Zaragoza is a Spanish city renowned for its rich history, impressive architecture, and the Zagagoza Christmas Market in winter.
In this guide, I’ll provide all the essential details for 2023, including dates, opening times, locations and standout local specialties.
In Zaragoza during December, the city adopts a festive atmosphere, with lights illuminating its historic landmarks.
The chill in the air pairs well with the warmth exuded by the locals, making your winter visit both cosy and enriching.
Zaragoza Christmas Market 2023
The Christmas market in Zaragoza stands out for its unique blend of traditional Spanish crafts and festive foods.
While wandering the market, you’ll find handmade ceramics and textiles integral to the region’s artisanal heritage.
For the foodies, the market showcases Aragonese delicacies like ‘chireta’ and ‘turrón’, giving you a genuine taste of local Christmas celebrations.
Dates and Location
Zaragoza Christmas Market dates: Likely dates: 1st December 2023 to 7th January 2024.
Location: Plaza del Pilar.
Opening times: 11am to 2pm and 4pm to 10pm.
Christmas Day: Closed.
New Year’s Day: Closed.
Admission: Free, no tickets required.
Christmas lights: Yes, switch on date: Friday 1st December 2023 at 6pm.
Ice skating: Yes, at Plaza del Pilar.
Vegetarian: Yes, plenty of options.
Vegan: Yes, plenty of options.
Gluten free: Yes, but limited.
Pet-friendly: Yes, but not recommended during busy periods.
Parking: Please take public transport to help limit congestion.
Reason to visit: Traditional Spanish crafts meet Aragonese delicacies; a genuine Zaragoza festive experience unlike any other.
Recommended tour: City tour that can be customised to suit your preferences.
Specialities: Chireta, turrón, migas; unique Aragonese flavours that define Zaragoza’s festive palate.
Where to stay: Hotel Inca is a popular hotel, located 2 minutes from the Christmas market.
Hotels near Zaragoza Christmas Market
For proximity to the Christmas market in Plaza del Pilar, staying in the historic centre of Zaragoza is advisable. This area is known as Casco Antiguo or the Old Town.
This area places you near the festive activities and offers easy access to the city’s main attractions. I’d recommend Hotel Inca for its popularity and its location near the Christmas market.
Location of Zaragoza Christmas Market
Recommended Walking and Food Tours
A city tour of Zaragoza is an excellent way to get into the city’s profound history and culture. With its majestic cathedrals, historic squares and remarkable architecture, Zaragoza warrants a visit, even in the colder months.
I recommend this city tour of Zaragoza as it allows you to see many of the city’s prime spots accompanied by a local guide at a reasonable cost. As it’s a private tour, you can customise it to see what interests you.
During a city tour, you’ll encounter some of Zaragoza’s most famous sites, including the iconic Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar, the striking La Seo Cathedral, and the grand Aljafería Palace.
Alternatively, think about taking on a food tour to immerse yourself in the local culture via their cuisine. Food tours are gaining traction, and I suggest giving one a try if feasible.
For a well-researched overview of the best Christmas markets in Spain, check out my guide, tailored to give you the key insights and locations for an optimal festive experience this winter.
Christmas in Zaragoza
Christmas Specialties in Zaragoza
Chireta: A traditional Aragonese dish, chireta is a stuffed lamb intestine with rice and meat, usually seasoned with garlic and parsley. It’s often boiled and has a distinct, savoury flavour unique to the region. While it may sound unusual to those unfamiliar, it’s a cherished festive favourite in Zaragoza.
Turrón: Hailing from Spain, turrón is a sweet nougat made of honey, sugar, and egg white, with toasted almonds or other nuts. It comes in various textures, with the Jijona (soft) and Alicante (hard) varieties being the most popular. During Christmas, it’s a staple in most Spanish households and stalls.
Polvorones: These crumbly shortbread cookies are flavoured with almonds and are a classic Spanish Christmas treat. They melt in your mouth, leaving a buttery and slightly sweet aftertaste.
Glühwein: Borrowed from German Christmas markets, glühwein is a warm, spiced red wine, often enjoyed with a slice of orange or lemon. It’s perfect for warming up on a cold winter’s day and is found in various European Christmas markets.
Roasted Chestnuts: A universally loved Christmas market snack, roasted chestnuts are both sweet and nutty. They’re roasted over open flames and served in paper cones, offering warmth and a festive aroma.
Potato Pancakes: Crispy on the outside and soft inside, usually served with apple sauce or garlic sauce. A favourite in various Christmas markets, they’re a hearty snack for those chilly evenings.
Marzipan Figures: Crafted from almond paste, sugar, and egg, these intricate figures are not only delicious but also showcase the artistic skills of the stallholders. Often shaped like animals or Christmas symbols, they add a touch of sweetness and festivity to your market experience.
