3 (+1) Christmas markets in Barcelona
Are you getting the Christmas spirit? Whether you are passionate or not, it’s Christmas time, again!
One of the best traditions at Christmas is strolling around markets, experiencing the magic all around the city.
Why don’t you take advantage from your holidays to visit Barcelona? Known as “ciutat dels mercats”, literally the city of markets –due to the wide amount of markets scattered in the city- Barcelona wears its Sunday best at Christmas.
Did you know Barcelona hosts some of the biggest markets in Spain? Here a list.
Fira de Santa Llúcia
It is the oldest Christmas market in Barcelona, dating back to 1786. It takes place near the Catedral in Gothic district, so you can’t miss it! With more than 300 stands, the market is divided in various sections : the most important one is dedicated to the crib, pesebre in Catalan, where you can find lots of figures to buy, including the popular caganer, a regular feature, depicted in the act of defecation, appearing in nativity scenes and considered a mascot. Another section of the market is the one with decorations : Christmas trees, ornaments and Tíos de Nadal that is to say little trunks standing up on two or four legs with a smiling happy face painted and adorned with a red hat, the traditional Catalan berretina.
The third section deals with musical instrument from the Catalan tradition : flutes, tambourines and zambombas, a friction drum consisting of a ceramic pot covered with a skin and a pole in the middle of it.
The last section is for arts and crafts : fashion jewellery, cakes, garments, candles and various gift suggestions.
Fira de Reis de la Gran Vía
Located in Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, you can get there by underground. It is one of the most important Christmas markets in Barcelona, where more than 200 kiosks will offer you a great selection of products : toys, cakes, arts and crafts, garments, food and household goods. In addition to this, in every corner of the market you can find stalls making fried churros to be dipped in hot chocolate, and typical tortell de reis : O-shaped pastry, usually stuffed with marzipan and topped with glazed fruits.
The market starts on the 20th December and ends on the 6th January, exactly on the Catalan “dia de Reis”, literally the Kings’ Day. Still searching for the best gift? This is the right place where to find it!
Feria de Navidad de la Sagrada Familia
It is one of the most traditional markets of the Eixample district and it takes place in the square apposite to the Sagrada Familia –the name itself suggest its location!-. Though it is not the biggest one, it counts about a hundred stands. The variety of products sold is similar to the staff you can find at Fira de Santa Llúcia : figures for the nativity scene, Christmas decorations and cakes. Since it runs just on weekdays, it is less crowded and more flowing, so you will have the chance to enjoy a more relaxing walk!
Furthermore there is a popular permanent market more recurring at Christmas : the Col.lectiu d’Artesans de l’Alimentació located in Santa Maria del Pi’s square, in the Gothic district. About 20 kiosks where the exhibiters sell honey, chocolate, cheese, spices, pâté, wine and cakes. The prices are affordable and the sellers are so much friendly, that you can taste their delicacies before you decide to buy them or not.
The market attracts lots of tourist, thanks to its central location.
Talking about traditional food, the famous market La Boquería and the Mercat Santa Caterina offer a selection of high quality traditional products, among them the turrón –a nougat confection typically made of sugar, honey, egg white and toasted almonds- and the polvorones –a type of heavy, soft and very crumbly shortbread made of flour, sugar, milk and almonds-.
Christmas markets create an enchanting atmosphere, and every corner of the city is brightened with the beautiful illumination from the Christmas lights. Stroll around Barcelona and enjoy the Catalan Christmas!