Christmas is perhaps the most traditional and family-orientated festivity celebrated in Spain and it lasts until January 6.

As early as the beginning of December, the capital city of Spain comes alive with eye-catching festive lights adorning the large plazas, and musical statues lighting up the streets and buildings.

I visited Madrid in December to find out why the city was renowned for its incredible Christmas markets – and I did not leave disappointed.

Each year as Christmas rolls around, popular and monumental squares in Madrid turn into beautiful festive markets.

The Christmas market in Plaza de España was exceptionally beautiful. Equipped with a large ice rink, plenty of food and drink stalls, and Christmas gifts to browse, I knew I could purchase plenty of presents for friends and family, during my visit.

Plaza de España, a 70,000m² area, underwent remedial work and reopened a couple of years ago to become one of the newest tourist attractions in the city.

Located at the end of the Gran Vía, it has been pedestrianised which makes it perfect for Christmas shoppers to wander through, and it even contains a playpark for children. Despite the cool weather, many families enjoyed playing on the swings and adventure parks within the square.

Staying within close proximity to Plaza de España, I was lucky enough to experience the Christmas Market in the daytime and the evening and watch the glittering lights dazzle in the evening.

The variety of the lights and the detailing captured my attention, with the festive decorations depicting traditional Christmas figures such as the three wise men and the camels ridden by the three kings.

I was seduced by the Christmas spirit and food options available at the market, which you often can’t find in Christmas markets in the UK, which normally offer pizzas or hot dogs.

Chocolatería San Ginés has over 125 years of history in Madrid, is one of the oldest chocolate shops in the capital. They had set up an impressive stall within the Christmas market which had queues constantly from day to night.

There were options to buy six churros with thick, rich chocolate, or deals to buy churros with a hot cup of coffee. The churros were hot, crisp, with the perfect amount of sugar dusting.

The main shop is tucked away near another square, Plaza Mayor, but a special stall had opened to cater to more chocolate loving fans.

In the queues to sample the delicacy, I spoke to people from Britain, France and Germany who had all heard about the famous chocolate shop in Madrid and were desperate to try the crisp dough.

Tapas were plentiful, as were empanadas, selections of cheese, tortillas, and traditional sweets, all which looked incredibly tasty.

Stalls tempted visitors with exquisite items that looked really expensive but were reasonably priced ranging from as cheap as €5. Pottery, children’s festive clothing and home decorations could be found on every corner.

One stall in particular sold beautiful festive plates all hand-painted in blues, reds and yellows, with some containing intricate designs. I thought they would make perfect additions to a Christmas dinner or festive party back home.

Christmas markets in Madrid bring together hundreds of craft specialists from all over Spain to promote their work and local designs or products including ceramicists, potters, costume jewellers, leather workers and engravers.

Although the markets felt both busy, festive, and action-packed, they felt extremely safe. There were many families with young children out late at night, but the atmosphere was collected and calm.

I couldn’t help but compare the festive spirit to places such as Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park where it can often be rowdy, and at times, alcohol-fuelled.

Christmas markets in Madrid felt more traditional, with more interesting gastronomic proposals, with light and sound shows. It also felt pet-friendly and families were shopping with their four-legged companions.

Overall, it was an enchanting visit, and the markets are suitable for young children and adults of all ages. I would definitely recommend enjoying the magic of Christmas with your loved ones in Madrid if you get a chance, like I did.