My complete Barcelona Christmas Market Guide – Info, Events, and Tips

Affiliate links
This post might contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through this link I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. But I will only recommend products and services I believe are of value for you. Thank you so much for your support.

I must admit that Barcelona is probably not the first destination you think of when you think of Christmas markets in Europe. But hear me out – the Barcelona Christmas markets really have something to offer.

Even though there is no snow in the Catalan capital at Christmas time, you can still experience a festive atmosphere all over town. And a Christmas market under palm trees is definitely something special.

Today, I will take you to the Christmas markets in Barcelona and show you around the different markets and highlights you should not miss at Christmas time.

I’ve been living in Barcelona for several years and have spent the Christmas season here many times. Therefore, I know the markets very well, as well as the Catalan Christmas traditions. So, let’s dive right into the magical Christmas world of Barcelona.

Short & sweet – The most important Barcelona Christmas Market Info

festive decoration, shining big christmas ball at barcelona christmas market at old port
Festive decorations at the Christmas market at the Old Port

Barcelona has three main Christmas markets: the Fira de Santa Llúcia at the Cathedral, the Fira de Nadal de la Sagrada Família, and the Fira de Nadal del Port Vell at the Old Port.

While the former two are typical Catalan Christmas markets, the newer Christmas market at Barcelona’s Old Port is more Central European in style.

The three Christmas markets usually open their doors in the last week of November and remain open until Christmas.

In addition, there are a few more Christmas and Kings markets in the city and some Christmas events that we will take a closer look at later in this article.

BARCELONA INFO BOX

Where to stay in Barcelona: Hotel Santa Marta (Great hotel in the center near attractions & beach) or W Barcelona (Luxury option directly at the beach)

The most popular activities & tours in Barcelona

Sagrada Familia Ticket – Skip the Line

Camp Nou – Barça Museum und Tour

Barcelona Card – More than 25 Attractions

Park Güell – Skip the Line

La Pedrera – Skip the Line

Getting there: Make sure to check for the best flight deals on Flight comparisons like Skyscanner

Transport: T-Casual Ticket (10-trips-Ticket for € 12.15) or Hola BCN Day Ticket

Want to rent a car? You can find great deals on RentalCars. It gets cheaper from El Prat Airport.

Barcelona Must-Have: Practical Spanish Travel Dictionary or Catalan Travel Dictionary and Barcelona-Guide

christmas market stand, caga tios and other festive decorations, christmas market santa llucia, barcelona cathedral
Christmas market stall at the Santa Llúcia Christmas market

The Christmas Markets in Barcelona in 2023

In this section, I would like to introduce you to the best Christmas markets in the city. In addition to the three main Christmas markets, the Fira de Santa Llúcia, the Fira de Nadal de la Sagrada Família, and the Fira de Nadal de Port Vell, there are a few smaller Christmas and King’s markets that I would like to take a look at with you.

Fira de Santa Llucia in Barcelona, Christmas market at the cathedral
The Christmas market at the Barcelona Cathedral

Die Fira de Santa Llúcia

Imagine strolling through the quaint, narrow streets of Barcelona’s Barri Gòtic, and suddenly, you find yourself in a small Christmas scene. This is the Fira de Santa Llúcia, a Christmas market that impresses not only with its age but also the sheer number of stalls and visitors it attracts yearly.

Since 1786, when the market was first documented, it has been the undisputed king of Christmas markets in the city.

This market is located right in front of the majestic Barcelona Cathedral. It is an excellent place for those who want to decorate their Christmas crib with unique and typical Catalan figurines and decor items. From handmade jewelry to local souvenirs, you’ll find everything you could possibly want here.

Although this Christmas market may not seem quite as festive as Christmas markets in Germany or France, Fira de Santa Llúcia has its own unique Catalan charm.

What to discover at the Santa Llúcia Christmas Market

The Santa Llúcia Christmas Fair is generally divided into four different categories:

  • Cribs & Figures
  • Greenery & Plants
  • Crafts
  • Music products

On the official website of the Santa Llúcia Christmas Market, you can check out what the different stalls have to offer. You’ll find an overview and can already think about which booths you want to take a closer look at.

The booths are numbered so that you can find them fairly quickly. With more than 190 booths, this is not a bad idea.

