11 things to do in the winter of Barcelona
Barcelona in the winter
Are you coming to Barcelona in December, January or February? Not sure what to do in these months? Not to worry! We have you covered in this article.
You can leave your bulky, arctic jacket at home, as Barcelona is usually sunny and pleasant in the winter. The average temperature in December is 14 degrees with 14 days of rain.
In January, the average temperature drops by 1 degree and there is one day less of rain. The chances for snow are slim, as the January average is too warm.
February´s average temperature rises back to 14 degrees with even less days of rain.
Fancy a swim? Perhaps this sounds crazy in the winter, however the Mediterranean Sea does not get that much cooler than the air in winter. The average for December is 17.7, while in January and February it is between 13.1-13.4 C.
1. La Fira de Santa LLùcia
Celebrating its 232th birthday, La fira de Santa Llùcia starts to enchant the city with Christmas magic on November 30th.
The first edition of this Christmas market took place in 1786, which makes it the oldest fair dedicated to Christmas in Barcelona.
Perhaps you are surprised that Barcelona has a Christmas market, but it is a popular attraction for locals and tourists, tucked into the historic centre of Barcelona.
Boasting 285 wooden stalls, the market is absolutely worth spending some of your time exploring and soaking in the holiday spirit.
Authentic and handmade Christmas decorations may be the perfect gift for friends and family or perhaps for spicing up your own tree at home.
Traditional Spanish music instruments and jewellery as well as food and drinks round out the market, making it suitable for anyone to delight in and find something special.
Shopping and eating are only a part of the fun with this vibrant market.
Singers, dancers and a parade add a wonderful flair to La fira de Santa Llùcia, really warming the atmosphere and Christmas vibe. The activities are normally Christmas related and most are excellent for the whole family.
You can visit the Christmas Market from the 30th of November till the 23th of December, in front of the Gothic Cathedral in the historic city centre of Barcelona.
On working days, it is open from 11:00 till 20:30.
On the weekends and on holidays La Fira de Santa Llucia is open from 10:00 till 21:30.
2. Visit the Magic Fountain
A colourful display that lights up the sky and brightens your evening is none other than the Magic Fountain. It is located at the bottom of the Montjuic mountain, close to Placa Espanya.
The Magic Fountain, or in Spanish Font màgica, features a spectacular show with water, lights and music. Barcelona´s warm climate means travellers and locals are mesmerized by this fountain for many months of the year.
Each night you have 2 shows to choose from, both featuring different music styles. For example, one show could play the hits of today while the next show may have you dancing with the fountain to 80´s hits.
Christmas time means there are more shows and of course you will hear the classic Christmas songs.
For the best view of the Magic Fountain, arrive early, as it does get crowded. Some great spots to sit are on the steps in front of the MNAC museum and the pedestrian bridge on the Placa Espanya side.
From the 1st of December until the 6th of January, you can enjoy the fantastic show of the Magic Fountain every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 20:00 till 21:00. (It is free!)
The fountain is closed from the 7th of January till the 28th of February.
3. Go on a trip to Montserrat
Montserrat is Barcelona’s most popular day trip destination. Montserrat is famous for its breath-taking views and the religious importance.
Many tours take visitors to this impressive mountain. Some recommended options are: The Easy Montserrat Tour and the Montserrat Food and Wine tour.
With the Easy Montserrat Tour you will enjoy a fully guided tour at the mountain and a journey on the rack railway to the top of the Montserrat mountain.
From here you can see the incredible landscape and feel in awe of this beauty in nature, away from the bustling noise of the city.
With the Montserrat Food & Wine tour you will experience a guided tour at the Montserrat mountain. After you take your tour and learn more about this famous destination, get excited for a multicourse meal at a local restaurant.
It doesn´t stop there!
After your gorgeous meal, you have the pleasure of visiting a wine cellar. You will also taste why Catalonia is known for its luscious wines, as you taste local wines during your wine cellar visit.
