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Things to do in Barcelona this Christmas

A trip to Barcelona is bound to get you in the Christmas spirit! In Spain both the 6th and the 8th of December are bank holidays, meaning there is always a fun buzz around the city at this time as locals take some much needed time off to celebrate the Día de la Constitución and the Día de la Inmaculada Concepción. The temperature in the city is mild this time of year, and flight prices are much lower than in the height of summer. So why not spend this festive season in beautiful Barcelona? Visit the extensive Christmas markets and see the sights, without the frantic summer crowds.

Without further ado, here are our recommendations for Things to do this Christmas in Barcelona 2022. We’re sure you won’t be disappointed!


Visit the Christmas Markets

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This winter, make the most of the festive Christmas Markets dotted around Barcelona. Markets, such as the Fira de Santa Llúcia located in the Gothic Quarter, are a whole lot of fun. They display the gifts and handicrafts of Barcelona’s independent businesses and often have lots of activities going on to entertain all the family.


The stalls sell items such as toys, jewellery and ornaments, a lot of which are completely handmade and unlike anything you will find on the high street. There is often live music and performance art going on at the markets, adding to the fun Christmas vibe. And don’t worry! You won’t go hungry at a Barcelona Christmas market anytime soon! You can always expect some sweet and savoury treats. We opt for freshly made churros con chocolate. You just can’t beat them!


Enjoy some traditional Catalan food

Feet tired from all that Christmas shopping? Why not wrap up warm in one of the city’s amazing restaurants and try the local cuisine for yourself. Catalonia specialises in comforting, rich and hearty food- perfect for the winter season!

Our recommendation? Try and find yourself a delicious bowl of Sarsuela de peix i marisc. This fish stew, similar to French bouillabaisse, is complex and truly unique. Its broth is made of tomatoes, peppers and ground almonds, then to be combined with fish of your choosing. Most restaurants will go for the classic choice of mussels, prawns and clams but there are many variations to this sacred recipe.

catalan cuisine

Another top choice of ours this festive season is Butifarra amb mongetes. This traditional dish is, essentially, sausage with beans. However, don’t let this humble description fool you! Though simple, Butifarra amb mongetes is a super special dish, unique to the region and packed with flavour. Delicious Catalonian sausage served with beans sauteed in the flavours of the meat. What’s not to like?


See the Christmas lights

After having your fill of tasty Catalonian grub, we recommend working off your dinner by wandering through the streets of Barcelona. During the winter months, the festive atmosphere is palpable, with Christmas lights and displays all over the city.


Nowhere better can this be seen than on Passeig de Gracia. This iconic road is lined from top to bottom with stunning Christmas lights twinkling as far as the eye can see. Be sure to stop at Casa Batlló on Passeig de Gracia to see Gaudi’s architectural masterpiece lit up with colour. This is not one to be missed!


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Equally, at the bottom of Passeig de Gracia, as you walk towards Las Ramblas, take in the beauty of Plaza Catalunya, also lit up with a gorgeous draped display, connecting all the buildings in the plaza. It is simply amazing!

xmas lights

Christmas shopping

For Christmas shopping opportunities in a scenic location, the Gothic Quarter is an excellent place to explore. The winding cobbled streets, lit up with Christmas lights, are home to rows and rows of stores. Some are independent boutiques selling hand-crafted items, and others are large clothing stores selling popular gifts. This is the place to tick some items off your Christmas list!


Nestled in the Gothic Quarter streets, just a few minutes walk from the Barcelona Cathedral, you will even find Käthe Wohlfahrt: Europe’s most famous Christmas shop. Its first Spanish location is in beautiful Barcelona, and it is bound to get you into the Christmas spirit! Take a walk through the winter wonderland, complete with towering Christmas trees and snow covered huts. Käthe Wohlfahrt has hundreds of baubles, nativity scenes, and trinkets to choose from. Lucky us!

xmas shop

So there you have it! Our top recommendations for Things to do this Christmas in Barcelona 2022. From markets and Christmas lights, to shopping and gastronomy, there is so much to do this festive season in the Catalan capital.

Sandra Roig

Sandra Roig is Marketing Director at AB Apartment Barcelona. AB Apartment Barcelona is an apartment rental agency offering over one thousand short and long term apartments across Barcelona. If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

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  1. Friends often tell me that they’re off to somewhere in Germany for the Christmas markets and I really don’t get it.

    Barcelona is far warmer and it’s got far more interesting Mediterranean foods and wine. Give me a full-bodied Rioja over Liebfraumilch any day of the week.

  2. Far more going on at Christmas than I would have ever imagined. Too late now to book 2022, perhaps one for next year.

  3. Barcelona always looks good whatever the time of year. When the city’s twinkling and sparkling all dressed up for Christmas, it must be a very special time.

    1. Hi Charli, thanks for your comment. Oh, absolutely! It’s ever so festive in the run up to the new year.

  4. I have always wondered if Sarsuela is essentially a Spanish take on bouillabaisse, I guess the difference is that the Spanish put almonds and potatoes into the mix as well. Which probably adds some substance and depth of flavour.

    1. Hi Jean! Yes they’re definitely similar but, you’re right, Sarsuela has a different depth of flavour that really makes it so special. It’s one of my favourites for sure!

  5. I’ve put a note in my diary for September 2023, “Book Barcelona for December break”.

    A long weekend in Barcelona at the beginning of December would be a refreshing break from the chaos of work.

    1. Hi Ed. Absolutely! Seeing the sights and feeling festive are a great break from work. I’m glad to hear Barcelona will be on your list!

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