Things to do in Barcelona in December
There’s plenty of things to do in Barcelona in December if you’re planning a winter city break to this beautiful Spanish city.
Of course, visiting Barcelona in December might not be everyone’s first choice of month to see the city, but hear me out!
Everything is still open, there are plenty of things to do in Barcelona, and far fewer tourists. Here’s my guide on things to do in Barcelona in December.
Reasons To Visit Barcelona In December
Whether you are considering a city break, weekend away, or simply want to enjoy all that Barcelona has to offer, December is a good choice of month to visit.
Here’s just a few of the reasons and places to visit in Barcelona in December.
1. There are fewer tourists in Barcelona in winter
In my opinion, one of the main reasons to visit Barcelona in December, is that there are far fewer tourists at that time of year. It makes seeing the sites, such as the Casa Batlló a lot easier and more relaxing.
In true Dave style, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing this magnificent Gaudi masterpiece, one of the most famous landmarks in Europe, from across the road in the outdoor seated area of McDonald’s!
2. December Hotel Deals in Barcelona
Barcelona is a happening place, but things do quieten down on the tourism front during the winter months. As such, December is a great time of year to pick up hotel deals in Barcelona.
Here’s a few ideas to get you started:
3. Christmas Markets in Barcelona
You might normally associate Christmas markets with Northern European countries. In Barcelona in December though, a very nice Christmas Market is set up opposite Barcelona Cathedral.
It had a nice festive feel, without feeling too commercial or in your face.
So, if you want to pick up some unique items for Christmas gifts, this is another of the reasons why visiting Barcelona in December might appeal.
Related: Christmas Captions for Instagram
4. The Boqueria Food Market
Talking of markets, The Boqueria Food Market in Barcelona is obviously a ‘must-see’ at any time of year, but particularly in the winter months.
It is much quieter, and also seems to me to look a lot cooler at night in the winter. I loved the little Christmas tree outside!
5. Walking La Rambla
Whatever your reasons for visiting Barcelona in December, you have to take a stroll along La Rambla (Las Ramblas).
During the quieter winter months, the cafes may not be so full, but it is a lot easier to walk without the crowds! The side streets are also worth spending time wandering around.
The Gothic quarter in particular is worthy of exploration, and the houses there are very different to the design of other houses in Spain, especially those in the south, such as the Andalusian buildings in Seville.
6. Interesting Art Installations
I think Barcelona is the sort of city where there is always something going on. By just walking around, you will easily find something artistic, weird, or quirky.
During my time spent in Barcelona in December, I found all three combined into one! This art installation in a main square looked just like giant ‘snow-domes’. Inside, were various interpretations of Christmas Scenes.
7. Christmas Lights
And finally, one of the best reasons to visit Barcelona in December is the winter lights! Taking a walk near the Casa Mila is amazing at night, with everywhere lit up.
So, in conclusion, if you are looking for a European city to visit in the winter months, you should definitely consider Barcelona. In addition to its extensive sights and attractions, it feels more relaxed and chilled out at that time of year.
You might also like this guide to the warmest places in Europe in December.
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Visiting Barcelona December FAQ
Not sure if you want to go to Barcelona during the Christmas season or New Year’s Eve? These most commonly asked questions might help you decide if it is worth visiting Barcelona during December:
Is December a good time to visit Barcelona?
December might be outside of the traditional tourist season, but it is a great time to explore Barcelona. The milder Barcelona weather means you won’t see much rain, and daytime temperatures are around 15 degrees so it’s far easier to walk around and enjoy this fascinating city.
Is it warm in Barcelona in December?
Daytime temperatures of 15 degrees, and night time temperatures of 9 degrees make a December Barcelona trip a good idea for people wanting to escape the gloom of December in the UK!
Is it cold in Barcelona in December?
It is always a good idea to pack warm clothes when visiting Barcelona during the winter, but you may get away with just a light jacket visiting the Barcelona attractions in December.
Is Barcelona good at Christmas?
While Barcelona might not have the snow that more northern countries have during the winter months, enjoying the Christmas festivities in Barcelona is a great idea. You’ll find Christmas holiday markets, lots of Christmas trees and Christmas decorations, and of course plenty of delicious Catalan food to keep you warm!
