You plan to spend Christmas in Barcelona.
First of all, a great choice! The Catalan capital has a lot to offer, not to mention a brief meteorological respite from the cold and snow of most of France.
But how the heck can we plan the perfect vacation with limited hours, huge crowds, and even some creepy local traditions?
Easy, follow the guide!
Before your arrival to spend Christmas in Barcelona
- Get a discounted tourist card to save money and avoid lines.
- Make sure to buy your attraction tickets online in advance.
- Choose the right place to stay to minimize travel and hassle.
- Read my Barcelona travel guide for all the essential information.
- Plan your airport transfer in advance.
Weather in Barcelona at Christmas
The weather is rarely very cold, but if you are hoping to spend a few days at the beach, this is not the right time ...
The month of December brings maximum temperatures of 14 ° C and minimum temperatures of 5 ° C.
The average temperature on Christmas Day in Barcelona is 11 ° C.
You're going to have to take a Winter coat, a scarf and even a hat. That said, I never had to wear gloves or cover up too much. There is little cloudiness and a lot Salt and you should expect light showers every four days.
Still not sure before departure? Check this forecast site in Spanish in advance.
Visit Barcelona at Christmas
Christmas lights in Barcelona
You will find the main shopping street. Portal del'Angel fully illuminated. The most impressive Christmas decorations in Barcelona can be found in the Corte Inglés department store in Plaça de Catalunya.
Illuminations turn on on November 28 and go off on January 6.
The culture of Christmas shopping in Barcelona is not as pronounced as in France. In fact, the main period for the distribution of gifts is not Christmas Day, but theEpiphany ("The Kings") le 6 janvier.
If you are looking for good business shopping, remember that the post-Christmas sales begin on January 7. You will know this by looking at all the "rebajas" ("discounts") signs in the shop windows.
Cagatió te Caganer
Santa Claus is replaced here by a humanoid wooden log called caga Tio ("Uncle Shit"). Cagatio is a bit like a Christmas tree that we set up on December 8th.
Children should save things to eat for the trunk each night before going to bed. Parents then slowly replace the registry with larger versions to simulate the fat accumulating.
After 17 days, the very large version of the trunk is covered with a cloth (to hide the gifts) and beaten by children. The parents then remove the cloth to reveal a treasure trove of gifts that have been "spoiled."
There are also caganer (literally the "bitch"). Well, this popular Catalan Christmas character is typically a peasant with a red hat placed in the mangers. Making the great commission.
I'll let you read the Wikipedia page dedicated to Caganer to get your own idea.
Barcelona Christmas Market
Santa Lucia Market
You will find the main Christmas market in Barcelona right in front of the Barcelona Cathedral.
Christmas markets are held in this lively square (Pla Seu), in the historic Gothic Quarter, since at least 1786. Today it is a great place to buy local produce. crib figurines, Christmas trees and decorations, crafts and sweets.
It's a great place to buy your own Cagatio or even a Caganer (traditional or based on popular figures like Trump, Obama, Messi, etc.)
Dates: from November 29 to December 23.
Schedules: From 11:00 a.m. to 20:30 p.m. (weekdays) and from 10:30 a.m. to 21:30 p.m. (weekends and holidays). Weekends and holidays are: December 1, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 21 and 22.
Sagrada Familia Market
The smallest of Barcelona's Christmas markets is located on Avenida Gaudí, a few steps from the famous basilica of the Sagrada Familia. There you will find decorations, trees, plants, food (mostly sweets) and other crafts.
Dates: from November 23 to December 23.
Schedules: from 10:00 am to 21:XNUMX (weekdays) and until XNUMX:XNUMX pm (weekends and holidays).
Market of the Magi
You will find this Christmas market in Barcelona on the famous Gran Vía, between Muntaner and Calabria streets. To access this market, exit at the Universitat, Urgell or Rocafort metro stations.
Here you can find all the classics of the Christmas market such as decorations, crowns and even cagatios. What is remarkable about this market is the abundance of "xurrerie", small stalls that make churros with chocolate.
Dates: from December 19 to January 6.
