My boyfriend lives in Barcelona so I do spend a lot of time in this city. And when it comes to Barcelona in winter, I think it is such a great place to visit. Not only is the climate mild and it’s usually warmer than in other European destinations, there are also so many things to do in Barcelona in winter, outside and not.
I received a lot of questions about visiting Spain in winter, how cold it gets and what to expect. So I decided to write a blog post about it. And the outcomes is this very long list full of useful information about visiting Barcelona during the cold months.
We will talk about the weather in winter in Barcelona, what to pack, things to do, bad weather alternatives and more. You will find everything about visiting Barcelona during the festive season and other important events during the winter months. So keep reading: Here comes everything you need to know about visiting Barcelona in winter
Affiliate links may be sprinkled throughout the free content of this blog post. If you purchase from one of the links I may receive a small commission while the price for you stays the same. This helps me cover the costs of The Lithuanian Abroad. Gracias!
Other blog posts about Barcelona that you have to check out:
Visiting Barcelona in December: I wrote this blog post about visiting Barcelona in December that you have to check out. Everything about visiting Barcelona during the festive season
Barcelona bucket list you have to know about: This Barcelona bucket list includes more than 20 fun activities that you can do in Barcelona. Make sure to check it out!
10 Barcelona off-the-beaten-path places: This blog post is for everyone who has already seen the most important tourist spots in Barcelona and would like to explore some hidden gems.
Self-guided walking tour for Barcelona: This post includes a self-guided walking tour itinerary for Barcelona. Make sure to check it out 🙂
Make sure to go on a free walking tour in Barcelona
One of my favorite activities to do in a city that I visit is to go on a free walking tour. Free walking tours are the best way to explore the most important areas of a city in only a few hours. And it’s so much fun!
The best part about free walking tours are the local guides who do an amazing job at showing you the city from the eyes of a person who lives there. So how do free walking tours work? Free walking tours do not come with a set price, so they are free. You will spend several hours walking around Barcelona with your local guide. You will learn so much about Barcelona’s history and culture. At the end of the walking tour, you have the chance to give your local guide a tip. And how much you would like to tip them is completely up to you. It usually depends on your budget and on how much you actually liked the tour.
You can find all free walking tours in Barcelona here.
FAQ about visiting Barcelona in Winter
How cold is Barcelona in winter?
Barcelona has a mild Mediterranean climate thanks to its close location to the Mediterranean Sea. The winters are usually very mild and humid, with many hours of sunshine every day.
When it comes to temperatures, you can expect the following:
- In December in Barcelona, the highest temperatures are around 18°C (64°F), the lowest around 8°C (46°F)
- In January in Barcelona, the highest temperatures are around 17°C (63°F) degrees, the lowest around 7°C(45°F)
- In February in Barcelona, the highest temperatures are around 17°C (63°F) degrees, the lowest at around 8°C (46°F)
I would definitely advise to check the weather forecast when visiting Barcelona in winter. The temperatures do vary within a month. My boyfriend and I remember spending some nice sunny days in December, when temperatures reached more 20 degrees on a very warm day. On the other side, you can also have bad luck and catch a couple of consecutive days of rain.
Does it snow in Barcelona in winter?
It rarely snows in Barcelona; if it does, it would make it all over national and international news. Barcelona has a very mild Mediterranean climate where the temperatures do not drop that low for snow to occur. It is a very infrequent event in Barcelona. You might see snow in the nearby mountain areas outside of Barcelona (e.g. Sierra de Collserola), but not in the city center of Barcelona. And that would only happen in the coldest months of the year, in that case, January and February.
To sum it up: Snow is not something you have to worry about when visiting Barcelona in winter!
Is it worth visiting Barcelona in winter?
The short answer: Yes! Absolutely.
Barcelona offers very mild temperatures in the winter months with many hours of sunshine.The winter temperatures in Barcelona are still mild enough so that you can walk around the city comfortably and spend a lot of time outside.
Apart from that Barcelona offers many different events and activities you can do during the winter months. For example, you can watch the Christmas lights in December, the Three Kings Parade in January, or the Llum lights festival in February. You definitely will not get bored here.
22 Top Things to do in Barcelona in Winter:
Visit the iconic Sagrada Familia
Let’s start with an obvious one: You cannot leave Barcelona before visiting the iconic Sagrada Familia, Barcelona’s most important landmark. This incredible masterpiece is a UNESCO World Heritage sites and is visited by thousands of people every single day.
