Barcelona’s top tourist attractions are diverse and wide-reaching. There really is something for everyone! If you are looking for a cultural experience, then there are countless museums, galleries, and examples of wonderful architecture to enjoy. Take a look at our blog on the top Gaudi sights for ideas of some amazing modernist treasures to visit.

If you are looking for something a little less artistic, then this is the blog for you. This time we will look at Barcelona’s top tourist attractions that show a different side of the city. A side that focuses on sport, wildlife, and general entertainment.

FC Barcelona Camp Nou

The mighty FC Barcelona is renowned worldwide for the team’s amazing achievements in football. The club has a rich history, and a roll call of players, past and present, which sounds like a who’s who of football. FC Barcelona has won many trophies which are kept at the stadium in the Camp Nou Museum. This leads us on nicely to point out that you can book a tour of Camp Nou Stadium and Museum, this is definitely one of Barcelona’s top tourist attractions so it can get very busy, we recommend booking tickets beforehand. During the tour, you’ll have the chance to feel like a real insider, with a visit to the changing rooms, press room, and you can even touch the grass on FC Barcelona’s sacred football pitch!

For a really special experience check out the small group tour with a sports journalist! 

Barcelona Aquarium

The aquarium is a great family day out and conveniently located in Port Vell. From here you can also easily access two other important tourist attractions in Barcelona, La Barceloneta, and Las Ramblas. Both are within walking distance of the aquarium. The main attraction at the aquarium is the unique Oceanarium. This is a transparent tunnel, over 80 meters long, which allows you to take a ‘walk underwater’. It feels like walking along the sea bed while creatures of the Mediterranean, including sharks, swim around you. The aquarium has a lot more to offer, with different themed areas from sea horses to tropical coral.

We recommend that you allow a couple of hours for your visit. To avoid long queues during peak season, we suggest booking tickets in advance.  You can find these on our Tickets and Attractions page. 

Barcelona Zoo

The zoo is a great day out for both families and animal lovers alike. The zoo houses around 300 species of animals, plus rich flora and parkland that has about 320 botanical species. It sits within the city park (Parque de la Ciutadella), we recommend spending some time in the park before or after your visit. The zoo is committed to conservation programs and its mission; ‘to actively intervene in the conservation, scientific research, and dissemination of wild fauna and its natural habitats.’

There is much to see at Barcelona zoo, from the ‘land of dragons’ to the ‘aviarium’, plus all the other exotic animals we normally only see on wildlife documentaries.

The facilities on site are good with picnic tables and restaurants. So you can take your time and enjoy the day at leisure.

The Olympics! Stadium and Olympic Museum

The 1992 Olympics were a pivotal event for Barcelona city. The games propelled Barcelona onto the world stage. In preparation for this, the city underwent a major transformation which left a positive legacy on the now world-famous Spanish tourist destination.

The hill of Montjuic was the main hub for the games, more specifically the area known as the Olympic Ring. The ring is home to the Olympic Stadium, Palau Sant Jordi (sports hall), and the Olympic Esplanade. There is also the very impressive telecommunications tower (built for transmission of the games) and is said to represent an athlete holding the Olympic Flame. Montjuic is also home to the Olympic pools and diving pools.

The diving pools also have another claim to fame, they were the location for one of Kylie Minogue’s videos! For the music nerds out there (we fall into that bracket) take a look at these other famous videos that were filmed in Barcelona 

We recommend a full tour of this area and for the real sports enthusiasts, there is the Olympic Museum. The museum will take you on a journey through the history of sport.  There are also interactive challenges to enjoy, plus the opportunity to learn about the 1992 Olympics and view some great pieces of sporting memorabilia.

When planning what to do in Barcelona we recommend checking out all transport options.  We love city breaks; they are a fun and vibrant way to travel. Sometimes we only visit a city for a few days and want to cram in a much as possible. Weighing up how to get around is key!

Barcelona Tours has some great tips we’d love to share with you.

Public transport

The public transport in Barcelona is very good. There is a reliable metro system, that is quick, modern, clean, and pretty good value for money. You can reach most of Barcelona’s top tourist attractions by metro, so it is our number one option for getting around the city.

