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…
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.
Location: Museu Marítim de Barcelona, Av. de les Drassanes, s/n, 08001.
Date: Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd 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!
Location: Wallnwood, Carrer de Betlem, 53, 08012
Date: Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th 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!
Location: MISCELANEA, Carrer de Guàrdia, 10, 08001
Date: Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd December
This is the 7th edition of Dress Your Wall, which is a celebration of graphic design, and it is taking place the last weekend before Christmas; this makes it the perfect event at which to pick up a last minute print for someone special. This event will showcase designs from up to 150 different artists who are working in and around the Barcelona area, some of whom have exhibited internationally, and will bring together a wide variety of graphic design and printing styles. Grab yourself or someone else a colourful picture to brighten up a drab winter day. There is also a competition where you can choose up to 15 prints to “Dress Your Wall” and the winner will get to keep their chosen designs!
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.