Ever wondered what Christmas and New Year looked like in Barcelona?
No one can deny that New Year and Christmas is a time for joy, decorations and colourful illuminations, especially so in Barcelona. Of course, the winter weather in Catalonian capital is not up to walking on the beach. Even then, tourists have many opportunities to visit different excursions, concerts and trade fairs to buy original Christmas souvenirs.
To see New Year in Barcelona and witness as the streets come alive with living statues, manipulators and mimes, you simply have to walk on the main crowded street of Barcelona – La Rambla. This legendary street is full of shops, cafes, restaurants with owners busy hawking for your attention. If you’re up for venturing further, hire a car in Barcelona and have some festive adventures.
7 fancy ideas to get you in the Christmas Festivities in Barcelona, Spain
1. Visit the New Year show on Montjuic Hill
Montjuic Hill and Singing Fountains are the places in Barcelona to see the most impressive entertainment on holidays. The show starts a couple of hours before New Year begins, including water, lights and music. The main character during last two years was a Millennium Man. This is a giant mechanic figure which thousands of people have worked to make him alive. This year, the situation is quite different. The government has prepared something new and impressive. Hundreds of guests will come to the hill to meet New Year in a good company. Best part is, the entrance is free!
2. Enjoy a tasty dinner in an open terrace in the Barcelona’s center
Meeting New Year in Barcelona is a time of high cuisine and sweets of all sorts. The city restaurants and cafes offer their special menus to cater to Christmas. As a touristic hotspot, it should not be too difficult to find a restaurant for New Year Eve’s night in Barcelona. Try to find a place with a terrace – the view would be amazing!
To start you off, try Alaire Ramblas, easily the most recognised restaurant in Barcelona, for their terrace is on the top floor of Hotel España. The terrace is decorated with a modern flair, with style and elegance. The menu is equally attractive – mini-hamburgers, anchovies and chocolate cake for dessert. This terrace is perfect place to have a bite on the go.
3. Have fun in a Spanish village
Welcome to one of the biggest New Year parties in Barcelona! As a rule, it usually takes place in the Spanish village, Poble Espanyol. This is the historical monument that includes all popular architecture samples all together. This is the best place for parties on holidays: dancing, feast atmosphere and interesting music. The visitors are welcome to visit Central Square, covered pavilion and VIP zone.
4. Do Christmas shopping
New Year in Barcelona always consists of days making preparations for the New Year starting from Christmas Eve. Coming to Barcelona a week before New Year, you should visit at least one of many Christmas Markets. This is your chance to buy decorations, presents, sweets and other souvenirs for holidays.
The first market you should go is the oldest in Barcelona – Fira de Santa Llucia. Situated in the heart of the Old City, its first operations was in 1786. You can find plants, interesting figures on religious thematic there. It opens until the end of December.
Address: Av. de la Catedral Metro: L4, Jaume I
The Christmas Fair that takes place opposite the historical place Sagrada Familia is smaller than previous one. You can buy many useful things there: flowers and Christmas symbols, candles, honey and Christmas sweets.
Address: Placa de la Sagrada Familia Metro: L2, L5, Sagrada Familia
Also visit Passeig de Gracia (exact location here) and Portal de l’Angel (exact location here) before the New Year for a myriad of shops selling clothes from Spanish designers and brands. If you’re looking for art samples and food delicacies, you definitely want to check these places out!
5. Go skating in Barcelona
Come holidays, hordes will be seen at the ice skating rink. Do you want to know where the best place to go after the evening party is? You should visit Christmas Ice Rink in the heart of Barcelona. It takes up a huge area in L‘Hospitalet – free recreation zones, cafes, play grounds. It starts working from 10 a.m. till 9 p.m. or midnight on holidays, and costs about 10€.
6. Spend time in famous restaurants and clubs
Many hotels and restaurants in Barcelona offer their dining halls to spend New Year’s Eve there. Young people are always ready to spend their holiday in a noisy atmosphere, such as in night clubs. Opium, Shôko, Sotavento, modern Luz de Gas offer something special for party nights. Don’t forget to book your tickets beforehand!
On top of these activities, Spain is full of New Year traditions. The oldest interesting tradition says that you must eat 12 grapes as the clock runs to midnight. As easy as it sounds, many cannot eat all 12 grapes in time. This tradition is popular not only in Spain but also other Spanish-speaking countries. Grapes, often called Happy Grapes (Las doce uvas de la suerte), are sold in shops and fairs all around Spain, decorated and packed fancily.
Another of these traditions say that you should put your gold jewelry into the glass of Spanish wine and drink it on New Year’s Eve to make the following year a happy and prosperous one.
On New Year’s Eve nights, everyone comes together at the central square at midnight to greet each other, drink champaign and make wishes. That is when the real Spanish fun starts!
Have you spent Christmas or New Year’s Eve in Barcelona as a tourist? What was your experience like?