Heading to Madrid this month? Here's a list of tips to help have a Feliz Navidad in true Spanish style.
See the Pretty Christmas Lights
Be sure to visit Madrid's Plaza Mayor to see the biggest and best light displays in the city. The plaza is also home of Madrid's biggest Christmas market offering plenty of opportunities to browse for festive gifts and sample seasonal treats.
Admire a Nativity Scene
To get a sense of the rich Spanish traditions surrounding this special time of year and absolutely guarantee that you don't forget you're in a Catholic country, take the time to check out Madrid's many handcrafted nativity scenes. Some of the most finely designed and elaborate are on view at Palacio de Cibeles, the;Centro Cultural Casa del Reloj, and Museo de Historia de Madrid.
Experience the;Christmas Show at Palacio Cibeles
Palacio Cibeles is Madrid's old post office. But this ain't no typical post office. It is indeed a palace and a neo-classical icon of the city. Any time of year is a good time to take a gander at it, especially in the evening of; rd when a 3D light show transforms the palace into a winter wonderland feast for the eyes.
Celebrate New Years Even in Puerta del Sol
It's the biggest party night of the year in a city known for some of the best nightlife in Europe. Celebrations run throughout the city of course but party central is at;Puerta del Sol where thousands of revellers will watch the clock at Real Casa de Correos building strike twelve and usher in 2014.
Play the Christmas Lottery
Spain's Christmas Lottery is the biggest lottery in the world and the second longest running ever. In 2012, more than two and half billion euros were given away in (mostly cash) prizes. The lottery's climax comes on; th;when this state run lottery announces the winner of;the grand prize, El Gordo (“the fat one”). You'll find retailers all over Madrid selling lottery tickets. Just look for the slightly creepy smily face with the Santa cap.
Photo credit: Guzmán Lozano