Hi! Our family is planning our first trip to Spain over the Christmas holiday this year. We will be in Seville Dec 24-27, and decided to get rail tickets to Cordoba for the day on the 25th. Obviously this is a holiday, but we thought we could at least do a walking tour and see the city rather than sit in our hotel room in Seville. Will ANYTHING be open? A friend suggested that restaurants in the Jewish quarter might still be operational, but it's looking like there are no cathedral tickets available on line for that day. Any tips to enjoy a 6-hour walkabout in Seville on a day when everything is closed would be very welcome. Thanks!
We were just in Cordoba and during our walking tour of the Jewish area I specifically asked if any Jewish people were still living there. He told us no. So I don’t think you will find a place there.
I have the same dilemma with Epiphany in Seville, NYE and New Year's Day in Granada It looks as though Hospital de la Caridad in Seville might be open on both Christmas Day and Epiphany. I have been unable to find anything online saying otherwise. It is a 55-minute walk from our flat which will help entertain us for part of the day. Since we are staying in flats in both locations, we'll have food in the refrigerator just in case no restaurants are available. I'd not been aware of Epiphany in Spain until I tried to buy tickets to a few venues.
I do think that walking around Seville/Cordoba would be a lovely alternative to cathedral tickets if they are unavailable. I have been to Cordoba and while it was lovely and the Mesquita was quite something to behold, I am not sure that there is much more than a couple of hours worth for a walk around. Others here will know better. I look forward to the responses.
Thanks for the replies! From what I can gather there may be some tapas places open earlier in the day. I think we're scheduled to be there from about noon-6pm We'll also talk to the hotel staff in Seville when we arrive and have given ourselves the option to just skip the trip if it turns out the weather is bad or something (though I hate to waste the train fare).
Well, on Dec 25 and before our big Christmas Day lunch (which is normally around 3pm), there´ll be a great, lovely, family atmosphere in practically all Spanish towns, when family and friends gather for the "aperitivo" or "vermouth time". That is, a time to enjoy the company of friends and family having a few glasses of wine, beer or whatever, paired with some tapas or pintxos or appetizers. So expect a lively Cordoba that morning until lunch time(I live in Bilbao and that´s the way things are on Xmas day and Epiphany - Jan 6th, a big day for us, and it´s the same in cities of similar size).
In Spain our Christmas traditions may be a little different than in the United States. In Spain, the Christmas Eve the 24th is actually the familiar day, this is when almost all shops and restaurants closed down, people stay in their homes with family.
On Christmas Day the 25th a good number of restaurants and some shops open up actually, this is when many local Spanish families will have their big Christmas Day lunch around 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. so it'll be important to reserve a restaurant in advance for Christmas Day lunch.
Carlos, shops open on Christmas Day, on the 25th? Not anywhere in northern Spain or any other places I know.
Some of them are open in the touristy part of Barcelona, maybe the same for Sevilla, probably less so for Cordoba every region is a little different lol
We were in Spain over the holidays last year, arriving just after Christmas and staying through January 8. So, while I can't answer your question about Christmas Day, here's what we did for New Year's and January 6:
NYE -- in Granada. Made reservations months in advance for a restaurant on New Year's Eve. Shops were open until about 2:00/3:00 in the afternoon; I did our meal shopping on Dec 31 for the next night, since we planned to eat in for dinner on Jan 1. We decided not to gather with the crowds for the midnight celebrations since this was the height of the omicron surge and we wanted to go home on time at the end of our trip, lol, but we did have a celebration at midnight in our apartments, ate our grapes, and watched the fireworks out the window.
Jan 1 -- Granada -- We weren't sure what would be open, so we planned a day of walking. There were 10 of us traveling together on this trip, so we split up. Some walked up into the Albaicin and wandered; some explored the grounds of the Carmen de los Martires (beautiful gardens); my husband, son, and I spent several hours in the park above the Alhambra (la Dehesa del Generalife), which was lovely. We found that by lunchtime, restaurants and bars were open, taxis were plentiful, and the streets were JAMMED with everyone out having a stroll (it was also 75 degrees and sunny, so that helped). It was a super fun, relaxing day with no tourist activities :-) We met back up in our apartments at the end of the day and cooked a big dinner, but we could have eaten out if we wanted to.
Jan 5 -- Cadiz -- festivities in the afternoon and evening (parades, celebrations). Stores were open until late afternoon. Some restaurants were closed in the evening, but we did eat out this night.
Jan 6 -- Cadiz to Cordoba -- Since I expected tourist sights to be closed this day, I planned a move for us from Cadiz to Cordoba on the train. We arrived in the early afternoon, and I had arranged a private, outdoors-only walking tour of Cordoba with Isabel Martinez, who was gracious enough to do this on the holiday (firstname.lastname@example.org). We did find that restaurants were open, and we had no trouble eating either tapas on our arrival or dinner later in the evening.
So, back to the original question, I can't answer regarding Christmas day itself (I would go with whatever the Spain natives have said), but we did find our time on the holidays themselves very enjoyable, and just walking around was a great "down" day from doing the usual tourist sights.
We LOVED being in Spain during the holiday season -- make sure to look for all the Christmas markets and festivities; it is a very special time of year. Have fun!!
Yes, you´ll find streets jammed with people enjoying the "aperitivo" before lunch time, friends and family getting together in squares and bars while socializing having a glass of wine or beer with pintxos or tapas...a very, very Spanish lovely tradition!!