The craziest thing about it: Up to this day, the Sagrada Familia remains unfinished. There were hopes that this church was going to be finished by 2026, which would be exactly 100 years after the start of construction. But latest news reports confirmed that this will not happen.
You absolutely have to see the Sagrada Familia from inside! I promise you have not seen anything similar in your life. The architect Antoni Gaudí designed this building with so many beautiful colors and facets, and I feel like every traveler has to see this once in their life.
If you plan on visiting the Sagrada Familia I highly recommend getting your tickets beforehand. As you can tell, this is one of Barcelona’s busiest landmarks and only a set number of visitors are allowed everyday. You can buy your tickets here.
Have a walk around Barcelona’s most beautiful park: Park Güell
The next place on our “Barcelona in winter” bucket list is another creation of the famous architect Antoni Gaudí. Park Güell is another UNESCO World Heritage site in Barcelona that you have to visit during your stay. This is a park that is located in the outskirts of Barcelona and offers very beautiful landscapes, and of course, beautiful Gaudí buildings. I am sure you have seen the two buildings from Park Güell on postcards and photographs.
This is the perfect plan for a warmer winter day in Barcelona. You can just explore Park Güell, its gardens and architectural pieces during the day and admire the two beautiful Gaudí buildings at the entrance. Check out the beautiful photo below!
If you want to visit Park Güell I would recommend getting your tickets beforehand. There is only a limited number of people that are allowed to visit the park every day. So, make sure to book your tickets here.
Check out the Light show in Casa Milà: La Pedrera Night Experience Show
If you are looking for a special activity to do during your Barcelona winter trip, keep reading. Barcelona’s iconic Gaudí building “La Pedrera” offers incredible night experience with a semi guided walking tour of the building with an audiovisual nightshow on the rooftop. From there, you will have an amazing view of all over Barcelona. La Pedrera is incredibly beautiful lit at night, so this one is an experience you will never forget. The best part: If you do this experience at night you will be able to see the Christmas lights in the surrounding streets.
This experience is absolutely spectacular! You can find more information about it here.
Visit Barcelona in December and enjoy the Christmas lights
One of my favorite things about Barcelona in winter are the Christmas lights in late November and December. That is the time when the whole city just turns into a beautiful winter wonder land with beautiful Christmas lights and decorations.
If you are in Barcelona in December, you really should take the time and explore the different Christmas lights on each street. I promise that you will find one street more beautifully lit than the next one.
Personally, I find the Christmas lights on Passeig de Gràcia the most beautiful. But I invite you to have a look at the different lights in the different streets of the town. Absolutely magical!
A must- do activity: Watch a Flamenco Show
Yes, Flamenco is not exactly from Barcelona. But I still recommend going to a Flamenco show to every travelers that comes to Spain. If you want to see the most authentic Flamenco performance, you will find them in the South of Spain. But Barcelona also offers Flamenco Shows that are definitely worth visiting.
Flamenco is a traditional dance that origins in the South of Spain. It consists of female and male dancers in traditional Flamenco gowns accompanies by a Spanish acoustic guitar. I promise you that this performance will give you goosebumps!
I always recommend to go to Flamenco Shows that are small and intimate. That will make the experience so much better and you will be able to truly feel the emotions. That is why I recommend the Flamenco Show in the City Hall Theater. A MUST for your Spain trip!
Explore Barcelona’s gastronomy on a Tapas and Wine Walking Tour
One of my favorite things to do whenever my boyfriend visit a new city in Spain is to go on a tapas and wine walking tour. We have done one in Barcelona, Granada, Madrid and Bilbao so far and it always has been so much fun!
On these walking tours a local guide takes you to the best restaurants and tapas bars in the city and explains different dishes to you. You will have SO much food! Apart from that, this tour also includes different drinks, from wine to beer and vermouth. Make sure to arrive hungry because you will eat a lot!
If you want to dive deeper into Barcelona’s food scene and spend a fun evening exploring the best tapas bars, you have to sign up! A friend of mine recommended this tour specifically that will take you to the beautiful neighbourhood of Born.
Food you have to try in Barcelona in Winter
When it comes to amazing food, you came to the right place. Barcelona is known for its incredible local and international cuisine. There are so many places and dishes I can recommend but let’s focus on what you have to try during winter in Barcelona:
Something that you can be excited about are the Castanyadas in Barcelona in winter. Those are roasted chestnuts that you can buy in small pop-ups all over the city. These chestnuts smell incredibly and it has happened to me that I saw one of these stalls with super long queues. That’s something that you really have to try out!
