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Barcelona In December

Barcelona in December – Weather, Reasons to Visit, Things to See & Do, and More!

by Christian Petzold - updated December 14, 2023

Get ready for the holidays in Barcelona!

Barcelona is a beautiful city that’s perfect for those wanting to experience the winter holiday season. With its cool buildings and brilliant Christmas lights, a visit will put you in the spirit of holidays, especially when you need it most. The food, culture and people are all waiting to welcome you with open arms.

What more could you want? Great cities don’t just come around every day! And Barcelona in December is no exception as it offers visitors an enchanting holiday experience unlike any other. So, pack your bags, get on a plane, and get ready because we’ve got everything you need to know about visiting this historic city!

Exploring the Magic of Barcelona in December

Barcelona in December, a city renowned for its vibrant culture and stunning architecture, transforms into a winter wonderland. This month offers a unique experience, blending festive joy with the city’s rich historical essence. From the Gothic Quarter’s medieval charm to the modernist marvels of Antoni Gaudí, December in Barcelona is a time of celebration, reflection, and architectural wonder.

The Gothic Quarter: A Medieval Wonderland in Barcelona in December

Strolling through the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona in December is like walking into a medieval fairytale. The narrow, winding streets of Barcelona in December are adorned with festive decorations, leading you to the iconic Barcelona Cathedral. This area, steeped in history, exudes a magical atmosphere during the winter month, making it a must-visit for anyone in Barcelona in December.

Festive Markets and Celebrations in Barcelona in December: Christmas and New Year’s Eve

Barcelona in December’s Christmas market scene is vibrant and lively. The markets, such as the one near the Barcelona Cathedral, offer an array of festive goods, from traditional Catalan Christmas decorations to handcrafted gifts. Not to be missed is the unique Catalan tradition of ‘Caga Tió,’ a whimsical part of the local Christmas celebration in Barcelona in December.

As December progresses in Barcelona, the city gears up for New Year’s Eve. The streets, especially around Plaça Catalunya and Las Ramblas, come alive with music, dance, and fireworks in Barcelona in December, offering a spectacular welcome to the new year. The Barcelona weather in December, typically marked by clear skies and mild daytime temperatures, adds to the enjoyment of these outdoor festivities. However, it’s wise to carry warm clothes for the cooler evenings in Barcelona in December.

Gaudí’s Architectural Splendors in December Light in Barcelona

December is perhaps the best time to explore the architectural masterpieces of Antoni Gaudí in Barcelona. Park Güell, with its whimsical designs and panoramic views of the city, is especially enchanting under the clear winter sky of Barcelona in December. Casa Batlló and Casa Mila, dressed in their festive best in Barcelona in December, offer a glimpse into Gaudí’s unique vision, further enriching the Barcelona experience in December.

Barcelona’s Sporting and Cultural Highlights in December

For sports enthusiasts, a visit to Camp Nou in Barcelona in December, home to FC Barcelona, is a thrilling experience. The stadium has a special ambiance in early December, buzzing with excitement and energy in Barcelona.

Culturally, Barcelona doesn’t slow down in December. El Born and Santa Maria del Mar are hubs for local arts and crafts in Barcelona in December, perfect for finding unique Christmas gifts. The nativity scene, a key part of Barcelona’s Christmas tradition in December, is displayed in various locations, including the Barcelona Cathedral and Plaça Sant Jaume.

Barcelona in December: Practical Tips

To make the most of your December visit in Barcelona, consider getting the Barcelona Card, which offers free public transport and discounts at major attractions. Also, remember that Christmas Day and Sant Esteve (December 26) are public holidays in Barcelona, and many shops and restaurants may be closed in Barcelona in December.

Barcelona in December is a blend of festive cheer, historical exploration, and architectural admiration. Whether you’re wandering through the Gothic Quarter, experiencing the lively Christmas markets, or admiring Gaudí’s creations, Barcelona in this winter month offers an unforgettable experience. With merry Christmas spirits in the air and a lineup of cultural festivities, Barcelona in December is truly a celebration of the city’s heart and soul.

December Weather in Barcelona

December Weather In Barcelona

One thing to consider is the amount of precipitation. In December, rainfall tends to be around 28 mm, making for a slightly below-average amount of precipitation. However, you can expect this number to be even higher during January and February.

Winter brings on occasional rain, but they are not extreme by any means. 

Here are average temperatures found in each month from November through January:

  • November: 14C/57.2F
  • December: 14C/57.2F
  • January: 13/55.4F

Reasons to Visit Barcelona in December

Traveling to Barcelona in December is usually associated with the sun, sand, sangrias, and a few things in between. Yes, summer by the Mediterranean is something special. 

But Barcelona in December is way more than that. Actually, for many, traveling to Barcelona in December is also very interesting in winter, when the attractions aren’t so crowded, and the tickets and fees don’t cost that much. 

