3 Tips for How to Enjoy Christmas in Valencia
Time to swap out that jolly red color for a juicy shade of orange by spending Christmas in Valencia. It’s a great way to experience the holidays in Spain without the massive crowds in the more commonly known cities of Madrid and Barcelona. You can enjoy the charming historic center, traditional Valencia foods, and even the alluring Mediterranean Sea for a unique European Christmas trip.
To make the most of this holiday trip, here are three helpful things that we’ve learned firsthand so that you can truly enjoy Christmas in Valencia.
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#1 – Pick Good Timing to Enjoy Christmas in Valencia
Above Image – The plaza de ayuntamiento and its ice skating rink.
I’ll start with the most important thing for enjoying Christmas in Valencia – timing. Christmas lights and decorations in Valencia start going up in early December. But (and it’s a big but), the really big displays, especially some of the Christmas markets, don’t start until mid-December. Earlier than that and it just doesn’t seem quite as festive.
Christmas in Valencia is still a beautiful site any time throughout December, but for a bit more of an impressive display, I recommend going anytime between the middle of December to January 6th.
You may be thinking, “all the way into January…?”. That’s right, because remember that in Spain they have Three Kings Day (Reyes Magos). It takes place with a big parade on the night of January 5th. This also means that when in Spain for Christmas, you can extend your holiday season even past New Years!
#2 – Know Where the Holiday Sites and Christmas Markets in Valencia Are Located
There are several wonderful Christmas markets in Valencia where you can get your shopping on, discover artisan crafts, and taste delicious traditional foods. A big tip is to be aware that some of them don’t start until the middle of December (I know, that timing thing again).
Here is our list and handy map so you can find the best sites for Christmas markets in Valencia and other Christmas displays in Valencia. Click on the icons to also scroll to that part of the post. If you like using Google, click here for our custom Google Map of Christmas in Valencia.
Map of What to See for Christmas in Valencia
Plaza de Ayuntamiento (Town Hall)
IES Lluís Vives Christmas Market
Mercado Central (Central Market)
Plaza de la Reina Christmas Market
Mercat de Tapineria Christmas Market
Mercado de Colón Christmas Market
Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias Christmas Market
Mercado Municipal del Cabanyal Christmas Market
Other Christmas Decorations
Plaza de Ayuntamiento
The Plaza de Ayuntamiento, or town hall plaza, is a large pedestrianized area that during the holidays has beautiful Christmas lights and trees on display, as well as an outdoor ice skating rink and vintage style carousel.
The IES Lluís Vives
This building is right next to the townhall and starting in the middle of December has a charming Christmas market within its gates.
The Mercado Central
Starting usually by the second weekend of December the central market in Valencia has a large belén (nativity scene) on display in the very center, beautiful decorations and food and crafts stalls outside, and features extended hours until 10pm.
Plaza de la Reina
This newly renovated plaza in front of the Valencia Cathedral has a lovely traditional Christmas market with various stalls of handmade local goods and traditional Christmas treats. There is also a life-size outdoor belén. All of this is typically up and going by the beginning of December.
Mercat de Tapineria
This year-round local artisan market space highlights the holidays from the week before Christmas until January 5th. The various artists here sell artwork, decorations, clothing, and more.
Mercado de Colón
Starting in early December, this gorgeous historic market building is all lit up and decorated along with some vendors selling handcrafted beléns that you can buy. Many of them even have flowing water and lights. From mid-December to January 5th, is the special Christmas Market that features 14 designers and artisans who specialize in textile, leather, or jewelry.
Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias
The City of Arts & Sciences has a huge Christmas Market in Valencia from the middle of December to around January 8th. It is home to artisan goods, holiday food and drink, jewelry and more.
Mercado Municipal del Cabanyal
The local market in Vanlencia’s beach neighborhood of Cabanyal, has an outdoor Christmas Market usually from early December until January 6th and open from 10am to 9pm. It features a nativity scene, sweets, clothes, toys, jewelry, and paintings.
Some Other Great Sites for Christmas in Valencia
Another great site to visit for Christmas in Valencia is the Estacion Norte (the North Train Station). There is always a stand or two out front selling churros con chocolate and buñuelos de calabaza, which are pumpkin doughnuts that you also dip into hot chocolate.
And of course, make sure to simply stroll the charming narrow streets of the Barrio del Carmen. This is the historic center of Valencia and with Christmas lights strung up, it is even more romantic and delightful.
#3 – Be Prepared for Getting Around Valencia at Christmas Time
As you can see, make sure that you wear your good walking shoes because the Valencia Christmas markets and sites are in various different parts of the city.
You can opt to drive but parking is not for the faint of heart, and actually driving in Valencia in general isn’t either.
Make the most of getting your steps in, especially with all the great new pedestrian zones in Valencia. You can also use the great Valencia public transportation system with their buses and metros. Even a taxi is quite cheap and well worth it.
It’s also good to pack an umbrella because while Valencia is a very sunny city, it does get some rain in the winter months.
Enjoy Your Christmas in Valencia
If you’re fortunate to be spending Christmas in Valencia, you can have a great time and enjoy a festive environment throughout December and even into the first week of January.
If you really want to be in the heart of the historic center and where the most decorations are, we recommend staying in the Barrio del Carmen. At the same time, if you’re looking for an area with a more local, hip vibe, the creative neighborhood of Ruzafa (Russafa in Valencian) can be great as well.
Do you have any other questions about Christmas in Valencia? Have you spent Christmas in Valencia and have any tips of your own to add? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
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Written by Amalia Maloney Del Riego
Fora Certified Travel Advisor & Content Creator
I love living in Denia, Spain and traveling worldwide. My idea of a great time is ‘eating and drinking’ my way around a new place and meeting the people. As a Fora Certified Travel Advisor, I specialize in custom travel planning for trips throughout Europe, as well as scouting trips for moving to Spain. Here on MoveToTraveling.com you can enjoy our Europe travel resources to experience Europe and live in Spain.