Barcelona at Christmas is magical and oozes with a festive spirit that can be found in the soul of any great city. Barcelona sparkles after being draped with colourful, big, bright lights and spotted with Christmas trees.
This time of year gives shop owners the chance to be creative, meaning many become a little too enthusiastic with the good old tinsel and have turned their window displays in to tiny North Poles. It’s also the time for Barcelona´s Christmas Markets and as the 25th of December draws closer market stalls start to pop up all over the place.
The winding streets of the old town come alive with market stands selling all types of gadgets, gizmo’s and traditional Christmas cuisine, making Barcelona at Christmas time the perfect winter destination for shoppers. People flock to these temporary shopping spaces in their droves.
Some of Barcelona’s Christmas markets are more popular than others which will become obvious as soon as you arrive. Truth is, you’ll either be swept along in the current of eager beavers keen to tick off the next point on their shopping list, or if you’re lucky you’ll be given a little more space to breathe and, more importantly, shop. Either way, the atmosphere is great and gives you that warm Christmassy feel that goes down as well as a fine glass of mulled wine around this jolly time of year.
Anyhow, after raving on about Barcelona’s Christmas markets, let’s get down to the nitty gritty and find out how to get to there and what’s on offer.
Noted as the most popular of Barcelona’s Christmas markets it has a special Christmas atmosphere and is drenched with Catalan Christmas customs. This is a Christmas market that has stayed true to its surroundings and has purposely avoided taking on a German Christmas Market identity. No sir, instead of beer and Bratwurst you’ll be able to pick up your very own Caga Tio, a smiling Christmas log which, although seems a little peculiar to many, in a Catalan world it’s a time-honoured tradition. Also, scattered sporadically between these stalls you’ll also find a few wooden open top shops selling decorations, jewellery and hand-made toys. Alongside the merry ambiance here you’re spoilt with the stunning backdrop of the Cathedral so if it’s a Christmas Market in Barcelona you’re after then Fira de Santa Llúcia has to be first on the list.
Location: Plaza de la Seu, 08002
This Christmas Market takes up residence, every year, in the snaking streets around the Sagrada Familia bringing the whole area to life. With a city so rich in fantastic architecture it’s hard to find a location in Barcelona that doesn’t have charm. However, although the other Christmas Markets have a good location, this market takes first price for most impressive scenery as none could be more eye catching and magical as the Sarada Familia.
It has a very similar catalogue of products to sell as Fira de Santa Llúcia but is not so compact. This does mean there’s a little more room to manoeuvre whilst looking for items to fill your shopping bag in Barcelona at Christmas.
Location: Plaza de la Sagrada Família, 1
This market has permanent residency and can be found open to visitors all year round. It’s the place to be if you’re looking for old antiques, jewellery, postcards and stamps. However, if it’s a peaceful and relaxed shopping trip you’re after then go elsewhere as this market is busy at the best of times never mind in the run up to Christmas. In fact, you’re more likely to find freefalling from a plane a more relaxing experience than taking a stroll here!
That said if the crowds don’t bother you then it’s a great place to find a hidden gem that you can turn in to a first class Christmas gift.
Location: Avenida Portal de l’Angel, 37
Again open all year round but with a certain added charm at Christmas time. This small market sits gracefully under the watchful eyes of the Church Santa Maria del Pi and unlike the others this market is the one to be at if it’s your taste buds you’re looking to spoil this season. It’s full of delightful delicacies from honey, pate, herbs, and most importantly chocolate. So, come on and treat yourself, it is Christmas after all.
Location: Plaça del Pi 08002
Barcelona at Christmas is amazing! The city does Christmas very well and does Christmas markets even better. If you’re looking for anything from decorations to stamps or even a tasty treat, you’re likely to find it here! So, whatever tickles your fancy this festive season, you can be guaranteed to find a little Christmas spirit at all of them. Just be sure to watch those purse strings as even scrooge wouldn’t find it difficult to spend a few dimes at Barcelona´s Christmas markets this year!