Also, compared to other European cities, Barcelona’s temperature in December doesn’t go and stays very low, so winter can still be super pleasant for outdoor activities.

Wonderful Weather

December is a good time to organize a trip to Barcelona, as it offers visitors the chance to witness some of the most enchanting sights this historic city has to offer. While still colder than most people are used to, the weather is not so extreme that outdoor activities like visiting museums or Barcelona’s parks and beaches are off-limits. 

With fewer tourists in December, it only means reduced prices on everything from attractions to hotels in Barcelona. Finally, Christmas lights and holiday events like ice skating make December one of the best times of year for families who want both peace and excitement in Barcelona!

Delicious Food

Barcelona is one of the most diverse cities when it comes to its cuisine. The melting pots of Spanish and Mediterranean influences have made this city a world-class feast for the mouth! Foodies can find themselves in culinary heaven during the holiday season because some seasonal dishes are already on the menu!

Mediterranean Cuisine

Sightseeing At Its Best

December presents a beautiful, quiet time to explore Barcelona’s iconic sights. Festivals like Fira de Santa Llúcia and Els Pastorets are happening in December, but most of the tourist attractions aren’t as crowded as in summer. This is one of the best times to explore Barcelona in winter, where you can enjoy some peace and still have amazing experiences!

Exciting Christmas and New Year

Christmas in Barcelona is a sight to behold. The streets are filled with people. There are chains of Santas from all around Catalonia on their way to the Cathedral of Santa Maria. Christmas decorations line the streets, and the shops and marketplaces are all decorated as well. They have also added an element of traditional Catalan culture by parading performers through the streets dressed in Liceu, Fustiana, or Andalusian dancewear and music from the Renaissance era.

Parade of the Three Kings

The Three Kings Parade is a nighttime parade celebrating the three wise kings who visited baby Jesus after his birth. It’s customary for children to dress up in costumes and follow the procession around the city streets, singing songs and scattering rosemary so that “doors and windows would smell sweet.”

The nighttime parade is traditionally composed of people carrying lanterns, including those bearing gigantic figures of one or more kings on the top. These “kings” wear tall hats that are often illuminated with small lightbulbs inside, and are worth watching, especially if your little ones are with you. 

Better Prices (More Discounts and Promotions)

December is a great time to shop in Barcelona. Cheaper than other seasons, there are also more discounts and promotions to be found! For example, the shopping center of La Rambles opens on December 23rd and stays open until January 2nd. That’s three whole weeks of shopping for those looking for some holiday cheer! In addition, the shops here stay open late into the night all week long so you will never have a problem finding what you’re looking for during your trip.

Shopping Center Of La Rambles

December in Barcelona Offers Free Activities

Enjoy the Ajuntament in Barcelona in December

The Ajuntament is a theater that opened in the year 1895 and was originally known as the “Casa Lliure,” which means free house. During wintertime, there are plenty of shows that happen at the Ajuntament with shopping specials happening during the daytime, so many take advantage of discounts for these performances! 

In December, the Ajuntament is screening films all night long and offers free admission, where you can enjoy screenings of films outdoors with a spectacular 360-degree view of the Barcelona nightscape.

Ajuntament Theater

Diada de Tradicions in the Cathedral of Barcelona in December

The Diada de Tradicios in the Cathedral of Barcelona is a cultural and historical event that commemorates the day that La Catedral de Barcelona was consecrated. For centuries, the tradition has been going on from November 30th to December 2nd, with an 8 PM mass held on December 1st. For this special occasion, you can attend with your family or friends at the entrance of La Catedral de Barcelona (Carrer Montcada) from November 30th to December 2nd, 8 PM. You’re really lucky if they are giving away free fried doughnuts!

Christmas Lights in Barcelona

Christmas is coming, and the same goes for Christmas lights in Barcelona. There’s nothing like walking through this magical city, admiring the lights, and getting lost in its beauty. One of the things that I love about traveling here is that you have to escape from reality for a moment, especially during this season of joy!

Christmas Enlightenments

Things to See and Do in Barcelona During Winter

Christmas is a unique and magical time of the year. In Barcelona, although not as widely celebrated as in other places like Paris, Christmas has its flavor. The city offers so many things to do during the holiday season that it’s hard for anyone to not be able to find something they love! Here are some things you can do in Barcelona during the holiday season:

Enjoy the Ice Rink

Ice Rink In Barcelona 1

The ice rink in Barcelona is fun and exciting. You can do many things at the ice rink – you can skate with friends, skate by yourself, or even try curling! It’s a really fun thing to do in Barcelona and the perfect way to spend a day, especially if it’s raining outside and you’re looking for some fun indoor activity. 

