Visiting Barcelona in January ~ Weather, local festivals and top sights!
Crowd-free attractions, clement weather… and a second Christmas!
By Jessica Bowler
2. Gaudi’s Casa Batllo
4. Three Kings Parade
5. The Tourist Bus
6. Barcelona Aquarium
7. Create Your Own Cava
9. Skiing Weekend
10. Sant Antoni Festival
Want Barcelona all to yourself? Then you’ve chosen the right time to visit! January offers a little window of respite from mass tourism, making it the perfect month for those who love culture but hate crowds. And naturally, being Catalonia, there are a fair few festivals and special events going on…
Wondering if January is a good time to visit Barcelona? Though it isn’t the height of the tourist season, that arguably makes it an even better month in which to enjoy a trip to the Catalan capital.
Even without the beach, there are still more things to do and see than you can cover in a weekend
Even without the beach, there are still more things to do and see than you can cover in a weekend (you won’t be bored!), plus you get the added bonus of having fewer crowds at the city’s top attractions like La Sagrada Familia, Park Guell and the sensational Casa Batllo (a personal fave!). For much of the rest of year, the queues outside these sights resemble a rugby scrum.
If you plan on being particularly active as a tourist, then I’d recommend checking our in-depth comparison of the best tourist cards. The Barcelona City Pass (available via TicketBar), for example, gets you into Sagrada Familia and Park Guell for free, and has tickets for the Bus Turistic built into the price too.
What’s the Weather Like in January?
First, let’s talk about what to expect weather-wise. The temperature in Barcelona in January averages 16 ºC (61 ºF) during the daytime, which goes down to 10 ºC (50 ºF) at nighttime. It’s not likely that it’ll rain during your stay, as the month averages just 5 rainy days per month in January. You’re highly unlikely to see snow, though you might see some frost at night on the hills surrounding the city.
In terms of what clothes to bring, a warm jacket, sweater and scarf will keep you nice and toasty, whilst a small hand umbrella for emergencies never hurts (you can always buy one a store though if it does rain). You shouldn’t need any specialist footwear, beyond good walking shoes. Oh, and don’t forget your sunglasses because the winter sun can be quite low and bright, and a little harsh on the eyes.
Festivals & Things To Do
So, now that you’ve got that squared away, let’s talk about something a bit more fun – the best things to do here in January. We’ll take you through our hand-picked choices to add to your travel itinerary, if you’re visiting this winter.
1. Make a New Year’s Splash (1st Jan)
Even though it’s not exactly traditional sunbathing weather in January, locals love to start off the new year by jumping into the Mediterranean at noon on the first day of the year. Head to San Sebastian beach (near the W-Hotel) to join hundreds of locals as they dive into the sea – and race back out of the chilly waters at top speed. (And if you’re also here the night before, check out our guide to New Year’s Eve parties and traditions).
2. Visit The Casa Batlló
Casa Batlló is just one of Gaudí’s masterpieces that you can visit in Barcelona. Nicknamed “The House of Bones” by locals because of its skeletal appearance, the house is actually inspired by the legend of Saint George and the dragon. Inside, it’s filled with colour and curved lines, as well as plenty of the architect’s signature “trencadís” work (mosaics created from pieces of broken tiles). Touring includes an augmented reality guide that brings the building to life. As with all of Gaudi’s attractions, entry is a little pricey (cheapest ticket €35), but it really is a unique mansion. Tickets available via Get Your Guide, with Gold upgrade offering fast pass and access to Lord Batllo’s bedroom.
BOOK CASA BATLLO TICKETS
3. And The Rest of Gaudi’s Greats…
Casa Batllo is Gaudi’s most colourful creation, but the city is replete with the legacy of the master architect. The epic Sagrada Familia church can’t be missed, and we go into some detail on its history, the best towers to climb, tour options and opening hours here. Similarly, few cultured travellers leave Barcelona without paying a visit to Park Guell, the impressive gardens he landscaped above the Gracia district. We discuss opening hours and tickets here. If you simply can’t get enough of the man, there’s also Casa Vicens, Palau Guell, and the famous Pedrera mansion. One company that visits nearly all the architect’s greats, via electric bike, is Gaudi Bike Tours.