You can also use your metro ticket on TMB (Transport Metropolitan Barcelona) buses and trams. Plus if you take the metro and the bus or tram within the same journey this only counts as ‘one trip’ and you are only charged for that. So if you got a 10 journey ticket, called a T-Casual, they would only charge you one trip!

All of the Gaudi attractions, including the Sagradas Familia, Casa Batllo, and Casa Mila, are just meters away from the nearest metro station.

The metro runs very regularly, every couple of minutes on most lines, and it is open until late; midnight during the week, 2 am on a Friday, and all night on Saturdays.

Buses are also very regular, and stop at pretty much all the top tourist attractions in Barcelona. When the regular buses stop running for the day, they are replaced by a night bus service.

Special Offers

If you plan on taking full advantage of public transport, we recommend that you consider one of the transport cards aimed at tourists visiting the city. There a two main options. The first is Hola BCN Transport Saver; this card is designed for concentrated use of transport within a fixed time scale. So you get unlimited trips on the metro, bus, or tram with various options starting from 48 hours.

If museums and galleries are high on your list of what to do in Barcelona then maybe the Barcelona Card is a better option. As well as free travel on public transport the card also includes access to over 25 museums and attractions. Options to book both these tickets can be found here.

On foot

Barcelona is a great city to explore on foot. If you have time and want to take in all the sights around you, there are areas of the city that are perfect for a leisurely stroll. The Gothic Quarter, known as the Barrio Gotico is perfect for a wander around. Each winding street leads to a different gem. You will find on your travels medieval churches, curiosity shops, and even Roman ruins.

The Ramblas is also an area to discover on foot. To experience ‘Las Ramblas’ in all its glory we suggest you start at the port and walk up the Ramblas until you reach Plaza Catalunya. From here, walk up Passeig de Gracia to reach some of the spectacular modernist buildings.

Group and Private Transport

Private transport can also easily be arranged. Maybe you would like a smooth transfer from the airport to your hotel, or a private driver to take you around the city. Get in touch to talk about the options.

If you are organising a group event or travel to Barcelona, then moving larger numbers of people around the city can get complicated.

Take the stress away from the logistics of your trip, by getting Barcelona Tours to do this for you. There are various options to choose from, take a look at our transfers for groups here.

Barcelona has so much to offer tourists, so where should you start? Where are the best places to visit in Barcelona? We suggest that no visit would be complete without checking out the modernist treasures left to the city by Anthony Gaudi. His work is so iconic that not only has it shaped the skyline of the city, but his vanguard modernist flair influenced much of the architecture in Barcelona.

The diversity of his work and the stories that surround it have a lot of curb appeal. Even those who are normally more interested in the beach than culture, still want to know a little about the Sagrada Familia.

So we will start our Best Places to Visit Barcelona, Top 5 Gaudi Attractions with the mighty church that dominates the skyline of Barcelona.

Sagrada Familia

The most famous of Barcelona’s tourist attractions is the Sagrada Familia. Also known as the ‘unfinished church’, the story around the construction of the church is as fascinating as the building itself. The church was the brainchild of the famous architect Anthony Gaudi. It was his last project before he died, and where he applied everything he had learned from previous projects, plus all of his distinctive artistic flair.

The first stone of the Sagrada Familia was laid in 1883! The planned completion date of the church is 2026, which would mark 100 years since the untimely death of Gaudi. After his death, faithful collaborators carried on working from the plans and visions he left to keep the project alive.

The sheer size of the Basilica is something that attracts Barcelona tourists to visit the space. A unique feature is its dominating height dominating which gives an impressive feel of vastness. Inside the columns reach up to 45m before they reach the vaults. There is an ambitious plan for the central tower to reach 172.5 meters, which will make the Barcelona Church the tallest religious building in Europe.

It is also the intricately detailed symbolism on the facades of the Sagrada Familia that makes for such an interesting visit. The 3 facades depict The Nativity, The Passion, and The Glory.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site is the most visited tourist attraction in Spain and very worthy of the top spot on our Best Places to Visit in Barcelona. It is important to book your visit in advance.