Christmas Gifts and Stocking Fillers
Aragonese Ceramics: The region of Aragon, where Zaragoza is situated, has a rich tradition of ceramic-making. These ceramics, often hand-painted with intricate designs, range from decorative plates to ornamental figurines. They’re an authentic keepsake and make for a classic gift, representing the craftsmanship of local artisans.
Damascene Jewellery: Originating from the Moorish times, Damascene jewellery is characterised by its unique inlaid gold and silver designs on a dark background, typically iron or steel. While the technique is ancient, the designs can be both traditional and contemporary, making them versatile gifts for jewellery lovers.
Local Textiles: Zaragoza and its surrounding regions are known for producing high-quality textiles, particularly wool and linen products. Scarves, shawls, and blankets with distinct patterns are commonly found, providing both function and a touch of local flair.
Hand-carved Olive Wood: Aragon’s olive trees yield more than delicious olives and oil. Craftsmen create stunning items like kitchen utensils, bowls, and decorative pieces from olive wood. The wood’s unique grain patterns make each piece distinct.
Spanish Fans: Though more associated with summer, these fans are a traditional Spanish souvenir. Crafted from wood and fabric, they come adorned with various designs, from floral motifs to abstract patterns, capturing the essence of Spanish artistry.
Spanish Saffron: As one of the world’s most prized spices, Spanish saffron is a treat for food enthusiasts. Packaged in decorative tins or boxes, it’s an ideal stocking filler for those who love to cook or appreciate gourmet ingredients.
Caga Tió Figurines: A quirky Catalonian Christmas tradition, the Caga Tió is a wooden log with a painted face. Children “feed” it in the lead-up to Christmas and then “hit” it to receive gifts. These figurines can be a humorous and culturally rich souvenir.
Zaragoza Ornaments: These ornaments, often shaped like the city’s landmarks, such as the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar, are perfect for adding a touch of Zaragoza to your Christmas tree. They’re a subtle reminder of your festive visit to this historic city.
Handcrafted Soap: Made using traditional methods and natural ingredients, these soaps often come in fragrances representing the region, like lavender or olive. Beautifully packaged, they’re a practical and fragrant gift for loved ones.
Things to Do in Winter
I recommend checking out Spain Tourism for an updated list of city activities and things to do, as the local tourist office information in English isn’t that great.
Sustainable Christmas Tips
Here are some ways we can embrace responsible travel in Zaragoza this Christmas season:
Stay in Eco-Friendly Hotels: Zaragoza is home to several hotels committed to sustainability. Opting for accommodations that harness renewable energy sources, such as solar or wind power, reduces your carbon footprint and supports local businesses dedicated to protecting the environment.
Minimise Food Waste at Markets: The Christmas market in Zaragoza is a gastronomic delight. To reduce food waste, consider sharing larger portions with friends or family. Always order mindfully, basing decisions on appetite rather than impulse, ensuring that delicious local produce isn’t discarded.
Ethical Consumption: While the allure of Zaragoza’s market stalls is strong, make purchases with intention. By choosing to buy only what you truly love or can use, you contribute to a reduction in the overproduction of goods, ultimately limiting environmental strain and promoting ethical consumer practices.
Sustainable Diets: Zaragoza’s rich culinary scene offers a myriad of options. Prioritise local and seasonal produce when dining out or visiting food stalls. By consuming dishes made with ingredients sourced from nearby, you not only get a genuine taste of Zaragoza but also support the local economy and reduce carbon emissions associated with food transportation.
Opt for Sustainable Transport: Zaragoza is a wonderfully walkable city, especially around the festive Casco Antiguo area. When possible, explore on foot or rent a bicycle. For longer distances, the city’s public transport system, including buses and trams, is efficient and reduces the carbon impact compared to individual car journeys.
The dates for the Zaragoza Christmas Market are from 1st December 2023 to 7th January 2024.
You’ll find the Christmas Market in the heart of the city, specifically at Plaza del Pilar in the Casco Antiguo area. This is the huge main square in the Old Town.
The Christmas market opens 11am to 2pm and 4pm to 10pm. It’s closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
Winter in Zaragoza typically sees temperatures ranging from 3°C to 12°C, so it’s advisable to pack warm clothing.
Zaragoza tends to draw more visitors during the Christmas festivities, especially in the Casco Antiguo area, where the Christmas market is held. However, the city has plenty of spaces to explore, ensuring everyone can enjoy their visit without feeling overcrowded.
If you would like to leave a review of Zaragoza Xmas Market, comment below.
Note that the English spelling Saragossa isn’t used much these days, so you won’t find much information if you’re looking for Saragossa Christmas Market.
Recommendations are independently chosen based on personal travel experiences and extensive research. This post contains affiliate links to hotels and tours in Zaragoza, Spain. This means I get a small commission from any bookings at no extra cost to you.