Christmas lights in Madrid Spain: A guide on where to see the best

Madrid during Christmas time is a gorgeous, vibrant place to be. Today you will learn about the Christmas lights in Madrid Spain and where to see the best.

Every year from November 26th – January 6th, the city famously turns on Christmas lights and decor to spread that holiday cheer.

Not only is it beautiful, but it’s a great way to get everyone prepared for the holidays and another reason to visit Spain!

Christmas lights in Madrid Spain

christmas lights in madrid spain

Here is the schedule for the Christmas lights: Sunday – Thursdays from 6 pm – 12 am, Fridays and Saturdays from 6 pm – 1 am.

The following holidays for Christmas eve, (12/24) and Dia de Los Reyes (1/5) the lights go on from 6 pm – 3 am.

New Year’s Eve (12/31) the lights are on from 6 pm – 6 am. You can take a bus tour called Naviluz. You’ll find more information about the below. Book early, that is a very popular options people love it and it sells out fast.

Outside of that, here is the best walking route to see the Christmas lights. It takes about an hour to hour 30 minutes on foot to complete the walk.

Start on Calle Serrano

To get here you can walk or take the metro. There are 2 metro options, you can take the brown line 4 and get off at Serrano or a bit more walking, you can take the 9 purple line to Principe de Vergara. It’s about an 11-minute walk.

Once arriving at Serrano you can walk the street of all the luxury stores. You’ll find them all to be decorated so pretty. In addition to the stores, you can find cafes and restaurants that are also spreading that holiday cheer.

Next to Serrano, you’ll also find Calle de Jorge Juan that also has some stuff decorated. This is in the upscale neighborhood of Salamanca which is already pretty undecorated. It’s a great starting point on the route to see the best Christmas lights in Madrid Spain.

Plaza De La Independencia and Puerta De Alcala

christmas lights in madrid spain

Located right next to Serrano is Plaza de la Independencia and Puerta de Alcala. These are two very important monuments located inside of Madrid.

Puerta de Alcala is one of the five royal gates that allowed entry to Madrid. This gate is located inside the roundabout of Plaza de La Independencia.

Of course, this famous door is always decorated for Christmas. It’s also a major tourist hotspot so expect people to be there always taking pictures.

Calle Alcala

A minute away from Puerta De Alcala is Calle Alcala. It’s known to be the longest street of Madrid. There are some lights here, you can follow them all the way to the Banco de España, Ayuntamiento (City Hall), Casa de America, and Cibeles Fountain.

Cibeles Palace

Upon arriving at Cibeles palace, you’ll find video mapping designed and produced by Onionlab in front of the building. To summarize, Onionlab basically turns the Cibeles Palace into a 3D Christmas card.

In 2021, the dates were December 18th and December 19th. Make sure you stay tuned on dates for 2022!

Gran Via

After Cibeles, you’ll walk up where Calle Alcala and Gran Via intersect. Upon meeting this intersection, you should be in front of the Metropolis building. There you’ll find the giant light ball ornament. This light ball ornament weighs over 7 tons and has about 43,000 LED lights.

The lights on the actual sphere permit synchronization and programming to make a pixel mapping effect that repeats over a loop.

This is one of the most famous Christmas lights in Madrid Spain.

Puerta De Sol

Next stop is Puerta De Sol, you can walk North to here from Gran Via. This is the center of Madrid Spain, you’ll also find the famous monument of Kilometer 0 which marks the beginning point of all major radial roads in Spain.

Puerta de Sol is always decorated during Christmas time. You’ll find a big Christmas tree lit up along with the surrounding buildings lit up and decorated with wreaths and more.

Do note, this is the center of Madrid so not only is it always busy, it’s crazy busy during the holidays. If you are not a fan of crowds, you’ll probably want to skip this stop.

Another note, is that due to covid-19, some streets have limited access and have been cut off to pedestrians. Walking through here can be a little annoying so just keep that in mind if you would like to walk around that area.

Puerta De Sol is also where Madrid celebrates New Year’s Eve, where people infamously eat the 12 grapes to count down the clock.

Plaza Mayor

plaza mayor christmas lights and markets madrid

After Puerta de Sol, is the final stop on the Christmas lights walking route, Plaza Mayor. This is where you’ll find more lights and the Christmas markets.

They are super popular and definitely worth a stroll to get cute and unique gifts for loved ones. You can also get churros and chocolate if you are cold at Chocolateria de San Gines. That’s the best place to get churros.

Madrid Spain food is some of the best, so make sure you try what you can while you’re visiting.

Do note, Plaza Mayor is near Puerta del Sol and is also always crowded (especially during the holidays) so keep that in mind if you don’t like heavy crowds.

Pro-tip is to go early in the morning to see the markets. This beats all the local crowds.

Christmas light bus Madrid

Not in the mood to walk? No problem! Now you can catch the Naviluz bus which brings you through the Christmas light route on a double-decker bus. The bus only uses the top floor which is open air.

This is ideal since it guarantees fresh air and covid-19 is still a thing. Make sure you book your tickets way in advance if this interests you. Tickets usually go early!!

The prices for tickets are 6 euros for adults, and 3 euros for children and seniors. The tour is around 50 minutes and is the perfect way to see Madrid light up without having to walk!

New Christmas lights in Madrid Spain

In 2021, Madrid has given us brand new displays for Christmas lights in the following squares, Neptuno, Cuatro Caminos, Canalejas, and Cibeles.

Plaza De España has also been remodeled and has new Christmas decorations.

They have also put new displays in the following streets, Calle Mayor, Montera, Carrera de San Jerónimo, and Atocha.

Christmas trees in the city’s most popular neighborhoods

Madrid always offers giant Christmas trees and Christmas decorations in the most popular neighborhoods and plazas. These are Sol, Plaza de Espana, Callao, Mayor, and more!

Naturaleza Encendida – Christmas lights at Madrid Royal Botanical Garden

naturaleza encendida madrid

Located inside of the Royal Botanical Garden of Madrid is the seasonal event of Naturaleza Encendida. The event goes from November 2nd to January 16th.

Called Nature On in English, this is a light show around the garden. It’s covered in Christmas LED lights and is truly great for kids. The show is a concept from “LETSGO”, they have worked on projects such as The Addams Family, Ghost, and more.

I went once and do think everyone should go at least once, it’s cute and fun!

Christmas lights in Madrid Spain conclusion

I hope you enjoyed learning about where to see the best Christmas lights in Madrid! If you are a new visitor, make sure you learn about other things to do in Madrid.

Other than that, Madrid is a lovely place to visit year-round but if you like lights make sure you add it to the top of your list for Christmas.

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