Park Guell

The number 2 spot on our best Gaudi places to visit in Barcelona is Park Guell. This is a wonderful natural space in the north of the city, and another of Gaudi’s works which is a Unesco World Heritage site. The park was commissioned by Eusebi Guell, one of Gaudi’s best clients.

Gaudi was influenced by nature and curves, and he applied this to the design of the park. There are wonderful examples of his trencadis technique, which is a distinct style of mosaic work. The park is also home to one of Barcelona’s most iconic images, the Gaudi Dragon. A souvenir photo is a must here!

The park’s location allows you to enjoy one of the best views of the city. You can see across the whole of Barcelona, all the way down to the mediterranean sea.

Take a leisurely stroll around the park and enjoy it all in your own time. It is a popular Barcelona Tourist attraction and you do need tickets to access Park Guell.

To visit both Park Guell and Sagrada Familia with transport included, we have the perfect tour for you here.

Casa Batllo

Casa Batllo is undeniably one of Gaudi’s artistic masterpieces. The house sits on the famous boulevard ‘Passeig de Gracia’. It is one of a row of four buildings, by renowned modernist architects, known as the ‘Row of Discord’. Within this row, it is the eye-catching Gaudi building that really turns heads. Some locals refer to it as the ‘house of bones’ due to the skeletal feel of the balconies and supporting beams in the window frames. Casa Batllo has many of Gaudi’s distinct ‘trademarks’ such as his tribute to nature with a lack of straight lines and his use of broken tile mosaics (called Trencadis) that fills the facade of the building.

Some of the beauty of the building can be enjoyed from the exterior, but we do recommend visiting the inside. The terrace allows you to see the roof which is said to resemble the back of a dragon. The loft is also worth a visit to see the 60 catenary arches which are said to represent the ribcage of an animal.

Given the unique nature of Casa Batllo, the long queues are understandable, so we do suggest getting your ticket before!

Casa Mila

Casa Mila is also known as La Pedrera and is one of two Gaudi buildings on Passeig de Gracia. The other we just talked about! The building was commissioned in 1905 by Pere Mila and his wife Roser Segimón. The design was radical for its day and was subjected to much mocking locally.

Again Gaudi was true to the influences of nature, with the building designed as a continuous curve. A key feature of the house is the roof with its multitude of skylights, exits for stairs, chimneys, and fans. These are all highly functional architectural elements that also have merit as stand-alone sculptures. There are splashes of Gaudi’s trademark mosaic style, but much less than in other works of his. Some of the brickwork is covered in lime to achieve contrast alongside the stark twisted steel balconies.

This magnificent building is also one to add to your list of tourist attractions to visit.

The Dragon Gate of Guell Pavilions

The Guell Pavilions and gardens are one of Gaudi’s lesser-known, but no less impressive, pieces of work. It also happens to be one of our favorites, hence its place on this list of best places to visit in Barcelona. This was Gaudi’s first commission by his later patron Eusebi Guell and the first to feature his now trademark trencadis technique.

The aim of the project was for Gaudi to redesign the entrance lodges and garden to the estate owned by Eusebi Guell. Born out of this project was the awe-inspiring dragon gate. The wrought iron is twisted into a mythological serpent-like dragon, complete with a glass eye. The sculpture seems to come to life and roar at you! The gate was inspired by Greek mythology, based on a creature called Ladon, who guarded the Garden of Hesperides.

You could easily miss this gem as it is a little off the normal tourist path in Barcelona, but well worth a visit and is one of the stops on the comprehensive tourist bus routes.

Tickets to all of the above Barcelona tourist attractions are available on our ticket page here.

A ‘barrio’ – say what?

‘Barrio’ is a Spanish word that describes a neighbourhood or quarter of the city. Each of Barcelona’s Barrios has something unique to offer!  The variety gives us stacks of possibilities for Barcelona group activities. It is exactly what makes Barcelona such a vibrant place to visit for your private or company events.

