Barcelona Christmas Guide


Barcelona Christmas Guide 2016

This page has essential information for those thinking about staying in Barcelona for the Christmas and the New Year period. We have also included links to many additional pages on more specific Christmas and New Year’s themes in the Related Pages section at the foot of this page.

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A giant Christmas tree outside Corte Ingles in Avenida Portal de Angel.

What’s the weather like during Christmas?

Now, if you’re looking for a white Christmas in Barcelona the chances of that happening are pretty slim. However even on rare occasions that snow would occur it melts quickly, much to the disappointment of the people of Barcelona.

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You can see to the right hand side of this photo a giant themometer with a reading of 15 degrees celcius.

The photo was taken on 15th December in Avenida Portal de l’ Angel.

Before I moved to Barcelona I lived in the UK where snow is rather common and nothing new to me. So you can imagine how funny it was to see normally reserved citizens of Barcelona, dancing in the streets as result of a little snow. I, however, preferred to enjoy the experience from the comfort of my nice warm flat.

Normally it’s quite mild during December and we often have sunny days, not quite beach weather mind, but certainly reasonably mild but it can also be damp and rainy too so be prepared.

What’s open during the Christmas period?

I’ve recently received a number of enquiries on what will be open during the Christmas holiday in Barcelona. This section will answer those questions.

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Fountain on the junction of Passeig de Gracia with Gran Via Corts de Catalanes, near Placa Catalunya.

Are the shops open during Christmas in Barcelona?

Answer Some shops will be open and others will not be open. As a general rule of thumb shops are closed during a fiesta (public holiday) However shops have a special trading license that operates up until and including the 24 December therefore most shops will be open and trading on the 24 December however many will close for half day – to be sure do your shopping in the morning (NB opening hours are correct provided the 24 December is not a Sunday in which case they will be closed). You may find some larger department stores like FNAC and El Cortes Inglés staying open until early evening.

For Christmas day and Boxing Day all shops will be closed. If you will be residing in self catering accommodation it is therefore a good idea to purchase your groceries before the 25 December.

Which restaurants are open?

There are many restaurants which are open during the Christmas including the 25 December and 26 December. Barcelona is a popular tourist destination and the restaurant industry is accustomed with dealing with tourists during holiday periods. In short, there will be restaurants open for you to dine in and you will not starve. However it is recommended to reserve your table in advance – and be prepared for higher prices.

What tourist sights and attractions will be open in Barcelona during Christmas?

On Christmas Day all of the museums and official tourist sights will be closed to the public. However on Boxing Day many of the main attractions will be open from  09:00 – 14:00  these include the Sagrada Familia, and Park Güell.

Illuminated trees in Placa Catalunya

For the opening hours for the other main sights I recommend that you visit their respective official web sites for each site that you are interested in seeing. You will find accurate information regarding each sight’s opening hours at their web sites. As you can appreciate, this would be a time-consuming task for me to keep up-to-date and it is best to check at source for this information.

Christmas Markets Guided Tour

Experience the famous Christmas markets in Barcelona and see the wonderful Christmas lights with this professionally guided walking tour.

Barcelona Christmas Walking Tour


To see a list of the main attractions I recommend you go to our Barcelona map page which has a diagrammatic representation of Barcelona city centre with all of the main landmarks and tourist attractions on it. You can click on any one of the attractions on the map to be taken to a photo gallery of that particular attraction. The photo gallery also has detailed notes about the attraction along with its official website address.

Placa Catalunya fountain
Placa Catalunya fountain

For ease of reference here is a list of the most popular attractions in Barcelona

Sagrada familia
Casa Mila (La Pedrera)
Casa Batlló
Magic Fountain
Picasso Museum
Park Güell

Even if you wish to visit the above sights when the entrance doors are closed I would still highly recommend that you visit all of them. (except for the last three in the list, because if these three are closed there would not be much to see from the outside). You’ll still have a wonderful experience simply by looking at these attractions from the outside. In fact many guided tours around Barcelona do not even enter the main attractions because the site seeing experience is much richer from the outside.

Public transport during Christmas holiday period

The metro system will be operating however it will have different operating hours during the Christmas period. It’s recommend you go to the official TMB transport website to obtain the timetables for the exact operating hours.

TMB transport official website

Stylish Accommodation During The Christmas Period

Have you thought about an apartment rental? Most tourists only think about a hotel for accommodation. But an apartment offers you your own private accommodation with a kitchen and lounge, bedroom and bathroom for about the same price as a standard hotel room.

Shops will be open until the 24 December, many restaurants will be open during the Christmas period including 24 December and 25 December. To check the official operating hours for the main Barcelona attractions and transport visit their official web sites for up-to-date a precise information.

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