Spain on a public holiday can be a lonely place - shops close, transport is almost non-existent and many of the activities you want to do may be impossible.
If you came to this page from a search engine and were looking for Spanish holidays in the sense of vacations, see this link: Spanish Holidays. Alternatively, there is plenty of information on this site for if you're planning your holiday.
Spanish Public Holidays
Scroll down to the bottom of the page for a list of public holidays in Spain.
In addition to Spain's national holidays, there are numerous local holidays that might affect your trip to a particular city.
What is a 'Puente'?
If a holiday falls on a Tuesday or Thursday, many businesses will take the Monday or Friday off too. This is known as a 'puente', a 'bridge' between the holiday and the weekend. Sometimes, if the holiday falls on a Wednesday, staff may take both Monday and Tuesday off.
Sundays and Mondays in Spain
Sundays in general are also a bad time to get anything done in Spain. Different Autonomous Communities have different laws regarding shopping on a Sunday - in Madrid, for example, the shops are open on the first Sunday of a month and closed on the rest of the them. Most regions are more relaxed regarding Sunday opening in December.
Big shops like El Corte Inglés and FNAC often open on public holidays (though not on Sundays and not on Workers' Day - May 1).
Museums and other activities aimed at tourists may have their weekly closed day on Monday instead. Bars and cafes will usually have either Sunday or Monday off, but some might capitalise on
Summer Closing in Spain
The month of August, particularly in bigger cities, is a popular time for businesses to take a vacation and you will often find stores and restaurants to be closed for the whole of the month. Madrid and Seville are especially bad for this. Considering the heat in summer in these cities, you're better avoiding them anyway. Read more in this blog post on Madrid in summer
While on the subject of businesses being closed, remember the Siesta in Spain, while still affects the opening times of shops and companies.
List of National Spanish Public Holidays
For details of local holidays in Spain, take a look at this Calendar of Events in Spain
- January 1 New Year's Day.
- January 6 Epiphany.
- Week Before Easter Semana Santa - the later in the week you get, the more likely things will be closed - with Thursday, Friday and Sunday the most affected. Easter Monday is not a public holiday, except in Catalonia and Valencia.
- May 1 Workers' Day.
- August 15 Assumption of the Virgin.
- October 12 National Day.
- November 1 All Saints' Day
- December 6 Constitution Day
- December 8 Immaculate Conception
- December 24 Navidad. Christmas Eve (Night) is far more important than Christmas Day in Spain. Shops may close early on Christmas Eve, though most will be open in the morning. Read more about Christmas in Spain.