We will delve into each of the city’s barrios to give you a taste and feel for the different areas. You will be left with a ‘Barcelona bucket list’, overflowing with all the interesting and diverse attractions you will want to dive into.

Where?

Sandwiched between the Gothic Quarter and the main city park (Ciutadella), El Born has grown in popularity with the trendsetters. Like its Gothic neighbour, the barrio has its share of winding narrow streets.   It is full of contrast between Gothic, medieval history and modern influences. Over recent years it has also become popular for its boho yet fashionable stores, bistros, and bars. This eclectic mix gives the area a very unique charm.

The Back Story

Originally sitting outside of the city’s roman wall boundary, it was in the 15th century when growth meant that the walls were extended to include the area. The Roman archaeological remains can be seen inside the old El Born Market, now a dedicated centre for culture and history of the area.

This old market is definitely worth a visit: https://elbornculturaimemoria.barcelona.cat/en/explore/archaeological-site/historia-del-born/

The Born’s location near to the working port was convenient for traders who began to build palaces in the area. A financial crisis meant that Filipe V decided to destroy much of the neighbourhood to build a castle, which is now park Ciudatdella. Its colourful history is what gives the area it’s unique aesthetics and curb appeal.

The Current Vibe

We love the local designer boutiques, diverse selection of restaurants, wine bars and antique curiosity shops.  Let’s not forget the beautiful architecture steeped in history, cobbled streets, terraces perfect for long lingering lunches and an impressive medieval church (Santa Maria del Mar).  We can’t recommend the area enough!

Get it on your itinerary for an organized group tour or a just a saunter around area taking it all in slowly.

For those culturally inclined it is also home to the Picasso Museum: http://www.museupicasso.bcn.cat/en

We also recommend the lesser-known, but in our opinion, equally interesting Museum of Modern Art:
https://www.meam.es/

Top Picks

Plan your group trip to Barcelona with some of our top picks, see below!

El Xampanyet

Looking for an authentic bar experience? Go back in time to experience one of the areas longest standing traditional bars. Dating back to 1929, the name comes from the sparkling wine served there. Enjoy a glass and some tapas in the hustle and bustle of this unique bar.
https://www.elxampanyet.es/

Guzzo Club

Guzzo Club is café, bar, art gallery and music club all rolled into one. Get down with the hipsters for a bite to eat, a few drinks and a late boogie.
https://www.guzzorestaurante.es/en/

Hoffman Pastries

We wholeheartedly recommend getting your sweet fix here! Try one of their award-winning croissants (our favourite the mascarpone croissant!) or whatever seduces you from the selection mouthwatering selection of pastries!
https://www.hofmann-bcn.com/en/patisserie

Cal Pep

Don’t be fooled by the laid-back vibe, Cal Pep is a real hidden gem and one of the best places to eat tapas in Barcelona!
https://www.calpep.com/Ingles/index_ing.html

Aire de Barcelona

Tired from all the exploring? Check out Aire de Barcelona. The ancient thermal baths offer a calm and relaxing space to chill out and recharge your batteries ready for the next ‘barrio’ adventure.
https://beaire.com/en/aire-ancient-baths-barcelona

Suara

One store that shows the diversity and creativity of the Born is Suara. Offering fair trade products, they donate the profits to caring for stray cats! Check out the fun fashion offerings for cat and non-cat lovers alike!
https://www.suara-store.com/es/

 

This blog was originally posted on February 15th 2019 and was updated for March 2020.

Barcelona begins to awaken from its winter slumber in March and spring is tapping at the windows. With temperatures rising, the days growing longer and the streets growing busier, March is a great month to dust off the cobwebs and set out for a holiday in Barcelona. Perfectly nestled between the low and high seasons, March is a window of opportunity to explore Barcelona before the crowds really start to arrive.

Read on to discover the weird and wonderful events of Barcelona in March…

Sant Medir Festival: Candy Culture

When: 3rd March

Where: Carrer Gran de Gracia, Gracia neighbourhood

Price: Free, although you may wish to purchase a big bag.