Schedules: from 10:00 am to 21:00 pm (weekdays) and from 10:00 am to 23:00 pm on weekends and from 10:00 am to 3:00 am on January 5.
Old Port Market
This year, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the port of Barcelona, the city is organizing a new christmas market! It will take place in the Portal de la Pau, in front of the monument to Christopher Columbus at the end of La Rambla.
The style of this Christmas market will be traditional, with artisan products, decorations, food and gifts. It will also have a gastronomic space and a stage for glasses music and theater.
Un 31 meter tall tree will be installed, as well as a floating crib in Rambla de Mar. Something to surprise young and old!
Dates: from December 5 to January 5.
- from December 5 to 8; from December 13 to 15; from December 20 to January 5: 10 am to 00 pm
- from December 9 to 12; December 16 to 19 and December 25: 18:00 p.m. to midnight.
Store hours in December in Barcelona
First of all, let me tell you that there are always exceptions, so check with the merchants.
As a general rule, most stores in the center open between 9:30 am and 21:30 pm from Monday to Saturday. Stores and supermarkets are closed on Sundays, keep that in mind.
During the holidays, all stores are closed on December 25 and 26, as well as January 6 (epiphany). On Christmas Day and New Year's Eve, shops usually close early around 20:00 p.m.
The exeption? The only shopping center that you will find open on Sundays and San Esteban is the legendary MareMagnum, located at the foot of La Rambla, near the Drassanes metro station.
What to eat at Christmas in Barcelona?
Many attractions are closed on Christmas Day, but restaurants have their best deals on Christmas Day, so eat! If you are spending Christmas in Barcelona, try the following traditional dishes:
- la Escudella - a succulent Christmas stew made with chicken broth, vegetables, green beans and sausage. With spicy meatballs called pilotas and large pasta. Traditionally it is served in two parts: the soup and a meat dish.
- Meat cannelloni - normally made with meat from Christmas Day, you will find this stuffed pasta very similar to its Italian cousins but with less tomatoes and more béchamel sauce.
- Agramunt nougats - These pieces of local nougat, handmade, filled with chocolate, almonds, hazelnuts and more are a basic Catalan dessert at Christmas.
- Armhole - This sparkling white wine that rivals champagne in everything except price is the drink of choice.
I have compiled a list of the best restaurants in Barcelona for your viewing pleasure. If you get stuck, write me in the comments below with your special requests or dietary needs, like gluten free I'll find it!
Restaurants for Christmas in Barcelona
Closed on December 25th.
€€ | Neighborhood: Eixample | Calle Rosselló 164 | Metro: Diagonal (various) | website
I prefer your Mixed paella hypnotist (a type of land and sea), but even those who fear rice eat like royalty here by cutting their picanha meat: A grilled sirloin is perfection on a plate.
The atmosphere is Spanish and the waiters are the kindest de la ciudad.
On December 24 the usual paella menu will not be available, you can still order a la carte menu and reserve your table by clicking the blue button below. The restaurant is Closed on December 25 and January 1.
Closed on December 23 and 24, open on December 25 and 26.
€€ - €€€ | Neighborhood: Eixample | Calle Aribau 125 | Metro: Diagonal (various) | website
The Season Restaurant is one of the most sought-after restaurants of the moment, with a versatile culinary offer who goes from traditional to creativity, putting on the table only products of high quality.
In the Season menu, you will find a list of tapas gourmet (strong point) but also the highly sought after Paella and some vegetarian dishes. The restaurant will also be open on December 31 and for lovers of good food, this is the right place!
Closed on December 24, open on December 25 and 26.
€€€ | Neighborhood: La Rambla | Calle del Caputxins 37 | Metro: Liceu (L3) | Internet site
The Louro is probably the only restaurant I would go to on the famous Rambla. This is one of my favorite modern Spanish restaurants in the entire city.
La Galician cuisine rich in seafood, give it a touch creative and avant-garde with the added advantage of one of more concise and friendly services From the industry.
Smoked sardines, crispy octopus, the scallop gratin, the Galician beef tenderloin and the highly underrated squid sandwich is one of the highlights tonight. Without forgetting your exceptional cocktails like the blackberry mojito.
