state ceremonies, while the Royal Family resides in a more modest home called the Palace of Zarzuela.

Panoramic Madrid Sightseeing Tour

An experienced guide will take you through the city via coach, showing you the breathtaking beauty of architecture and design. You will see the Plaza Mayor, Cybele’s Fountain, and Plaza de la Villa. You will ride down famous avenues like Gran Vía and Paseo de la Castellana. The tour shows you some of the most desired neighbourhoods in Madrid. This tour is something you want to include in your plans.

Where to go

Lavapies, the trendy and artisticneighbourhood

Madrid is made up of several distinct neighbourhoods. Here are some tips on where you can get what you want from your trip. This neighbourhood guide will make planning your trip much more accessible.

If you are new to Madrid, go to Centro Madrid. This is in the centre of Madrid. This is where you will find the most popular attractions. This area has several great restaurants, grand avenues, and a lot of activity.

If you love art and the artists who create it, go to Lavapies. This centrally located neighbourhood is hip and fun. International cafes are everywhere, and it is where to go for fun, music, and meeting people. If you are travelling on a budget, this is the place to go.

Paseo del Prado is the best place to go if you are on a family trip. This is an old part of the city. It is filled with history and parks. It is a laid-back area, perfect for family fun. Transportation is readily available.

If you are looking for a party scene with trendy bars, fantastic nightlife, and funky cafes, you are looking for Chueca. Located on the east side of the city, this is the party centre of the area. 

Conclusion

If you have never considered putting Madrid on your bucket list, maybe you will reconsider. There is truly something for everyone in this unique city. Travel is expected to pick up in 2022, so plan your trip now for a great spring or summer adventure.

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