Related Barcelona and Spain posts
If you are staying in Barcelona for longer, you might be interested in these travel blog posts:
- Guide to cycling in Catalonia
- Outdoor activities along the Ebre River
- Barcelona Instagram Captions
- Spain Captions For Instagram
Hope you enjoyed the read. Are you planning a trip to Barcelona this winter? Please leave a comment below!
Barcelona in December: Weather and What to Do
Visiting Barcelona in December can be a magical experience, as the city transforms into a winter wonderland with its beautiful Christmas lights and decorations.
When visiting the city, you may want to know what the weather in Barcelona is like. Don’t let the fact that December is a winter month in Barcelona put you off. This festive month is still an excellent opportunity to explore the city.
Barcelona is a vibrant city with plenty of things to see and do in December, making it an ideal destination for a winter break.
Let us show you why December in Barcelona is the most wonderful time of the year.
Guide to Barcelona – December
Barcelona may be considered a summer city for fun in the sun, but you shouldn’t dismiss it so quickly as a winter city. While you may not be able to swim in the sea or laze on the beach, there are still many perks to visiting this spectacular city in the winter.
One of the perks of visiting Spain in December is that it is generally less busy than the peak summer months. However, booking accommodations and attractions in advance is still advisable, especially during the Christmas and New Year’s periods.
In December, you can expect Christmas markets and festive events all around the city, but they are generally spread out and easily navigated. The main attractions, like the Sagrada Familia and Park Guell, are less crowded in December than during summer, making it a great time to visit.
As for pricing, December is considered a low season for tourism in Barcelona, so prices for accommodations, flights, and attractions are generally lower than during the peak summer months. However, prices may be higher during Christmas and New Year.
Barcelona in December offers an outstanding balance of cultural events and attractions without the overwhelming crowds of the peak tourist season. Plus, you can enjoy the festive atmosphere and explore the city’s landmarks and museums without breaking the bank.
Barcelona Weather in December
Although the weather in Spain in December may be chilly, it’s still mild compared to many other European cities.
In Barcelona, the weather in December can be somewhat unpredictable. The temperature typically ranges from around 48°F (9°C) to 59°F (15°C), with an average of about 54°F (12°C).
While the days are typically sunny and pleasant, it’s not uncommon to experience cloudy, rainy, or even windy weather during this time of year.
Quick Tip: To be prepared for the weather, dress in layers and bring an umbrella, just in case.
Despite the occasional chill, December is a great time to visit Barcelona, as the city’s holiday festivities and seasonal decorations add to its charm. The cooler weather also makes it easier to explore outdoor attractions, like the Gothic Quarter, without the sweltering heat of the summer months.
The weather in Barcelona, Spain, in December may not be as consistently sunny and warm as other times of the year. But it’s still a great time to experience the city’s unique culture and festive holiday spirit.
What to Pack For Spain in December
When packing for the weather in Barcelona in December, there are a few things to consider. First and foremost, you’ll need a warm coat or jacket, preferably waterproof or water-resistant.
Barcelona can be quite rainy in December, so it’s also a good idea to bring an umbrella. Also bring these essentials for staying cozy in the chilly weather:
- Warm sweaters
- Long-sleeved shirts
- Pants or jeans to keep your legs warm.
Barcelona is a fashionable city, so you’ll want to pack stylish clothing for evenings out. Consider bringing dressier outfits and comfortable shoes for exploring the city’s nightlife and restaurants. Comfortable walking shoes for sightseeing during the day is also a good idea.
Sunglasses and sunscreen are essential too if you plan on doing any outdoor activities.
Lastly, remember any necessary electronics and accessories, such as a camera, phone charger, and travel adapter.
When packing for Barcelona in December, it’s important to prioritize warmth and comfort while also considering the city’s stylish atmosphere. By packing accordingly, you’ll be able to fully enjoy all that this vibrant city has to offer, even in the colder winter months.
What to do in Barcelona in December
Even though you may not want to swim in the sea, there is still plenty to do in Barcelona in December. This dazzling city still offers unique architecture, delicious tapas, and great nightlife. The local festive spirit adds a special charm to adventures around the city during this time. There are plenty of things to do in Barcelona in December.