At the beginning of November Panellets season starts in Barcelona. Those are delicious small cookies made out of a mixture of nuts, while I personally enjoy the one with pine nuts the most. So delicious! You can find them at pretty much any bakery in town. Make sure to try them out!
Another true highlight of Barcelona are the traditional Calçots during the winter months. Those are local grilled spring onions that are typically eaten at a big barbecue, called Calçotada. Now you are probably wondering how to get to one of these huge barbecue parties with locals, but don’t worry. Many local restaurants serve them as well, and I encourage you to try them out. You can order them at restaurant Casa Masana or Mussol Casa. Calçots are THE thing to eat in Barcelona in winter. Their season typically goes from December to March.
Get ready for an amazing food experience in Barcelona. There are sooo many amazing places you can try out!
Go on a one day trip to Montserrat
Another amazing one-day destination from Barcelona is Montserrat. This is THE one place that I really recommend visiting if you have a whole day available and are up for an adventure.
Montserrat is a mountain range in Catalonia. Atop of this mountain range sits Santa Maria de Montserrat, a Benedictine monastery. This monastery is famous for the statue of the Virgin of Montserrat, one of the few black Madonnas to exist. This is Catalonia’s most important religious destination. Many people arrive during the say to do an overnight hike and watch the sunrise.
The views from up there are just incredible. This monastery is located right in the mountains and is a very special place to visit.
You can reach Montserrat very easily by taking line R5 from the Placa Espanya train station. This train journey is very recommended as the views will be absolutely spectacular. You can find more information here.
Visit Montjuïc, the hill with best views of Barcelona
Montjuïc is one of the must-see places during your Barcelona winter trip. Montjuïc is a hill in the South of Barcelona, and one of the most popular attractions in town. Why? First of all, the views from up there are just incredible. You can enjoy panoramic views of Barcelona and see from the Sagrada Familia all the way to the beach.
Montjuïc is also home to Catalunyas National Art Museum that hosts a very interesting collection of Romanesque Art. You can also find pieces of Catalan artists, such as Gaudí. This museum is massive and has been open to the public since the International Exhibition in 1929.
Explore incredible museums in Barcelona in winter
I personally really enjoy spending a day in a museum on a cold winter day. And I can already tell you that you will love the museums and art galleries in Barcelona, especially as a contemporary art lover. I wrote a whole blog post about museums in Barcelona and which of them you can visit for free. Here come three that I find worth mentioning:
The Picasso Museum: Picasso is one of Spain’s most famous painters. Did you know that he used to live in Barcelona and go to art school here? Nowadays, the Pablo Picasso museum in Barcelona shows hundreds of his pieces. This is such an interesting exhibition.
Maritime Museum of Barcelona: My boyfriend and I went to this museum on a rainy day not expecting anything but we were so surprised! This museum shows Barcelona’s navigation history, shipbuilding and so much more. Spoiler: Did you know Barcelona was not always a beach city? We were so impressed about the pieces and artifacts. This is a really great interactive museum to visit, especially for families.
Barcelona’s history museum MUHBA: This museum shows the ancient city of Barcino, before it turned into the Barcelona we know today. You can walk around the ancient ruins that lay below Barcelona’s Born neighborhood and even see how local houses and shops looked like. Super interesting!
Explore Barcelona’s vintage and second-hand shops
There is nothing that I enjoy more than second-hand shopping in Barcelona. It does not matter what time of the year it is, Barcelona offers so many places to go vintage shopping. Here come a couple of my favorites:
We can start with the popular second-hand chain Humana. There are many different Humanas you can visit in Barcelona. Maybe you will find your next unique vintage piece there?
My favorite vintage clothes shop in Barcelona is LeSwing. They have incredible vintage pieces for a really great price point. Apart from that, there are many cute local shops in the gothic quarter that you should check out: From clothes, to accessroriues to jewelry.
Get lost in Barcelona’s iconic neighborhoods: El Born and Barrio Gótico
El Born and the Gothic quarter are Barcelona’s most iconic neighborhoods. And no wonder why! This area of Barcelona is one of the oldest ones in town and really will take you back in time. I invite you to get lost in these small streets and explore the monuments, museums, bars and local shops in this area.
