Visiting Barcelona in December ~ Weather & Things To Do in 2023
Great weather, Catalan Christmas fun and fewer tourists…
By Duncan Rhodes
1. Christmas Markets
2. Cooking Class
3. Flamenco Show
5. Catch a Footie Match
9. Game of Thrones Tour
10. Park Guell
14. New Year’s Eve
Winter sunshine, wacky Christmas traditions and a chance to see some of the city’s best attractions minus the tourists, make it well worth visiting Barcelona in December. Here’s everything you need to know…
Is December A Good Time to Visit?
With fewer people, and so many great things to do, both during the day and during the night… inside of the city, and outside of it, December is a fine time of year to visit the Catalan capital.
Despite the winter season, the sun usually keeps his hat on, and during the day you could easily find yourself stripping down to a T-shirt and enjoying a cheeky caña (small beer) on of the city’s many romantic street terraces, whilst by night a half decent jacket should be enough to stave off the chills. No scarf required.
Weather in December
With only three days of rain, and an average temperature of 15 degrees Celsius by day (and 9 degrees by night), December is a pleasant month to visit Barcelona, and many travellers will prefer this time of year to the oppressive heat and crowds of the city’s annual summer meltdown.
Such mild winter weather means that it’s very unlikely to snow in Barcelona during December, however, so if you were hoping for a sprinkling of festive snowflakes, better to book your flights to Vienna, Berlin or Krakow instead.
Things to do in December
In terms of things to do, there are plenty of options, whatever the weather, and whatever your inclinations.
Cultural life is in full flight, and in 2022 you’ll find temporary exhibitions dedicated to both Dali and Banksy to visit, as well as all your usual options, such as Gaudi’s mind-boggling attractions (considerably less busy this time of year) and a glut of great museums.
December is always a big month for sports events, and while that would usually mean watching Lewandowski and pals running around the Camp Nou, this year it means a World Cup to watch from the comfy environs of the city’s best sports-loving bars.
And, if you’re willing to take a day trip, the Vic Medieval Market takes place this time of year, attracting around 100,000 people over a long weekend to take part in medieval food, fun and games.
All that and we didn’t even mention the C-word… yet…
1. Christmas Markets & Traditions
Apologies to all Ebeneezer Scrooges out there, but it’s almost impossible to begin any December travel piece without mentioning JC’s birthday, and the ensuing
suffering merriment it brings. Whilst Barcelona can’t compete in terms of Christmas romance with the likes of Vienna and Prague, the festival is celebrated with some pomp and style in Catalonia. Several markets will spring up around town (most notably the Santa Llucia Fair in front of the Gothic Cathedral), a life-size nativity scene will grace Plaça Sant Jaume, and the city’s larger streets will be decorated with surprisingly tasteful lights. There are also some bizarre Catalan festive traditions to look out for, such as the squatting peasant who does a plop in Jesus’ manger (for good luck!), and the log you have to beat with a stick before it sh*ts presents. More on this, and Christmas in general, right here.
Take a Christmas Markets Tour!
Take a private tour of two of the best Barcelona Christmas Markets in the company of a local, who will help guide you around the city’s labyrinthine streets, as well as lead you to a festive food and artisans market, explaining the idiosyncratic Catalan Christmas traditions en route. The tour also includes tickets to the Gothic Cathedral (incl. rooftop) and hot chocolate and churros in an authentic granja-style cafe. You can book the Merry Markets Tour on Get Your Guide.
2. Learn How to Cook Spanish Cuisine
If you can’t stand the cold, step into the kitchen, and learn how to cook Spanish cuisine. First you’ll take a tour of the legendary Boqueria food market on Las Ramblas, before heading back to a modern kitchen facility and learning how to cook some of the traditional dishes of the region, including of course paella, Spain’s famous rice plate. This is a small group cooking experience with a maximum of 12 people per class, and the price of €83 includes DOQ wines from Rioja region and a four course meal (the one you just cooked!). It’s available Monday to Saturday, at 10am and 6pm. You can email [email protected] for more details, or read more here.
