All about celebrating the festive season in and around Marbella

The holiday season is upon us, and there's nothing quite like the enchantment of Christmas in Marbella. We, at, have a special affection for this magical time of year, especially when experienced in the picturesque beauty of Marbella. With its stunning coastal views, Mediterranean charm, and vibrant local culture, Marbella truly comes alive during the festive season.

Table of contents

Christmas in Spain: A Unique Blend of Tradition and Celebration

Spain is known for its rich cultural tapestry, and Christmas is no exception. The celebrations in Marbella are steeped in the country's unique traditions and customs. Unlike many other countries, where Christmas festivities usually span a few days, Spain's holiday season extends from the 8th of December to the 6th of January, creating a prolonged and joyful atmosphere. Then after the 6th of January there is the big after-Christmas sale also in the El Corte Inglés in Puerto Banús.

marbslifestyle Malaga an oasis of lights during Christmas
Malaga an oasis of lights during Christmas

The Immaculate Conception - The Beginning of the Holidays

The holiday spirit ignites with the "Día de la Inmaculada Concepción de María," a national public holiday celebrated on the 8th of December. This deeply religious event is marked with gatherings of friends and families, feasting, music, and dancing. The streets come alive as statues of the Virgin Mary are paraded, and locals sing in jubilation, creating an atmosphere of shared joy.

But the festivities don't halt there. The celebrations continue with the Baile de los Seises (Dance of the Sixes) the next day, where children take the spotlight in celestial costumes and perform traditional dances. This feast in Sevilla's Cathedral marks the beginning of the Spanish holiday season and sets the tone for the weeks ahead.

Marbella, a culinary have with Christmas

Welcome to our festive guide, where we've assembled the 15 best Christmas restaurants and over 45 Christmas events in Marbella. From gourmet dining to spectacular seasonal celebrations, find your perfect holiday experience. Dive into our exclusive selection and make this Christmas unforgettable with

Christmas evens Marbella 2023

Discover the holiday season's best with your guide to Marbella's most prestigious Christmas events. We've carefully chosen the most exquisite dinner shows and gala evenings, just for you. Step into a world of holiday glamour with our exclusive event lineup. Celebrate in style at Marbella's most sought-after festivities. These hand-selected events are your ticket to a Christmas filled with luxury and unique experiences. Join the elite this holiday season at Marbella's premier Christmas gatherings!


To ensure a seamless holiday experience, we recommend securing reservations at your preferred restaurants well in advance. With both locals and visitors choosing Marbella as their Christmas retreat, dining establishments tend to fill up swiftly as December approaches. To assist you in your culinary exploration, we've crafted a comprehensive blog listing our top restaurant recommendations for restaurants during Christmas and New Year's Eve.

Having dinner for Christmas 2023 in Marbella, the top 15 Christmas restaurants

Having dinner for Christmas 2023 in Marbella, the top 15 Christmas restaurants


The Festive Magic of Marbella: A Culinary Christmas Delight At, the shimmering coastlines and sunlit plazas of Marbella have always held a special place in our hearts, especially when the festive season rolls around. There’s an unparalleled magic in the air as we bask under the warm glow of the sun, with palm trees […]

Private chef at home

We completely understand if you'd rather not spend your Christmas season cooking. Instead, why not stay home and savour a delightful dinner with your loved ones? At, we have fantastic connections with private chefs and catering companies that can create an unforgettable experience for your Christmas or New Year's Eve celebrations. If you're even looking for nanny services, we've got you covered on that front too. Just remember to plan ahead because the holiday season in Marbella is a busy time.


For those who hold a special place for Santa in their hearts, Marbella offers an enchanting opportunity to meet the jolly figurehead. Santa Claus makes his annual grand entrance at Marbella Port via boat, parading through the town in a delightful display. A second rendezvous with Santa is possible at La Cañada Shopping Center, where he often arrives via a thrilling helicopter entrance. The festivities continue in January as the Three Kings grace Marbella with their presence, celebrating alongside the community. Keep an eye on the local town hall announcements for the confirmed dates of these joyous encounters.

Spanish Christmas Traditions: A Delightful Blend of Old and New

Christmas trees take centre stage in Spanish households, with traditions varying by region. Families in the north decorate Spanish Fir Pinsapo, while those in the south opt for pine trees. It's customary to decorate the tree together after the 8th of December. Gift-giving is led by "Los Tres Reyes Magos," the Three Wise Men, who bring presents to children's homes on the 6th of January, a day known as Epiphany.

