5 top tips for a luxurious Christmas and New Year in Barcelona

Another year is rolling to a close. Are you going to let it slide away into the archive of forgotten memories, or might you seize the moment and treat yourself to a taste of luxury in Barcelona? It’s worth remembering that luxury isn’t necessarily about extravagance and over-spending, and that Christmas is a time when many simple pleasures that resonate with the essence of luxury – beyond the ordinary – can be enjoyed. Barcelona’s Christmas lights sparkle overhead, seasonal markets entice us back towards the traditional, and the aroma of hot roasted chestnuts wafts through the streets. However, if what you’re really after is a blast of Barcelona indulgence then here are a few suggestions.

1. Party in style at CDLC

A favourite with celebrities and the international jet-setters that step off the superyachts docked in nearby Port Vell, CDLC fuses contemporary glamour with oriental glitz. Its décor includes a large golden Buddha, white draped curtains that separate private lounge dining areas, and intricate Arabic lamps. The restaurant serves designer cuisine with a strong emphasis on sushi and Asian dishes combined with Mediterranean influences.

CDLC

Once the dessert spoons are licked clean the dancing begins. Models shake their sculpted shapes on the dancefloor to electronic beats from resident DJs and guests. You can relax though, as they are always outnumbered by regular party-goers who just want to splash out for the night and have as much fun as they can. Passeig Maritim 32.

2. Shop like a VIP in Passeig de Gràcia

Barcelona’s most elegant boulevard stretches from Plaça Catalunya to Diagonal. Its many architectural highlights include the magnificent Casa Batlló and La Pedrera by the renowned Modernist visionary Antoni Gaudí. However, many visitors are more interested in designs by a different kind of luminary. Stilettos by Jimmy Choo, this season’s new cocktail dress by Dolce and Gabanna, or a silk scarf to keep out the winter chill by Hermès… Be prepared to vie for the shop assistant’s attention with a steady stream of Russian mistresses and Chinese shopaholics.

Passeig de Gracia

If you’re in Barcelona on the 4th December you’re in luck, as The Shopping Night Barcelona presents “Hollywood: The Golden Age.” All the shops will be open until 1am, with complimentary cava and special promotions to lubricate the grip on your credit card.

3. Enjoy a night at the Liceu Opera

This prestigious venue was founded on La Rambla in 1847 and has since held some of the most important opera performances in Spain. Artists including José Carreras and Plácido Domingo have received standing ovations, the premières of Verdi’s “Il Trovatore” and Puccini’s “La Bohème” have been celebrated, and the cultural elite of Barcelona society have made eyes at each other during hundreds of shows here.

Gran Teatre Liceu

Treat yourself to a special evening out and catch the December performance of Gaetano Donizetti’s “María Stuarda” at the Gran Theatre de Liceu, which tells the historic tragedy of Mary Queen of Scots who defied her powerful cousin Elizabeth I and quite literally lost her head. La Rambla 51-59.

4. Relax at the Arabic Baths

Aire de Barcelona is more than just a spa. It’s a multisensory experience that has been carefully designed to refresh and pamper you inside and out. Its authentic techniques date back to civilisations that had mastered the art of living well. Roman style baths range from the Caldarium (ouch, that’s hot,) to Templarium (mmm, perfect) and Firgidarium (yeoww, too cold.) Enjoy the benefits of alternating between these temperatures, combined with a massage or additional beauty treatment such as the Argan Ritual with warm argan oil from Morocco. Open your pores in the Arabic Hammam and rehydrate with a cup of mint tea on the warm stones outside. Passeo Picasso 22.

Aire de Barcelona

5. Buy original art works from local artists

If your budget for Christmas presents stretches further than a stick of turrón and a woolly hat then Barcelona’s artistic community has plenty of creative proposals for you. Aside from giving a unique gift to someone you care about, you’re also giving a double gift to the artist – appreciation of their work and some cash to keep creating with. You can find interesting pieces in the Gràcia bars Sol de Nit (Pl. del Sol 9) and Joalí (Carrer del Sol 7). Galeria Balaguer specializes in works by talented young artists such as Alejandra Atarés (pictured) and many others, hosting exhibitions throughout the year. The Artevistas Gallery (Passatge del Crèdit, 4, just off C/ Ferran) has a new exhibition every month plus a wide selection of contemporary works to choose from.

Also not to be missed during Christmas an New Year in Barcelona

  • The Fira de Santa Llúcia (Nov 28-Dec 23). A wonderful Christmas Market selling all kinds of handmade trinkets and traditional Catalan goodies. You’ll find it outside the Barcelona Cathedral.
  • Fireworks at Plaça Espanya on New Year’s Eve. Simple but powerful.
  • The 3 Kings Parade (Jan 5). This 5km long parade of floats sees the Three ‘Reyes Magos’ glide around the city centre on giant floats throwing kilo upon kilo of sweets to onlookers. Definitely one to watch if you’re in Barcelona with kids.

Sandra Roig is Marketing Director at Apartment Barcelona.

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Comments (4)

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  1. Cristina says:

    I’m sorry, but there are no fireworks at the beach in Barcelona at New Year’s Eve. In fact, for locals is not a party to celebrate at the street, we celebrate it at home till midnight and go party aferwards. As there were a lot of tourist comingto Barcelona to celebrate the end of the year, it was decided to create a party, with live music and fireworks at Plaça Espanya. Last year was the first time.

  2. Sandra Roig says:

    Thanks for your correction, Cristina. In fact, the fireworks at Plaça Espanya are set to take place again this year!

  3. Palomalmon says:

    The best thing is the Fira de Santa Llúcia, I defenetly recommend it. Barcelona looks amazing always, but in Chritmas time it has a special athmosphere.

    And if you say there is fireworks again, I won’t miss it, I’m a local and I’ve never seen it before… I’m ashamed ;)

  4. Renee says:

    Great suggestions. The Arabic baths must be especially nice this time of year. There are no foodie recommendations, so let us chime in with maybe a dinner at the famed Casa Calvet, or even a food tour!

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