Save Money: Barcelona Tourist Cards
If the total price of visiting your favourite Barcelona attractions keeps heading northwards, you might want to consider investing in one of Barcelona’s tourist passes. Which exact option is best for you depends on your needs. The official Barcelona Card is best for museum lovers, the Barcelona Pass is great for first time visitors, while the Go City Pass offers maximum flexibility and savings over multiple days. Full comparison here.
4. Greet The Three Kings (5th Jan)
Called the Cavalcada de Reis in the local lingo, this parade happens every year on the night before Epiphany. The Three Kings (also known as the Three Wise Men in English) sail in on the waves of the Mediterranean and their resplendent ship is greeted at the shore by the city mayor, who gives them the keys to the city for the evening, so they can unlock all the houses in the city to leave gifts for children. The ship sails in around 4pm at Port Vell, and the parade sets off from the Ciutadella Park when evening falls (usually around 6 p.m.), and is filled with colourful parade floats from which the Three Kings throw sweets to the crowds of excited children. For Catalans this is the day when people traditionally swap presents, not Christmas.
5. Catch a Ride on the Bus Turistic
Give your feet a rest and hop on the Barcelona’s Tourist Bus to see the sights. There are three different routes you can utilise, all of which let you see a completely different side of the city. You get an audio-guide to hear all about the city’s history and culture as you go around. It’s a great option if you’re tired from pounding the pavement, or if you’re short on time. Your hop on, hop off ticket enables you to make as many stops as you like, from cultural icons like Casa Batllo and La Sagrada Familia, to sporting treasures like Camp Nou and the Olimpic stadium. You can buy tickets (usually with a discount) on Tiqets. com, although you might prefer to invest in a Barcelona City Pass instead, which includes free entry to Sagrada Familia and Park Guell.
BOOK TOURIST BUS TICKETS
6. Find Nemo at the Barcelona Aquarium
A great activity for a rainy or chilly day, the city’s aquarium houses around 450 different species of animals, ranging from tiny colourful sea horses to giant menacing sharks. Its collection is the biggest one of Mediterranean aquatic life in the world, so there are plenty of fascinating species to look at in the tanks. There are also lots of activities and interactive spaces for kids to enjoy, which makes it a good choice for a family outing. Buy tickets via Get Your Guide.
BOOK AQUARIUM TICKETS
7. Create Your Own Cava!
A great day trip if you fancy getting out of Barcelona for a few hours, Create Your Own Cava is a tasting workshop that takes place in a boutique Cava winery in the nearby Penedes region. The local hosts, Eric and Ramon, lead you through the cellars and vineyards and treat you to three different blends of their best sparkling white wine. Next it’s time to disgorge and label your own bottle! Read more about the activity and how to book here. And you can also read up on other excursions around Barcelona’s countryside.
RESERVE VIA EMAIL
8. Discover Catalan art at the MNAC
The Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya is housed inside a former palace at the foot of Montjuïc hillside. Not only is the building spectacular, but it also features some of the best art exhibitions in the city. The art on display ranges from romanesque church paintings to modern art, all of which has a focus on art and artists from Catalonia. The rooftop viewing decks recently opened up, and make for an excellent vantage point to take in views of the city.
BOOK MNAC TICKETS
9. Take a Ski Trip to Andorra
Enjoy a wild weekend on the slopes of Andorra’s finest mountains for skiing and snowboarding. With trips running every weekend from January through March, you can go for a weekend of fun in the snow and tax-free booze for €290 (early bird), including return transportation from Barcelona, meals, and ski passes and equipment. Make sure to book your trip early, because spots fill up quickly. Don’t have a weekend to spare? Buy a 1-day ski pass with transport for just €103.
10. See the Sant Antoni Neighbourhood Festival
11. Shop ’Til You Drop at the Rebajas
Locals love to head to the shops after Christmas to get a good deal at the sales (rebajas in Spanish). You can get steep discounts at just about any shop, and shopping hours are often extended. Of course, like at most sales, you might find the very best deals on swimwear in the middle of winter, but hey – a bargain’s a bargain. Check out our guide to the city’s shopping precincts for where to head.