Nativity scenes, or "Belén," are another cherished tradition. These scenes depict the birth of Jesus and are displayed in various settings across towns and cities. Marbella's Plaza de la Iglesia de la Encarnación and San Pedro de Alcántara's town hall both showcase elaborate Belén displays for the public to admire.

marbslifestyle Setting up the Christmas tree with the kids like anywhere in the world.
Setting up the Christmas tree with the kids like anywhere in the world.

Belénes Vivientes: Bringing Nativity to Life

Andalusia adds a touch of enchantment with its live nativity scenes, where locals dress as Nativity characters alongside real animals, immersing spectators in the story. Cádiz, a neighbouring province, is renowned for its creative live Nativity scenes, offering a unique experience just a short drive from Marbella.

marbslifestyle Belénes Vivientes: Bringing Nativity to Life, a Andalusian tradition
Belénes Vivientes: Bringing Nativity to Life, a Andalusian tradition

Nochebuena: A Feast of Family and Tradition

Nochebuena, or Christmas Eve on the 24th of December, is a cherished family celebration in Spain. Families and friends gather for a sumptuous feast, commencing around 21:00-22:00. A variety of mouthwatering starters, seafood, and traditional Spanish dishes grace the table. Desserts like polvorones and turrón add sweetness to the occasion, all accompanied by cava, wine, and cider. The celebration often extends into Midnight Mass and lively dancing.


Christmas Lights and Decorations

Planning a visit to Marbella? Don't miss the chance to explore the enchanting festive spirit that engulfs the neighbouring city of Malaga during the evenings. Picture this: streets adorned with thousands of shimmering lights, joyous children, and the melodious echoes of collective singing filling the air. Malaga, a place renowned for its captivating charm, takes on a whole new level of magic during the holiday season.

One of the highlights you mustn't miss is the captivating Christmas light displays that grace the iconic Calle Larios, a bustling pedestrian and shopping haven in Malaga. As November draws to a close, a splendid tradition comes alive as the lights on Calle Larios burst to life for the first time, attracting throngs of visitors eager to be part of this dazzling spectacle. Under the evening sky, these lights twinkle in harmony with beloved Christmas tunes and traditional Villancicos, creating a harmonious blend of visual and auditory delights.

But the luminous wonder doesn't stop there. Venture into the Concepción Botanical Gardens, where the magic of the season is illuminated from 18:00 to 23:00, between November 27 and January 9. Wander through this mesmerising display of lights and let the holiday spirit sweep you away.

A new and captivating addition to the festive scene is the Cathedral of Málaga's audiovisual light show. Projected onto the cathedral's south tower, this show transports visitors into a world of holiday celebration, showcasing scenes that capture the essence of the seasons and the joy of the festivities.

And let's not forget the Costa del Sol, where Marbella itself transforms into a wonderland of holiday charm. Delight in the picturesque decorations that adorn the atmospheric Plaza de los Naranjos and the winding alleys of the Old Town. Feel the holiday cheer in San Pedro and Estepona, where nativity scenes and sparkling ornaments enchant every corner.

For those seeking to infuse their own spaces with holiday splendour, Marbella offers ample opportunities. Explore El Corte Inglés and La Cañada, prestigious shopping centres that offer an array of Christmas-related ornaments to elevate your décor game. If you're inclined towards a touch of nature, local garden centres like Agrojardin and Viveros del Valle are perfect for sourcing poinsettias and other seasonal plants.

And here's a heartwarming tip: immerse yourself in the spirit of giving by visiting the numerous charity shops around Marbella. As you adorn your space with decorations purchased from these stores, your contribution will also go towards noble causes that extend a helping hand to those in need during the holiday season.

So, when you plan your Marbella escapade, ensure you carve out an evening to experience the wondrous holiday lights of Malaga, immerse yourself in Marbella's festive ambiance, and explore the myriad avenues to make your holiday season truly special. Embrace the magic with!

Christmas Lottery: A National Tradition

Spanish individuals have a strong affinity for lotteries, particularly heightened during the Christmas season. A visit to Marbella would showcase the omnipresence of this sentiment throughout the year – from El Corte Inglés to gas stations you can get them everywhere.

