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Christmas in Barcelona

How to spend Christmas Time 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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The most joyful time of the year is just around the corner, so cheer up everybody because it is soon time to get into the proper Christmas spirit. What better way to spend your holiday than in the lovely city of Barcelona? Of course, the city has a lot to offer at this time of the year. The old and beautiful buildings, narrow streets, and a general cozy atmosphere constitute a perfect backdrop for a Christmas destination – without freezing too much. As this is the time to be generous and kind to others, the first gift from us at Barcelona Home is to give you all the information you need to know about Christmas time in Barcelona.

Christmas time in Barcelona

What is Christmas time in Barcelona?

There are some special Catalan traditions for that time of the year. Firstly you will most likely bump into nativity scenes that represent the birth of Jesus. Second, one of the most important traditions for children is Tio Nadal (Nadal means Christmas in Catalan). It is a Catalan mythological character that children sing songs about in order to get sweets. Third, it might be an American tradition but Papa Noel (Santa Claus) comes on the night of 24th to 25th to brings gifts to children as well. However many people still prefer to wait for Reyes Magos (Biblical Magi). Furthermore, the Catalan Christmas is celebrated along with typical food as Polvoron and Turrón for example.

Dates of christmas festivities:

24/12 Nochebuena: on this, it is common to have dinner with the family and friends before going to the mass for Catholics.

25/12 El Dia de Navidad: (Christmas Day) is certainly a festive day, traditionally spent with loved ones and great food, including Galets de Nadal. In the evening it is common to meet with friends and go to the cinema or to a bar, for example.

26/12 Sant Esteve: This is the feast of St. Stephen Martyr. On this day there’s once again plenty of food and dessert. Also, there is a widespread tradition that makes the kids standing on chairs while giving a poem to someone with money as a reward for it.

31/12 Noche Vieja: (New Year’s Eve) the new year is of course celebrated and it comes with some traditions as well: make a wish and eat 12 green grapes as the clock turns twelve, wear red underwear ( said to give prosperity and luck in love), toast with a ring in your glass of champagne (said to attract money and economic welfare). Traditionally it’s common to meet up with friends after the new year has officially begun. For this Barcelona presents many parties and special events in hotels and clubs where you can go. You can read more about the NEW YEAR’S TRADITIONS!

6/1 Dia de Reyes Magos:  (Days of Kings) this is a day when everybody receives presents. But of course, this day is the most popular among children. The festivity starts on the night before when the 3 Wise Men comes. This is being presented as a parade as they ride through Barcelona, something truly worth watching.

What to do during Christmas in Barcelona?

Christmas markets

Fira de Santa Llucia: This market is the biggest as well as one of the oldest in the city. It is 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. There is an area dedicated to artisan products which definitely will do great for presents.  It is impossible to not get into your Christmas mood; as you wander through the stalls in the stunning backdrop of the cathedral under twinkling lights.

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 shopping in a magnificent setting by the SAGRADA FAMILIA. It also offers many artisan products from the 120 stalls and decorations. This market is popular among children as Santa Claus pays visits where he collects letters, and hands out balloons and candy.

Christmas in Poble Espanyol: This is one of the most visited Christmas attractions in the city. The village of Poble Espanyol opens its doors and there are no decorations to spare as they present the perfect atmosphere. Here you will find activities for the whole family. Such as workshops, performances, and play areas. The market itself has plenty of traditional Spanish handmade gifts and handcrafts. For the youngest in the family, also have the chance to meet the three Three Wise Men and deliver their Christmas letters in person.

Christmas time in Barcelona

Christmas lights

It’s hard to beat Christmas shopping during the evenings; as you wander along the many streets and squares adorned with thousands of decorative lights, called ” Els Ilums de Nadal”. 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. Don’t worry about finding the lights as there are 400 locations with them in Barcelona over a range of 100km.

Further decorations can is displayed at Portal del Ángel near Plaça Catalunya, as it’s decorated with a huge tree. Another one can also be found in the Gothic area on Plaça de Sant Jaume; on the same location you will also find the official nativity scene.

We hope that this article gave you an insight into how this special time is spent. Be ready to put on your favorite winter-themed jumper and get ready for this delightful holiday celebration. We at Barcelona wish you the best and a Merry Christmas.

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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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