At first glance, this festival is a little tricky to understand. Well, first glance, second glance, at all glances really, unless you also have a candy and horses festival in your town? We didn’t think so.

The Sant Medir Festival is born out of a local story of a farmer called Medir and a passing Bishop who was escaping Roman persecution. The Bishop told Medir that he was willing to die for his faith and told Medir not to lie if the Romans asked if he had seen him. Medir, who had been sowing his crop of beans, swore to tell the truth and, once the Bishop had moved on, his crop of broad beans began to grown rapidly.  Unfortunately, when the Romans came and Medir told them he had seen the Bishop pass through, they took Medir, captured the Bishop, and both were executed. There is a sanctuary, the Ermita de Sant Medir, in Sant Cugat.

How does this connect to candy and horses? Well, there’s another story too (stay with us): a local baker was suffering an awful illness and made a promise that if he recovered, he would make a pilgrimage every year to the Ermita de Sant Medir. As the years went on, people joined his pilgrimage and were said to throw broad beans to the crowd that watched. Over time, broad beans were (thankfully) replaced with candy and thus the “Sweetest Festival” was born.

On 3rd March, you can watch the procession which now not only has horses and carts, but trucks and decorated floats. You’ll want to bring a big bag or even an umbrella (turned upside, a local trick!) to catch as much candy as possible. This is a great evening of fun to share, especially if visiting with children, as they can catch candy and then follow the procession to the firework display in the Jardinets de Gracia.

 

Monumental Club: ¡Ay, qué rico!

When: 14th March

Where: La Plaza Monumental de Barcelona (map link)

Price: From 5€ per person (ticket link)

Monumental Club is an event worth attending just to see the inside of one of Barcelona’s old bullrings (this activity has been banned in Catalonia since 2012; another bullring located in Plaza Espanya has been converted into a shopping centre). La Monumental still retains all its seating and the Monumental Club event takes place right in the ring in the centre. Walking in and out of the old entrances for the “matadors” and bulls alike is an awesome experience in itself, but throw in some live music, delicious food and beer and you’ve got an all-round winner.

Monumental Club takes place at least once a month in Barcelona, always with different acts and different themes, so don’t worry if you miss this March edition.

 

Barcelona Beer Festival

When: 13th, 14th and 15th March

Where: La Farga de l’Hospitalet (Google maps link)

Price: from 7,75€ (official site)

Well, the title is pretty self-explanatory here! Take the train from Plaza Catalunya out to L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, which takes around 30 minutes and only costs a few euros, and join thousands of others in sampling the best international beers at this huge three-day festival. Tickets start from just 7,75€, which includes the booking fee, a glass that you use for sampling the beers and that you can keep after the event, a map and booklet to show you where to go and two tokens to help get you started on your tasting adventure.

If you’re new to the world of craft beers, you will find volunteers around the venue that will be more than happy to explain the origins of craft beer and also make suggestions on what to try. This is undoubtedly a must-see (and must-taste!) attraction for beer lovers; there will also be delicious gastronomic offerings to help line your stomach, so what more do you need?

The opening times on Friday 13 and Saturday 14 are from 11.00h to 23.00h – that’s right, a full 12 hours of beer drinking! Make sure you have something to eat at one of the amazing stands. On Sunday 15, it’s from 11.00h to 21.00h, but ten hours is enough for a Sunday!

 

Barcelona Beer pt. 2: St Patrick’s Day

When: 17th March

Where: All over the city

Price: Varies, but at the minimum, it’s the price of a few beers!

Yes, even in Barcelona, St Patrick’s Day is now widely celebrated. It’s up to you if you want to celebrate it in the city centre with other tourists, in one of the many Irish pubs that can be found around Barcelona, or if you want to celebrate with the locals in a small bar or restaurant, we hope the luck of the Irish will bless you! Be prepared for Guiness, Irish music and even Irish dancing – and plenty of “craic” (which means “fun” in Irish slang).

 

Barcelona-Sitges Rally

When: 21st, 22nd and 23rd March

Where: starting from Plaza Sant Jaume

Price: Free to watch

Now, we cannot stress enough how important it is not to drink and drive! But if you want to see some incredible cars after visiting the beer festival, then the Barcelona-Sitges Classic Car Rally is here to help.

