*This site contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission when you buy. See my full disclosure.
Visiting Barcelona in December is a good idea. You can still get by with packing pretty lightly because the cold hasn’t really set in yet. The best part is that it’s the shoulder season, and the crowds are not as thick. Read on to find out what to do and what to expect so you can prepare for your Barcelona vacation!
Why you should visit Barcelona in December
Typical weather in Barcelona in December
The weather in Barcelona in December is generally mild but cool, with temperatures ranging from around 6°C (43°F) to 14°C (57°F). The days are typically shorter, with an average of around 9 hours of daylight. December is one of the cooler and wetter months in Barcelona, with an average of around 9 rainy days during the month.
While December is not the warmest or sunniest time to visit Barcelona, it can still be a pleasant time to explore the city’s indoor attractions, such as museums and galleries, or to enjoy the festive atmosphere and Christmas markets. It’s important to pack warm layers and waterproof clothing to be prepared for the cooler temperatures and potential rain.
Tips for dressing appropriately in Barcelona in December
What to pack in Barcelona in
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Light jacket or sweater
- Scarf and hat
- Umbrella or raincoat
- T-shirts or short sleeve shirts
- Long sleeve shirts
- Pants or jeans
- Skirts or dresses (for warmer days)
- Cardigans or light jackets
- Comfortable socks
- Underwear and bras
- Camera or smartphone for photos
- Power bank or charger for your devices
- Adaptor plug (if needed for your electronics)
- Travel-sized toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, etc.)
- Medications or prescriptions
- Travel documents (passport, visa, boarding passes, etc.)
Remember to pack light, as it’s easier to navigate Barcelona’s narrow streets and public transportation with a smaller, lighter suitcase or backpack.
What to do in Barcelona in December 2023
December 8, 2023. Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Most shops and restaurants are closed.
Ice Skating: In December, there are several outdoor ice skating rinks set up around the city, including in Plaça Catalunya and the Barcelona Ice Rink.
Christmas lights: Barcelona is known for its impressive Christmas light displays, particularly on Passeig de Gracia and Rambla de Catalunya. The lights create a magical atmosphere in the city and are a must-see during your visit.
Fira de Santa Llucia (Santa Lucia Christmas Fair). TBD. last days of November – end of December-ish 2021. The most popular and largest Christmas fair in Barcelona, you’ll find rows and rows of stalls in front of the Barcelona Cathedral. Expect to see Christmas trees, Christmas decorations, caganers, wooden toys, and a huge tió de nadal that the children can beat with a stick. ( <- What?? Yup, find out about that here.)
Christmas activities in Barcelona: End of November-ish, January 6, 2024. Holiday activities are ongoing throughout Barcelona. Most activities are in Plaça Catalunya and Plaça Sant Jaume. Check out Christmas activities in Barcelona – as I update it every year!
Fira de la Sagrada Familia (Sagrada Familia Christmas Fair): Last weekend of November – December 23rd. This is a fun Christmas market to go right in front of the Sagrada Familia. You’ll see Christmas trees, artisan gifts, Christmas decorations, food vendors, Nativity scenes, and more. A great place to visit right after seeing the grand church!
Fira de Reis de la Gran Via (Three Kings Christmas Fair). End of November-ish to January 5, 2023. Description is above. This Christmas fair IS open on December 26 when everything is closed. Hurrah!
Festival de la Infancia (Children’s Fair). TBD. This is an indoor event for kids to learn, discover, and play! It’s held at the Fira Gran Via, where kids can learn about the Barcelona tram, pretend they work at the Barcelona port, or be a footballer. It’s meant to inspire children about future careers. I went in 2019, and queues were quite long for some stands like the one for FC Barcelona, so I suggest going early to knock those out of the way. Then enjoy the rest of the stands!
December 25, 2023. Christmas Day. Most shops and restaurants are closed.
December 26, 2023. Boxing Day / St Stephen’s Day. Most shops and restaurants are closed.
New Year’s Eve: December 31, 2023. Barcelona’s main New Year’s Eve event takes place in Placa Espanya with many people celebrating along the beach to watch the fireworks and celebrate with friends and family.