Imagine the 22nd of December, a day etched in excitement and tradition. Since 1812, the "Sorteo Extraordinario de Navidad" has captivated hearts, making it the second oldest lottery globally. Feel the thrill as ticket sales begin in July, offering a slice of hope for just €20.00. Friends, families, and colleagues unite their dreams, aiming for the life-changing "El Gordo" prize – a true game-changer.

marbslifestyle An example of the Christmas Lottery in Spain
An example of the Christmas Lottery in Spain

On that special morning, La 1 de RTVE broadcasts the lottery's enchanting draw. Millions watch as numbers are unveiled, a shared moment of hope spanning the nation.But the enchantment doesn't stop there. January 6th brings the El Niño Lottery, aligning with Three Kings Day. With prizes up to €2.000.000, it's a second chance for holiday joy.

At, you're not just browsing – you're delving into a culture woven with dreams, unity, and festive marvels. The Spanish Christmas Lottery isn't just a draw; it's a testament to the enduring enchantment of the season.

Christmas in Marbella: A Festive Wonderland

Embrace the holiday spirit in Marbella, where an array of exciting activities awaits you during this high season. Even in the midst of winter, Marbella comes alive with a festive atmosphere that rivals the buzz of summer. The town is abuzz with a myriad of Christmas events designed to captivate individuals of all ages. Beyond the bustling Marbella town centre, the festive fervour extends to charming locales like San Pedro de Alcantara, Nueva Andalucía, and Las Chapas. The Marbella Town Hall has meticulously curated a Christmas program, encompassing captivating shows, mesmerising concerts, and engaging contests suitable for everyone. Keep an eager eye on their official website for the comprehensive event schedule.

Marbella's renowned nightlife and glamorous dining scene take on a delightful holiday twist. Immerse yourself in the yuletide ambiance as restaurants, bars, and clubs along the glitzy Puerto Banus and the Golden Mile adorned with enchanting Christmas decorations. Traverse effortlessly from one captivating venue to another, immersing yourself in the perfect festive setting.

marbslifestyle Christmas in Marbella | La Sala
Christmas in Marbella | La Sala

Christmas recipes and groceries

At, we have a genuine passion for cooking. Even during the holidays in Marbella, we take some time to stay at home and prepare dinners for groups of friends and families, coming together to celebrate the season. We extend an open invitation to everyone – all are welcome!

We've put together a blog featuring a collection of Christmas recipes, along with convenient information about where to find the ingredients you need. So, whether you're looking to whip up a festive feast or simply enjoy the joy of cooking, we've got you covered.

marbslifestyle Typical Andalusian Pavo Navideño
Typical Andalusian Pavo Navideño

Skiing in the Sierra Nevada

Looking to break free from the conventional holiday routines and the stress that often accompanies them? It's time to don your ski or snowboard gear and embark on a unique holiday escapade. Merely a two-hour journey away, the captivating Sierra Nevada offers an unparalleled skiing destination for the Christmas season. Amidst the glistening snow and radiant sun, Sierra Nevada beckons as an idyllic Christmas retreat. The ski resort offers an array of exhilarating activities catering to both adults and children. As December draws to a close, the magic of night skiing becomes accessible, promising an unforgettable experience.

Skiing in the Sierra Nevada

Skiing in the Sierra Nevada


From Beaches to Peaks: Skiing Adventures in Marbella’s Backyard   When you think of Marbella, the first things that usually come to mind are the sea, sand, and sun. Marbella is renowned for its year-round pleasant climate, making it a go-to destination for those seeking warmth and relaxation. But did you know that just a […]

Have a lunch at the beach

With a remarkable 320 days of sunshine annually, Marbella beckons you to celebrate the holidays outdoors, often by the beach or the picturesque coastline. Revel in the wealth of outdoor Christmas activities against the stunning backdrop of Marbella's natural beauty. Our guides on maximising your outdoor experiences in Marbella and embracing the winter season here will serve as invaluable resources during this festive period. Come and experience the holidays in Marbella like never before!

The 20 best Lunch Places at the Beach in Marbella

The 20 best Lunch Places at the Beach in Marbella

Beach & Pool Clubs

Among the many pleasures of Marbella, enjoying a delicious lunch by the beach ranks high on the list. Here, we have compiled a list of the top 20 lunch places at the beach in Marbella for you to indulge in a culinary adventure.

Useful Information for a Smooth Christmas Experience

As the holiday season approaches, knowing about opening hours is crucial. Banks, stores, and supermarkets have varying schedules, so planning ahead is essential. Public transport, including taxis, Uber, and Bolt, operate with some adjustments.