Be Enchanted by Christmas Markets and Lights
One of the most popular events in December is the Fira de Santa Llucia, the traditional Christmas market, which takes place in the city center.
Here, you can browse stalls selling traditional Catalan gifts and decorations, such as the famous “caga tió” (a Christmas log with a face and a red hat). You can also enjoy some delicious seasonal treats like churros with hot chocolate.
Top Tip: Go on a Merry Markets Private Christmas Tour to experience Christmas in Catalonia like a local.
Another must-see attraction during the holiday season is the Nativity Scene, or “Pessebre,” displayed in the Gothic Quarter. This intricate, life-size representation of the birth of Jesus is a beloved tradition in Catalonia, and visitors can marvel at the intricate details and figurines.
Take the time to marvel at the Christmas lights. Barcelona lights up with festive lights during December, a magical sight to behold. The best places to see the Christmas lights include Plaça de Catalunya, Passeig de Gracia, and La Rambla.
Top Tip: Take a customizable Private Christmas Walking Tour with a drink in hand and explore historic Barrio Gótico as it is lit up with colorful lights.
Attend a Concert and go Museum Hopping
December is a great time to attend a concert or show. The city has a thriving arts scene, and there are plenty of concerts, shows, and performances to enjoy in December.
The Gran Teatre del Liceu is a great place to catch a classical music performance, while the Palau de la Musica Catalana is an iconic venue for jazz and other genres.
Due to the relatively quiet nature of the city during this time, it is the perfect opportunity to visit the city’s museums, to get a feel for the history and culture, while escaping the cold. Barcelona is home to some of the world’s most impressive museums, including the Picasso Museum and the Joan Miro Foundation.
Top Tip: Get to know one of the best street artists of the century and visit the Bansky Museum in Barcelona for an unforgettable experience!
Visit Landmarks and do Some Shopping
Barcelona is known for its unique architecture and there are several fascinating landmarks around the city. December is a great time to visit landmarks like the Sagrada Familia and Casa Batlló, as there are fewer crowds than in the peak tourist season.
Winter in Barcelona is still the perfect time to enjoy tapas and sip wine or enjoy a night of traditional flamenco dancing. And remember to take advantage of the international shopping experience for your Christmas shopping needs.
Final Thoughts | Barcelona in December
There are plenty of things to do in Barcelona in December, and you are sure to have a memorable experience exploring the city’s festive atmosphere and cultural offerings.
While the weather may be chilly, Barcelona still has plenty to offer in December.
Overall, visiting Barcelona in December offers a unique and festive atmosphere that will delight visitors of all ages.
Barcelona in December, holidays and weather in Barcelona (Spain)
Winter has come to bright sunny Barcelona. But did it hurt her? There is no sadness here even on the most cloudy day: festive illuminations, Christmas markets, fireworks will not let anyone get bored and completely compensate for the cold sea and unpleasant winds.
Do you want to plunge into the whirlwind of festive preparations and noisy fun? Then Barcelona in December is for you! Kidpassage has prepared for you a special review dedicated to the trip during this wonderful period.
Holidays in Barcelona in December: the advantages and disadvantages of traveling
The coolness of winter does not interfere with the growth of the tourist popularity of the Catalan capital in December. With the advent of cold weather, life here does not stop, does not freeze, but simply boils – what is worth the evening shine of thousands of garlands and noisy Christmas markets, which is also confirmed by rave reviews about holidays in Barcelona in December.
Denote the benefits of the December trip:
- Christmas markets and the spirit of Catholic Christmas in the air will give you a real holiday feeling.
- Winter in Catalonia is relatively mild, almost snowless, and the air temperature during the day sometimes reaches +20°C, which will allow you to walk around the Christmas city without fear of freezing.
- Children’s entertainment, both outdoors and indoors, is enough at this time, so the children will not be bored, and parents can take them without any problems.
Holidays in the Catalan capital are always full of events and just saturated with holidays, but to complete the picture let’s designate a few features of winter travel so that nothing overshadows your trip.