Held every year since 1959, the rally sees participants race from Barcelona to Sitges, with the exit from Barcelona a highlight. Classic cars, lovingly restored by the participants (who will also dress in period-appropriate clothing), leave from Plaza San Jaume in the centre of Barcelona and travel to Sitges. Don’t worry if you don’t catch the opening ceremony, there are other spots around the city to catch the race – lookout for updates on the official website.

Also, from the 2nd to the 21st March, six classic cars will be on display at L’illa Diagonal Shopping Center, including a 1916 Hispano-Suiza and a 1908 Cadillac Thirty.

 

Festival in the Gothic Quarter

When: 20th – 24th March

Where: Gothic Quarter

Price: Most festivities are free.

The Festa Major del Pi, also known as the Festa de Sant Josep Oriol, takes place in the Pi area of the Gothic quarter, which consists of the church, Santa Maria del Pi, and the streets that surround it. The major features of the celebrations are the Gegants del Pi, some of the oldest Gegants in the whole of Catalonia (gegants are large paper-and-wood representations of men and women, each neighbourhood has their own). While the gegants will be used in dances and processions, there will also be theatrical demonstrations of local legends, from stories about Sant Josep Oriol to tall tales about thieves and highwaymen.

This was originally posted on the 22nd December 2018; it was updated 18th December 2019.

January in Barcelona is a quieter time, but that doesn’t mean that the festivities stop and the city shuts down for a month. On the contrary, as a Catholic country (officially, although many people in Cataluña are not religious), there are still two more holidays in January to be celebrated before the yuletide season comes to a close. There are also still many amazing activities taking place, and lots of fun things to see, so if you’re trying to combat the January blues with some Mediterranean merriment, let us guide you through the chilly streets and show you some of the great things you can do during January in Barcelona.

Don’t forget, visiting in low season means that all the major attractions will be less busy. January is a great month to visit Sagrada Familia and Gaudí’s other works, as well as to enjoy the emptier streets. We still suggest buying tickets in advance, just in case! If you’re visiting for a conference or a team-building, be sure to check out our Team Building Activities and Group Travel Services, and get in touch for help getting tickets to the main attractions for large groups.

Important! The average temperature in Barcelona in January is around 13 degrees, so while you might not want to go swimming, won’t need 50 layers and thermal undies to spend some time with us. Speaking of swimming…

Go to the beach: Primer bany de l’any 2020

When: 1st January

Where: Sant Sebastia beach, just in front of the Club Natació Atlètic-Barceloneta

Price: Free or 3€ for access to the showers and a certificate.

As with many coastal cities, hot and cold, Barcelona holds an event to celebrate the first swim of the year and it’s called “Primer bany de l’any”. This New Year’s Day swim will certainly combat any hangover you may have acquired due to the previous evenings antics, as the Mediterranean Sea can be mighty cold in the winter. If you’re looking for a fun but frosty way to wash away the cobwebs of 2019, or even just the memories of New Year’s Eve 2019, join the hundreds of other locals and visitors as they plunge into the water.

And it’s not just hangovers, the locals will tell you, that a dip in the sea will help. All year round in Barcelona, young and old residents alike will take an invigorating dip in the water, which you will hear promotes good health and a long life. If you think you can handle the New Year’s Day shivers for a year of positive energy then bring your swimsuit along to your winter holiday.

You can either join the swimmers waiting on Sant Sebastia beach for free, or you can register as an “official” swimmer on the Club Natació Atlètic-Barceloneta website and have access to a hot shower and receive a diploma when you exit the water.

Concert Agenda: Concert de Nadal de l’Orfeó Català

When: 3rd January

Where: Plaza del Rei, Gothic Quarter

Price: Free

If you’re a fan of choirs then you won’t want to miss this moving performance that takes place in the iconic Plaza del Rei. This is the square where Christopher Columbus is said to have presented the treasures he found in America to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. The Orfeón Catalán, a foundation that supports choirs in Catalonia, presents this concert, with acapella performances from the Men’s Choir and the Young Choir of the Orfeón Catalan. The music echoing off the medieval walls will fill you with festive cheer.