12. Visit the House of Needles
If the Casa de les Punxes was designed by Gaudi, there’s every chance it would be one of the most visited attractions in the city. Instead it was built by one of Antoni’s contemporaries, the almost-as-talented Josep Puig y Cadafalch, who combined fairytale medieval elements with the trendy Catalan Modernista movement of the day. The result, as you can see for yourself, is quite spectacular. Unfortunately this amazing space is no longer open to the general public, as it’s now a co-working space… but what a cool place to work, if you decide to move here! Whether you’re here for a short or long time, keep an eye out for this distinctive building on the Diagonal thoroughfare.
13. Warm Up With Chocolate & Churros
There’s no better time to enjoy a mug of hot chocolate accompanied by a helping of sweet churros (a kind of doughy pastry) than during January’s winter weather. It makes the perfect afternoon pick-me-up on a frosty day. One of the best places to enjoy them is La Granja, which has been open since 1872. You can also find a good selection of cafés serving sweet treats on Petritxol street, which is tucked away on one side of Las Ramblas.
About the Author
Jessica was born in England and grew up in California before moving to Seville to study Spanish. She now lives here in Barcelona, where she works in communications, studies for her masters and still finds time to update her award-winning blog Barcelona Blonde – as well as being a regular contributor to Barcelona Life!
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Weather in January in Barcelona
On this page you will find our day by day weather log that will give you an accurate idea of the typical weather conditions in Barcelona during the month of January.
Each day for an entire year I recorded the exact daily weather conditions including temperatures in both Fahrenheit and Centigrade, along with if it was dry, rainy or overcast. By the time you have looked through the table you will know what weather to expect in January and what type of clothes to bring on your holiday.
To see my weather log for other months in Barcelona or to see the current weather conditions please refer to our “Related Pages” section at the foot of this page where you will find links to these pages.
Summary of temperatures and weather in January:
Average temperature: 13° C or 55.4 F
Maximum temperature: 14° C or 57. 2 F
Minimum temperature: 7° C or 44.6 F
You can see from the table below that most of the time it will be sunny but colder in Barcelona during January. Make sure to wrap up warm with a good coat, gloves trousers and shoes.
Make sure that your hotel has adequate heating system during these winter months.
Day by Day weather log for Barcelona Weather in January
Daily Comment: Temperature 8° C around 46.4 F Clear skies today.
Daily Comment: Temperature 7° C around 44.6 F Sunny with clear skies all day.
|No data between Day 19 to Day 29 because I was on holiday!|
Daily Comment: Temperature 11° C around 52 F Clear skies with sunshine in the morning but by late afternoon (16:00) some light cloud.
Daily Comment: Temperature 11° C around 52 F A little cloud, a little sun, but occasional there was a chill in the air all day – so make sure you wrap up warm.
Daily Comment: Temperature 12° C around 53 F Mixed day with some sunshine and cloud – but dry.
Daily Comment: Temperature 11° C around 52 F mostly clear skies for the whole day.
Daily Comment: Temperature 12° C around 53 F Clear skies with sunshine, but still too cold for my liking.
Daily Comment: Temperature 12° C around 53 F Clear skies with sunshine for most of the day.
Daily Comment: Temperature 13° C around 55 F Light cloud at times.
Daily Comment: Temperature 14° C around 57 F Warmer today. Clear skies with sunshine.
Daily Comment: Temperature 12° C around 53 F clear skies for much of the day, dry with sunshine.
Daily Comment: Temperature 13° C around 55 F Hazy for most of the day but dry.
Daily Comment: Temperature 13° C around 55 F Clear skies until 15:00 then became a little cloudy.
Daily Comment: Temperature 13° C around 55 F clear skies with sunshine.
Daily Comment: Temperature 13° C around 55 F Clear skies with sunshine.
Daily Comment: Temperature 13° C around 55 F Clear skies with sunshine.
Barcelona in January, rest and weather in Barcelona (Spain)
New Year’s fairy tale is left behind, but the festive atmosphere has not yet left the capital of Catalonia. It is still felt in the elegant shop windows and on the streets sparkling with thousands of garlands.
