Winter In Barcelona: Why It’s The Best Season To Visit

BY GILLIAN ROSE

Instagram/giillz

Winter is a truly magical season in Barcelona. With less tourists and chaos, winter is when the true city emerges. By day, there is a relaxed hum throughout the city, while at night, Barcelona turns into a Christmas wonderland as the dazzling lights illuminate the streets. Between the unique holiday traditions, less noise, and unbeatable prices, winter is the best time of year to explore the real Barcelona.

SEE ALSO: This Is The Perfect Way To Spend A Day In Barcelona

Traditions

Flickr/Angela Guedes Dias

While many countries wind down their Christmas celebrations after December 25th, in Spain, the festivities carry on well into January. The first week of January is an enchanting time to visit Barcelona, as locals continue to buy gifts and delight in the city’s beautiful Christmas lights. After much anticipation, thousands of adults and children line the city streets to watch the spectacular Three Kings Parade on January 5th. This parade is so magnificent that people actually bring their own ladders to see the parade over the crowd! With wildly decorated floats, live music, dance, and elaborate costumes, this parade is a must-see for any age.

Food

Oh, the food! Barcelona has some of the greatest food and drinks in the world, from the famous jamón ibérico and delicious fresh seafood, to craft cocktails, cava, and sangria. Despite these classic mouthwatering eats, Barcelona has many fantastic Spanish staples that you must try during the winter:

Escudella, a delicious and hearty Catalan stew that is common during Christmas, is perfect after roaming around chilly Barcelona. As the first documented soup in Europe, some recipes date back to the 14th century. This timeless dish is served in two courses: first, the broth with noodles or rice, and second, a heaping plate of warm vegetables and meats.

Flickr/calafellvalo

If you’re a chocolate lover, look no further! Spain has some of the greatest hot chocolate in the world. Suizo, Spain’s thick, rich, fondue-like hot chocolate is often paired with churros– a match made in heaven!

Flickr/Brett

If you smell something burning while walking down the cobblestone city streets, it’s probably Castañas (chestnuts) roasting on an open fire. Street vendors across Barcelona wrap the castañas in newspaper for easy takeaway.

Flickr/LexnGer

Traditionally, people eat castanas with Panellets, the classic Spanish dessert served on All Saints Day. These tasty little sweets are made from sugar, egg yolk, and almond rolled together in a small ball and coated with pine nuts.

Flickr/Gerard Romans Camps

Weather

Although Barcelona can get chilly in the wintertime, the strong Mediterranean sun illuminates the city with bright blue skies. Average temperatures range from 50 – 60 degree fahrenheit, which is significantly warmer than most other European cities. On warmer days, you may find people relaxing on beaches or taking a dip in the ocean.

Flickr/Nicolai Landzettel

Flickr/Modes Rodríguez

Prices

Take advantage of the low cost of flights and accommodation during the winter season! Tickets and hostel/hotel rooms often charge half as much as summer prices. Check out my Ultimate Guide to Budget-Friendly Travel to learn more about how you can have an amazing adventure without breaking the bank.

Flickr/Victor

Authenticity

During summer, throngs of tourists flock to this metropolitan city, compelling locals to vacation elsewhere. Because of this lack of Barcelona natives, you will have less of an immersive experience when visiting in summertime. However, most locals will remain in Barcelona for the holiday season, and many are excited to show you their culture.

Flickr/Osamu Kaneko

Flickr/::ErWin

Sightseeing

One of the greatest parts about winter in Barcelona is that you are able to explore its renowned attractions without the hordes of international tourists. Less tourists means less time spent waiting in line to see Sagrada Familia, Parc Güell, or the many incredible museums around the city. If you love art and architecture, wintertime is better than any other to explore what Barcelona has to offer.

Flickr/Juan Urdaneta

Flickr/Riccardo Cuppini

Flickr/Don McCullough

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Wendy Hung

CEO, FOUNDER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

As the founder of Jetset Times, Wendy is an avid traveler and fluent in five languages. When she's not traveling, Wendy calls Paris and Taipei home. Her favorite countries so far from her travels have been: Bhutan, Iran, and Russia because they were all so different! St. Bart's was pretty amazing too (wink)!

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