Plaza del Rei provides the perfect setting for these beautiful recitals. While the songs will be performed in Catalan, you don’t need to understand the words to appreciate the quality of the performances and the stunning setting. Also, you may recognise the melodies of classic Christmas carols like “Silent Night” (Santa Nit), “The First Noël” (On Aneu Pastorets) and “Oh Christmas Tree” (Oh Arbre Sant). Stay for one song or the whole evening, the enchanting voices of the choirs will help it feel like Christmas isn’t over yet.

Celebration: Día de los Reyes

When: 6th January

Where: Beginning at Port Vell, then spreading across the city

Price: Depends what you do! But the parade is free.

Speaking of Christmas not being over yet, the Día de los Reyes, or the Day of the Kings, is the highlight of the festive period for many children. On the 6th January, Catalan children will once again head to the Christmas tree to see what the three kings have brought them in the night. However, Barcelona’s way of celebrating this day is truly a sight to see – or should I say a sight to Sea?

On the evening of the 5th January, head to the Port Vell in Barcelona between 4 and 4.30pm and you will see hordes of families looking out to see, waiting for something. And what are they waiting for, you ask? Why, the Three Kings of course! That’s right, a highly decorated boat carrying the Three Kings will dock in Barcelona and so begins the celebration of King’s Day. From here begins the three hour parade through the city. It is, of course, amazing and exciting for children, adults will enjoy the experience as well; it’s a great way to combine a day out with a truly local experience. Be sure to try the traditional cake too, decorated with neon coloured fruits to represent a crown.

Celebration: Las Festas de Sant Antoni

When: 17th – 26th January

Where: Gracia

Price: Depends how much you eat and drink!

If you’re looking for something a little less Christmassy but still ready to celebrate, look no further than the street parties in the neighbourhood of Sant Antoni. These fiestas are the honour the neighbourhood’s namesake, Saint Anthony, whose Saint’s day in the Catholic calendar is the 17th January. Of course, in true Barcelona style, only one day of parties is never enough and this week-long event is sure to combat any January blues that may have settled.

Originally a celebration on the island of Mallorca, the festivities have travelled across the sea and landed in Barcelona, when Mallorcan and Catalan traditions collide: this means plenty of Human Towers, plenty of parades featuring the statues of giants (in Catalan they are called gegants – have a look on Google or show up on the day for a surprise!) and, most excitingly, a correfoc. This word translates to “fire run” and is a pyromaniacs dream! Fireworks, fire crackers and bonfires will form a part of these amazing celebrations, with people dressed as demons roaming the streets with pitchforks covered in fireworks – not for the faint-hearted!

If you’re not here in January, fear not, correfocs are part of many other celebrations during the year.

What else is on?

Visitors during January can make the most of the quieter streets with our fantastic personalised tours of Barcelona or keep warm in the kitchen with an amazing Spanish cooking class, visit our activities pages for more information.

We hope to see you soon!

This blog was originally posted in 2018 and updated on the 14th November 2019.

The Christmas lights are up, the air smells like roasting chestnuts and there’s a feeling of warmth even though it’s cold outside – it must be December in Barcelona! This old city doesn’t stop just because it’s chilly in the streets and a frosty wind is blowing leaves around the ankles of the locals, there’s still plenty to see and do. Read on to find out how to make the most of this month…

Barcelona Christmas Markets

Europe is known for having Christmas markets pop-up during winter, and when that first market stall appears in the street, it immediately feels like the festive season has begun. Barcelona will be covered in great Christmas markets selling traditional goodies throughout the month of December, with plants, decorations, gifts and foods all available from little tables decorated with Christmas lights. For a more in depth look at markets and shopping at Christmas, check out our Christmas in Barcelona blog.

There will also be other markets and shops that are just around for a weekend, like there is all year round, and we have selected three that will take you right through until Christmas Day.