- December is not characterized by constant weather and temperature. Today you can walk in a T-shirt and a light jacket, and tomorrow it will be a piercing wind with a temperature of +5°C. So how comfortable the trip with the baby will be is up to you. However, we can definitely say that a windproof jacket will come in handy in any case.
- For lovers of a relaxing holiday with a small number of tourists, December is completely unsuitable – noisy Christmas markets and holidays have always attracted tourists, and at this time their number increases significantly.
Weather in Barcelona in December
It is difficult to predict the vagaries of December weather, so you can prepare for any changes: rain, gusty winds, coolness, warmth and sun. It is better, of course, to take both a jacket and a sweater with you, after all, the weather in December-January is the coolest of the year.
Our tourists, accustomed to frosts, are usually not afraid of the average December figure of about +14°C.
The weather at the beginning of December already declares itself as wintery, sometimes cool and windy. True, sunny Barcelona often justifies its name and pleases tourists with a bright azure sky.
Nighttime temperatures in Barcelona in December can drop to +3°C – +5°C, with a minimum of -2°C. During the day, the temperature rises to +10°C – +15°C, although the days are cool, when these figures decrease by 5 – 7 degrees.
The weather in Barcelona at the end of the month is still fickle and can please you with warmth or drive a cool wind from the streets to local cafes.
However, the Christmas atmosphere is so captivating and captivates with noisy fairs that even a rainy day is not a hindrance to a walk.
Air and water temperature
The Mediterranean climate of the Catalan capital ensures a relatively warm, snowless winter with rain, cool winds and occasional heat returns, as well as an average temperature in Barcelona in December of around +14-+15°C.
Air temperature in Barcelona in December
During the day, thermometers can range from +6°C to 16°C, sometimes delighting tourists with almost summer heat up to +20°C. So in the Barcelona winter, both a jacket and a T-shirt will be equally useful for you.
Sea temperature in Barcelona in December
The Mediterranean Sea off the coast of the Catalan capital cools down by December, and the average water temperature in it is about +15°C. Without a doubt, such water is not suitable for swimming, and a beach holiday at the beginning of winter is only a walk along the embankment on a warm day and breathe in the salty and sea-soaked air.
December is not the rainiest month, but such days occur 8-9 times. The total amount of precipitation is about 49 mm. So, in addition to a warm jacket, it will not be superfluous to grab an umbrella, or rather, along with a raincoat, so as not to get wet on a walk.
Sunny, cloudy and cloudy days
Azure skies in the capital of Catalonia are not uncommon even in winter: there are about 12 sunny days here. There are about 8 rainy or cloudy days, the rest of the days the sun is periodically hidden behind the clouds.
Sightseeing holidays: what to do in December
Undoubtedly, during the preparation for the Christmas and New Year holidays in Barcelona there will be a lot of things to do and, as usual, there will be something to see. So where should an active and inquisitive tourist go? Let’s try to figure it out.
Be sure to visit the Christmas market – it is already open in early December. It is here that you will feel that the holidays are somewhere nearby and you can buy the most original souvenirs. For example, “what a log”, from which Spanish children ask for gifts. And what is characteristic – they get them!
Fairs are open from 10 am to 20.30 every day, seven days a week until December 23, so you will have enough time for a walk.
Festive markets open in the square in front of the Cathedral and at Sagrada Familia . There are all the attributes of Christmas markets here: nativity scenes, sweets, local delicacies – children really like this place, be sure to visit here together.
Have fun on the ice rink . During the holidays, Plaza Catalunya turns into a big b noisy ice arena. Music and cheerful laughter attract many visitors here, as well as local residents. Entrance and rental will cost you 7 – 8 euros per hour, and the time spent with the family is priceless.
Visit the Spanish village “Poble Espanyol” . Restaurants with delicious food, shops, venues for concerts, and in addition, an open-air museum city – you get two in one: an informative tour and a fun walk on a sunny day in mid-December.
Here you can taste local delicacies: jamón, Catalan paella, traditional tapas.
Not far from the Spanish village, at the foot of the Montjuic mountain opposite the ancient palace, there are singing fountains – an amazing sight, a magical combination of music, light and water flows that obey them.
In December, the show takes place every Friday and Saturday from 19.00 to 21.00 and attracts thousands of tourists. You should join their number – delight is provided to all members of your family.
