If you’re imagining wandering through Christmas markets with beautifully delicate snowflakes tumbling down around you, then you may be a little disappointed if you choose to visit Barcelona. However, if you’re not wanting to shiver your way through the Christmas period, this Spanish city is the place to go.
Barcelona holds many Christmas-inspired shows, events and parades during the festive period, but here are just a few that we recommend going to.
Towards the end of November, the Barcelona Christmas lights,also known as Els llums de Nadal, are turned on. Stretching over 400 different locations and covering up to 100 km, they are like no other illuminations and create an extremely festive spectacle.
If you’re travelling with children during the first couple of weeks of December, visiting the Santa Claus event in Poble Espanyol on Montjuic Hill is a must. Here children can meet Father Christmas, give him their wish list and explain why they’ve been a good boy or girl this year.
How about seeing a festive show to get you into the Christmas spirit? You can choose to watch the spectacular Nutcracker Ballet or listen to the Cor Infantil Amics de la Unió choir perform the famous Charles Dickens novella, A Christmas Carol.
Barcelona is home to plenty of magical Christmas markets from the end of November until the end of December, so there’s plenty of time to have a look around and find some festive treats and souvenirs.
The city’s biggest Christmas market, the Santa Llúcia Fair,is also the oldest and showcases the most Catalan traditions. This market, located in the square in front of the Barcelona Cathedral, is home to around 300 stalls that are divided into two different categories: Christmas gifts like tree decorations and non-Christmas gifts, such as jewellery - what will you come home with?
If you’ve visited Barcelona previously, you may have already seen and wandered around La Sagrada Familia but, during the winter months, a must-see Christmas market is held outside. Although this market only holds around 120 stalls, there’s still plenty to look at, including a surprise appearance from the main man himself, Santa Claus.
After strolling through the Christmas markets, you may find yourself a little peckish, so why not feast on some traditional Catalan delicacies?One to look out for is Escudella I Carn D’Olla, a meat or vegetable stew with pasta shells that’s bound to warm you up if you’re feeling a little chilly.
If you have more of a sweet tooth and fancy a little sugary treat, opt for Turrón, a bar of nougat that’s usually made with hazelnuts, almonds and honey, although there are plenty of other varieties to choose from if that doesn’t quite take your fancy.
Tio de Nadal, which translates to Christmas log, is a Catalan tradition that never ceases to amuse visitors. This hollowed-out log has a smiley face painted on one end and is bought by families during the first week of December. Children are given the task of ‘feeding’ it so that, come Christmas Eve or Day, they can hit it with a stick and be rewarded with gifts from inside. They’re usually a foot long; however, you can purchase mini ones as a souvenir to take home.
Another traditional gift found at the Barcelona Christmas markets is the Caganer, a figurine of a man wearing a traditional red beret, relieving his bowels. In the Spanish Nativity scene, he is seen to represent the soil being fertilised and bring good luck. You can purchase these in the form of various celebrities, royals, movie characters and politicians including Elton John, the Queen, Spiderman and Donald Trump – which will you choose?
If you would like to book a trip to Barcelona this winter,we can tailor-make a winter break to suit you, so call us on 0800 988 3369 or contact us for a personalised quote.