All Those Food Market: Navidad 2019

Location: Plaça de les Arts, 1, 08013 Barcelona, Spain (in front of the National Theatre of Catalonia)

Date: Saturday 30th November and Sunday 1st December

All Those have become a regular on the market calendar in the last few years in Barcelona, holding events every few months with food trucks and stalls. Showcasing delicious local restaurants, bakeries, farms, wineries, breweries and all manner of food and drink suppliers, All Those is a true foodie market with the feeling of a mini-festival. Their ethos is admirable: bringing local goods to the people in a fun environment, with the goal of inspiring more people to start their own gastronomic projects. They hope this in turn will help grow the community, bringing more people together, connecting businesses with exciting new producers and the consumers at the market.

Grab a glass of hot wine to warm you up as you walk through the stalls – make sure you have a good look both inside and outside before you buy or you could spend a fortune on snacks!

BCN Makers Pop-Up Market

Location: Wallnwood, Carrer de Betlem, 53, 08012

Date: Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th December

Look no further for creative Christmas gifts than the BCN Makers Pop-Up Market. Local designers will bring their exciting creations to WallnWood, a beautiful bricked space, in Gracia, Barcelona’s neighbourhood located up the hill. More than 30 makers and creators of decorations, clothes, cosmetics, lamps and furniture will be showcasing and selling their wares. There has also been a promise of surprising and exciting nibbles to go with the goods!

Meals & Christmas Food

There are so many delicious, warming comfort foods in Catalonia to keep you toasty on a cold winter day. Read on for three different things to look out for on local menus…

Arroz caldoso (Rice in broth)

Everyone has heard of paella, the traditional rice dish from Valencia, Spain, and this is certainly a dish you can eat in the winter. However, we recommend trying arroz caldoso instead, which is a rich, tasty stock, or caldo, with the all the ingredients of a paella inside. This soupy offering will warm you right to the core and comes in so many different varieties so there is something everyone can enjoy. The most luxurious version is loaded with lobster – wonderful!

If you fancy learning to cook paella and learning about the other great rice and tapas dishes in Spain, check out our Spanish Cooking Class.

Lentejas (Lentils)

Lentils are hugely popular in Catalonia and still form a staple part of the day-to-day diet of the people. They are eaten in many different ways, but in winter you will find hot and hearty lentil stews on many local menus. The dishes will be a base of cooked lentils with potatoes, meats (maybe chorizo or another type of cured sausage), tomatoes, garlic and some fragrant additions like rosemary, thyme or bay leaves.

Churros con Chocolate (Spanish donuts with Chocolate)

Now, you might not find these in the same restaurant as your rice and lentils, but it’s worth taking a walk to find excellent churros with thick, melted chocolate. Visit a “granja” on Carrer de Petritxol, the street that is known as the chocolate street, for the best of the best when it comes to this traditional treat. For the locals, it’s not a dessert but a snack which is eaten in the early evening, around 5 or 6pm, but you can eat it whenever you like. Take your churros dusted with icing sugar, dip them in chocolate or even chocolate topped with whipped cream, it’s up to you.

Making Merry

Just like the rest of the year, Barcelona is all about eating, drinking and enjoying yourself in December! If the markets and munchies aren’t enough, get in touch with BarcelonaTours and we will help organising an amazing activity to boost your visit. Get into the Christmas spirit with a visit to the Poble Espanyol, or Spanish village, and see this recreation of traditional Spanish architecture decorated for the festive season. Finish the visit off with an amazing Flamenco Show with Tapas or a 3-course dinner and drinks.

You can also get your blood pumping and run some Latin heat through your veins with a Salsa Class and entry into a Salsa night club – just bring along your passion and your dancing shoes, and we’ll organise the rest.

You can also check out our other excellent activities, just visit the home page for more ideas.

Christmas parties for companies

Planning your office Christmas party in Barcelona? Get in touch with Barcelonatours.net as soon as possible to start planning the best Christmas party in town! From private venues and dinners to dancing all night with VIP tables, we can help you put together a night that no one will forget.

Get in touch today at info@barcelonatours.net or by calling +34 935 008 226.