A Guide to Visiting Barcelona in December | Attractions, Events & More
Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia is famed for its eccentric architecture, delicious tapas and wine. This dazzling city offers architecture, museums, nightlife, beaches and endless entertainment to all its tourists. Barcelona in December is a unique experience with lovely weather and the air is filled with Christmas festivities. Read on to find out how you can make the best of your trip to Barcelona in December.
Is December a good time to visit Barcelona?
Barcelona in December is delightful to visit. With Christmas just around the corner, Barcelona is filled with decorations, lights and an air of joy.
Why You Should Visit
- Winter in Barcelona brings good weather and is not as harsh as the rest of Europe.
- The average temperature is around 14℃.
- Despite the slight cold, days are sunny ensuring you can visit attractions.
- Much fewer crowds and lower costs since it’s off season.
- Christmas festivities and events to experience all around.
What to Look Out For
- Temperatures can dip to below 5℃ which may be too cold for some tourists.
- The sea can be too cold to swim in.
- Rain is more likely than in summer.
Overview of Weather in Barcelona in December
More About Weather in Barcelona in December
How hot is Barcelona in December?
December is one of the coldest months of the year in Barcelona. Average daily temperatures of 11°C and highs of 14°C. The lows reach 5°C at night. Remember to pack some warm clothing.
Can You Swim at Beaches in Barcelona in December?
The sea is too cold in December to go swimming. Average water temperature is around 16°C.
Does it rain in Barcelona in December?
There are chances of rain on eight days in December. The average rainfall is around 32mm which is much lower than October and November. Snowfall is also highly unlikely.
Is Barcelona Windy in December?
Typical wind speeds in Barcelona in December are generally a moderate 15 mph.
Top 12 Things to do in Barcelona in December
4. Visit Christmas Markets
A highlight of Barcelona in December is all the holiday markets you will find in the city. These markets sell holiday nick-nacks, like traditional cagatió (logs) and you’ll find them installed next to the Cathedral of Barcelona in Plaça Nova and the Sagrada Familia. There is also a free local market in Plaça de Catalunya.
6. Experience a Thermal Bath
What could be better than lounging in a thermal bath during a cool winter? Visit an ancient Roman bath that has been restored in the Gothic Quarters in Barcelona. At Aire de Barcelona you can enjoy hot baths at varied temperatures. You can choose between options like a normal bath, a red wine bath, and a scented room.
December Timings: Mon-Fri: 9AM-11PM. Sat-Sun: 9AM-12AM.
10. Watch a Flamenco Show
You cannot leave Barcelona without experiencing a traditional Flamenco show. Flamenco is known for its intricate dance moves, the use of the classic flamenco guitar and elaborate costumes. You can sip on a glass of wine as you enjoy watching Spain’s folkloric traditions. This traditional Spanish dance form is unmissable!
12. Stroll through Plaça d’Espanya
Plaça d’Espanya is one of the biggest squares in Barcelona and offers the best views of the city in December. It was designed by Josep Amargos and features a gorgeous fountain at the center that was designed by Josep Maria Jujol, a collaborator of Antoni Gaudí. It is especially beautiful during Christmas.
Festivals in Barcelona in December
El Dia dels Sants Innocents
Venue: Across Barcelona
Date: December 28
Sants Innocent is a cheerful local version of April Fool’s Day. You’ll find cut-out newspaper figures attached to the backs of unsuspecting victims. The media joins the fun and introduces fake stories into the day’s coverage. You’ll find pranks being played all around Barcelona.
Events in Barcelona in December
Ice Skating in Plaza Catalunya
Venue: Plaza Catalunya
Dates: End of November
Plaza Catalunya has the biggest ice rink in all of Europe that opens to the public in the third week of November. December is the perfect time to take part in ice-skating and enjoy its thrills! This ice skating rink has enough room for many visitors with a skating area of 1200 square meters.
Fira de Nadal Sagrada Familia
Venue: La Sagrada Familia
Dates: End of November
The Christmas Fair at the Sagrada Família has been running since 1962. It is a traditional Christmas market with over 100 stalls selling a variety of gifts and decorations along with craft products, costume jewellery and clothes.
Fira de Santa Llúcia
Venue: Pla de la Seu & Avda de la Catedral
Dates: End of November
Dating back to 1786, this traditional Christmas fair has more than 300 stalls selling all kinds of handcrafted Christmas decorations and gifts, along with mistletoe, poinsettias and Christmas trees. You’ll find a Nativity scene contest, musical parades and exhibitions.