Look at the creations of Antoni Gaudí . At the end of December, during the holidays, many museums are closed, and the fairs are already closed, so a walk around the city will be just right.
Gaudi’s buildings, located in different areas of Barcelona, always look festive and elegant, and at Christmas they especially resemble gingerbread houses. For example, Mila’s house is one of the last creations of the great architect.
His idea is a mountain that is in motion, and streams frozen in stone flow down from the roof. The intricate walls, balconies and other parts of the building never cease to amaze, but, above all, this house is also residential.
- What to see in Barcelona
- Barcelona Children’s Route
Holidays, events and festivals
The last month of the outgoing year in the capital of Catalonia is rich in events, which is one of the reasons for the increase in the number of tourists. Well, the main role, of course, is played by the holidays in Barcelona in December – there are a lot of people who want to spend Christmas in Catalonia.
We will now find out what other celebrations await travelers who come to Barcelona on Christmas Eve.
On December 6, the Catalans, like all of Spain, celebrate Constitution Day . On this day, the country was proclaimed a parliamentary monarchy and a democratic state.
On this day, concerts, performances, solemn rallies are held everywhere, and even excursions to the Parliament are held (by appointment). For all residents, this is an official day off, because shops are closed on December 6th.
A day later the whole country officially rests again, only this time in honor of a big religious holiday. December 8, Catholics celebrate Day of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary .
An interesting tradition on this day is to bring a “Christmas log” into the house, and then “take care” of it until the holidays: feed it, cover it with a blanket, for example.
And at Christmas they beat him, thus demanding gifts. So, if the locals suddenly invite you to visit, buy a “log” and a few sweets for the children in the pastry shop.
In the first half of the month, Barcelona welcomes jazz fans from all over Europe. Jazz Festival has been held for more than forty years, hosting the best jazz musicians in the world. Many concerts during the festival are held free of charge right on the streets, which makes it possible for all city guests to enjoy this art form.
Of course, we continue to argue that swimming in the Mediterranean is not possible in December, but there are stronger arguments – the traditional holiday of Copa Nadal .
This is a fun event in which more than 400 of the most daring men of the Catalan capital compete in a 200m swim in 13°C water.
The event is organized by one of the sports clubs in Barcelona. We will not advise you to join the swim, but we highly recommend watching this original event on December 25th.
Christmas in Spain is celebrated in the family circle, gathering together at the same table. Celebrations on the streets of the city begin on the morning of December 24, and by the evening the city seems to freeze, gathering large families for a gala dinner.
Barcelona residents usually spend the next day at home, and in all government organizations and shops it is an official holiday.
New Year’s Day December 31, is celebrated in Barcelona with a lot of noise, and you can easily join its main tradition if you decide to spend New Year’s holidays in the capital of Catalonia.
After a family dinner, everyone goes to Plaza Catalunya to watch the fireworks, and under the chiming clock, you need to have time to eat 12 grapes so that your wishes will certainly come true. The Spaniards believe that this ritual will surely bring good luck in the coming year.
Experienced tourists say that shopping in Barcelona is a real pleasure, because there are countless shops here. The sales season will start later – in the second half of January, however, in some stores you can already find profitable pre-holiday offers.
Do not forget about outlets. 35 km from the city, entire towns with shops of the most famous brands are waiting for you with discounts on models of past seasons.
Please note that there are many public holidays in December and shops are closed during this time. Also, most of them do not work on Sunday.
It is difficult to overestimate the popularity of holidays in Barcelona at Christmas – tourists are betting on holidays, noisy fairs and not very cold winter. For this reason, prices in Barcelona rise in December, as does the number of guests in the Catalan capital.
It is a busy time for airlines: some return home for holidays, others fly for tourism purposes. Flights are almost 100% full, and the average ticket price is one of the highest in the year.
Prices for flights increase by 20 – 30 percent depending on the dates – the closer to Christmas, the more expensive. Therefore, there is only one advice: buy tickets in advance to save some money.
Booking your favorite hotel room on the eve of the holidays also becomes difficult: the number of available rooms is significantly reduced. But the prices for tours against this background grow by at least 15%. If you plan your trip in advance, you can pay cheaper.
