Christmas in Valencia is a truly magical affair. A walk through the city during December is sure to get you in the festive spirit. Think streets lined with lit-up palm trees, pretty Christmas Markets and impressive Christmas Trees that grace the city’s main Plazas.
Of course, Christmas 2020 has looked a little different, thanks to COVID-19. Valencia’s seasonal ice-skating rink hasn’t appeared this year, and many of the bigger events were cancelled. Nevertheless, the beautiful decorations and lower-scale, intimate events have created a cosy Christmas feel.
The Christmas Markets
Cities across Europe are famous for their Christmas Markets. While Valencia’s markets are among those less-heard of, they’re a must-experience! You’ll find a varied selection of charming markets across the city, where you can purchase everything from tasty treats to beautiful and unique Christmas gifts.
You will find the most notable markets at:
Mercado Central: Traditional Christmas Markets appear on the streets surrounding the Mercado Central. You will find an array of Christmas items and delicious confections.
Plaza de la Reina: The Craft’s Fair is found at Plaza de la Reina. It is a fantastic place to find the best handmade gifts for your loved ones.
Mercado de Colón: The Craft Show at Colon Market is another excellent place to find great handmade gifts. You will find wooden toys, beautiful jewellery, leather goods and local food. Moreover, Mercado Colon boasts a Nativity Market, where you will find handcrafted nativity characters and accessories.
Mercado de Tapinería: Christmas Markets are set up in this quirky location, for those looking for something different and unique.
City of Arts and Sciences: An impressive 35 stalls are set up around the City of Arts and Sciences, offering another fantastic place to find the perfect Christmas gifts.
The Stunning Decorations
Valencia doesn’t hold back when it comes to decorating for Christmas. Throughout the city, you will find lit-up trees, sparkling Christmas lights and festive decorations adorning the streets.
At the centre of it all is Plaza del Ayuntamiento. Here you will find the most spectacular Christmas tree, and the already beautiful buildings dressed up in holiday lights and decorations. Moreover, you will also find a Christmas carousel, festive food stalls and (in normal years) the city’s ice-rink.
An extension of the decorations we mentioned above, the Belenes (nativity scenes) are an impressive part of Valencia’s Christmas makeover. These life-sized scenes pop up throughout the city and often depict the entire town of Belén (Bethlehem), on the night of Jesus’s birth. These striking creations are guaranteed to get you in the Christmas spirit.
You can find the main Belenes at Mercado Colón and Plaza de la Reina. We recommend spending some time marvelling at the beautifully handcrafted figurines, in all of their colourful glory!
The Christmas Funfair
Valencia takes the festivities one step further than most, setting up a temporary theme park in the Puerto area for some adrenaline-filled Christmas fun. Expect to find all of the classic funfair rides and stalls, along with beautiful lights and Christmas music. Indulge in some candy floss or give in to the temptation of the seasonal aroma of roasting chestnuts.
The Delicious Food
The aforementioned aroma of roasting chestnuts isn’t exclusive to the funfair. A walk through the city centre will afford you the same joy. You’ll find these chestnut stalls alongside many others, offering traditional Spanish treats like the iconic turrón and delicious churros with chocolate.
Furthermore, there are many traditional savoury foods to discover, such as The Puchero de Navidad (a slow-cooked stew), Hervido (a lighter vegetable stew, sometimes including prawns) and The Gamba Roja de Denia (the most sought-after prawns in Spain, loved by Michelin star chefs). We highly recommend all three!
As well as this, you can enjoy your home-cooked Christmas lunch with fresh, locally-sourced vegetables. Perhaps put a Spanish-spin on the meal by including seafood or roast lamb! We also suggest a traditional Spanish postre, such as the three-part dessert of Christmas sweets, fruit and nuts, along with a sweet wine.
The Christmas Events
Many events take place throughout the festive period in Valencia. For example, in recent years, the Bullring has been covered by a heated tent for the festive Nadalenca to take place throughout December and the start of January. Nadalenca involves different activities and events that occur throughout the holiday period. These events include Christmas Markets, a beer festival, a gastro market, musicals, concerts and stand-up comedy. You can find various events like these throughout Valencia!
Moreover, the most iconic festive events are the annual circuses that arrive in Valencia. These impressive shows provide an unmissable experience for all (especially for families with young children). What is more, the circuses do not involve animals and are cruelty-free!
There is So Much More to Discover...
This blog only scratches the surface of Christmas in Valencia. Experiencing it for yourself is the best way to discover just how magical it is! What is more, there are a whole host of reasons (as well as Christmas in Valencia) to call this gorgeous city your home.
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