Barcelona is a great place to visit in February or March, especially if you’re not a sun-seeker or don’t cope well with the heat. But the weather isn’t the only reason to visit Barcelona in winter: here are at least five more.
Reason nº1: Stay for less in February or March
- Note: avoid going to Barcelona between 24th and 27th February 2020 if you’re planning on staying in a hotel. This period coincides with the mobile telephony congress, and rooms will be more expensive that at any other time of the year!
To avoid the coronavirus epidemic, the mobile phone congress will not take place in February 2020 in Barcelona. As many hotels have had their reservations cancelled, if you travel between 24 and 27 February, you may be able to take advantage of cheapest prices.
See our accommodation category for top tips and recommendations.
- Booking a room at the last minute can also be a good plan, as hotels lower the prices to fill the empty rooms.
Finally, take a few minutes to read our article about the best tips to get the best price on your hotel room.
Reason nº2: Sales in Barcelona until the beginning of March
The sales in Barcelona started on 7th January 2019. Almost all shops will apply further reductions throughout the month of February. Now is a great time to head for the shopping centres or local shops in the quarter best suited to your tastes to stock up on bargains!
Reason nº3: Winter light and photo opportunities
Barcelona gets a lot of sunny days in February and March, basking in a beautiful light, and is particularly photogenic at this time of the year.
- Hint: go for a walk along the carreterra de les aigües late in the afternoon in order to take a few panoramic snaps of the city, like the one in this article.
It’s also easier to take pictures of some of the city’s architectural gems at this time of the year, as the trees are still bare and your view won’t be blocked by foliage.
Reason nº4: Barcelona’s seasonal specialities
If it’s rainy or a bit chilly out, there’s nothing better than stopping off at a typical café (una granja) for thick, creamy Spanish hot chocolate with churros or melindros (soft, fluffy finger biscuits).
If you’re a hot chocolate fan and have the constitution to go with it, why not try one at each of the granjas recommended in this article to find your favourite?
Late January is peak calçot season, but this Catalan speciality is available until late March. The tradition of eating these soft, sweet onions originated in Valls, near Tarragona, but has spread across Catalonia. Locals tend to get together with their families or groups of friends to organise a typical seasonal calçotada.
A typical menu
Calçots, calçots and… calçots!
A dozen calçots, cooked over a wood fire, are usually served on a hot tile. Start by peeling the blackened outside layer off each onion, then tuck in! It gets everywhere, but we think it’s worth it. Some restaurants supply bibs and gloves for more fastidious customers, but doesn’t that take away some of the fun?
The calçots are served with a very tasty sauce made from tomatoes, peppers, garlic, bread, almonds, toasted hazelnuts, oil, vinegar and salt, known as la salvitxada: it’s the sauce that really makes the dish. Cooked to perfection, it’s the ideal accompaniment for the onions, which you dip into the sauce before eating.
The next stage of the feast is made up of a selection of barbecued meats, usually served with chips.
Room for pudding?
The traditional finishing touch is a crema catalana, a sort of local crème caramel.
- A calçot experience of this kind will usually set you back around €30-35 including drinks. It’s not cheap, but it’s worth it for this original, seasonal and tasty speciality. And you probably won’t be hungry for a while afterwards!
We tried and tested el jardí de l’apat near Parc Güell – a traditional restaurant which comes highly recommended.
Reason nº5: Empty beaches
One advantage of visiting off-season is that the beaches are virtually empty! Make the most of the space for a long walk along the sands, admiring the scenery, under the gentle winter sun. Something to look back on during the summer, when space on Barcelona’s beaches is little more than a fond memory.
- Travelling as a family? Here are some ideas for visiting Barcelona with children in February and March.
Llum BCN 2020 in Poblenou
Llum means light in Catalan, an evocative title, why? on the evenings of February 14, 15 and 16, the streets and buildings of the Poblenou district and the 22@ area will be illuminated thanks to the creativity of many technicians and artists. Prepare to be surprised!
Here is a video summary of the 2018 edition of llum BCN. They say this year’s edition will be even more spectacular!