Winter in Barcelona is anything but boring.
Mild weather, less tourists and a host of winter activities to suit all ages. It’s time to enjoy the winter delights that the big city has to offer. There are plenty of things to do in Barcelona in winter! From parks, art, tradition and history – it will be difficult to get bored in this city.
So, in no particular order, here is our list of our top choices of things to do in Barcelona in the winter.
1. Dream of a White Christmas
– Christmas lights
Starting end of November, Barcelona shopping streets are decorated with sparkling Christmas lights and the stores are prepared for all the gift hunters that need to finish their Christmas shopping. Shopping always feels a little bit more authentic in the dark and under glittering lights.
– Xtmas markets
Christmas markets make their appearance at the beginning of December and offer charming crafts and beautiful Christmas decorations, not to mention the festive atmosphere created. All that you need to decorate and prepare your home for Christmas.
- Fira de la Sagrada Família – Facing the emblematic church designed by Antoni Gaudí, discover nearly a hundred stalls with everything you need to decorate your home this Christmas.
- Fira de Santa Llucia: Cathedral and surroundings. Starting on November 27 it is the most popular Barcelona’s Christmas market (its origins go back to the 18th Century!). You will find all you need to decorate your Christmas tree together with Nativity scene figurines of all styles and manners. It gets really busy but it’s worth the visit. Do not leave without buying a «caganer«.
– Cabalgata de Reyes (The Three Kings Parade)
We have no Santa Claus coming down the chimney. The Three Kings (or the 3 Wise Men), Melchior, Gaspar and Balthasar arrive every January 5 with presents for all children (and not so children) that have been good during the year. The arrival is marked by a magnificent parade that starts at the bottom of Las Ramblas and continues through the main downtown streets. The parade in itself is a great show but the faces of the children watching is priceless. The following day (6 January) is a holiday.
2. Indulge yourself
– Hot Chocolate
Eating a paella at the Barceloneta area on a sunny winter day is something that can light the rest of the cold days of winter to come. But the star of the season is hot chocolate with churros.
This snack will boost your energy levels and warm up your body & soul after a busy day visiting the city. Here is a list of the best places to get this unmissable treat in Barcelona.
– Go Shopping
Barcelona, as all great European cities, is an important commercial center at the forefront of change and, at the same time, keepers of tradition. Barcelona offers a wide range of commercial establishments: cutting edge, famous labels, fine craft, traditional firms with a hundred year’s experience, big department stores…
From the posh shops at Passeig de Gràcia to the flea market of Encants Vells, January 7 is the day to throw open the doors. Sales officially start and prices can go down by 70%.
Want a recomendation?
The Born area is a must: style trendy shops in the heart of Barcelona, right next to the Gothic Quarter.
3. Be a culture buff
– Opera Season
Verdi’s Othello, Donizeti’s Lucia de Lamermoor, a masterpiece of Pau Casals. As the Gran Teatre del Liceu says «Classical Music from Barcelona to the World».
– Art Exhibitions
- La Pedrera: Modernisme: Art, Workshops and Industries. This exhibition pays tribute to the blacksmiths, carpenters, plasterers, goldsmiths, tailors, ceramists, and designers of posters, tiles and furniture, who built the Modernisme style.
- Fundació Miró: Miró and the Object. A monographic exhibition that discussed the role of the object in the work of Joan Miró. Not to be missed if you are a fan of this great XX Century painter.
- Picasso Museum: Picasso i els Reventos. This temporary exhibition . Portraits, illustrated letters and engravings that are not normally displayed will be exhibited in the Museum, showing the close relation established between Pablo Picasso and this Barcelonian family over almost a century.
- MNAC – On top of its uncomparable romanic permanent collection, there’s a special exhibition on Barroque still natures. Still lives from the Spanish Golden Age will be running until February 28
4. Go for a Walk
– Ramble the Ramblas
What more can we tell you about one of the most famous streets of Barcelona? It’s popular for tourists and locals alike. It stretches for almost a mile connecting Plaça Catalunya with the Colombus Monument at the Old Port.
– Visit a Park
The best way to beat the winter blues and get the blood pumping. Wrap up warm and visit one of the many parks Barcelona has to offer. It is free, relaxing and at the same time refreshing. You can find more information about parks in Barcelona here.
5. Enjoy Barcelona’s Winter Festivals
– Santa Eulalia: February 12 (the Saint’s feast day) kicks off a whole week of activities and events. The Ajuntament and the Cathedral crypt (where the saint is buried) are free and open to the public.
– Carnival: The celebrations begin on Dijous Gras (Mardi Gras) with the appearance of potbellied King Carnestoltes – the masked personification of the carnival spirit – followed by a grand weekend parade, masked balls, food fights and a giant botifarrada (sausage barbecue) on La Rambla.
What do you like to do in Barcelona when the temperature plummets? Let us know by leaving a comment below or get in touch with us on Facebook.