Sprinkled with colorful decorations, living nativity scenes, and joyous Christmas markets, Barcelona is brimming with life during winter. Mediterranean as it is, the city has all the right ingredients for a perfect cold weather getaway: cool vibes, delicious food, glorious architecture, and big blue skies to top it all off.
Additionally, there are world-class museums, cozy cafés, classy shopping boutiques, as well as lots of seasonal activities to get you in the holiday spirit.
To enjoy winter by the sea in true Catalan fashion, rent a stylish apartment in Barcelona that puts you in the middle of everything, and get a taste of the local life by partaking in typical activities and visiting the city’s delightful winter attractions.
Fira de Santa Llúcia
The biggest and most famous Christmas market in Barcelona, Fira de Santa Llúcia lures visitors to the Old Town with its holiday themed activities and festive wooden stalls selling anything, from original handmade decorations and nativity scene accessories to lush plants and traditional musical instruments. The centuries-old market is set up each season in the square outside Barcelona’s striking Gothic cathedral.
Aire de Barcelona
There’s no better way to recover after a day shopping and sightseeing around the city than with a warm, steamy bath under the brick vaults of Aire de Barcelona. Housed in a former warehouse, in the Gothic Quarter, this gorgeous candlelit spa revives the ancient Roman and Arab bathing rituals with a variety of pools at different temperatures. In addition to hot, cold, and flotation basins, there’s also a red wine bath, a scented steam room, as well as a collection of treatments and rituals featuring luxurious oils, organic cosmetics, and purifying pink Himalayan salt.
Pedralbes Ice Rink
One of Barcelona’s most charming seasonal attractions, the Pedralbes Centre ice rink adds a lovely wintry touch to the arty, Mediterranean cityscape. Inspired by The Rink at Rockefeller Center in NYC, the beloved outdoor facility is the first of its kind in the city, attracting over 9,000 visitors every year.
The playground is part of one of Barcelona’s most unique shopping malls – located in Les Corts neighborhood, and stays open from November 25th, 2017 to January 7th, 2018.
Festes de Santa Eulàlia
If you’re visiting the Catalan capital during February, don’t miss the Festes de Santa Eulàlia, Barcelona’s main winter festival. Celebrating one of the city’s patron saints, the 4-day event comprises a series of vibrant, colorful parades featuring Correfocs (Fire Runs), Castellers (Catalan Human Castles), and lots of peculiar giants roaming the streets of Ciutat Vella.
La Laia, as it is locally known, is primarily aimed for children, but given the rich cultural programme, with tons of activities, traditional music, and sardana dancers, adults will sure have a good time, too.
Christmas at Poble Espanyol
For the perfect day out in Barcelona this winter, look no further than Poble Espanyol. Adorned with festive garlands and ornaments, this open-air architectural museum at the foot of Montjuic turns into a Christmas wonderland during the holidays. Expect fabulous nativity scenes, themed workshops, wish trees, and a plethora of cozy Christmas stalls selling crafts, unique gifts, and delicious local foods.
Tibidabo Amusement Parkbarce
Charming old-fashioned rides and breathtaking city views make Parc d’Atraccions del Tibidabo one of Barcelona’s top child-friendly destinations. With haunted castles, roller coasters, a panoramic Ferris wheel, and lots of entertaining shows throughout the year, the fun never stops at this magical amusement park. Wintertime, however, brings a completely different experience, with Christmas puppet shows, street theater, creativity workshops, and special parties that fascinate both young and old.
Cabalgata de Reyes Magos
The first week of January is a wonderful time to visit Barcelona, as the city welcomes the Three Kings, who come from the east to bring gifts to children. They usually arrive by sea, on the evening of January 5th, and are greeted with much fanfare by Barcelona’s officials. After docking at Port Vell (at 4:30 PM), the Three Wise Men parade on strikingly decorated floats around the city to finally stop near the Magic Fountain of Montjuic at about 10:00 PM.
The procession, locally known as Cavalcada de Reis or Cabalgata de Reyes Magos, is a spectacular event, with dancers and musicians marching the streets in their bright costumes, and thousands of children waiting for sweets and small presents to be thrown along the 5 km route.