The first month of the new year has arrived, and it will surely bring happiness to all who come here. In January, Barcelona pleases its guests with a mild warm winter, breathtaking Spanish delicacies and January fun holidays.
Traveling to Barcelona in January: Benefits of winter travel
Barcelona enjoys warm, mild and relatively dry winters. Only the gusty winds that sometimes happen on the coast hint at the January cold.
Most of the reviews about the holidays in Barcelona in January are positive, because this unusual city is used to delight and surprise at any time of the year. Let’s name pluses of the January trip :
- Absence of low temperatures. The average temperature in January is around +10°C and sometimes even higher. Therefore, there is always the opportunity to walk in the fresh air without fear of freezing.
- Availability of happy holidays. In January, Barcelona hosts several noisy events that allow you to feel the local flavor and have plenty of fun.
- Sales season. This is really a golden time for shopping lovers. Shops please with numerous discounts up to 70%.
- An idea for a fun winter vacation. A wonderful opportunity to arrange a magical vacation for a child, especially since the capital of Catalonia offers entertainment for every taste and age.
There are also some negative aspects of travel. Just be aware to avoid or warn them.
- Winter weather. Like it or not, the middle of winter is the coldest time of the year. And even if the air temperature is not minus, the weather is quite changeable, and the winds are cold and gusty. True, in Barcelona this will not scare you: here you can find something to do in any weather.
- Influx of tourists. January is quite a popular month for travel: winter holidays and sales do their job. Therefore, be prepared for queues at museums and pandemonium in stores.
Weather in Barcelona in January
The weather in January-February is the coolest. By southern standards. Hardened by winters, our tourist does not care for such cold weather. After all, the average daily temperature is about +10°C.
Sunny days are enough, it rains infrequently, so you can count on comfortable walks in the fresh air along the wonderful boulevards and squares of Barcelona.
The weather in early January is unlikely to scare you with snow or frost, it is usually fresh, sunny and dry. The temperature during the day stays at around +8 – +10°C, at night it very rarely drops below +3°C.
The temperature in Barcelona in mid-January during the daytime can drop to +6°C, but this does not happen too often, and there are few such days.
There are times when the thermometer can surprise you with +19°C! So it’s easy to choose the time for walking this month, and you can enjoy your vacation to the fullest.
The weather in Barcelona at the end of January is still wintery, sometimes changeable, fluctuations in daytime temperatures are possible literally within three days from +6°C to +15°C. But the snow here is rather an anomalous phenomenon. So winter Barcelona can be called quite warm and spring-like sunny .
Barcelona’s mild Mediterranean climate is characterized by warm, sunny winters, with little rainfall and does not allow even nighttime temperatures to fall below zero. Therefore, the average air temperature in Barcelona in January is around +10°C.
Air temperature in Barcelona in January
The average daily temperature in the first month of the new year is about +13°C, the average night temperature drops to +8°C. Fluctuations in these indicators and a short-term weather forecast, of course, should be taken into account when planning a trip. However, with a high probability we can say that a down jacket is unlikely to be useful to you here.
Sea temperature in Barcelona in January
The water temperature in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Barcelona is around +14°C. The swimming season is closed, so you can only enjoy the beauty of the seascape from the shore.
You can breathe in the sea air and smell the sea by taking a romantic walk along the deserted Barcelona beaches on a sunny day.
Precipitation in the form of rain, very rarely in the form of snow, which melts before it touches the ground, not more than 39mm, and rainy days are given 1 – 3.
Sunny, cloudy and cloudy days
Barcelona usually enjoys sunny days this month – there are from 16 to 21 of them. There are about three cloudy days, and the rest of the time the sun periodically looks out because of the clouds. Therefore, the favorable January weather will in every possible way contribute to your walks and entertainment, without spoiling the impressions of the trip.
Sightseeing holidays: what to do in January
Barcelona is an amazing city. Not even a week is enough to see all its sights and go around all the galleries.
But still it is worth trying to catch as much as possible so that Catalonia will remain in your heart forever. She will surprise you, that’s for sure. Let’s try to make a list of things to do:
- Visit the heart of the city . And they are La Rambla and Plaza Catalunya. In early January, on a sunny, fine day, feed the pigeons in the square, walk along the boulevard, enjoying the atmosphere of Barcelona. This is the most famous pedestrian street of the capital.
