Barcelona in winter slows down. Even the bustling Las Ramblas street transforms to a calmer and quieter pedestrian avenue.
We believe the Catalan capital is the perfect destination for your winter vacations. Do you consider visiting Barcelona in winter or are you in the city and looking for inspiration?
Whether you prefer a stress-free visit to your favorite monument or eat calmly tapas in the restaurant you were dreaming of, this blog post will convince you that a trip to Barcelona could be surprisingly enjoyable during the coldest months of the year.
In Barcelona the sun still shines in winter
One of the best things about Barcelona in winter is the weather. It doesn’t really get too cold; you can easily go around with a sweater and a jacket. Barcelona 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 temperatures from November to February range between 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 16 degrees Celsius). If you’re visiting Barcelona in winter, we suggest you packing light winter clothes.
In the summer you’ll have to book in advance 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.
Low season means good deals and lower prices. Accommodation and touristic services offer discounts and promotions. Find yours and save money!
Lots of 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.
Christmas atmosphere and markets
The holiday mood for Christmas is set towards the beginning of December when the Christmas lights are lit up. Christmas markets pop up across the city and one of the most spectacular is the Fira de Santa Lucia, held on the square outside Barcelona’s Catedral de la Santa Cruz y Santa Eulalia.
Traditional Catalan cuisine
During holidays we usually meet friends, family… and eat! In Barcelona you can eat almost any time of the day. In autumn and winter the Catalan cuisine offers a huge variety of traditional dishes. What will you eat on a typical Christmas 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 cream or cheese. The origin of this recipe is the Italian recipe of cannelloni.
One of the most typical things to eat in winter in Catalonia is the calçot. Calçot is basically an onion that farmers partly bury until it becomes long – a really long onion! A calçotada is a barbecue of onions. It may sound strange, but you can only understand the Catalan society if you participate in a calçotada. 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.
Sales – shopping
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.
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 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. A private tour with a local expert is the best option, if you´re looking for a city break.
Have you ever visited Barcelona in winter? Let us know if you´re familiar with any of these traditions and events. We’ll be happy to add your suggestions!