Where to Shop for Christmas Gifts in Seville

12 December 2017 0 Comments Category: Cat Gaa, Living in Spain

Mercado Navideño

Anyone who knows me knows that Christmas is one of my least favorite holidays (and it’s got more to do with being a Chicagoan who loathes the snow and cold).

But Christmas in European cities from Stockholm to Seville evoke a special kind of magic – a magic that even a Scrooge like me has come to enjoy. Even the stress of holiday shopping seems to dull under Seville’s spectacular Christmas lights and numerous Christmas markets.

The Epiphany holiday on January 6th is decidedly more important to Spanish families than Christmas Day: the Reyes Magos bringing gifts to children by way of a boisterous parade (watch out for the candy and plastic toy chucking!). Despite being late in the season, the official shopping frenzy begins with the Immaculate Conception holiday on December 6th, which is when the city sets the official Christmas tree in Plaza Nueva ablaze with lights and artisan markets choke the city center.

If you’re planning on Christmas shopping in Seville, check out these three mercados navideños in the center of the city:

Mercadillo Navideño de la Artesanía

Wooden toys, handcrafted jewelry and clothing make up the 80 or so stands of the Mercado Navideño de la Artesanía. Local artists peddle out of small booths ringing Plaza Nueva. You can also find objects made of leather, handmade soaps and cosmetics, ceramics and more.

If the Reyes Magos need a last minute gift, this market is open the latest – from December 15th until January 5th, right before the Epiphany. The hours are from 11:00 to 15:00 and 17:00 to 21:00.

And here’s a pro tip: many of the artists display their goods in the Artisan market year-round, located in the old Postigo de Aceite on Calle Arfe. You can find out more at the Artesanía Sevillana webpage.

Feria del Belén

Located in the shadow of Seville’s sprawling cathedral – the third largest in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site – is the Feria de Belen, or the Nativity scenes market. This perennial favorite – one of the most important in all of Spain – sees artisans who craft figurines, buildings and the Holy Family set up stands to sell their wares.

Tradition dictates that you must buy one figurine for your belén each year, starting with the Holy Family and expanding until your Little Town of Bethlehem has a village butcher, running water and far more than the stable, the ox and the cow.

The Feria de Belén is held on Calle Fray Ceferino, between the Cathedral and the Archivo de Indias, from November 18th until right around Christmas Eve. The hours of operation are roughly 10:30 – 14:00 and 17:00 – 21:00.

While you’re browsing, be sure to munch on castañas, or wood-smoked chestnuts.

Mercado Navideño

Situated in the whimsical Plaza de la Encarnación, the Mercado Navideño de Sevilla will bring out the kid in anyone. Special nods to the camel rides, a Christmas-themed train for the young ones and several stands for food and drink, as well as handicrafts. It runs all day from December 5th until January 5th; hours are 11:30 to 21:30.

If you’re looking for things to do during the Christmas holidays, Seville’s Tourism Board plans a number of events, spectacles and a raucous Cabalgata de los Reyes Magos on January 6th. You can also read Typical NonSpanish’s posts on Spanish Christmas Traditions and how to celebrate Christmas and the Epiphany in Seville.

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