BOOK SPANISH COOKING CLASS
3. Enjoy a Flamenco Show
Synonymous with Spain is the art of flamenco, which reached as far north in Catalonia and is celebrated across the city’s many fine tablaos. The pick of the bunch is probably Tablao Cordobes, an Andalusian-style theatre on Las Ramblas where you can enjoy a classic paella with a performance by some of the finest musicians and dancers in the country. Check our list of the best places to watch a flamenco show in Barcelona for more options.
BOOK FLAMENCO TICKETS
4. Visit Gaudi’s Casa Mila at Night
A cool way to experience Gaudi’s Casa Mila differently, the La Pedrera Night Show includes a guided evening tour of the iconic building that finishes with an epic audiovisual display on its undulating rooftop. There’s even a free glass of Cava (sparkling Catalan white wine, made using the Champagne method) thrown in. You can book tickets via Get Your Guide.
CASA MILA NIGHT TICKETS
5. Catch a Football Match
Around this time of the year, La Liga is usually beginning to hot up, and FC Barcelona are typically one of the forerunners in the competition. There’s typically some Champions League action going on as well, against Europe’s top teams. However, with the World Cup taking place in Qatar, the only home game taking place in December 2022 is on the 31st, against Almeria. You can buy tickets for the match on Ticket Compare. Otherwise, sports fans might consider the Camp Nou Experience…. in which case keep reading.
BUY BARÇA TICKETS
6. Camp Nou Experience
If you’re not lucky enough to be passing by Barcelona on match day, then second best is taking a tour of the stadium. The Camp Nou Experience is a self-guided tour of the stadium, dressing rooms, player tunnels and a visit to the FC Barcelona Museum, with its trophy room and special zone dedicated to Lionel Messi. To avoid disappointment, I suggest you buy your tickets in advance.
BUY CAMP NOU EXPERIENCE TICKETS
7. Joan Miro Foundation
The local obsession with excrement is visible in the works of Catalonia’s most famous artist, Joan Miro. The Man and Woman in Front of a Pile of Shit, is just one of the catchily-titled masterpieces you can see on display at the artist’s museum in Montjuic. If you like bold-coloured abstract art, steeped in Catalan life and spirit, then you’ll love this collection, which is housed in an award-winning building designed by Josep Lluis Sert.
BUY JOAN MIRO TICKETS
8. Explore the rest of Montjuic
If you’re going up to Montjuic to pay your respects to Miro, then it would be worth combining your visit with one of the coastal mountain’s many other treasures. The hilltop fortress, Olympic Stadium, National Museum of Catalan Art, Caixa Forum and Poble Espanyol can all be found in this leafy, culturally-rich zone. In the evening many tourists like to gather at the Magic Fountain. Read up on show times here. You can see all of Montjuic’s attractions a map here.
9. Game of Thrones Tour
Winter is coming, so take a half-day tour to Girona where much of seasons 5-8 of Game of Thrones was filmed. From scenes of Arya begging and fighting on the streets of Braavos, to Cersei’s walk of shame, this beautiful medieval city was one of GoT’s most important shooting locations. Book this tour via Get Your Guide and you’ll hop on a comfortable private coach that will take you to Girona, which is 1.5 hours north of Barcelona, where you’ll get an expert guided tour of the town, including film sets.
BOOK GAME OF THRONES GIRONA TOUR
10. Visit Park Guell
Probably you’ve bought your tickets to La Sagrada Familia already, but don’t skip Antoni Gaudi’s wonderful landscaped gardens either. This time of the year they shouldn’t be too crowded, and you’ll have more space to take the perfect photo of Barcelona from the park’s splendid viewing terrace, and maybe even get an obligatory selfie with the multi-hued lizard that stands guard on the grand staircase. Keep reading for more info on opening hours, and buying skip the line tickets. You might also want to check our article on the best Barcelona tourist cards, because several include entry to both La Sagrada Familia and Park Guell in the price – such as The Barcelona Pass.
