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Christmas in Barcelona

There are so many things to see and do during Christmas in Barcelona that even the most stubborn of Scrooges cannot help but get caught up in the Christmas atmosphere. From the lively Christmas markets and spectaular lights to the bizarre and wonderful traditions, Barcelona can offer a great getaway during the Christmas period full of good food and plenty of Christmas spirit.

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Markets and shopping:

Fira de Santa Llucia
This market is one of the oldest in the city, held since 1786 it is located just outside of the Cathedral on Plaza de la Seu. You will find Christmas trees, decorations, nativity scene ornaments and an area dedicated to artisan products which can make for great Christmas presents. You cannot fail to get into the Christmas mood at this market as you wonder through the stalls in the stunning backdrop of the cathedral behind and twinkling Christmas lights above.Metro: L4 Jaume I.

Fira de nadal a la sagrada familia

Although it is not as busy as the Fira de Santa Llucia, it offers another great place to do your Christmas shopping in a magnificent setting by the Sagrada Familia. It also offers many artisan products and Christmas decorations.

Metro: L2, L5 Sagrada Familia.

There is also a small artisan market in El Born where you’ll be sure to find lots of boutiques and stalls selling arts and crafts products.

Ice skating:

For the third year running an outdoor ice rink will be set up at Plaça Catalunya and will be the biggest outdoor ice skating rink in Europe at 1400m2 beating New York’s Rockefeller Centre. Opening times are 10am – 9pm and on Fridays and Saturdays it is open until 11pm.

There are also two other rinks available – one in Passeig de Sant Joan and one at Pedralbes shopping centre, located on Avenida Diagonal 609.

Christmas Lights:
You cannot beat Christmas shopping during the evenings in Barcelona as you wander along the many streets and squares adorned with thousands of decorative lights. The main streets to look out for with the most impressive displays are Plaça Catalunya, Ronda de Sant Pere, Portal de L’Angel which runs parallel to La Rambla and of course La Rambla itself.
Catalan Traditions:

There are many traditions unique to Catalonia which take place in Barcelona alongside a traditional Spanish Christmas. Christmas starts on the 8th December, Feast of the Immaculate Conception, during which you can see a large nativity scene which is set up in Plaza Sant Jaume. This is no ordinary nativity scene due to its size and the theme changes year on year. During this day it is great to browse through the markets and soak up the terrific atmosphere.

In Spain, Christmas Day is of less importance. Although it is still celebrated with a family dinner together, the actual present-giving takes place on 6th January. The night before there is a parade of the Three Kings which can be seen in the centre of Barcelona from the Moll de la Fusta in the Port Vell Marina of Barcelona. The Three Kings are the ones who distribute the presents in Spain and so Santa Claus is of less importance during the Christmas period here.

Part of the Catalan nativity scene, the Caganer is a rather unique tradition to Catalonia. The figure traditionally wears Catalan clothes with a red ‘barretina’ hat as he squats in the corner ‘fertilising’ the soil or in other words having a poo which is meant to bring good luck. Nowadays, you can also purchase well-known characters and famous figures such as Spiderman, Elvis Presley or Barak Obama. You will find hundreds of these little figures bearing their bums in shops and market stalls and they make a great souvenir!
Caga Tio:

There appears to be a theme in Catalan traditions at Christmas time. The Caga Tio continues this as it translates as pooing log. Yeah, that is not a typo, a pooing log! This cheekily-smiling log comes out on 8th December wearing the traditional Catalan red hat and covered in a red blanket. It is filled with sweets each day and carefully cared for by the children until on Christmas Eve it poos out the sweets for them to enjoy.

Christmas is a fantastic time to come to visit Barcelona as there’s so much to do on top of the usual sights to see. If you need accommodation during your stay in Barcelona over the Christmas period, see the accommodations below and more on our homepages.


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Written by: xavi


Hello there! I love to travel, and Barcelona is a great city to live, thats why I decided to write about it and share my experiences!

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