The perfect trip is a fusion of perfect timing and an ideal location.
And Spain is a beautiful country to visit in January. So visiting Barcelona in January may just be the trip you have been missing out.
Read further as we talk about in detail why January is the best time to visit Barcelona, and of course, the beautiful sights you’ll be seeing in Barcelona.
- January: Perfect Time In Visiting Barcelona
- Barcelona City: The Ideal Location For Your January Trip
- Visiting Barcelona In January: Architectural Attractions To Visit
- La Sagrada Familia: Gaudi’s Cathedral Masterpiece
- Park Güell: Gaudi’s Vibrant Mosaic Park
- Casa Vicens: The First of Gaudi
- Casa Batlló: The House of Bones
- Casa Mila: The Stone Quarry
- Palau Güell: Creating Space On Limited Land
- Port Vell: The Harbor Shopping District
- Parc de la Ciutadella: A Citadel Turned Public Park
- Visiting Barcelona in January: Museums to Appreciate
- Barcelona In January: Festivities To Enjoy
- Visiting Barcelona in January: Food and Shopping
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Pin it for later!
January: Perfect Time In Visiting Barcelona
So why January? Simple, it’s because there are fewer tourists in January. You may wonder, “Well, what would that mean for me?”
First, since January is not the peak tourist season to visit the city of Barcelona, your trip expenses will be a lot cheaper. The saved money will give you leeway to spend more on things like food, better accommodation, activities, presents, and souvenirs. Or you can just use it for another trip that you are planning. Whatever it is you decide to use it on, all are win-win situations.
Second, since January has fewer tourists would mean more time and opportunity to get that Instagrammable photo you want. Well, who doesn’t want to have perfect pictures and share them on Instagram or Facebook, right? I know I want to.
Third, fewer tourists in January would mean no waiting lines for tickets and entrance to famous attractions, restaurants, shops, and other venues. No waiting lines mean more meaningful time spent on other things during your stay in Barcelona.
The fourth reason is it’s the season when there are plenty of mushrooms and chestnuts. So aside from plenty of mushroom dishes that you can enjoy, you can bring home lots of mushrooms and chestnuts for a cheap amount.
If you’re not convinced yet, there are plenty of discounted prices on surplus goods and things from Christmas. There are also skiing opportunities in nearby locations that you enjoy because of the cold weather in January.
Barcelona City: The Ideal Location For Your January Trip
A trip to the city of Barcelona in January is like a sumptuous feast for your eyes and for your mind.
Every step, while sightseeing, will feel surreal due to the city’s architecture. Barcelona’s inspiring artistry and culture, found in its cityscapes, museums, and monuments, will deeply move you to pursue the arts.
Walking through Barcelona’s surreal cityscapes is like moving along modern records of the long Spanish history. This urban Gothic feeling is mainly due to the city’s architectural design from the Renaissance and Baroque periods. And we are enjoying it now thanks to the combined preservation efforts of passionate artists, local folks, and the local government, so be sure to savor that feeling once you are in Barcelona.
Since we are already talking about the cityscapes, Barcelona is home to the marvelous structures designed by one of the world’s most famous architects, Antoni Gaudi. Gaudi’s renowned works like the towering La Sagrada Familia and the captivating Park Guell are Barcelona’s top tourist spots to visit. Not only that, but you can also see the hotels or Casas that were designed by Gaudi.
Aside from Gaudi, Barcelona is also home to the works of other famous artists like Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro, and Joan Brossa. That is why Barcelona is home to inspiring museums that you can visit, like Museo Picasso, Fundacio Miro, and Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona.
Read further as we talk about in detail the attractions, museums, festivities, and marketplace to enjoy in the city of Barcelona in January.
Visiting Barcelona In January: Architectural Attractions To Visit
Most of Barcelona’s main tourist attractions are works by the architect Antoni Gaudi. Here we’ll talk about the best architectural attractions to visit during your January trip to Barcelona.
La Sagrada Familia: Gaudi’s Cathedral Masterpiece
La Sagrada Familia is a masterpiece Cathedral by Antoni Gaudi and the most famous attraction of Barcelona. The cathedral is a captivating beauty on the outside and the inside. Its beauty is made complete by the impressions of its annual four million visitors from all parts of the world.
The exterior is made up of 3 facades with towering bell towers to memorialize moments of Christ’s life: birth, passion, and bliss. Symbols and designs fill each facade that guides guests into epiphany and insight into the life of Christ.
Step inside the cathedral and be smitten by Gaudi’s interior design. The design mimics nature as praise to the Creator, which Gaudi believes. You are in for a surprise light show when the sunlight strikes the mosaic panels. Truly awe-inspiring and mesmerizing.
Park Güell: Gaudi’s Vibrant Mosaic Park
Park Guell is one of the prominent landmarks of Barcelona. It is not surprising that it is well-known for its vibrant architectural mosaics combined with a green and lush environment park since it is one of the works of Antoni Gaudi. UNESCO named it a World Heritage Site in 1984.