BUY PARK GUELL TICKETS
11. Vic Medieval Fair
Around 70km from Barcelona (and easily accessible by train) lies the charming settlement of Vic, a town that boasts a picturesque Plaça Major, the Sant Pere Cathedral, Queralt Bridge and even a Roman temple for attractions. The best time to visit is undoubtedly during its annual Mercat Medieval when the city goes back in time to celebrate its medieval heritage. Expect plenty of tasty treats at the fair’s many food stalls, as well as costumed lords and ladies, bawdy bards, and knights armed for battle. It’s all a little kitsch, but good fun and you can try your hand at the likes of archery or have photos taken with a falconer. Runs 8-11th December 2022. Insider tip: Wrap up warm as it gets a fair bit colder in Vic, than in BCN.
12. Go Skiing in Nearby Andorra
There’s not quite as much snow around here as north of the wall, but the powder in nearby Andorra is pretty reliable from December onwards. So if you’re based in Barcelona and fancy some winter sports, then sign up for this wild weekend on the slopes, which includes transport, accommodation and ski pass. If you can’t make that, then you can find more info on the best ski resorts within reach of Barcelona, here.
GO SKIING IN ANDORRA
13. Go Fishing on the Mediterranean
There are plenty of fine days in December so book yourself a private fishing charter on the Mediterranean, setting out from the nearby Arenys de Mar port onto the big blue. Once you’re out on the waves you can fish for bonito, mackerel, barracuda, dentex, swordfish and tuna. Charters start at €650 per boat, rising to €1200 for a full day big game fishing trip. Read more here, or email [email protected] to enquire about availability.
BOOK FISHING CHARTER
14. Celebrate New Year’s Eve!
Still here on the 31st? Then get ready to see the New Year arrive in style in Barcelona. There’s a public fireworks display each year on Plaça Espanya, whilst the city’s famous nightlife will be in full swing, into the early hours of the morning. Check out our feature article for more info on New Year’s Eve traditions and parties.
Not fussed by Christmas… you may prefer to visit in January instead then! If so check out our list of mid-winter activities using the link provided.
For more help planning your trip, be sure to browse our best hotel recommendations, top restaurants and favourite bars.
About the Author
Duncan established Barcelona Life in 2009, whilst freelancing for the likes of Conde Nast, The Guardian, Easyjet Magazine, CNN Traveller and many more. From interviews with Ferran Adria to revealing the secrets of the city’s poetry brothels, he knows the city inside out… and shares all his best tips right here.
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Barcelona, Spain – December Weather
What’s The Weather Like In Barcelona In December?
December’s too cold for a beach holiday in Barcelona, Spain, but it’s a good time to explore this vibrant city’s cultural delights and exciting nightlife.
What’s Barcelona Like At Christmas?
When the sun’s out in December the temperatures feel quite mild, especially when compared to the usual dismal UK weather at the festive season. You’ll be able to celebrate the Catalan Christmas traditions in style.
How Warm Is Barcelona In December?
December is one of the coldest months of the year in Barcelona with average daily temperatures of 11°C and highs of 14°C. The lows reach 5°C at night so you will need to bring some warm clothing.
Sunshine Hours In Barcelona
Barcelona in December has on average four hours of sunshine a day. And at a chilly 16°C, sea temperature will probably be too cold for water sports except for exceptionally brave souls.
How Wet Is Barcelona In December?
There are chances of rain on eight days in December and the average rainfall is around 32mm. That’s pretty low compared to October and November where gets 70mm.
The sky is also relatively clear at this time of year. The cloud cover is a mostly clear 37% and does not vary substantially over December.
Does It Snow In Barcelona?
Snowfall is unlikely in December in Barcelona, however, in December 1962, Barcelona experienced a freak blizzard which dumped over 50cm of snowfall in some areas of the city and up to one metre of snow on the surrounding hills. This kind of weather is very abnormal in Barcelona but not impossible.
Is It Windy In Barcelona In December?
Throughout December typical wind speeds are generally a moderate 15 mph.
The Silken Gran Hotel Havana
The Silken Gran Hotel Havana is an elegant four-star hotel located in the heart of Barcelona in L’Eixample. This hotel features a sauna, terrace, rooftop pool, restaurant and bar. If you plan on venturing out of the city or to different parts of Barcelona the Girona metro Station is only 200m away and Paseo de Gracia is just 5 minutes’ walk from the hotel.