4. Go ice skating at Pedralbes Centre
Ice skating in Barcelona?! Yes, this is possible! Why not go outdoor skating with palm trees as your backdrop?
Right at the Pedralbes Centre, there is a shopping centre located at Avinguda Diagonal. Along with its fabulous shops and restaurants, there is also an ice rink where you can spin around on ice in this Mediterranean jewel of a city.
This ice rink is completely outdoors and inspired by Rockefeller Center in New York, which makes it an amazing winter activity for kids as well as adults.
The ice rink will be opened at Pedralbes Centre from the 25th of November till the 7th of January.
The cost is 8 euros per person to go ice skating.
5. Go (Christmas) Shopping
Barcelona is a perfect city for shopping. Whether you are looking at high end designer duds, chic vintage pieces or unique looks at the countless small shops, Barcelona is a shopper´s dream.
The Christmas lights get turned on November 22th, leaving shoppers feeling that extra holiday cosiness in the city.
The pleasant weather in Barcelona is perfect for walking, making the shopping experience fun and exciting, as you see the city while picking up Christmas gifts or maybe some gifts for yourself.
In Barcelona, there are many options for the passionate shopper. Passeig de Gracia is the main shopping street of Barcelona.
On this long street, you will find high end shops like Gucci & Hugo Boss. If these choices are out of your budget, you will also find more affordable clothing stores like H&M and Zara.
Passeig de Gracia is the street where everyone will find something that suits him or her.
At Placa de Catalonia, check out El Corte Ingles. In this big ware-house, everything you need is at your fingertips all in one location. From clothes, to makeup, to electronics, the perfect Christmas present is waiting to be discovered at El Corte Inglés.
Is it raining on the day you choose to go shopping? No problem! Check out Arenas Centre Commercial. This building used to be a bullfighting ring and was transformed into a magnificent shopping centre.
Found at Placa Espanya, it is like no other shopping centre construction you have ever seen before. Check out the cafes and restaurants on the roof for a beautiful view of the city and some tasty tapas.
Most of the shops in Barcelona are open from Monday until Saturday and closed on Sunday.
Tip: If you want to get your favourite item with a generous discount, the big sale starts at the 7th of January.
6. Become a photographer or model for one day
Do you need some great new pics for your Instagram profile or do you want to take a whole bunch of beautiful pictures home to show your family and friends?
With the Barcelona photo tours and shoots from Shutter Kings you will go home with extraordinary photos and everlasting memories.
The professional photographer who is also your guide will share his/her expertise, ensuring you snap the best shots of picture-taking paradise.
Although it seems everywhere in this city is picture perfect, the guide will take you to the best Instagram spots of Barcelona.
Backgrounds, perfect lighting, technique, etc. are all factored in with the Insta-worthy spots your guide chooses. Don´t have a professional camera?
No problem! Your smart phone is enough. Ensuring he/she finds the best lighting and backdrop, this guide is going to help you take your best pictures with your pocket-sized devices.
7. New Years Eve
Barcelona is a wonderful destination to ring in the new year.
The official New Year´s event of Barcelona is at Placa Espanya at the foot of the Montjuic Mountain.
From 23:00, you can enjoy a spectacular show from the Magic Fountain with music pumping, lights flashing, water splashing and an impressive pyrotechnic display around the fountain.
The event is for free, therefore it is very popular amongst locals and tourists. It was first organised in 2013 and has since been a big success. Grab your cava and get there early! This magic attracts crowds!
After you´re dazzled by the dancing water, there are many bars to choose from in this neighbourhood for you to continue your evening. Popular venues like Opium, Pacha and Shoko make sure their guests have fun well after the clock strikes midnight.
Dance the night away at these clubs, which are right on the beach. For these venues, ensure to buy your ticket ahead of time, as they will sell out.
A tradition in Spain is to eat 12 grapes at midnight for good luck. If you manage to eat 12 grapes at the sound of chimes when the clock strikes 12, you will have good luck in the upcoming year.