You can find the mosaic park in the northern part of Carmel hill. Upon entering the urban park, a mosaic dragon fountain (named El Drac Salamander) on the stairway will immediately catch your attention due to its vibrant colors.
Climbing the stairway will lead you up towards the Mosaic Terrace and Nature Square. Travel to the left of Nature Square, you’ll find the colonnaded pathway, and to the right, you’ll find The Hypostyle Room, Asturia Gardens, and the Gaudi House.
Casa Vicens: The First of Gaudi
Another one of Gaudi’s projects, Casa Vicens, was built initially as a residential house for Manuel Vicens. This was his first big architectural work after graduating. Currently, Casa Vicens is a museum that showcases Antoni Gaudi’s works. UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site in 2005.
Casa Vicens, like the rest of Gaudi’s works, take great inspiration from nature. The fence has palm tree leaves and carnations in its design. The interior features ceilings and walls that have flowerlike and plantlike designs. The house exterior is heavily influenced by an exotic oriental design, very different from the classical architectural style of Gaudi’s time.
Casa Batlló: The House of Bones
Casa Batlló was a house renovation work of Gaudi, which took place due to the Cerda plan. Batlló was the name of the project commissioner. You can find Casa Batlló in the heart of Barcelona, Passeig de Gracia.
Casa Batlló is also called “the house of bones” due to its bone-like facade. There are speculations that the story of Saint George slaying the dragon was the inspiration behind the facade. That’s mainly supported by the fact that the roof looks like dragon scales and the columns like bones.
Others speculate that the sea was the inspiration behind Casa Batlló’s facade. Depending on how you see it, the roof appears to be fish or shark scales while the columns are corals.
Take a look at our complete guide on visiting and getting tickets for Casa Batllò.
Casa Mila: The Stone Quarry
One of the famous works of Gaudi, Casa Milà, also has the name of La Pedrera or “the stone quarry.” The name comes from its unconventional design, similar to a stone quarry.
When the building was first created it was a subject of criticism in the neighborhood due to its design. It was only redeemed as a masterpiece a few years later. UNESCO declared Casa Milà a World Heritage Site in 1984.
To avoid the queues at the entrance, please check out our ultimate guide about Casa Mila tickets.
Palau Güell: Creating Space On Limited Land
Palau Güell was a mansion designed by Gaudi for Eusebi Güell. This was one of Gaudi’s works, which showed his architectural genius and innovations in creating space with only a small land plot. UNESCO declared Palau Guell a World Heritage Site in 1984. Today, it is a museum that exhibits and teaches Gaudi’s innovative techniques on architecture through an audio guide.
Port Vell: The Harbor Shopping District
Port Vell is the waterfront harbor of Barcelona and Catalonia. This vibrant harbor is a popular landmark in Barcelona, known for its scenic view of floating ships and yachts over the water combined with the modern design Maremàgnum shopping district. Enjoy Maremàgnum’s wide lineup of stores, restaurants, shops, bars, cafes, and cinemas. You can also take a walking tour of the Barcelona Aquarium which features unique Mediterranean aquatic species.
Parc de la Ciutadella: A Citadel Turned Public Park
A citadel once stood here and was an object of hatred by the people of Catalan. Now, Ciutadella Park is a lush green environment suited to finding peace and relaxation. Aside from Ciutadella park’s greeneries, you can visit the Cascada Fountain, the Catalan Parliament, Geological Museum, Castell dels Tres Dragons, Zoological Museum, and Umbracle. They also hold concerts in the park, so be sure to check if there are any during your January trip.
Visiting Barcelona in January: Museums to Appreciate
Home to many great artists, Barcelona is rich in creative and inspiring works of art. Thankfully, Barcelona’s people recognized the artworks’ value and responded by preserving these precious works of art through museums. Here are some of the museums that you can visit during your stay in Barcelona in January.
Museu Picasso de Barcelona: Discover Picasso’s Early Works
Museu Picasso opened in 1963 and showcased the 4,251 works of Picasso’s formative years during his stay in Barcelona. The showcased works give a glimpse of what Picasso felt and perceived during his formative years in Barcelona.
Fundació Joan Miró: Connecting Art with Nature
Located in Montjuïc, Fundació Joan Miró was built by Joan Miró himself with the goal of creating a place for contemporary art research. Like Gaudi, Joan Miró takes great inspiration from nature. Visiting this museum would give you time to contemplate the soul of nature and its relation to each one of us.
MNAC: Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya
The MNAC is the national museum of the visual arts of Catalonia. It was first opened as an exposition to display medieval arts in 1929 and continued up to the present day. Exploring the museum will lead you to discover a great collection of artworks from different periods.
Chocolate Museum: Chocolate For The Cold Weather
Your January trip to Barcelona will not be complete without a visit to the Chocolate Museum. The museum has educational tours on the history of chocolate and its impact on the global economy and culture. There are also activities that you can participate in, like chocolate tasting, making chocolate sculptures, and combining hot chocolate with wine or other alcohol.