However, you won’t find much food, mulled wine, or snacks here. But don’t worry- around the Cathedral, various restaurants, cafes, and bars are happy to welcome you.

Christmas Market Date Santa Llúcia: November 25 – December 23, 2023

Opening Hours: 10 am – 09 pm

Stopp: Jaume I (L4), Liceu (L3), Catalunya (L3,L1) & Urquinaona (L1) or Bus 47, 120, V15, V17, N8 & N28

Address: Pla de la Seu

Fira de Nadal, Christmas market in Barcelona in front of the Sagrada Familia, christmas market stand
Fira de Nadal at Sagrada Família

Fira de Nadal de la Sagrada Família

Very close to the world-famous Sagrada Família hides another tip during the Christmas season: the Fira de Nadal. This market attracts tourists as well as being an absolute favorite among locals. A possible reason for its popularity might be its unique atmosphere.

While the Fira de Santa Llúcia is often overrun with tourist crowds, the Fira de Nadal offers a more family-oriented, authentic atmosphere (although it can get pretty crowded too – Not gonna lie).

You’ll find plenty of the usual Catalan Christmas decorations (which we’ll talk about in more detail later in this article) and small Christmas trees that add that special sparkle to a Catalan home. It’s like taking home a touch of Christmas straight from the heart of Barcelona.

Christmas Market Barcelona Fun Fact: The Sagrada Família Christmas Market was first created in 1962 after there was no room for more stalls in the square in front of the Cathedral. Hence, you might see it as an extension of the Santa Llúcia Christmas Market.

What to discover at the Sagrada Família Christmas Market

The Sagrada Família Christmas Mass is also generally divided into four different categories:

  • Nativities & Figures
  • Christmas decorations
  • Candies
  • Gift area with handmade products such as jewelry or clothing

Christmas Market Date Fira de Nadal: November 25 – December 23, 2023

Opening Hours: 10 am – 09 pm; Holidays: 10 am – 10 pm

Stopp: Metro: Sagrada Família (L2,L5) and Bus: 19,33, 34, B24, D50, H10 & V21

Address: Plaza de la Sagrada Família

Fira de Nadal de Port Vell, Christmas market at the port of Barcelona
The festive Christmas market at the Old Port

Fira de Nadal del Port Vell

The latest addition to the city’s festive scene is a market that stands out from its older siblings. Inspired by the traditional Christmas markets of Central Europe, the Old Port market brings a whole new flair to the Catalan capital.

You’ll find this festive market in Plaça del Portal de la Pau, right next to the historic Old Port, Port Vell. But don’t let the location fool you – here you can experience Christmas like in a little winter wonderland – only without snow.

The huts are decorated in charming Central European style, and the festive lighting is simply stunning. The icing on the cake is a magnificent giant Christmas tree, a carousel, an ice skating rink, and a luminous Ferris wheel that allows a great view over the Christmas market and harbor.

ice skating in barcelona, christmas market fire de nadal de port vell
Ice skating under palm trees? Make sure to visit the Port Vell Christmas Market.

If you’re in the mood for some mulled wine, you’ll find it here too. This is the only one of Barcelona’s Christmas markets that offers Vino Caliente. (Although I have to say, in all honesty, that the mulled wine here compares rather poorly to central European Christmas markets).

What to discover at the Christmas market at the Old Port

Since the Christmas market is still relatively new, the program, exhibitors, and events still change regularly, so you are surprised with something new each year.

In general, the Christmas market concept is more similar to Central European traditional Christmas markets. You can expect:

  • Food stalls
  • Candies & snacks
  • Hot & cold drinks (also mulled wine)
  • Carousel
  • Events & activities
  • Illuminated Ferris wheel
  • Illuminated giant fir tree with music
  • An Ice-skating rink

Christmas Market Date Fira de Nadal de Port Vell: December 05 – January 05, 2024

Opening Hours: 11 am – 10 pm

Stopp: Metro: Drassanes (L3), Barceloneta (L4) and Bus: 59, 120, D20, H14, N6, V13 & V17

Address: Moll de la Fusta/ Plaça del Portal de la Pau

Fira de Reis de Gran Vía de Barcelona

The Fira de Reis is slightly different from the other Christmas markets in Barcelona. Basically, the market is not a Christmas market in the traditional sense but a Kings Market.

