Barcelona in winter slows down. Even the bustling La Rambla street is transformed into a calmer and quieter pedestrian avenue. We believe the Catalan capital is the perfect destination for your winter vacation.
In this blog post, we share our reasons why we believe your should visit Barcelona from November to March.
Whether you prefer a stress-free visit to your favorite monument, take a private tour, or just spent a day in the countryside, you can’t go wrong with visiting Barcelona in winter.
Let’s break down the to-do list with the best things to do in Barcelona in the winter months, from museums and family activities to nightlife and carnivals:
Weather in Barcelona in winter
One of the best things about Barcelona in winter is the temperature. It doesn’t really get too cold; you can easily go around with a sweater and a jacket.
Barcelona in the winter is one of the warmest cities in Europe, with many hours of daylight and an average of nine hours of sunshine a day in December.
The average temperature in winter in Barcelona is around 15C (57 F) degrees and drops to 6C (42F) in the evening. If you are from the colder regions of the world, for you it won’t feel very cold. Also, now in Barcelona is very rare.
Be aware though, sometimes the temperatures fall below freezing points – we recommend dressing warmly.
Winter in Barcelona means shorter lines
In the summer, you’d have taken care in advance of almost every aspect of your trip. From a table to a restaurant to tickets for your favorite museum. This is not the case in winter.
In winter Barcelona is a crowd-free city, queues almost disappeared and hospitality services are hassle-free. Still, if you plan to visit the main sites – like the masterpieces of Gaudi – we recommend buying tickets in advance.
Winter in Barcelona means Lower Prices
Low season means good deals and lower prices. Accommodation and tourist services offer discounts and promotions to everybody who wants to visit Barcelona in winter. Find yours and save money!
Barcelona Activities and Events
Barcelona in autumn and winter is full of events. Music events like Voll Damm Jazz Festival, film festivals like In-Edit Festival, Sitges Film Festival, and audiovisual festivals like Mira Digital Arts are just a few events worth participating in.
Sitges Carnival is one of Spain’s top carnivals and attracts more than 250,000 people to Sitges over 7 days with amazing parades, shows, and parties. Sitges is the LGBTQI capital of Europe and the atmosphere is fun and diverse!
Barcelona has 3 train stations that take you to Sitges by taking the R2 Sud Cercanías Line.
The main parades of the Carnival of Sitges are on:
Sunday 19th February
Tuesday 21st February
The date for Carnival of Sitges 2023 are from Wednesday, February 15, 2023, to Wednesday, February 22, 2023
Within the documentary world, documentaries about music have a category of their own. The In-Edit Festival in Barcelona has become a benchmark event in this category. This festival is one of the biggest music documentary festivals in the world.
In 2022, the festival will be held in the city from October 27th to November 6th of 2022.
Voll Damma Jazz Festival
Voll-Damm International Jazz Festival of Barcelona takes place in venues all over the city and you will need to buy individual tickets for each event. It is one of the most vibrant Jazz festivals in Spain.
The festival takes place from October 20th to December 15th of 2022.
Discover the Must-See Sights in Barcelona
Among the best winter activities in Barcelona, we couldn’t avoid mentioning the most emblematic World Heritage sites in the city, designed by the famous architect, Antoni Gaudi. Remember to buy tickets in advance; even though there are no crowds in winter, during the pick Christmas holiday season, tickets tend to sold out.
The good news is that you can easily reach all monuments of the art nouveau movement by taking public transportation. The metro system network of Barcelona is intuitive and easy to use.
Here are our favorite modernista monuments & museum in Barcelona you can’t miss:
Remember to buy tickets from the official website and avoid unnecessary commissions:
La Pedrera – Casa Mila
Hospital de Sant Pau i Santa Creu
Shopping in Barcelona
The city offers a perfect blend of major international brands, local designers and up-and-coming trendsetters. Shopping is endless in Barcelona. January 7th marks the beginning of the sales period in Spain.
What to Eat in Barcelona in Winter
Try the traditional Catalan cuisine in Barcelona
During holidays we usually meet friends, family… and eat! In Barcelona, you can eat almost any time of the day. In autumn and winter, Catalan cuisine offers a huge variety of traditional dishes.
What would you eat at a typical winter dinner in Catalonia?
You´ll see a pot of escudella i carn d’olla, a broth with meat and vegetables, or canelons, a tube-shaped pasta stuffed with meat filling and a layer of cream or cheese. The origin of this recipe is the Italian recipe of cannelloni.
Autumn is the season of mushrooms and many Catalan dishes are based on this delicious ingredient. For the sweet lover, turrons and churros with chocolate are very popular desserts and old-time classics.
Eat calçots and participate in a calçotada
Anyone who’s been in Barcelona or anywhere around Catalonia between November and March is likely to have encountered the words calçots and calçotada.
Calçotada is a distinct Catalan tradition, a festival of authentic local food, where people have tons of fun eating and drinking wine together.
The calçotadas are usually set in the countryside, in a courtyard or a farmhouse – but you will also find calçotadas in every neighborhood of Barcelona and Catalonia during the peak season in January and February.
Day Trips near Barcelona during Winter
Thermal Baths in and around Barcelona
Barcelona has a mild winter, but during those colder days, it could be the right time to visit a thermal bath or a spa. Here are some options in and around Barcelona:
This luxurious Spa offers massages, bathing jets, thermal circuits and a new experience for all your senses.
Caldes d’Estrac is a pretty beach town, 50 minutes north of Barcelona, an excellent day trip from Barcelona, within easy reach of Barcelona by train from Placa Catalunya station. The town’s thermal waters, which emerge from the source at 39 degrees, are very popular in winter.
Built around its thermal waters, Caldes de Montbui lies 30 kilometers from Barcelona in the Vallés region. The spring waters emerge at over 74 degrees, placing them among the hottest in Europe.
Day Trips to the Countryside
Our favorite thing about autumn and winter are the colors of nature. The natural landscape of the Catalan region is mind-blowing with many National Natural Parks within an hour’s driving distance from Barcelona.
Collserola Mountain, Pla de Bages, Montserrat Mountain, Penedés, Alella are just a few locations that offer spectacular mountain and sea views, merged into beautiful natural surroundings.
With their own microclimate, these locations produce some of the best wines in Spain. Just like during the rest of the year, a private tour with a local expert is a must-do also if you visit
Christmas in Barcelona in 2022
The holiday mood for Christmas is set towards the beginning of December when the Christmas lights are lit up until Kings Day, on January 6th. And the Christmas traditions in Barcelona are plentiful.
Barcelona in December is full of Christmas markets, which pop up across the city. One of the most spectacular Catalan Christmas markets is the Fira de Santa Llúcia, held on the square outside Barcelona Cathedral de la Santa Cruz y Santa Eulalia, in the Gothic quarter.
New Year’s Eve in Barcelona in 2022
Barcelona’s official New Year’s Eve celebration now takes place at the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc. The party area stretches from Plaza de España up to the National Palace. The celebration is free and public, access is granted to everybody.
Starting at 11 PM, the show lasts until just 1 AM and includes an artistic performance, music, and a massive fireworks show. Afterward, it’s time to continue the party at the local clubs. We’ve got some nightlife tips for you too, make sure to book ahead!
As you can see, there are plenty of things to do in Barcelona in winter, from a walk in the heart of the Gothic quarter to a day trip in the countryside. Let us know if you´re familiar with any of the Catalan traditions and events in Barcelona in winter. We’ll be happy to add your suggestions!