When it comes to restaurants, I can recommend the following ones: Bodega La Palma is my go-to place for Spanish and Catalan dishes. Make sure to try the Torrija (similar to french toast!). Everything we have tried there so far has been absolutely amazing. And the interior is very authentic as well. Another fun bar you should visit is Casa del Molinero, which truly looks like an old farmhouse from inside. Make sure to try the Chorizo Al Diablo here! A very cosy plan for when you visit Barcelona in winter.
For vermouth, I can really recommend Bar La Plata. This incredible place opened in the 1940s and up to today serves the same five types of tapas (and vermouth) as it did at the time it opened. When my mom visited, I took her to this place and it was one of her favorites.
El Born and the Barrio Gótico are also home to Barcelona’s most incredible cocktail bars: You have probably heard of El Paraiso, which has been awarded as one of the best cocktail bars in the world. My own personal favorite is Dr. Stravinksy, that offers incredibly unique cocktail creations. You should also check out cocktail bar Farola.
My tips to celebrate Christmas in Barcelona
If you have the chance, you have to visit Barcelona during the festive season. Barcelona turns into a beautiful winter wonderland during December, full of Christmas lights, Christmas markets, but no snow and icecold temperatures.
You will absolutely enjoy spending your Christmas holidays here. There are several Christmas markets in town, that you have to check out. One of the most popular ones is “La Fira de Santa Llucia” right in front of Barcelona Cathedral. You will find everything from decoration, ornaments, nativity scenes and souvenirs there.
If you want to spend Christmas in Barcelona, you should know that the 24th is usually a short working day for most Spaniards. On the 25th of December, most restaurants and shops are closed. Most locals spend these days with their families. Barcelona is usually quieter during these days.
How to spend New Year’s Eve in Barcelona
If you are in Barcelona during New Years Eve there are a couple of things you should know about: Many shops close early on December 31st and are completely closed on the 1st of January.
It is very common for groups to book “New Years Eve” dinners in restaurants. Those should usually be booked early as they tend to get booked out quickly. Out of experience I can tell you that they are not exactly cheap (They usually start at 80€ per person). You can decide for yourself if this is something that you would like to do. But since it’s a special occasion that could be a fun activity for Barcelona in winter.
A really cool Spanish New Years Eve Tradition that you have to try out are the 12 Uvas. Spanish people usually eat 12 grapes at midnight, one for every time the clock strikes midnight, for luck and success the following 12 months.
On New Years Eve in Barcelona, there is a firework show in Montjuïc. If you want to know more details about that, you should check out this page.
The best markets and food halls to visit in Barcelona in winter:
A special activity that I really recommend during winter in Barcelona is visiting the different markets and food halls. Not only can you escape the colder weather outside, but you can also try some cozy Spanish food, tapas pintxos (small sandwiches) and enjoy a glass of wine or a beer.
When it comes to markets that I recommend visiting, I would start with La Boquería, which is located on the busy street of La Rambla. This food market is by far the most famous of Barcelona. It’s a great place to see different food stalls, local fish, meet and cheese produce or other international food. If you are in the area, you should definitely check it out. During Christmas season, La Boquería is beautifully decorated and you can feel the Christmas spirit in there. But, to be honest, La Boquería is quite touristy, which is why I really recommend the following place:
El Nacional. El Nacional is a food hall that is full of history and one of the places in Barcelona that look absolutely magical during the Christmas season. This food hall opened in 1889 and throughout the years it has been a café theatre, a factory and a garage during the civil war. It’s basically a restaurant full of other different restaurants. This is the perfect place for a nice dinner during the winter season to try and taste different Spanish goodies. My absolute top tip!
The best thing about El Nacional is that it is open every day of the year. So it could even be worth going there on a public holiday when many other places are closed! (Make sure to make a reservation if possible)
Explore the best cocktail bars in Barcelona
Barcelona has so many incredible cocktail bars that you should check out! If you want to spend a cold evening inside during the cold winter months, this could be a fun activity to do.
As mentioned before, Barcelona is home to one of the best cocktail bars in the world: Paraiso. But there are so many more than that! Paraiso is incredibly crowded most of the time, so there are other cocktail bars that I can recommend when you come to Barcelona in winter:
Dr. Stravisky is mine and my boyfriend’s favorite cocktail bar. They do not offer any of the usual cocktails you may know, but only their own creations. A great place to visit if you want to try some unique cocktail creations.
Another place that offers unique cocktails is Sips. These cocktails look amazing and have a very creative touch to them as well. Dry Martini Bar is a place you should visit if you want to try some classy cocktails. My boyfriend and I adore this place! And by the way, there is a speakeasy in the backroom… psst!
