7 Festive Christmas Markets in Valencia You Must Visit
It might not be freezing cold outside, but Valencia’s Christmas markets are every bit as magical as their German counterparts… with a Spanish twist, of course!
Selling everything from handmade gifts to delicious treats, Christmas markets in Valencia are a cultural experience for the whole family and a wonderful opportunity to discover Valencia’s rich traditions.
So grab a cup of hot chocolate and let’s take a closer look at what Valencia’s Christmas markets have to offer and why they should be at the top of your list for holiday activities.
Plaza de la Reina Christmas Craft Fair
The newly remodelled and pedestrianised Plaza de la Reina hosts one of the most magical, if not largest, Christmas markets in Valencia. A couple dozen stalls, sell anything from handmade jewellery and fans to wooden sculptures with religious motifs.
The most popular stall by far, however, is the one selling nativity scene figurines, including the cheeky Caganer.
This humorous figure of a peasant pooping is one of the strangest Christmas traditions in this part of Spain. He’s likely a fertility symbol, although no one knows exactly how he made it into the nativity scenes. What’s certain is that he always makes people burst into laughter, no matter their age.
Colón Market Craft Show
The Colón Market hosts a craft show several times a year, but the Christmas edition is always my favorite. Set against the backdrop of a beautiful Modernista market, the Colón Market Craft Show is the best place to go Chrismas shopping in Valencia at a leisurely pace.
A couple dozen stalls sell anything from handmade ceramics, soap and jewellery to prints and tote bags. A life size nativity scene is displayed by the main entrance and a huge Christmas tree is placed at the opposite end.
The best part is that you can combine Christmas shopping with a coffee break at one of the fancy cafés in the market. Or have a meal at one of the restaurants. This is one of the nicest markets in Valencia, so it would be a pity not to indulge a little.
The City of Arts and Sciences Christmas Market
In my opinion, the Christmas market organized at the foot of L’Umbracle in the City of Arts and Sciences is the best Christmas market in Valencia. It’s also the closest you will get to a typical German Christmas market in Valencia.
While this is probably the only Christmas market in Valencia where you can drink mulled wine and eat wurst, don’t expect an authentic German Christmas market altogether.
The City of Arts and Sciences Christmas market actually has three sections – an arts and crafts section where you can buy locally made gifts and toys, a food truck section where you can stuff your face with anything from burgers to paella and a play area.
What makes this market even more special is that it’s set against the magical backdrop of the City of Arts and Sciences. If you visit in late afternoon, you might even catch a spectacular sunset as a bonus.
Mercado de Tapineria Christmas Market
Mercado de Tapineria is a pop-up market organized around two lively squares in the Old Town. While the offers change every fortnight or so, the Ho, Ho, Ho Christmas market organized every year is the most festive of them all.
Tapineria market is a mere couple hundred meters from Plaza de la Reina, so no excuses there. Plus if you go through the passage next to American Twizz, you’ll discover some of the cutest little streets in Valencia, including the magical Plaza Miracle del Mocadoret.
From vintage home decor items, prints and fashion to handmade jewellery and candles, this Christmas market packs several dozen vendors under one (two actually) roof. Being set indoors, it’s also a great opportunity to warm up a little, in case temperatures drop in late afternoon.
Luis Vives Three Kings Market
Another traditional Christmas market in Valencia, Mercadillo de Reyes de Luis Vives opens its doors a bit later than you’d expect – usually around December 23. That’s because this cute market hosted in a schoolyard across the street from the North Train Station, caters to people looking for regalos para Reyes (gifts for the Three Kings Day).
In Valencia, just like anywhere else in Spain, the holiday season lasts until January 6, when the Three Wise Man or the Three Kings come bearing gifts. Years ago, Santa Clause was pretty much skipping Spain, and kids had to wait until Epiphany day to get their gifts. These days, however, most kids receive gifts from both Santa Clause and the Three Kings.
Whether you’re a Santa Clause or Reyes Magos fan, the Luis Vives Three Kings Market is a nice place to visit. Besides buying handmade gifts, here you can also play chess and enjoy the smell of cotton candy and caramelised nuts. They also organize fun activities for kids.
Conde de Salvatierra pop-up Christmas Market
The CoolMarket organized inside a commercial unit on Conde de Salvatierra Street, is the place to go if you are looking to buy pretty knitwear. This Christmas market is just a few meters down the street from Mercado de Colón, so if you’re in the area, you should pop in and browse their stuff.
This Christmas market has a couple dozen stalls. In this case, it’s not the artists that are behind the counter but various shops from around the city. While this might sound less appealing, the items are beautifully curated, so the market has it’s appeal.
Besides fashion items and accessories, this Christmas market also has live music and kid friendly activities. The only thing is that you’ll have to check the schedule with them in advance, or you might end up visiting a very quiet place (nothings wrong with that!).
Cabanyal Three Kings Market
This Christmas market is organized on the streets near Mercado Municipal de Cabanyal from the 3rd to the 6th of January. It’s the least fancy of Valencia’s Christmas markets, but it’s the largest one, with some 200 stalls.
Here you’ll find affordable (yet mass produced) gifts, such as warm sweaters, socks, leather bags, scarves and toys.
Food wise, you will find all kinds of sweets, from gummy bears and candies to carbón dulce (sweet coal). Traditionally, the Three Kings give this coal shaped sweets to the naughty kids. Unfortunately, the vendors are not allowed to sell any other kinds of food.
The Cabanyal Chrismas market gets really busy in late afternoon, especially on the last day when it stays open until the wee small hours of the morning.