Stores and Supermarkets

Get ready for a festive shopping spree in Marbella this holiday season! Here's what you need to know about store hours and special deals:

  • On December 24th, the shops are keeping their doors open until their usual closing time, so you have plenty of time to grab those last-minute gifts.
  • If you're a fan of El Corte Inglés, you're in luck! They're spreading holiday cheer by staying open on December 24th and 31st, from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM. But remember, they'll be taking a break on December 25th, January 1st, and January 6th. La Cañada is on the same page, matching El Corte Inglés' timings for December 24th and 31st. So you can shop with ease and make the most of your holidays.
  • Supermarkets are also getting into the spirit. Until December 24th, you can pop in and pick up what you need, but do keep in mind that they might close a bit earlier on that day. Christmas Day, December 25th, is a quiet day for supermarkets, with most, if not all, of them closed. Once the 26th of December rolls around, most supermarkets will go back to their regular schedule, although a few might have their own unique hours. And hey, mark your calendar for January 6th, when supermarkets will take another breather.
  • For those delightful procrastinators among us, fear not! On January 5th and 6th, many shops and stores are extending their hours until 11 PM, and some even until midnight. It's like a gift for night owls! And for the savvy shoppers, the real treat starts on January 8th. That's when the sales kick off, and the discounts start flowing. You won't believe your eyes as those prices drop, with some brands offering up to a whopping 70% off!

So, whether you're grabbing those last-minute presents or diving into the post-holiday sales, Marbella's got you covered. Happy shopping and happy holidays!


If you're wondering about the usual bank hours in Spain, it's pretty straightforward. Banks usually open up shop from 9 in the morning until 2 in the afternoon, Monday through Friday. It's a nice chunk of the day to get your banking tasks sorted.

Now, when it comes to special occasions like Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, and Three Kings' Day, things shake up a bit. On those days, the banks shorten their hours and are open from 9 in the morning until 12 noon. But here's the thing – some banks might decide to take a mini-break and stay closed, so it's always a smart move to double-check the opening hours for your bank branch well ahead of time.

Now, for those moments when you need some cash or want to handle things online during the holidays, you're in luck. ATMs are up and running as usual, and online banking is at your service too. So, even if the physical branches are taking a bit of a break, you're not left hanging when it comes to managing your finances.

Public transport

Great news for everyone in Marbella! Our trusty taxis will be up and running as usual, ready to whisk you away to your destination. Just a heads up, there's a small extra fee for taxi services on public holidays. So, before you fully commit to a taxi ride, keep this little detail in mind.

  • Taxi: We've got your back! You can actually book a taxi with us at in advance. This way, you won't have to worry about a thing. Your ride will be all set and ready when you need it.
  • And hey, if you're a fan of using Uber or Bolt, they're also good to go. Just remember, their prices might change based on when and where you book, as well as how busy things are at that moment.
  • If you're arriving at Malaga airport and need a smooth ride to your accommodation, we've got a fantastic option for you. Our airport transfers offer the convenience of booking ahead of time with no upfront payment needed. You can even cancel for free if plans change. Plus, you'll only pay the fixed price you originally booked once you reach your destination. But wait, there's more! You can also count on us to handle your taxi booking in advance. Yep, we've got every angle covered.

So, whether you're up for a classic taxi, an Uber or Bolt adventure, or a hassle-free airport transfer, is here to make your journey in Marbella absolutely seamless.

Embracing Spanish Holiday Traditions

In Spain, the holiday spirit lingers beyond December 25th. On December 28th, "Dia de Los Santos Inocentes" brings laughter through harmless pranks and jokes, while January 6th, Three Kings Day, sees children receiving gifts from the Three Wise Men.

A highlight is the "Cabalgata" parade on January 5th, where the Three Kings and lively characters toss sweets to kids. Marbella's streets come alive with floats and costumes, leaving children with lasting smiles. This Spanish tradition adds a unique touch to the holiday season.

marbslifestyle Dia de Los Santos Inocentes
Dia de Los Santos Inocentes


At, we're absolutely enchanted by the Christmas magic in Marbella. The joy of the holiday season comes alive in every corner, from the twinkling lights to the rich Spanish traditions. We invite you to join us in embracing the extended celebrations, from the lively parades to the heartwarming Nativity scenes. Let's share in the warmth of family gatherings, the delight of gift-giving, and the wonder of it all. With as your guide, let's make this holiday season in Marbella truly unforgettable.