- Family hotels in Barcelona
Prices for food at fairs may be slightly higher than in a regular supermarket or shop. For example, traditional tapas will cost you 1-2 euros apiece, a portion of roasted chestnuts – about 3 euros, a bar of traditional Christmas sweets turron – about 3-4 euros.
Coffee and a croissant in the famous chain of bakeries will cost about 2 euros, and a portion of the famous churros with hot chocolate – 6-7 euros.
- What to try in Spain: food prices in shops, cafes and restaurants
Recommendations for families with children
A trip to Barcelona in December with a child of school age will certainly bring great pleasure to you and your child. Why are only Christmas markets, nativity scenes and a skating rink right next to the palm trees! We only advise you to take warm clothes, because you don’t always have to rely on the sun.
If you are traveling with kids, perhaps you should choose a different time for the trip, the risk of cold weather, rain and strong winds from the sea is too great. Be sure to take advantage of the short-term weather forecast if you do decide to go.
- To Barcelona with children: an author’s review Kidpassage
Christmas holidays are a miracle that even adults believe in and that children are waiting for. Introduce them to unusual Spanish traditions at Christmas, visit fairs, try local sweets – give them a holiday.
We would like to wish you all the best and a successful trip, and we hope that our recommendations will help you plan your magical trip in the style of Christmas.
weather, what to wear, what to do
Barcelona is interesting at any time of the year. Not even too comfortable weather conditions are a hindrance, so they are more than compensated by vivid impressions and unforgettable emotions from the Christmas atmosphere that reigns in Barcelona in December. Gourmets also love it, as the night falls on the city quite early, so restaurants and tapas bars have much more revenue than in summer.
December is the first really cold month in Barcelona. . Daytime temperature is +13..+17 degrees, at night – +6..+10. At the same time, the weather is not stable: yesterday it was only 14 degrees, and the next day the sun warmed up and the thermometer rose even to +20 or, conversely, dropped from +14 to +10.
The last major snowfall in Barcelona occurred on Christmas Eve 1962. Snow is not very typical for December. Unlike night frosts, which are not uncommon on New Year’s Eve.
Snow in Barcelona (2015)
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Temperature records of the month:
- Coldest day: -8 º
- The hottest day: +27 º
- Coldest month: +0.7º
- Hottest month: +23 º
How to dress
Most often in December, cold and dry weather prevails in the capital of Catalonia. Even if it will be nice to bake the sun during the day, after it sets, winter will make itself felt. Therefore, take with you outerwear that keeps heat well. A jacket that you wear with us in late autumn will work well.
How people dress in December in Barcelona
You don’t have to take shorts with you. Jeans or tight pants are much better.
It will not be superfluous to take with you a thermal jacket, which skiers wear on their naked bodies. It will not let you overheat in case of warm weather, and in cold weather it will keep you warm.
As for shoes, it is better to give preference to comfortable and warm shoes that do not let moisture in and will not let your feet freeze on cold pavement. Winter sneakers or boots with high soles are ideal.
December is the richest month for holidays.
- 6/12/2016 Constitution Day
- 12/8/2016 – Immaculate Conception Day
- 24-25/12/2016 – Christmas and St. Stephen’s Day
[notification type=”alert-warning” close=”false” ]No shops are open at weekends in Barcelona (not even supermarkets). Many cafes and restaurants are closed, but all museums are open (often on Monday, which is considered free). [/notification]
December is one of the main holidays in Spain – Constitution Day. Despite the fact that the Catalans do not consider themselves Spaniards and are trying in every possible way to emphasize this, this day – the 6th day – is also considered a day off for them.
In order to get a lot of presents for Christmas, it is worth resorting to the help of a Christmas log. But not simple, but in a red cap and with a painted muzzle. You need to bring such a miracle into the house on the Day of the Immaculate Conception – December 8th. For two weeks, the log should be diligently taken care of – wrapped, fed and courted in every possible way.
Christmas in Barcelona is one of the most important religious holidays. Mass festivities continue until nine o’clock in the evening, after which everyone rushes home, where a festive dinner is expected. Christmas is usually spent with friends and family.