What to do in Barcelona in December 2018

This blog post was originally posted on November 26, 2014 and was updated on November 3, 2018.

The holiday season has officially arrived here in Barcelona, and we can’t wait to share our favorite winter traditions with you!

The festive fun brings a new sense of magic to the streets of the Catalan capital. If you’re visiting Barcelona in December, you’ll be able to take part in some of your longtime favorite winter activities while still discovering plenty of new traditions. Get into the holiday spirit on your winter travels!

Christmas markets, ice rinks, and plenty of traditional Catalan food: what's not to love about Barcelona in December? Here's how to get into the festive spirit this winter! #Spain #Barcelona #December #Christmas #Catalonia

Photo Credit: Somewhere in the World Today, Text Overlay: Devour Barcelona Food Tours

Go ice skating

We hate to be the bearer of bad news: it’s very unlikely that you’ll experience a white Christmas here in Barcelona. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t feel like winter! The best way to get up and moving in such chilly temperatures is to lace up a pair of skates and take to the ice. As you glide around the rink beneath hundreds of twinkling lights, you’ll feel like you’ve been dropped into a fairytale winter wonderland. Find your nearest ice rink and get ready for an unforgettable moment of winter magic here in Barcelona in December!

Visit the Magic Fountain

With its awe-inspiring displays of light, magic, color and sound, the Magic Fountain at the foot of Montjuïc makes for a pretty great way to end your day in Barcelona no matter what time of year you’re visiting. However, as the winter holidays approach, they truly go all out at the special Christmas shows, taking place Friday and Saturday evenings in Barcelona in December. They even stage the magical extravaganza on Christmas and New Year’s Day! Kids and adults alike will be struck breathless by the gorgeously choreographed displays, which also make for once-in-a-lifetime Instagram shots.

Visiting Barcelona in December? Don't miss the special holiday edition of the Montjuïc Magic Fountain show!
Montjuïc’s Magic Fountain lights up the night. Photo credit: Alphis Tay

Eat traditional Catalan food

After exploring the city and maybe even taking some time to hit the ice at your nearest skating rink, you’ll probably be pretty hungry. You can’t visit Barcelona in December without tucking into some of Catalonia’s most delicious home-cooked dishes. Head to one of our favorite traditional Catalan restaurants in Barcelona and order up a hearty helping of escudella i carn d’ollaa rich meat stew (with the claim to fame of being the first documented soup in Europe!) that will warm your body and soul. And on the day after Christmas, you can’t go wrong with some canelons, a traditional Boxing Day meal among local families.

Getting hungry? Learn more about some of our favorite traditional Catalan food in Barcelona by watching the video below!

Enjoy the lights

From the hustle and bustle of Las Ramblas to the the quiet tranquility of the residential neighborhoods, dozens of kilometers of twinkling holiday lights snake throughout the streets of Barcelona in December. As you make your way through the city checking out the sights or doing some Christmas shopping, take some time to appreciate the gorgeous detail of these luminous creations. And with each part of town decorated according to a different theme, you won’t see the same thing twice. Take a walk and discover your favorite decorations!

If you're visiting Barcelona in December, you absolutely can't miss the opportunity to walk around and check out the city's gorgeous displays of Christmas lights.
It’s hard not to feel festive as you marvel at Barcelona’s gorgeous holiday decor! Photo credit: Núria

Visit the Christmas markets

Speaking of holiday shopping, you can’t visit Barcelona in December without hitting up one of the several charming Christmas markets located throughout the city. A classic European winter tradition, here with a unique Catalan twist, the city’s markets hold plenty of treasures just waiting to be discovered. From ornate nativity scene components to the beloved Catalan tio de nadal, there’s no telling what you’ll find as you browse the stalls. There’s even holiday sweets available at many of the markets—treat yourself as you shop!

If you'll be in Barcelona in December, keep your eyes open for unique Catalan Christmas decorations at the holiday markets!
You definitely won’t find decorations like these outside of Catalonia! Photo credit: Valerie Hinojosa

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