Barcelona: what to do at Christmas

The lighting, the festive nature of the dates, the waiting for gifts and a feeling that the world seems to be more attentive to the needs of others seizes the city of Barcelona, as most destinations with Christian roots, and adds a special touch with which we forget the cold and go out to the street so that this Christmas magic surprises us.

Christmas 2019 is presented in Barcelona with many proposals ideal for families, some are the usual activities that have lasted over time and other novelties that adjust to new times. Here’s what we can do in Barcelona during the Christmas holidays.

An illuminated city



A city without lights during Christmas does not proceed. It already happened in times of crisis where the City Council wanted to give an example of sobriety and citizens missed the usual lights that give joy to the short days of winter.

In 2019 some 400 sections of street will be illuminated with festive lights. That translates into about 100 kilometers along the streets that run through much of the city center as well as the various neighborhoods of the city.

The lighting ceremony will take place on Thursday 28 November at 5.30 p.m. in the Plaza de Can Fabra. The staging will be carried out by the theatre company Dagoll Dagom.

Christmas Lights Schedule

Christmas lights will illuminate Barcelona from 5.30pm to midnight from 28 November to 6 January.

Christmas in Plaza Catalunya



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Gone is the ice rink that usually wore the Plaza de Catalunya during the Christmas days. For the 2019 edition of Christmas, the square will become a space for participation, avoiding promoting the consumerist character of these dates.

Between 20 and 31 December, Plaça de Catalunya will offer free activities of all kinds especially dedicated to the illusion of the youngest with storytelling and wooden games.

There will be a small orchestra that will interpret Christmas songs from all over the world, we can listen to stories, fables, poems and songs. A good opportunity to enjoy Christmas with the little ones.

Fair for Responsible Consumption and the Social and Solidarity Economy

A fair dedicated to the social and solidarity economy will be held in Plaça de Catalunya between 20 and 31 December. This is the fifth edition and presents products and services from entities that promote a model of responsible, local and sustainable consumption. Ideal if you’re not sure what to give during the holidays and want to escape the usual consumer fever these days.

There will also be music concerts, theatrical performances, poetry recitals and projections of short films whose main thread will continue to be social and solidarity content.

Santa Llúcia Fair

Las paradas de Santa Llúcia frente a la Catedral de Barcelona

Santa Llúcia stops in front of Barcelona Cathedral

The Santa Llúcia Fair is Barcelona’s Christmas market par excellence and the oldest in Catalonia.

As its long tradition has been, the fair will be held in Pla de la Seu, in front of the city’s Cathedral between 29 November and 23 December. This year it celebrates its 233rd anniversary and will do so with almost 300 stops offering figures for the crib and other craft products.

Crib in Sant Jaume square

The Crib in Sant Jaume Square 2018

The crib installed in Sant Jaume square in front of the Town Hall and the Palau de la Generalitat is another of the traditional emblems of Christmas in Barcelona. With his sometimes controversial presence, he never leaves anyone indifferent.

On this occasion, the manger is called The Sleeping Objects and is the work of Paula Bosch and the theme is tradition and creativity.

The crib can be seen between 29 November and 6 January from 10 am to 12 pm.

A giant Tió in front of the Cathedral

Caga Tió

Caga Tió

The ‘Tió’ is a tradition mainly rooted in Catalonia that consists of something as simple as giving sticks to a trunk so that it “shit” its gifts.

On Cathedral Avenue we can see a huge “Tió” protected by its red blanket waiting for the little ones between 10:30 in the morning and 13:30 on weekdays and until 19:30 in the afternoon on public holidays.

The Tió will remain installed in front of the doors of the Cathedral between 30 November and 18 December.

Parada en la feria de Santa Llúcia

Stop at Santa Llúcia Fair

The Fair of the Holy Family

Apart from the longstanding Feria de Santa Llúcia in the Cathedral, the fair that concentrates in front of the Sagrada Familia is another of the usual Christmas in Barcelona. This is the fair with more tradition in the Eixample district and you can find Christmas trees, all kinds of trimmings, figures to make the crib at home and a wide variety of artisan products such as nougat, sausage, cheese, etc..

The fair will be open from 29 November to 23 December between 10 and 9 pm. Holidays will be extended until 10 p.m.

Christmas in Poble Espanyol

El clásico Caganer que no puede faltar en un pesebre catalán

The classic Caganer that cannot be missing in a Catalan crib

The Christmas spirit will also tarnish the various facades of Poble Espanyol.

From the 21st to the 29th of December the venue will become a Christmas theme park dedicated to homeaging the figures of Santa Claus and the Three Wise Men.

The Plaza Mayor of Poble Espanyol will be the main centre with its own Christmas market where you can find all kinds of decorative items to take home.

Without a doubt, the protagonists will be the kids and in the programming they have workshops, gymkhanas, animations, make-ups and even the stellar visit of Santa Claus and the Magi to be able to give him the letter of wishes.

The Cavalcade of the Three Wise Men

Christmas always ends up making the dreams of the little ones come true. On 5 January the Three Wise Men will arrive at Moll de la Fusta by boat and will receive from the hand of the mayoress the magic key that opens all the doors of the city. They will then set out for a long ride through the centre of Barcelona.

You can see more information about this year’s itinerary and timetables in our article dedicated to the parade of the Three Wise Men in Barcelona.

In the public portal of La Meva Barcelona you will find all the information about the proposals and Christmas activities that unfold throughout the city during these dates.

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