Christmas markets and traditions in Barcelona

Published by in the category November, December, January, Visits. Article updated 24 November, 2017. 0 comments

To help you enjoy the holidays in Barcelona, we suggest a few different markets and Catalan traditions. Prepare to be surprised!

Christmas markets

If you feel like doing Christmas a bit differently, and even in a sunny location, then Barcelona is perfect. The Christmas markets are always great for helping you get right into the holiday spirit!

With the little caganer and tió de Nadal figures (if you haven’t heard of them before, just read on to learn more) filling the stalls, you will feel perfectly happy and at home in Barcelona!

Christmas market or Fira de Santa Llúcia

fira santa llucia Christmas markets

This is the oldest and best known Christmas market in Catalonia. It is located outside the Cathedral, from around the 24th of November to the 23rd of December.

  • Opening hours: Monday to Friday 10:30am to 8:30pm and 10:30am to 9:30pm on weekends and holidays.

The Sagrada Familia Christmas market

Nearly 100 stands are set up from the 24th of November to the 23rd of December around the Sagrada Familia for a very friendly and vibrant market where you can find Christmas decorations and little souvenirs.

  • Opening hours: 10am to 10pm

Gran Via Christmas market (or Fira de Reis)

From the 19th of December to the 6th of January along the Gran Via Les Corts Catalanes, between Entença and Muntaner, you will find the Fira de Reis. The market is divided into two distinct parts: the toy market near the plaça de Catalunya and the artisanal market near the plaça Espanya.

  • Opening hours: 11am to 10pm

drawing Christmas tree

Plaça Catalunya Christmas activities

From the 22nd of December to the 4th of January, head to the plaça Catalunya! Performances, workshops and other fun activities for young and old are organised. For example you can go inside a huge snowball or even see a giant ballerina emerge from a music box!

Festival of childhood

Why not bring your little ones along to the Festival of Childhood? There are heaps of games and activities spread out over 40,000  square metres in the heart of the Fira de Barcelona, near the Plaça Espanya.

The festival takes place from the 27th to the 30th of December 2017. The price is 6 euros and admission if free for children under 4 years.

Barcelona Christmas traditions

The caganer

caganer Barcelona Christmas markets

The caganer is an integral part of Catalan folklore at Christmas. It’s a little Christmas figure with an ever-changing face, as every year stars, politicians and other public figures are made into caganer statues.

However, despite the different forms it take, it is very recognisable, as it is always doing a poo (don’t ask us why, no one really knows!). Caganer actually means “shitter” in Catalan (Sorry, we’re just translating…).

You will no doubt see some in the giant manger in front of Barcelona city hall at Plaça de Sant Jaume.

The tió de Nadal or Caga Tió

tio de nadal Christmas markets

The tió de Nadal (“Christmas log” in Catalan) is a little hollow log representing a friendly little guy. It is full of sweets that come out when children hit it with sticks and sing the song of Caga tió (“shitting” log. Hi there, poetry lovers! 😉

Christmas trees

  • You can buy a Christmas tree at the Fira de Santa Llucía or the Navarro flower shop open 24 hours near the Concepció market.

Merry Christmas under the Catalan sun!

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About the author

Pauline

Pauline loves books, food and new discoveries. For her articles, she loves finding original and authentic places which are a treat for both the eyes and the tastebuds. Her favourite thing to do in Barcelona? Getting lost in the Old Town and soaking up its unique atmosphere... whilst enjoying the appetising smells emerging from restaurant kitchens! Is there anything better than that?