Know Before You Visit Barcelona in December
Time Zone: GMT +2
Currency: Euro - EUR - €
Country code: +34
Emergency numbers: 112
What to Wear in Barcelona in December
- Remember to carry jackets, coats, light sweaters and scarves that can serve as layers you wear/take off during the course of the day.
- Despite being winter, it is still sunny in Barcelona, so carry a pair of sunglasses and ample sunscreen.
- During the day, you will be comfortable in shorts, skirts, trousers and a light jacket or sweater.
- In the evening, it can get colder, so carry scarves and heavier jackets.
What to Pack in Barcelona in December
- Power Adapter: A type F plug (grounded) or a type C plug (non-grounded).
- Clothes: Shorts, trousers, skirts, blouses, light jackets, coats, cardigans and scarves. Layering is important in Barcelona in December.
- Comfortable shoes.
- An umbrella in case it rains.
- A backpack to carry around during the day with enough compartments for all your belongings.
Getting Around Barcelona in December
By Metro: Barcelona metro is an extensive electric railway network. It runs mostly underground and has eight lines and 161 stations. Metro map.
By Bus: With 200 lines that run till late in the night extensively covering the city, exploring Barcelona by bus is convenient and cost-efficient. City bus map.
By Cable Car (Funicular): There are three cable car lines in Barcelona that you can hop onto and take in majestic views of the city. Two lines reach Tibidabo while others offer access to Montjuïc.
On Foot:Exploring Barcelona by foot, especially in December, is a great idea given the temperature. Many attractions are at a short distance from each other making for the perfect walk.
Where to Stay in Barcelona in December
With Christmas cheer and joy all around you, Barcelona in December is a treat! Choose from a variety of gorgeous hotels to spend the perfect December in Barcelona.
Budget Hotels – Hostal Boqueria, Vincci Bit, Hotel Oasis, Casa Kessler, Violeta Boutique
Mid Range - Murmuri Residence Mercader, Hotel Cuatro Naciones, Mayerling Schumann Barcelona
Luxury Hotels – Mercer Hotel, Mandarin Oriental, Grand Hotel Central, Majestic Hotel & Spa, Soho House
What to eat in Barcelona in December
Try these traditional Christmas dishes in Barcelona for a memorable holiday!
Escudella: This is a stew made from chicken, beef, pork backbone and ham bone’s bouillon.
Cannelloni: This traditional dish is eaten on December 26 and is made from chicken stuffed with meat and bechamel sauce.
Cochinillo Asado: This traditional Spanish dish is essentially a roast pig served with potatoes and a brown sauce. It is very popular during Christmas.
Mantecados and Polvorones: These are tiny, baked Christmas cookies often served with wine.
Hacks & Tips to Visit Barcelona in December
- December is a great time to visit. Expect low accommodation prices and fewer crowds around major attractions.
- If you’re interested in watching the sunrise in Barcelona at popular attractions, it’s a lot easier since the sun rises two hours later than usual.
- December 6 is Constitution Day in Spain so a lot of locals get the day off and head to Barcelona making it unusually crowded for December.
- Don’t forget to pick up souvenirs from the Christmas markets since they’re only available once a year.
- Wear layers of clothing and carry warm clothes since the weather is cooler in December.
Frequently Asked Questions About Visiting Barcelona in December
Yes, Barcelona in December has a cool, pleasant weather and fewer tourist crowds.
The average temperature of Barcelona in December ranges between a high of 13ºC and a low of 5º.
Barcelona in December is cold as it is a winter month. Expect temperatures averaging between 13ºC and 5º.
The sea is cool in December and might be difficult to swim in because of the temperature.
Though it is winter in December, the days are sunny and pleasant.
Bring jackets, light coats, sweaters, scarves and other things to layer yourself with.
It rains for not more than 5 days in Barcelona in December.
Barcelona in December is budget friendly because it is off season. Hotel and air fare prices are lower than the rest of the year. You can plan an inexpensive vacation by booking your tickets in advance online.
Barcelona is generally safe for tourists. Watch out for pickpockets and petty thieves.
La Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, Casa Vicens, Casa Mila, Christmas Markets are some of the many attractions you can visit with much fewer crowds in Barcelona in November.
Fira de Santa Llúcia, El Dia dels Sants Innocents are some major events in Barcelona in December.
The average high is 13.8°C and the average low is 5.2°C in Barcelona in December.
Take your kids to a traditional Christmas market and museum hopping are exciting things to do with your kids in Barcelona in December.