Barcelona In January: Festivities To Enjoy
Three Kings Parade (January 5)
Every year, the Three Kings Parade is a tradition that is celebrated on January 5. It represents the time when the three kings traveled far to give Jesus gifts. Similarly, the three kings: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, will have a parade around the city that will start when the mayor of Barcelona hands the key of the city to the three kings. The three kings parade consists of colorful floats, loud music, Castellers, dancers, marching bands, fireworks, correfoc, and other volunteers needed to complete the street show. The day after the festival, January 6, is a holiday.
Festa Dels Tres Tombs (January 17)
Patron Saint Antoni of Abat is celebrated on Festa Dels Tres Tombs every January 17. Saint Antoni Abat is known as the patron saint of all hooved animals, and the word Festa Dels Tres Tombs means “the feast of three tombs.” That’s why the festival is done through a procession of horses or a cavalcade that goes through a route around the city, leading to three tombs.
Visiting Barcelona in January: Food and Shopping
Your January visit to the city of Barcelona will not be complete without shopping for things like food, clothes, sweets, and other goods. So here are two of the shopping areas to look at:
Mercat de Sant Antoni: Barcelona’s Old Market
The market of Sant Antoni or Saint Anthony is one of the oldest markets in Barcelona. Mercat de Sant Antoni was opened in 1882 and still retained its original appearance thanks to effective maintenance. The market inside sells various things like fruits, meat, vegetables, clothes, shoes, and other goods.
Passeig de Gracia: High-End Shopping Street
If you’re looking for international brands in the city of Barcelona, Passeig de Gracia is your go-to location. Passeig de Gracia has all the designer shops like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Prada, and Versace. Great cafes can also be found in this shopping street like Casa Museu Amatller.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Although Barcelona’s winter is a little cold, it’s still definitely worth it to visit Barcelona in January due to the cheaper travel cost, fewer tourists, and more meaningful vacation time that we’ve talked about in this article.
So book a Barcelona in January tour with us now!
Not visiting Barcelona in January?
Take a look at our guides for February, March, and April.
12 thoughts on “Visiting Barcelona In January – The Perfect Trip You May Be Missing Out”
Barcelona is one of my favorite cities in Europe, there is so much exciting to see and do. Now it was admittedly a few years since I last visited the city so it is much appreciated to read some interesting things to do in the city. I will definitely save your article in my “travel inspiration” list.
I’ve never been to Spain, and I’ve ALWAYS wanted to go to Barcelona. I had no clue that January was a good time to head there! The architecture is so amazing. Ah! This makes me want to book a trip STAT!!
January is usually great because the weather is starting to get a little warmer but still no crowds. I’d love to read about your adventures in Barcelona sometime in the future
I love Barcelona at any time of year. We lived in Europe and visited the city many times, during different season. I agree with you: January is great if you want to avoid the crowds and go on a shopping spree for branded clothing and apparel. Right after Christmas everything goes on sale. Besides the weather is almost always good there.
It is so good to hear you kept going back to Barcelona. Is there anywhere I can read about those adventures?
We have always wanted to head back to Spain in the winter months. Thanks for a quick view on what to expect in Barcelona in January. I am sure we would love the lower tourist numbers. And a bit cheaper rates too. We would love to return to see La Sagrada. We missed the inside on our last visit. And I can’t believe there is a Gaudi piece we missed. Casa Vicens will definitely be on our return plans. And hubby would definitely want to visit the Chocolate Museum. And have an adult hot chocolate drink.
I bet you will love the feel of the city in January. It gets a completely different feel when it is not as full.
I am going to Spain in July and I am really curious about how everything works there during COVID! I am thinking of moving to Barcelona but what are your thoughts on Madrid? Also, are all these tourist spots open? I want to know more and I hope you can give me tips!
We are actually working on a guide for July I’m going to make a note to share it here with you when it is done so you get a better idea.
I feel like Madrid is a great alternative if you are looking to move. The main difference for me is the different feel of both. Madrid has more of a cosmopolitan city, everything is faster while Barcelona even though it is a large city, it still has a provincial feel to it, making it more relaxed.
Barcelona is one of my favorite city in Europe as it is very vibrant and charming. I went there in March – an off shoulder season but in January it would be really great to visit this wonderful city. I agree as January is offpeak season then it would be great to see this place with lesser crowds and at our pace. I would really love to have the peace while walking along the gardens of Castell De Montjuïc
I have always had Barcelona in my list. Unfortunately, I could not visit it last year when I was backpacking in Europe even though it was on my list. The Cascada Fountain looks stunning and I would love to see it in real life. The architecture is so cool and beautiful out there. Adding these places to my list so I can cover them when I am at Barcelona.
Great tips! A visit to Spain is long due for me. I have friends living in Barcelona and Madrid, and I really hope to visit them soon. We love traveling off season, so this was a great post to me. Less crowds and cheaper prices attracts us but I also don’t like the heath on summer months.