Chic & Baic Ramblas Hotel
On the other hand, the three-star Chic & Baic Ramblas hotel offers comfortable rooms in the centre of Ciutat Vella. All rooms are air-conditioned and feature a TV, small kitchenette and private bathroom. Most rooms also have a balcony, if you especially want one; it is best to enquire beforehand. Barcelona harbor is within walking distance, as well as Plaza Catalunya Square and the nearest Metro Station, Drassanes, is only 2 minutes’ walk away.
Granvia is another elegant three-star hotel set in an impressive 19th-century building. Located just 100m from Passeig de Gracia, this authentic Spanish hotel offers stylish, spacious rooms that all come with satellite TVs and air-conditioning.
Aspasios Rambla Catalunya Suites
If you’re looking for a self-catering apartment you may want to stay as the Aspasios Rambla Catalunya Suites in L’Eixample. These chic and modern apartments feature contemporary décor and wooden floors. Las Ramblas and the Gothic Quarter are also just a 10-minute walk away from the apartments.
December may be too cold for sunbathing or swimming in the sea, but you are still guaranteed a few warm sunny days throughout the month.
Barceloneta Beach is the most convenient beach to get to as it is right next to the city centre. This golden sand beach is a lot quieter at this time of year, but in the summer months it can get absolutely packed. The beach features a number of facilities such as beach volleyball, ferriswheel, public toilets, and information point and restaurants.
Sitges Beach is situated just outside of Barcelona. You will need to catch a train from Sants Station to get to this beach; however, it is definitely worth it as it is relatively quiet at the time of year. Plus, the seawater is clean and the beach is well maintained to keep it litter free.
Somorrostro beach is situated right next to the city. This sandy beach offers a number of amenities such as adapted showers, toilets, sun loungers, changing rooms, beach umbrellas, food and drink kiosks and even a children’s game area.
St. Sebastia & St. Miguel Beaches
St. Sebastia & St. Miguel Beaches are two of the city’s oldest beaches. Today the area features indoor and open-air swimming pools as well as direct access to the public beach. There are also a number of showers, public toilets, sun loungers, beach umbrellas, sports facilities and drinks and ice cream kiosks available to the public.
El Passadis Del Pep
El Passadis Del Pep is a particular favourite for locals in Barcelona. This mouthwatering seafood eatery uses the freshest ingredients, delivered daily from the fishing ports along the Catalan coast. However, there is no menu at this eatery what’s on offer depends on what has been caught out at sea on the day.
Bar Pinotxo has often been named Barcelona’s best tapas bar. This popular eatery located in Mercat de la Boqueria offers all the Spanish favourites such as Garbanzos (crispy roasted chickpeas) and chilled Gazpacho.
If you’re staying in Barcelona for New Year’s Eve you may want to visit one of the city’s many famous nightclubs. Universal is an emblematic, contemporary club situated on the border of Gracia. This place mainly plays house music but also beats out modern, funky, pop and classic 80s tune.
However, if you want an unforgettable night, make sure to head to Shoko Barcelona, which is also a restaurant but transforms into a nightclub later in the evening. This Japanese, style club is divided into five distinct areas and offers some of the best theme-style parties in the city.
December is one of the best times of year to visit Barcelona as the festive season is in full swing. To celebrate Christmas and New Year why not visit the breathtaking Barcelona Cathedral, which towers over the rest of Pla de la Seu. Also known as the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, this is one of the most spectacular Gothic cathedrals in the whole of Spain.
Plaça de Catalunya
Furthermore, thePlaça de Catalunya is definitely worth a visit during the winter season in Barcelona. This is a large square found in central Barcelona, where the old and new towns meet. In December the square is covered with a large outdoor ice-rink open to the general public.
Las Ramblas is the main shopping street in Barcelona, and is a staggering 1.2km long, spanning all the way from Port Vell to Plaça de Catalunya. During the Christmas period the street is lit up with Christmas lights and many of the shops are selling great gifts and souvenirs to take back home. The street is also very famous for street performers including human statues!