This is the perfect place for a romantic dinner or even with a large group; expect to pay € 30,00 per person.
As this restaurant is always very frequented, Configured a quick booking system directly with the restaurant.
By booking via the blue button below, you benefit from a reservation priority but also froma free glass of cava:
Always open during the Christmas period except January 1st.
€€€ | Quartier: Raval | Calle de in Bottella 13 | Metro: University (L1 / L2) | Internet site
If cooking is creativity, this restaurant in Barcelona has it all. Here you will find a modern version of the classic Galician dishes with a striking presentation. Try the crispy octopus and blackberry mojito.
Delicious desserts, simplistic decor, and soft lighting create a intimate atmosphere which makes it one of the perfect places for couples in Barcelona.
Unlike most restaurants, Arume is open during Christmas and offers the usual a la carte menu, a great way to avoid having to choose expensive Christmas menus! During the holidays it is only closed on New Years Day.
Land of Escudella
€€ | District: Santos | Calle de Premia 20 | Metro: Hostafrancs (L1) | website
This restaurant full of locals It is a great place to have a stew of escudella.
What is remarkable here is the unadorned local Catalan cuisine with an air ofauthenticity That we don't find in many other restaurants of the same type. The pilota meatballs here are excellent, as is the roast beef. If you don't like red meat, the seafood fideua is perfect.
The weekday lunchtime menu (3 courses + drink) is € 10,50.
Transport schedules from Barcelona to Christmas
On December 24, the metro closes at 23:00 pm and on New Year's Eve it runs all night. On Christmas Day, the subway runs from 5 am to 00 am. On the 2nd it is open from 00 am to noon.
As it falls on a Saturday, January 5, the subway is open all night.
All public buses in the Barcelona transport network do not change their schedule, except on Christmas Eve, the last buses leave at 22: XNUMX hours.
Standard tickets for a single zone cost 2,20€.
The Barcelona tourist bus does not operate on December 25 and January 1.
For other dates, remember that in winter the frequency of buses is reduced every 20-25 minutes about. The last bus departure from Plaça de Catalunya is at 19:XNUMX p.m. Be sure to check the exact times at each stop.
For your information: the green line does not run from November 4 to April 11.
Fortunately, the first transfer to the city's airport does not change its schedules. In December, it works between 5:00 a.m. and 00:30 a.m. each 5 to 10 minutes from Terminal 1 or Terminal 2 to the center and vice versa.
The total travel time takes 35 minutes.
Tickets cost € 5,90 (€ 10,20 round trip) and it is better to buy them online.
Barcelona attractions hours at Christmas
Barcelona Tourist Office
The Barcelona tourist office is closed on December 25 and January 1. You will not be available for Collect your Barcelona Card or Hola BCN discount card whenever these offices are closed.
If you arrive in Barcelona on Christmas Eve, you will have to arrive before 19:00 p.m. On the 31st you must arrive before 20:00 pm
On other days, businesses operate as usual with hours ranging from 8:30 am to 20:30 pm.
December brings limited hours to Barcelona's biggest tourist attraction.
On December 25 and 26, as well as January 1 and 6, the church is only open from from 9:00 a.m. to 14:00 p.m..
Due to the limited number of spots available, it is suggested that you reserve your general admission tickets online to guarantee your spot. As for the fantastic guided tour in French, it does not take place on December 25 and 26, nor on January 1 and 6.
Normal winter hours, with the exception of the days mentioned above, are from 9:00 a.m. to 18:00 p.m..
The beautiful urban park overlooking Barcelona is also subject to limited winter hours.
You can visit it between 8:30 am and 18:15 pm Christmas Day (last entry at 17 pm). Again, it is highly recommended that you book your ticket in advance to avoid long lines.
Can't seem to walk up the hill in the cold? Don't forget the transportation included with the ticket leaving near the metro Alphons X.
At Christmas, business continues as usual at this marine-inspired mansion. You can visit it between 9:00 am and 21:00 pm (last entry at 20:00 p.m.). During this busy tourist season, you will need to purchase your tickets online in advance to avoid the lines.
One of my favorite times of winter is spending the building dressed as a christmas tree.
