Celebrating Christmas in Barcelona as a place
Are you thinking of spending Christmas in Barcelona? Keep reading to know what to expect.
Winter in Barcelona drops from late November to early March, and is considerably mild compared to other places, reaching lows of about 5 ℃. Basically, if you are looking for a place to celebrate a white Christmas in Spain, Barcelona is probably not the place for you.
However, if you want to celebrate Christmas with a blue sky, surrounded by carols, inspiring religious buildings and amazing Christmas markets, without feeling the need to tremble, Barcelona is your place.
Celebrating Christmas in Barcelona as a local makes everything so much more exciting, so here’s everything you need to know to know how to celebrate Christmas as a local here in Barcelona.
See also: Guide to the best of Christmas around the world
Local Christmas markets in Barcelona
A big part of spending Christmas in Barcelona is visiting the many Christmas markets.
See also: New Year in Barcelona
The Santa Llúcia Fair
This is one of the largest, best-known and oldest markets in the city. and everything. Symbols.
In this incredible market, don’t forget to watch out for the cheeky figure of the “caganer”, who is a traditional Catalan figurine with his pants down, who is said to be lucky enough to fertilize the land.
This place dates back to 1786, which takes place on St. Lucia Day, December 13th, this is a historic and exciting place to visit this winter!
Opening dates: November 30 to December 23 from 10:00 to 21:00
The Sagrada Familia Christmas Fair
These Christmas markets are a little smaller than the ones in Santa Llúcia, but they are located just outside the incredible Sagrada Familia, which you must visit if you haven’t done so before (it’s one of the main attractions in Barcelona).
Here’s a little bit of everything, but most importantly they serve amazing Christmas delights, such as roasted chestnuts, baked sweet potatoes and churros with thick hot chocolate!
Hours: November 24 to December 22 from 10:00 to 21:00
The Fair of Kings
This Christmas market in Barcelona surrounds the idea of the celebration of the three kings in Spain (calm down, this will be explained soon), the day when the Spaniards give their main gifts.
The Kings Fair stalls sell mainly toys and gifts for children, making it a great place to pick up a Christmas gift for all you need to buy.
Hours: December 21 to January 6 from 10:00 to 21:00
Spanish traditional Christmas meals
The escudella is a traditional Christmas heater, a kind of stew that contains everything. It has chicken, beef, pork spine, ham bone broth, vegetables; carrots, potatoes, cabbage. It’s a pretty high-calorie dish, but nothing happens when it’s cold outside!
The perfect dish to keep you warm this winter.
The cracker soup includes large pieces of pasta, which will fill the spoon. Crackers are large pieces of pasta that are filled with vegetables or meat. The soup itself is a traditional soup made with broth, which makes it a very comforting cold winter dish.
It is usually eaten as a starter as part of the Christmas lunch on December 25th.
Cannelloni, or cannelloni, is one of the favorites of Catalonia, it is usually eaten on Saint Stephen’s Day, which is celebrated on December 26th. This dish includes cannelloni stuffed with chicken or meat and béchamel sauce, the difference between this and your traditional Italian cannelloni is that this dish does not use tomato sauce.
Traditional Spanish Christmas delicacies
Nougat is one of the best known Spanish Christmas foods to be found in Barcelona, as well as in Italy and parts of South America. It dates from the 16th century, and is enjoyed throughout the Catalan capital during the holiday season. Nougat has a taste almost similar to Maltese chocolate, it is made with honey, sugar, egg white and toasted almonds or other nuts.
This chocolate is extremely tasty and can only be found in your regular supermarket at any time during Christmas.
Mantecats and Polvorones
Buttercups and powders can be found in all supermarkets and department stores in the months leading up to Christmas. These are small baked Christmas cookies and crumbs served with “muscatel”. The difference between mantecados and polvorones is the shape, the polvorones are oval and the mantecados are round. Both look like short buns, but they tend to crumble much more easily.
These sweets are super popular all over Catalonia, you will find them everywhere!
Crema Catalana is practically the Catalan recipe for a Crème brûlée, which was first found in Catalan books in the 14th century. The recipe includes the use of cream, on which sugar is poured and burned with a hot iron rod to create the burnt crust.
This differs from your average Crème brûlée in both its cooking method and consistency, as well as its cinnamon and lemon zest flavor as opposed to your usual French vanilla.
Do your Christmas shopping properly
Barcelona is home to some of the largest shopping malls in Spain, and during Christmas there are plenty of great sales and offers to put you in the Christmas mood. These places are also happy to wrap your gifts for you.
See also: Where to find the best vintage shops in Barcelona
The Diagonal Sea
A shopping center divided into three floors, to house its 200 shops and 17 movie screens, and even a bowling alley. This is one of the largest in Barcelona, and is recognized as an environmental model for its promoted values of environmental sustainability.
This is the perfect place for your Christmas shopping, as everything is in one place, in addition, the shopping center is next to the Parc Diagonal Mar and the Museu Blau, two very ideal places to spend the day in family.
Glories Shopping Mall
The Glòries shopping center is located in Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes, surrounded by the incredible Torre Glòries (a huge skyscraper that changes color day and night, it’s amazing!).
This place has 75 great shops, restaurants and cinemas, with lots of free parking, recharging points and they even have a children’s play area!
Les Arenas Shopping Center
To shop like a real local, why not go to a mall that used to be a bullring! They have six floors, 115 shops, a gym, a 12-screen cinema, a function room and several bars and restaurants. They even have a huge terrace from which you can enjoy a 360 ° view over Montjuïc.
Celebrating the Magi as a place in Barcelona
Towards the end of December, most people around the world begin to relax and end their Christmas celebrations, but this is not the case here in Spain. The first week of January is one of the most exciting times to visit Barcelona. The people of Catalonia, in fact, will continue to buy presents and prepare their Christmas dinners, while you will still be able to admire the beautiful Christmas lights of the city and prepare for the arrival of the Magi or the Magi.
These biblical characters come to Spain on January 5 and 6 to give gifts and sweets to children. On January 5 there is a parade dedicated to the three kings in which the same Kings arrive at Av. From the Marquis of L’Argentera and a 5km route through the city, to the Magic Fountains of Montjuïc.
Traditionally, Barcelonans will leave food for the Kings and water for their camels, and a pair of shoes outside their doors or windows for the Kings to fill with gifts after the Kings parade. On the 6th in the morning he will offer the children a series of gifts, as long as they have behaved well!