Dedicated to the Magi, the market opens its doors in mid-December, when other markets in the city are already in full swing.

Located on the vibrant Gran Via, the Fira de Reis is a magnet for families. Children can enjoy a variety of activities while adults explore the traditional stalls. Whether handmade nativity figures or tempting sweets, everyone can find something they enjoy.

The market has a long tradition dating back to 1877 when it first opened here. Over the years, however, the few candy stalls have grown into a popular market with more than 100 stalls.

Extra tip: The most popular tradition for Catalan families is the fresh churros with hot chocolate sold here. Definitely recommended – even for the older sweet tooth among us.

Christmas Market Schedule Fira de Reis: December 15 – January 06, 2024

Opening Hours: Sun-Fri: 10 am – 09 pm; Sat+Holidays: 10 am – 10 pm

Stopp: Urgell (L1), Rocafort (L1) and Bus: 52, 59, E95, H12, L95, N1, N2, N12, N13, N14, N15, N16, N17, N18, N28 & V11

Address: Gran Via de los Corts Catalanes (Between Calle Calabria and Calle Muntaner)

Fira de Nadal i Reis a Nou Barris de Barcelona

If all those markets seem somehow too crowded and touristy for you, the Christmas market in Nou Barris might be just the right place for your visit. Here, you can expect a smaller and more local Christmas market.

Apart from the fact that it’s indoors and much smaller than the others on this list, you’ll find everything you’d find at other Christmas markets in the city: Crafts, sweets, nativity figures, and Christmas decorations.

Christmas Market Schedule Fira de Nadal i Reis de Nou Barris: December 04 – January 05, 2024

Opening Hours: 10 am – 09 pm

Stopp: Metro: Via Júlia (L4) and Bus: 76, 132, D50, H2 & N1

Address: Marquesina – Via Júlia

More festive places & events in Barcelona

While Barcelona’s Christmas markets are creating a festive mood, even more great Christmas events are waiting for you in the city. Let’s take a quick look at the best of them.

Els llums de Sant Pau, Modernista light show in Barcelona for Christmas
The illuminated facade of Sant Pau

Els Llums de Sant Pau

During the holiday season, the former Sant Pau Recinte Modernista Hospital becomes a stage for one of the most breathtaking festive events in Barcelona. This architectural marvel of Modernism is transformed into an unmissable sea of lights.

The ‘Llums de Sant Pau’ (Lights of Sant Pau) is much more than just a light show. They are an authentic experience that transforms the courtyard and garden of the impressive building into a magical lightscape.

Even if you don’t want to buy tickets for this event, it’s worth the journey. Even from the outside, you can admire a fascinating light show on the entrance facade of Sant Pau – completely free of charge.

Event Schedule Els LLums de Sant Pau: 11/21/2013 – 14/08/2014: 6-9:30 pm

Entrance Fee Els LLums de Sant Pau: Mon-Thu: € 12; Fri-Sun: € 15

Reservations Els LLums de Sant Pau: At the official website (no Affiliate-Link)

Stopp: Metro: Sant Pau/Dos de Maig (L5) or Bus: H8, 19, 47, 117, 192

Christmas at Poble Espanyol

Poble Espanyol, the Spanish village at Montjuïc, also has some Christmas activities in store for you. Every year, the streets of the Spanish village are decorated for Christmas.

Besides festive decorations and Christmas lights, there are also some exciting activities for young and old.

During the Christmas nights in Poble Espanyol, you can enjoy relaxing evenings with atmospheric Christmas music. If Christmas music is not your thing, you can also choose another type of concert.

There are also exciting activities for young Barcelona visitors and the unique opportunity to submit your wish list for Santa Claus.

Three kings parade in Barcelona, floats and people

The Three Kings Parade

January in Barcelona is more than just a date on the calendar – it’s Three Kings’ Day, an event celebrated nationwide all over Spain. Many Spanish children do not receive their presents until this day, so Three Kings Day is very special here.

But already on the eve of January 05, you can feel the magic when a magnificent parade passes through the streets, which amazes not only the little visitors.