  • Prices: EURO15- EURO20
  • Location: C/Arístides Mallol 12 (main Access 15) and Av. De Joan XVIII ( Boulevard Access 9), 08028 Barcelona
  • Time:  Monday and Thursday at 10:00 AM-2:00 PM. Friday at 10:00 AM-2:00 PM. Saturday, Sunday, and Holidays at 11:00 AM-2:00 PM

Experience Harbour Swim

The harbor swim is the perfect activity to do during the winter season in Barcelona. It’s a sport that is practiced year-round, but this is a great opportunity to experience it for yourself for those who are visiting. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, wear your birthday suit!

Parco de la Bonanova

For those who love Christmas trees like me, I recommend taking a walk through the park and admiring the beautiful tree lighting and taking pictures of all of them! There are also many events happening at Parco de la Bonanova during December, including live music and theatre performances. 

Fira de Nadal de la Sagrada Familia

The Christmas Festival of the Sagrada Familia is a week-long event centered around the most spectacular place to visit at this time of year: La Sagrada Familia. The festival includes live music and dance performances, different kinds of crafts, and, as a bonus for any visitors arriving from afar, sometimes they are offering free transportation for those who come on December 24th or 25th.”

Get a Taste of Every Barcelona Cuisine

Make sure to try all the different cuisines in Barcelona. One of the most popular, authentic, and delicious Catalan dishes is a plate of tapas.

 Moreover, a traditional Catalan preparation consists of roasted or fried red peppers, olives, and anchovies. All these ingredients are served atop a small mini-flatbread or oatcake that is dipped in olive oil before being popped into one’s mouth.

Tapas Barcelona

Visit Museums and Historic Sites

Museums are a great way to spend time with family and friends during the holidays. If you’re searching for a new experience that will make you feel like you’re traveling in time, visit the Museum Marítim! This museum is different than others because it has an incredible setting. It’s not a familiar tourist spot, but ask a locale away, and they’ll show you the way to Barcelona’s port. I highly recommend going as soon as possible before everything closes for Christmas!

 

Three Kings Parade

This event, which was initially held in the 16th century when it was founded as an act of resistance against the mistreatment of Sant Jordi, is now a big annual parade that takes place on Epiphany. It’s a traditional celebration and Barcelona’s most popular festivity.

This festive ceremony starts with a beautiful display of fireworks and ends with three ladies dressed in green carrying a statue of baby Jesus at the top. Fireworks and lots of fun follow this! The event is usually considered to follow Spain’s Christmas traditions perfectly!

Countdown to New Year’s Eve with the Locales

In Barcelona, there are a lot of celebrations that take place at this time of the year. One of the most popular celebrations is New Year’s Eve. The city has created some very innovative and fun activities for people to enjoy during this celebration.

Countdown To New Years Eve

For those who don’t mind being surrounded by large crowds, I suggest going to one of Barcelona’s most famous squares: Plaza de Catalunya and Plaza Reial, where they have also held events. There you’ll be able to find food like boiled noodles with tomato sauce or potato pancakes in addition to watching fireworks up close!

For those who want something more intimate, I would recommend going to Plaça Sant Jaume, there is less crowd, and it also has live music.

Wine Up! Have Fun and Drink More!

Barcelona is neighbors with the two best wine regions: The Penedès and the Priorat. Although a lot of people choose to travel to Barcelona in summer, winter is when good wines make sense. What’s a greater way to relax than a fireplace for a cold day & great wine tasting in the countryside? Just choose your favorite Spanish trails for a wine tour, or come with us in a wine-extended getaway!

“In all honesty, there’s no doubt in visiting Barcelona in December! The weather and activities are perfect. There are different ways to explore the city that won’t make you go crazy. There is also a unique variety of places to visit and things to try.”

“You know what they say: do as the locals do!”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Did you know?

A fun fact about traveling to Barcelona in December is that the city is known for its creative and artistic approach to Christmas decorations. Barcelona takes its holiday illuminations to another level by incorporating designs that are not only festive but also uniquely artistic.

Many of the city’s main streets, such as Passeig de Gràcia and La Rambla, are adorned with stunning and imaginative light displays that transform the streets into enchanting, illuminated corridors. These decorations often feature intricate and colorful designs that showcase Barcelona’s commitment to blending art and celebration during the holiday season.
So, when you visit Barcelona in December, you’ll not only experience the festive spirit of Christmas but also be treated to a visual feast of artistic and creative holiday decorations that make the city even more magical during this time of year.

The people of Barcelona have fun on Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, and Epiphany. In addition, the city has an adrenaline-fueled celebration for New Year’s Eve – La nit lla. So, what does that mean for you? It means you should join them!

Here are interesting travel guides to Barcelona that will help you get the most out of your trip. Visit our website to read more articles sure to excite you.

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