Have an amazing fine dining experience in Barcelona
To me, Barcelona is truly the capital of incredible gastronomy. If you come to Barcelona during winter and would like to have an incredible date night eating the best food creations, I got you covered.
One of my favorite restaurants ever is called Somodó and will really be one of the best restaurants you ever visited. The chef Toshi Suzuki offers incredible dishes of Japanes and Catalan fusion. So creative! I have taken so many friends there and all of them have enjoyed it.
Another amazing place you should visit is Martinez. Not only do they serve incredible rice dishes (Paella and Fideuá), but the view you have from there is absolutely breathtaking. This restaurant is located on Montjuïc and will make you feel cozy, even though it is winter in Barcelona.
Explore other Gaudí buildings in Barcelona: Casa Vicens & Palau Güell
As you already know, Barcelona is known for its incredible architecture. If you have already seen the Sagrada Familia, there are other buildings and monuments you should look at. A couple of months ago I visited Palau Güell, and it’s been one of my favorite buildings I have visited.
Palau Güell is located close to La Rambla and is a building Antoni Gaudí designed for business man Eusebi Güell. This building is just one of a kind and truly a work of art. The highlight of the building is the main room, that was used to receive important guests of Güell. And I am sure that it worked. Check out the photos below!
By the way, you can visit Palau Guell for free on the first Sunday of the month! (You have to book a time slot on the official website) Otherwise, you can get your ticket here.
Another Gaudi building you can check out is Casa Vicens, a colourful building located in the Gràcia neighborhood of Barcelona. It was built in the 1880s and is known for its vibrant colours. The inside is of Islamic and Far East influence and it will honestly blow your mind.
If you are a fan of architecture, this is the place to visit in Barcelona in winter. One of the highlights of Casa Vicens is the smoking room, where different vibrant colours meet each other and give this masterpiece of a building a unique style. Just pay attention to the details here. It’s incredible! And, of course, this building is was also declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.
Casa Vicens is the lesser-known Gaudí building but SO WORTH visiting. You will be mindblown by the architecture. You can buy your ticket here.
Have a walk around Barcelona’s beautiful park: Park Ciutadella
Park Ciutadella is a gorgeous city park, that you can visit on a warm winter day in Barcelona. It is located in the Born neighborhood and is also the home of Barcelona’s zoo. Park Ciutadella is the green oase of Barcelona, where many locals and travelers go to relax and spend some time in nature.
The best part about Park Ciutadella is the golden monument on a small lake. I am sure you have seen it on postcards before. That will be the highlight of your visit and is really something that you have to check out.
Have a nice beach walk in Barcelona in winter
My boyfriend and I really like to go for a walk along the beach promenade on a warm winter day. You can start your walk from the W Hotel and then go North, towards the neighborhood of Poblenou.
This area is also popular amongs skateboarders, cyclists and people doing outdoor sports. Apart from that, you can sit down in the sand and spend some time at the beach. The beach restaurants called “Chiringitos” are inviting you to sit down and have a snack together with a tasty drink.
Make sure to visit the Sitges Carnival in February
Sitges is a beautiful beach city that is only one hour by train away from Barcelona. It is the perfect one-day trip destination from Barcelona and offers beautiful sand beaches and way less tourists.
The special thing about Sitges is the Sitges Carneval that is celebrated in February. This carnival is one of the oldest in Catalunya and people call it the best carnival festivities of the whole of Spain. During this week (8-14th of February 2024) you can expect different concerts, parades and a lot of party. By the way, Sitges is also known as the gay capital of Catalunya. The parties there are incredible.
If you want to find more about the Sitges Carnival you can find the official website here.
Watch The Three Kings Parade in Barcelona in January!
If you happen to be in Barcelona at the beginning of January, there is a special event that you have to experience: The Three Kings Parade on the evening of January 5th.
The Three Kings, Melchior, Balthasar and Gaspar, will arrive at the Portal de la Pau at 5pm. There, they will be received by the Major, who will give them salt and bread as a sign of hospitality. They will also receive the key of the city, which they can use to enter all of the houses in Barcelona 😉 This parade is usually very fun and frequently visited by locals and their families.
Then, the Three Kings will do a parade throughout the streets of Barcelona on their magical floats. This event is especially popular for families. Make sure to check it out if you are in Barcelona in January!