- Stroll through the Boquería market. It can be reached directly from La Rambla. It is an attraction in itself. The air is filled with the aromas of fresh Spanish fruits and local meat delicacies, and the stalls are bursting with a wide variety of food. Only here you can feel the atmosphere of ancient Catalonia.
- Meet the great Catalan . The famous architect Antonio Gaudí built thirteen buildings in Barcelona. If you can’t see everything, visit at least a few. The most famous is Sagrada Familia . Millions of tourists come here to see this miracle of human creation – the projects of the extraordinary Gaudi are so original and unlike anyone else. Also worth seeing is Casa Batlló , the most unusual house in Barcelona, and visit the Park Güell, filled with unique buildings made of stone and mosaics. There is also the Gaudi House Museum, where he spent the last years of his life.
- Visit the aquarium . Barcelona Aquarium is one of the most popular entertainment spots for both tourists and local residents. Suddenly in mid-January there will be a rainy or cloudy day, spend it here. 35 separate aquariums with a total of 6 million liters of water, 11 thousand marine life, an aquarium with an 80-meter tunnel – all this attracts thousands of visitors. For kids, there is an interactive Explorer exhibition, where more than 50 interactive exhibits can be touched, listened to and explored.
- Learn a lot at the Museum of Natural Sciences. It is not intended for lovers of long boring lectures. To the delight of both children and their parents, almost all the exhibits can and should be pulled, twisted, touched and pressed – experiments are here at every step. You will see artificially created wonders of nature: a miniature origin of a storm and a real volcano, you will visit a real tropical forest with incessant drizzling rain. In general, surprise and delight are guaranteed to you. So if you’re intimidated by the cool Spanish breeze at the end of January, head to one of Barcelona’s most original museums to marvel.
Don’t forget to purchase one of Barcelona’s discount tourist cards before your trip, which are designed specifically to save money for tourists during excursions. Thanks to such cards, you can visit museums and exhibitions for free, use public transport, and get a number of other nice bonuses.
- How to save money in Barcelona: an overview of city discount cards
Holidays, events and festivals
The bright and sunny capital of Catalonia attracts tourists from all over the world for a reason – when you see this city for the first time, you can’t help but fall in love, and having visited once, you want to return.
Whenever you come here, don’t hesitate, the city will welcome you. Take at least the holidays in Barcelona in January – they are so cheerful, bright and hot!
The end of the Christmas holidays is marked by the procession of the Magician-Kings on January 5th. In some European countries, this day is called the Three Kings Day. This parade is especially loved by children: they write notes with wishes in advance, and the Magicians, marching, generously shower them with sweets.
The action begins at five o’clock in the evening, and a colorful procession on bright platforms moves along the main streets of the city. Ends around 10 pm on one of the squares of the city.
You can join the fun at any time, and tickets are not needed for this, but spectators take their places in advance in order to better view the procession and collect sweets. The next day, the Spaniards celebrate Epiphany by illuminating water, incense and honey. On the houses you can see the capital letters of the names of magicians: it is believed that they drive away evil forces.
The enchanting hot Spanish Flamenco dance will turn your head and captivate you, even if you don’t know how to dance at all! In January the Flamenco Festival “De Cajon” starts here, it lasts until March.
At this time, the rhythm of the dance takes over the whole city: it is presented at several venues in the city, restaurants offer entire Flamenco programs, so you can enjoy a hot dinner to the music of incendiary dance.
- Collection of children’s and family entertainment in Barcelona
Winter sales are brought to Barcelona by Magic Kings, because they start on January 7th. This is the first working day after the long Christmas holidays and the official start of the discount season.
Huge shopping centers offer discounts from 20% to 70%. Each of them has two or three hundred shops, food courts with delicious food, observation decks on the upper floors, as well as discos, clubs and other entertainment.
- Best souvenirs from Barcelona
Half an hour drive from the city there is a so-called shopping village or outlet village, where discounts of up to 70% on goods from famous brands are available throughout the year.