Buy some grapes at a local market and participate in this fun New Year´s tradition.
8. La Cabalgata de los Reyes Magos
The 5th of January is the day the Three Kings from the east arrive in Barcelona to bring gifts to families. This is a fun and important day for families, especially children.
The Three Kings arrive by boat in the evening and dock at the old port of Barcelona, Port Vell at 16:30.
After this, a parade that is 5 kilometres long marches through the city. Dancers and musicians entertain onlookers and celebrate the spirit of this day. Expect noise, fun, bright costumes and lights! This is a fantastic cultural experience for the whole family.
During the parade, you will find excited children, anxiously waiting for candies and little gifts to be thrown out.
The parade ends at the Magic fountain at Placa Espanya at about 22:00.
The 6th of January is the official day of The Three Kings. On this day, the whole family spends special time together and the children get their presents.
9. Join a Bar crawl
The Bar Crawl from Tapas & Beers is a great way to explore the vibrant nightlife Barcelona has to offer.
Bar crawls are always a good idea, no matter what the weather looks like! Hop with your guide from bar to bar for the yummy and affordable drinks, great music and nice people.
The Bar Crawl is perfect to share with your traveling companions, but it is also a brilliant opportunity for the solo traveller to make connections and new friends.
Traveling on your own in this big city can feel daunting; participating in a pub crawl is a relaxed way to meet new people. We have all been there: wandering around a new city in search of a non-touristy watering hole or a cosy little pub hidden from the main streets.
Barcelona is an easy place to get lost and overwhelmed in seeking out the best pubs/bars. With this pub crawl, the guide will do all of this work for you. The guide´s expertise in Barcelona nightlife will ensure that you find the hidden gems.
If you would like to go clubbing after the tour, our guide will happily add your name on the guest list for free entry to the biggest clubs in Barcelona.
Reservation: You can book the Bar Crawl online here. Or send us an email to [email protected] for private inquiries or questions.
10. Festes de Santa Eulàlia
In February, why not check out a human tower with your own eyes? This month features Barcelona’s main winter festival: Festes de Santa Eulàlia. This 4-day event is organised in honour of Santa Eulàlia, patron of Barcelona.
The event is locally known as La Laia. Because of the many events held during these days, the event is enjoyable for people of all ages. There is something for everyone in this alluring festival.
The main attractions at the event are The Correfocs (Fire runs through the streets), Castellers (Human Towers) and a lot of other traditional parades, concerts and much more.
As tourists in a new city, it is not always easy to get a true and authentic feeling of the local culture. Participating in festivals such as La Laia will paint a genuine cultural picture of this region.
The event is held on the 9, 10, 11 and 12 February. All the activities are for free.
11. Steel Donkey Bike Tour
Although it wouldn’t be the first thing you think of in the winter, this is actually a great season to bike in Barcelona.
The air is cooler, but warm enough that you may end up removing your jacket, there are less people in the streets at this time of year and it is a great way to be outdoors in the winter months.
As we stated earlier, the weather in Barcelona is not that cold in the winter. Simply add another layer to stay warm and you are ready to go.
With the Steel Donkey bike tour, Barcelona is opened to you in a very different way than any other tour.
Our local guides will always show you the non-touristy side of Barcelona. They take you off the beaten track to make sure you will have a unique experience. No two tours are alike, as it depends on the guides and the pulse of the city at the time of the tour.
While exploring the hidden treasures of Barcelona, there will always be time for drinks and snacks. Our guides will take you to a beautiful market, a lovely café or a nice little eatery for you to refuel on food and drinks.
This tour only allows up to 8 people, making it the safest bike tour in Barcelona. In addition to this perk, participants engage more with the guide and the experience becomes more personal.
Reservation: You can book one of our tours online here. Or send us an email at [email protected] if you want to book a private tour.
More info: You can have even more fun on our tour by choosing to ride an eBike for only 10 euros extra.
Our tours are family friendly, especially if you want to book a private tour, when we can tailor the itinerary for your kids.