The parade is a firework of creativity: imaginative floats, inventive costumes, and great music create an exciting experience. As the highlight of the evening, the mayor symbolically hands over the keys to the city to the kings. This opens the door to a night of gifts and wonders that awaits every Catalan child.

Extra tip: Be sure to be there early, especially if traveling with (small) children. It’s the only way to guarantee a good spot with a view of the parade.

Christmas lights Placa Catalunya Barcelona
The festive lighting at Plaça Catalunya and Corte Inglés

Barcelona’s Christmas Lights

Although Barcelona may not be the typical European Christmas city, you will find beautiful festive lighting throughout the entire town. Many of the city’s streets are decorated as early as November and then lit up no later than the start of Advent.

The festive lighting varies every year – but one thing is certain: Barcelona’s picturesque lighting is definitely worth seeing.

A few of my personal favorite places to admire the lighting of the city at Christmastime are the following:

  • Plaça Catalunya
  • Passeig de Gràcia
  • Avinguda Gaudí (The street that connects Sagrada Familia with Sant Pau)
  • Plaça Reial
caga tios, christmas market stall, catalan christmas products
You can find the Tiós de Nadal everywhere in Barcelona during the Christmas season.

Catalan Christmas traditions and typical products at Catalan Christmas markets

In the previous part, I mentioned that some Christmas markets sell typical Catalan Christmas products and decorations. But what exactly do I mean by that? In the following part, I will explain a little bit more.

Cagatio, Tio de Nadel, Catalan Christmas tradition, catalan christmas log with barretina red hat
A typical Catalan tradition: the Tió

Tió de Nadal

The Tió de Nadal, also simply called Tió (wooden block) or Caga Tió, is probably the most typical Catalan Christmas tradition – and at the same time, probably one of the strangest.

The tradition says that the children keep the wooden block warm with a blanket and “feed” it over Christmas days with sweets, nuts, milk, or fruits to be thick and well-filled at Christmas.

One Christmas day, or the Three Kings’ Day, the children beat him with a stick while singing the traditional “Caga Tió” song. By doing this, he sheds the gifts under the blanket.

Almost every Catalan family has such a little (or big) Caga Tió at home during Christmas time. Maybe you would like to give this cute little wooden block with a painted face and a barretina (a Catalan hat) a new home as well when you visit the Christmas markets of Barcelona.

Spanish nativity scenes

Not only do we Central Europeans love our Christmas cribs. The Spaniards even go one step further. Many build entire landscapes with various figures and even natural plants or movable parts.

It is hardly surprising that you can find sooo many individual parts for your personal nativity scene at the Christmas market stalls. Many Catalans have made it a tradition to buy a (few) new features every year so that their nativity scene grows slightly bigger from year to year.

caganers in Barcelona, shop, shop window
A small selection of caganers in a store in Barcelona

Caganer

The Caganer once began as one of the nativity figures like the one I have just described. The little man with a Catalan cap (barretina) traditionally squats somewhat hidden in the crib while doing his business.

Gradually, the caganer became a popular souvenir, especially among tourists.

Today, you can find them all year round. There are even entire stores that specialize in selling the caganers. Besides the typical Catalan manikin, today, they come in all sorts of colors, shapes, and personalities – from celebrities to famous politicians and movie or cartoon characters.

Lucky bouquet

Another popular souvenir from the Catalan Christmas market is the lucky bouquets made of fir and mistletoe branches. They usually consist of one or two small fir branches, a few small mistletoe branches, and a “good luck charm.”

The small bouquet is usually wrapped in a semi-open plastic package. They are placed in the house during Christmas to bring the recipient good luck.

Candy and snacks

While central European Christmas markets generally have a big focus on food, many of the traditional Catalan Christmas markets tend to sell smaller snacks and sweets, like turrones or Churros con Chocolate.

But don’t worry, you can try typical Spanish Christmas dishes in Barcelona’s restaurants all over the city.

barcelona illuminated gift, christmas market old port in barcelona

about-the-author

About the AuthorVicki

Hi, we are Vicki & Eduardo, an international travel couple on a mission to help you save money for priceless travel experience. Follow us through the miracles of this world and you will be rewarded with a bunch of practical travel tips.

More about us
5/5 - (2 votes)

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.