Prices for holidays
January is quite a popular month for traveling: after all, a whole week of holidays plus school holidays. That is why the prices in Barcelona in January are quite high, even compared to December. Winter holidays and shopping prove to be good reasons to travel.
Airlines rejoice – here it is, golden time! Airfare prices are the highest in the first month of the year, about 5% higher than in December. And by February, they decrease by 15% – 20%. Therefore, if you want to save money, book tickets six months before the trip, then they will cost you a little cheaper.
After the airlines raise prices and tour operators. Compared to the previous month, the growth is insignificant – from 5 to 10%, in February prices are reduced by 15 – 20%. The tour should also be booked a few months before the trip, because by the beginning of the winter season all the best hotels are already booked, and the prices are already quite high.
- Best Family Hotels in Barcelona
If you are already in Barcelona, you should definitely try the famous Spanish paella, which will cost you 21-26 euros per serving. Another popular dish here is tapas – a Spanish appetizer with a variety of fillings. And they serve it in tapas bars, of which there are a lot, at a price of 3 to 6 euros.
- National cuisine of Spain: what to try?
- Fruits of Spain
A special winter tradition is to order a cup of hot chocolate in a cafe, which is served with a portion of churros (traditional pastries in the form of sticks). And you need to eat them, dipped in chocolate. This delicacy will cost you 5 euros.
Recommendations for families with children
If you decide to spend your winter holidays in Barcelona, this is a wonderful choice. Our ideas for a family holiday in Barcelona will give you tips on where to go and how to plan your time. Bizarre architectural forms of the great Gaudi, unusual interactive museums and sea air while walking along deserted sandy beaches – what could be better?
- Traveling with children in Barcelona: a family guide
- Barcelona children’s itinerary: what to see first
This time is also suitable for traveling with kids: there is little rainfall, and there are usually many sunny days, and the air temperature sometimes reaches record highs of +20°C.
Most importantly, take warm clothes with you in case of cool January winds and go on a trip.
When you travel to Barcelona in January, be prepared to fall in love with this vibrant, crowded, warm and sunny city forever. Just book your tickets and hotel in advance and don’t let anything get in the way of your trip. And Kidpassage wishes you vivid impressions and unforgettable emotions!
What is the weather like in Barcelona in January
Those people who will be in Barcelona during the winter holidays are really lucky. After all, many New Year celebrations are held here at this time, and the streets sparkle with colorful lights, giving a festive mood and a feeling of being in a fabulous place. The weather in Barcelona in January will also contribute to a great pastime and a good winter holiday.
Daytime temperatures throughout January range from +10 °С to +15 °С. But sometimes it can drop to +6 °C. With such a temperature regime, you can have a great time exploring local attractions, as well as make sightseeing trips to other nearby areas. At night, the air temperature drops to +5 °C, sometimes up to +1 °C. Negative temperatures in January in Barcelona are very rare. The temperature of the Mediterranean Sea near the Spanish coast in January is not higher than + 13 ° C, so all that remains is to admire the boundless surface. But in the luxurious pools located on the territory of the hotels, you can enjoy water procedures as much as you like.
Atmospheric phenomena in Barcelona in January
Even the not-so-warm weather does not bother tourists, because if there are no heavy rains, then you can relax in comfort. In Barcelona in January it is mostly dry, it can rain 2 to 5 times a month. The rest of the time, alternately clear days, cloudy, overcast, but without rain. Wet snow falls only a few times this month, but, of course, it does not stay on the ground. If it so happened that a visit to this unusual city had to be postponed until the end of winter, then it is better to read about what the weather is like in Barcelona in February.
What clothes to bring?
If you are going to spend holidays or holidays in Spain, you need to take into account that the weather in Barcelona in January is changeable, so it does not hurt to bring a light jacket and a hat, as well as a warm sweater. Autumn boots or light autumn-winter boots will also come in handy. Well, in order to attend festive events, you need to take with you the most beautiful dress or suit from your wardrobe.
To learn more about the weather in January in Barcelona, you can look at the temperature regime table below.
|January weather in Barcelona/date||Air temperature in Barcelona during the day||Air temperature in Barcelona at night||Sea temperature in Barcelona|
|10 9025 0||3÷10||13÷14|