Another place worth visiting in Barcelona at this time of year is Casa Mila, also known as La Pedrera. This is one of Antoni Gaudi’s most famous designs, which was built during the years of 1906 to 1912. This stunning and unusual building can be found in the Eixample district down Passeig de Gracia.
Weather in Barcelona in December 2023
Apr 22 – 22 MayFebMarAprMayJuneAugsenOctDec
|9018 Nov 21 9018 27 Nov 22||29 Nov||30 Nov||1 Dec|
|Night temperature , °C||11||11||11||10||9|
|Daytime temperature, °C||13 90 2 6||13||12||12|
|Humidity, % 21|
|Pressure, mm||744||742||742||744||745 Precipitation . 7||5.5||5.8||1.2||0.1|
|Dec 2||Dec 3||Dec 4||Dec 5||5|
|Temperature at night, °C||10||9||10||12||12|
|Daytime temperature, °C||12||12||13||14 90 2 6|
|Dec 7||8 Dec||9 Dec||10 Dec||11 Dec|
|Temperature at night, °C||12||1||11||11|
|Daytime temperature, °C||14||13||13||13||12|
|Wind, m/s||2||3 6||3||3||3|
|Precipitation, mm||0. 2||0.1||0.4||0.4||0.4|
|901 12 Dec||Dec 14||Dec 15||Dec 16|
|Night temperature, °C||10||10||10||10||10|
|Daytime temperature, °C||13||12||12||12|
|Pressure, mm 747||746||747||747|
|Rainfall, mm 902 6||1.6||1.7||0.5||1.6|
|Dec 17||Dec 18||Dec 19||Dec 20||Dec 21||10||10||10||10||11|
|Temperature during the day, °C 021|
|Pressure, mm , m/s||3||3||3||3 9||0. 2||1.5||1||3||2.2|| 003
Barcelona in December: tours, photos, weather
The Spanish winter is more like a Russian spring or a warm autumn. In December, the air temperature in Barcelona fluctuates around +10 degrees, rising a few degrees during the day and dropping the same few degrees at night. You can not be afraid of rain at this time – December is one of the driest months of the year, although it is often overcast.
It is better to forget about beach joys at this time (unless, of course, you are one of the fans of “cold” swimming, who in December scare the Spaniards by floundering in the restless December sea at this time of the year). All other tourist pleasures are available. Of the advantages, as elsewhere in Europe at this time, can be called a small number of tourists and the Christmas atmosphere.
Cost of tours to Barcelona in December
The cost of tours to Barcelona depends on the time: the first half of December – the cheapest, the second – the most expensive. The pleasures are almost the same, but Christmas has always been used by hotel and restaurant owners to make money during the off-season.
It is best to buy a tour in advance – at least 5-6 months before the trip, in this case it will be good to save money. The best option is not to pay for any excursions in advance, but to visit everything on your own. Most Barcelona museums offer audio guides in Russian. Tourist buses plying around the city will allow you not to miss anything and choose what is interesting.
An excellent option for anyone visiting Barcelona in December is to purchase the “Barselona Card”. By spending a relatively small amount, each cardholder gets the right to free use of public transport (including the train and bus from the airport to the city center), discounts on all attractions, many restaurants, as well as on the purchase of souvenirs.
The card is valid for 2, 3, 4 and 5 days. The price ranges from 34 to 58 euros. Savings can be three to four times more. Together with the card, the tourist receives a booklet with a list of all places where you can get a discount, as well as a map of the city. It is best to buy a card on the Internet, and get it at Barcelona airport by presenting your passport.
The city of ancient Catalan history, masterpieces by Antoni Gaudí, singing fountains and numerous festivals, every year pleases tourists with at least two special events:
But even in Barcelona, winter remains winter. In the city, several ice rinks are poured at once, where not only the townspeople, but also tourists come to ride. Skate rental will cost 7-8 euros, and pleasure for a million.
Shopping in Barcelona in December
December is the favorite month for shoppers. Shopping centers in Barcelona – Diagonal, Ribera, Raval – announce total discounts. Barcelona is no less sophisticated in fashion than Milan or Paris. Spanish shoes are especially popular – durable, comfortable and beautiful.