Unfortunately, the Magic Nights on the Roof concert series does not take place in winter.
The "frozen" building of the famous Passeig de Gracia in Barcelona is closed on December 25. On New Year's Day, you can go between 11:00 am and 20:30 pm
During the holidays, from December 26 to January 3, the building is open from from 9:00 a.m. to 20:30 p.m. (last entry at 20:00 p.m.). After January 3, La Pedrera closes at 18:30 p.m. (last entry at XNUMX:XNUMX).
From December 26 to January 3, the night tours will run from 21:23 p.m. to XNUMX:XNUMX p.m.
The second largest association football stadium and headquarters of FC Barcelona is closed on Christmas day and new year's day.
Extended vacation hours are from 9:30 a.m. to 19:30 p.m. from December 16 to January 6. Please note that the tour portion is not available on match days. Check the schedules of the FC Barcelona matches to avoid problems.
It is strongly recommended that you purchase your tickets online in advance to avoid queues during the holidays.
This year, the Magic Fountain show is sadly not running on Christmas Day. However, it will present shows to the rhythm of Christmas music from mid-November to early January. See the Magic Fountain website for all the information.
On December 31 you will find special presentations for the new year. Although the theme has not yet been chosen, the show is scheduled to begin at 23:30 pm and end at 00:15 am.
The schedule from December to January 6 is from 20:00 a.m. to 21:00 p.m. (Thursday friday and saturday).
The shows do not take place from December 28 to December 31 to prepare for the New Years Eve show.
The fountain is then closed from January 7 to February 28 for maintenance work.
If you want to see the architecture of the 15 Spanish regions, you will be happy to know that you are in a place where the schedules do not change.
December 25 and January 1 open from 9:00 am to midnight. On Sunday, December 31, a great party for the new year is celebrated there.
The town's craft workshops and shops are open from 10 am to midnight in December.
From December 6 to 8, after December 21 to 29, Poble Espanyol shines the Christmas colors with live music, Christmas movies casa de santa claus, a gastronomic zone And several glasses to complete your visit. And as a novelty this year, can you put on your skates? Activities do not take place on December 25th.
All these activities are included with your entrance ticket., click the blue button below to get your discounted ticket:
La boqueria market
The best food market in the world is closed every Sunday, Christmas and the next day, as well as January 1 and 6.
During the rest of the holiday period, the opening hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 20:30 p.m..
An advice? Drink black pudding and beans au Pinocchio bar.
The largest Picasso museum in the world by number of works is closed on December 25 and January 1. On December 24 and 31, the hours are reduced by from 9:00 a.m. to 14:00 p.m..
On January 5 there are also limited hours from 9:00 a.m. to 17:00 p.m.
Joan Miró Foundation
The museum is closed on December 25 and 26.
From December 27 to 31, the foundation is open from 10:00 to XNUMX:XNUMX.
The Dalí Museum does not have specific holiday hours, but it is closed on December 24, 25 and January 1.
Le Children's Festival (Ciutat dels Somnis) returns for another year with many initiatives for children. Take place from December 27 to 30 and from January 2 to 4.
It will be held inside the Montjuic Fairgrounds, in Plaça d'Espanya (Espanya metro, red line L1 or green line L3) and last year it was held from 10:00 to XNUMX:XNUMX. Since I've never been there, I'll let you decide for yourself whether you're interested or not.
Entry costs € 8 (free for children under 4 years old).
If you also have time, take a tour of Piazza Sant Jaume because there is always a beautiful nursery.
This year giant cradle is an assortment of boxes of all sizes filled with Christmas items and decorations. The manger is made up of two parts, one side where you can see the inside of the boxes and their objects and the other side offers a view of a city with buildings with illuminated windows.
Installation takes place from the end of November to January 6.
More information in the comments below.
If you are spending Christmas in Barcelona and you still need information, feel free to ask me your questions in the comments below. Any question, no matter how strange, will it be answered in 24 hours?
Also, don't be afraid to join the discussion of events in Barcelona on my new Facebook group called “For City Lovers”. Here you can ask questions, voice your complaints, chat with other travelers and more - anything goes!