Its privileged location, near the sea and the mountains, the many days of sunshine with its characteristic mild climate (almost) all year round and its rich gastronomic offer based on fresh produce and Mediterranean diet; make Barcelona one of the most attractive cities to visit and enjoy different plans also during the winter.
Beyond the well-known, the "pà amb tomàquet" (bread with tomato), "la samfaina" (ratatouille), or "la butifarra amb mongetes" (sausage with white beans). La Pedrera, Casa Batlló, La Sagrada Familia, Park Güell or any of Gaudí's impressive works. The monuments and historical buildings, or the typical tourist attractions... Barcelona also offers a complete cultural and leisure offer, with many local options to enjoy alone, with a partner, with friends or with family during this time of the year.
Here are 10 pre-Christmas plans to enjoy Barcelona like never before:
1. Boat trip on the lake in Parc de la Ciutadella
Nothing is more relaxing and romantic than a boat ride, and even more so if you can do it in the center of Barcelona. Throughout the year, from Monday to Sunday and holidays included, you can enjoy this experience for half an hour, on the lush lake located inside the Parc de la Ciutadella. The general ticket for 2 people costs 6 euros, 3 people: 9 euros, 4 or 5 people.
2. Santa Llúcia Fair
It is unthinkable to visit Barcelona at this time of year and not go to see the traditional Fira de Santa Llúcia, the oldest Christmas market in Barcelona. You will find 121 instead of the 280 of previous years and they are distributed in: 72 stops of figures and mangers, 35 of trees, plants and green and 14 stands of crafts. Open from Monday to Sunday until December 23rd, following the strict protocol of capacity, hygiene measures and safety distance.
3. Sagrada Familia Christmas Fair
The Sagrada Familia Christmas Fair is the most traditional Christmas market in Eixample. Here you will find Christmas decorations, nativity scenes, gifts and also food products. This year it will be held until December 23rd with about fifty stops: 8 stalls selling trees and plants; 19 stalls dedicated to nativity scenes and Christmas decorations; 8 more stops with sweets, chestnuts, churros and other local food products; and 13 stops to buy gifts focusing on local crafts, clothing and jewelry.
4. Churros with chocolate at Granja La Pallaresa
If you are one of those who, especially at this time of year, never misses a good churros with hot chocolate, wait to try the improved formula at Casa La Pallaresa accompanied by their homemade cream made daily. This farm-cafeteria is one of those truly special and emblematic places in the city of Barcelona, which opened its doors in 1947 and here you can also enjoy a good coffee and many other typical and native Catalan sweets. Bon profit!
5. Explore Casa Viçens
A couple of years ago, Gaudi's Casa Viçens opened its doors to the public demonstrating its importance and deserved place in the city of Barcelona. Recognized as the true first masterpiece of the artist, it was built between 1883 and 1885 as the summer home of the Vicens family and in 2005 it was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO. The entrance fee is 9.75 euros per person, but it is free for children under 11 years and reduced for students from 12 to 25 years, over 65 years, large or single-parent families and people with functional diversity. Book here.
6. Visit the Design Market at Design Hub from your sofa
Always in this same period, the best market for design lovers in Barcelona takes place, Design Market at Design Hub located in Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes. Despite the restrictions, this year is also celebrated, but following the anti-Covid19 recommendations, this time we will do it comfortably from the sofa. Until December 23rd take this opportunity to discover local artists and brands in fashion, accessories, jewelry, publications, posters, stationery, lighting, small furniture, household items, games, children's items, crafts, art in general.
7. Discover the Gardens of Mossèn Costa i Llobera
Welcome to one of the most important gardens specialized in cactus and succulent plants in Europe. Facing the sea and sheltered by the mountain of Montjuïc that welcomes them, the Gardens of Mossèn Costa i Llobera are located in a privileged viewpoint of Barcelona and a few minutes from the city center. The space offers a spectacular panoramic view over the coastal strip of the city and the port where you can breathe pure air, and allows you to learn as never before the evolution of the crass plants and Mediterranean flora.
8. Enjoy the authentic Catalan "escudella"
Escudella de galets is one of those dishes to eat at home, especially in winter and especially during the Christmas holidays. But as a good traditional dish, it is always a good idea to eat it in one of the restaurants, where the kitchens ooze experience and for experience that offers you Ca l'Estevet. And is that to speak of Ca l'Estevet is to speak of one of the restaurants of Catalan kitchen more mythical of Barcelona, of those that already fulfilled the centenary. Located in the central district of Raval, specifically in the Carrer de Valldonzella, 46, here its famous escudella is served when the cold weather arrives and it is worth booking in advance, because it is always full and it is not easy to find room.
9. Visit the World Press photo 2020 at the CCCB
Until December 20, from Tuesday to Sunday, you can visit the 16th edition of the most recognized photojournalism exhibition in the world, the World Press Photo 2020 inside the Center of Contemporary Culture (CCCB). If it is your first time, you will discover that the experience of Barcelona goes always, year after year, beyond the mere observation of the winning works, as it is complemented by an extensive program of parallel activities open to all audiences.
10. Rediscover the magic of Christmas at Käthe Wohlfahrt
If there is a reference in Christmas decoration par excellence, that is Käthe Wohlfahrt, the German firm born in 1964 in Bavaria whose empire floods the globe every year with its Christmas spirit. Now also with a point of sale in Barcelona, Käthe Wohlfahrt located in Banys Nous, 15, which opened its doors in 2019 and closed, temporarily, by the covid, has reopened to continue honoring the title of the largest Christmas store in Spain. With 300 square meters of Christmas products, the store, which recreates a village in Bavaria, offers toys, figures, decorations, incense and all kinds of Christmas objects. Bon Nadal!
By Clara De Nadal Trias