🎄Christmas season in Madrid means Nativity Scenes, locally known as Belen (Bethlehem in English) all around the city. Visit different set-ups from classical or modern to even Living Nativity Scenes in Madrid´s El Escorial, where real people and live animals participate at life-scale. The exhibition of the Nativity Scene is a popular tradition in Madrid and the rest of Spain as well. So, we can find Nativity scenes in Madrid at places as diverse as palaces, monasteries, cultural centers or even in the street! Here follows a route of Nativity Scenes you can enjoy in Madrid at Christmas time with family or friends!
Madrid´s Nativity Scene at Convento de las Carboneras
💡Curious Fact: The name La Carboneras is a result of a painting canvas of the Virgin Mary. Apparently, kids were innocently playing with the canvas which was covered in coal (carbon in Spanish) because it came from one of the kids´ family coal storage. This event is dated around 1667.
- Convento de las Carboneras
12.08.2019 – 01.12.2019 from 9:00 to 19:30 daily.
Christmas Nativity Scene at Madrid´s Royal Palace
Curious Fact: The Royal Palace forms part of the recent collective Spanish memory as the scenario of the coronation of the present king of Spain, Phillip VI. Get a fun beginner´s course to the Spanish royalty and the monarchy in general by attending the guided tour of the Royal Palace in Madrid.
- Royal Palace
12/10/2019 – 01/10/2019 from 10:00 to 18:00 daily.
Nativity Scene at Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales in Madrid
💡Curious Fact: Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales has incredible art masterpieces like Italian painter, Titian’s oil painting Caesar’s Money, artworks by Hans de Beken and Brueghel the Elder as well as tapestries based on Rubens´ designs. To see a larger collection of paintings by Rubens, visit Museo del Prado and skip waiting lines at the entrance
- Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales – Plaza de las Descalzas, 1
12/10/2019 – 01/12/2019 from 10:00 to 17:30 Tuesday-Sunday.
Nativity Scene at Plaza Mayor in Madrid
💡Curious Fact: 🌡️The barometer on one of the Plaza Mayor Square towers, has stopped working with the needle pointing to Buen Tiempo, that is good weather in English! Wouldn´t you agree this circumstance is true for weather Madrid, almost all of the time? Be an insider of the histories and traditions like this and more about Madrid by joining this free walking tour in Madrid.
- Plaza Mayor
12/11/2019 – 01/11/2019 from 00:00 to 23:59 daily.
Living Nativity Scene at San Lorenzo del Escorial near Madrid
💡Curious Fact: 🤶About 40 volunteers participate in this living or live nativity scene at San Lorenzo del Escorial.
If you are looking for a 2 or 3 day itinerary,perhaps you could consider a one day visit to San Lorenzo del Escorial´s The Valley of the Fallen as well as Segovia.
- San Lorenzo del Escorial 15/12/2019 from 8:00 to 23:59
You can see some of the cathedrals, convents, monasteries and definitely the Royal Palace during this free walking tour in Madrid.
Nativity Scene at Almudena Cathedral in Madrid
💡Curious Fact: 👑The Almudena Cathedral is the address of the wedding between the current King and Queen of Spain. The Spanish Royal Palace is right next door, however the Royal family live on the outskirts of Madrid. With a floor area of 135,000 m2 (1,450,000 sq ft) The Spanish Royal Palace, is the largest functioning royal palace and the largest by floor area in Europe.
- Almudena Cathedral
12/25/2019 – 01/05/2019 from 09:00 to 20:00 daily.
Nativity Scene at Iglesia Jesús de Medinaceli in Madrid
💡Curious Fact: ⛪This church was built to house the sculpture of the name Father Jesus of Nazareth and was financed by the Duke of MEdinaceli in 1689, hence the name. There is a lot of reverence for the sculpture due to its history and evolution through the years: It was sent to a Spanish fortress in Morocco to avoid capture and came close to being destroyed during the Spanish civil war.
- Iglesia Jesús de Medinaceli – Calle de la Iglesia, 25, 28640, Cadalso de los Vidrios, Madrid 18/12/2019 – 12/28/2019 from 07:00 to 21:00 daily.
Nativity Scene at Pontifical Basilica of San Miguel
💡Curious Fact:✝️ The church was conceded the status of a Minor basilica by nuncio monsignor Tedeschini in 1930. In 1959 it was entrusted to the Opus Dei. To this day, a memorial of the saint is celebrated in all the daily eucharists at 10:30, 12:30 and 19:00, with a solemn communion at 20:30. Winter months and Christmas time in Madrid tends to be very cold with temperatures oscillating between around 7°C in the mornings and daytime ( with very mild 11°C) before dropping to a chilly 2°C in the evenings. To keep warm and maintain a sweet taste in the mouth for you #chocolatelovers🍫, we recommend stop at the legendary churros cafe in Madrid, San Gines.
- Pontifical Basilica of San Miguel – Calle de San Justo, 4
05/12/2019 – 01/10/2019 from 10:00 to 20:30 daily.
Still looking for more cheap Christmas plans in Madrid, read this list of 10 free thing to do at Christmas in Madrid.