When the cold weather arrives in Spain, thousands of people have only one thing on their minds: ‘Christmas is just around the corner‘. Even though it is weeks away, many families go ahead and start decorating their homes with fir trees and Bethlehem portals until the long-awaited December 25 arrives. However, there is one event in all the cities of the peninsula that marks the starting signal for the Christmas festivities: the switching on of the Christmas lights.
For several weeks, the big Spanish cities dress up and show a whole spectacle of lights and festive decorations that attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world. Madrid and Barcelona take much of the limelight, but other incredible places like Vigo, Bilbao or Palma de Mallorca are not far behind with this beautiful light show.
The capital of Spain does not miss any December to the appointment of its Christmas lighting and is committed to make every year unique and special. In addition to its charismatic Christmas Market in the Plaza Mayor, Madrid has always been characterized by lighting, in late November, practically all its streets with garlands and decorations on trees and lampposts. Although, undoubtedly, the most spectacular area is the one that addresses the center, with the rain-like lighting of Cibeles or the big Christmas tree in Puerta del Sol.
Very close to Madrid, just 20 kilometers away, is the municipality of Torrejón de Ardoz. This city usually goes unnoticed, but when Christmas comes it becomes the center of all eyes. For years the center has been transformed into a whole theme park with Christmas motifs. So much so that in 2018 it was elected European Christmas Capital. Its spectacular lights and Ferris wheel illuminate the whole place and soak up the festive spirit.
Barcelona is another jewel in the crown. If already in itself this port city welcomes millions of tourists every year for the innate charm of its streets and its great cultural offer, when Christmas comes the city of Barcelona is dressed in lights. Great emblems such as Casa Batlló, La Pedrera, the Paseo Marítimo or the Gracia district are decorated. Each central neighborhood has its own style when it comes to decorating and walking around during the month of December is a spectacle worth seeing. The spirit of Gaudí is still alive in the streets and is highlighted by the Christmas atmosphere.
If you are passionate about Christmas lights, one of the must-see destinations is Vigo. This Galician city lives with great intensity the Christmas holidays and aims to surpass itself every year by giving light to the whole city. The moment of the lighting is an event attended by many people. It is the mayor who is in charge of starting Christmas, presenting the proposal of each year that has nothing to envy of the great international cities.
Málaga is another city that lives intensely the Christmas holidays. One of its most famous streets, Larios street, has become an icon of the city during these dates. Although every year they renew and make different proposals for decoration, one of the ones that attracts more tourists is precisely this street, with a structure of lights in the form of an arch that gives the feeling of entering a scene out of a movie. Strolling through its interior is a highly recommended experience for all those who enjoy Christmas in Andalusia.
Another of the Andalusian cities that gets a good part of the recognition during Christmas is Granada. This city attracts thousands of tourists every year and, when December arrives, it surprises all its visitors by decorating the city with up to 2.5 million light bulbs. The city is filled with light and the main shopping streets are the object of admiration of all the people who like to enjoy these dates.
Valladolid welcomes the Christmas holidays preparing a whole scenario for residents and visitors to enjoy the decorations and the walk. The decoration stands out for the big tree located in the Plaza Mayor and for the assembly of a small Christmas fair with stalls where to buy the decorations and a merry-go-round that attracts the little ones. In addition, the streets around the center boast a luminous display of trees and street lamps.
Within the north of Spain, one of the cities that stands out for its Christmas decorations is Bilbao. The Basque town every year wants to innovate and boast of having one of the most spectacular lights in the north. In addition, in the area near the Muelle del Arenal there is usually a huge ice rink in the purest New York style to welcome the cold, as well as a huge slide for children to play. Throughout the Christmas season, the city of Bilbao is lit up with the spirit of Christmas and leisure.
Seville is a city that has always known how to do everything big and, within Andalusia, is another of the cities that will end up conquering all tourists looking to live the Christmas experience. Every year, the Andalusian capital invests a good part of its time and budget in decorating the entire city center with lights and garlands that give joy to its main avenues. One of the main attractions is in the Plaza de San Francisco, where, year after year, large illuminated angels are installed.
With a huge Christmas tree of lights, Zaragoza welcomes the holidays every year in the first days of December. The Aragonese capital is a benchmark within the community and hundreds of tourists come to see the whole web of lights and decorations that surrounds the city. With some decorations on the top simulating an aurora borealis, some broken stars decorating the streets or a whole string of lights that pass from tree to tree through the great avenues, Zaragoza dresses these days with a beautiful costume of lights.
The Balearic Islands could not be left behind for these dates and its capital, Palma de Mallorca, boasts some of the most applauded Christmas lights in the whole country. With almost 450 kilometers of garlands of lights and its characteristic Christmas tree in the Parc de la Mar, Palma has managed to win the recognition of thousands of tourists who take advantage of the holidays to fly to the island and discover all the charms it has to offer.
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