We were sitting at home, looking out the window at lovely Munich winter… To make story short – the weather wasn’t encouraging us to leave a cozy sofa. Winter in Munich consists mainly of rain, rain, two weeks of snow and more rain again. Why not going somewhere sunny and warm? Even for a weekend? We have already been to Rome in winter and enjoyed our gateway so much! Magda, Michal, Barcelona in winter – that’s a perfect idea!
Why should you visit Barcelona in winter?
The atmosphere of the Spanish Carnival, plates full of tapas and pitchers with sangria… Why should you visit Barcelona in winter? First of all – fewer tourists. This place has become a victim of its own success. In the summer, so many visitors were coming here that in the end, the authorities banned opening new accommodation spots. But the Catalan capital has also a lot to offer even in colder months. These things are definitely worth trying if you are going to visit Barcelona in winter!
Walk in the stunning Park Guell
Quirky gingerbread-like houses, animals made of mosaic, crazy colors… Gaudi was a pure genius when it comes to architecture. It seems like in the whole Park Guell there is not a single straight line. Take a walk through the Hall of 100 Columns, take a selfie with a giant mosaic lizard, get lost in the corners of the Park… Finally, relax on the upper terrace and admire the colored roofs and a stunning panorama of Barcelona. It’s worth coming here just for this spectacular view!
Meet green parrots at the Palau Nacional
Probably the most romantic fountain show in the world takes place in front of Palau Nacional – Font Magica. Come here in the evening to admire the amazing spectacle of light and water accompanied by music. In winter, the fountains are usually out of order for two weeks, so it may happen that you will have to watch the show on YouTube instead… But don’t worry – just come here during the day instead and meet hundreds of colorful birds. Nothing turns your holiday mood on better than green parrots soaring above 🙂
Eat your way through La Boqueria
There is no better place in Barcelona to taste local delicacies than the largest market – La Boqueria. Fresh fish and seafood, a huge selection of cheeses directly from farmers, Spanish tapas and wine, candied fruit… It’s so hard to decide what to try! Everyone will find something really special here. You have to remember that the market is closed on Sundays.
Wander through the dark Gothic Quarter
Towering buildings, dark, slightly melancholic atmosphere… Barcelona in winter looks a bit gloomy. If you have ever read the book The Shadow of the Wind by Zafón, here you will instantly feel as the main character in this novel. This is the place where you can meet with the history of this city. Whenever you go, you just have to take another pic. Medieval buildings with fancy cafes. Narrow vibrant streets. Dark houses, with unique things from Spanish designers… Remember, to know this area better, you can always go on a Barcelona walking tour.
Shop till you drop at La Ribera
Spanish designers have been setting trends in fashion for ages. Nothing better than a sale shopping spree during your trip to Barcelona in winter! For best shopping, go to the La Ribera district, near the Picasso Museum. Basically, at every corner, you will find small boutiques with amazing, unique things straight from designers. In particular, we can recommend you visiting the kingdom of hats at Up Headwear (Carrer de Montsio, 3) and the shop of a young Spanish designer, Mariona Santpere (Giralt el Pellisser, 16). You will find there an original jewelry and unique clothing, inspired by Mariona’s travels and made in line with the ideas of fair trade… Best thing? It’s usually cheaper than in chain shops and one of a kind at the same time!
See the freaky Casa Battlo
Another remarkable work of Gaudi, colorful house simply popping up in monotonous surroundings. It’s hard to call it beautiful, but rather… a little scary! When you look closer at this building, you will see columns in the shapes of bones, the roof made of fish scales and balconies like ghostly carnival masks… A bit creepy!
Visit spectacular Sagrada Familia
The world-famous landmark of Barcelona, another Gaudi’s masterpiece. Despite initial concerns that the project would never be completed, now it’s announced that the basilica will be ready … in 2026, for the centenary of its main designer death. Be sure to also go inside this spectacular church! Amazing stained glass, the mixture of lights and stone’s color makes it look like there is a delicate mist under the ceiling. It creates a truly mystical atmosphere. Walking between aisles will give you the impression of… walking in the woods. Gaudi designed the columns as trees with numerous branches!
Try freshly made hot churros
Barcelona in winter may get a bit cold sometimes. Need to warm up? Try hot churros! Made of deep-fried pastry are rather a dietician‘s nightmare, but dipped in warm chocolate sauce bring smiles to every face.
Most fabulous panoramic view of Barcelona
Take a bottle of cava, snacks and a blanket and head to Búnquers del Carmel. Here you can admire the most beautiful views of Barcelona. Quarters of the buildings stretching to La Barceloneta beach, along with the giant Sagrada Familia. On the right side, in the distance, Montjuic. The whole city seen from this perspective looks so peaceful and quiet… Maybe it’s a good idea for Valentine’s Day date?
Viva la Fiesta!
If you decide to visit Barcelona in the last week of Carnival, be prepared for a true festival madness. However, various types of events are held here throughout the whole Carnival. There is a good chance that you will see also famous Catalan human towers (Castellers), an integral part of many events in the city!
How to get around? The most convenient way is to walk – thanks to this you can see many wonderful things which you would otherwise skip while traveling by underground metro. Park Guell, as well as Búnquers del Carmel, are located a little more to the north and you would probably need to use public transport to get there (metro stops: Lesseps or Vallcarca, in case of del Carmel the nearest stop is Alfonso X). You can obtain a ticket for 10 trips for 10 euros (can be used by 2 or more people) or a Hola Barcelona card with unlimited number of journeys (for 14.50 EUR per person for 2 days)
Where to stay?
Budget-friendly: Hostel One Ramblas, located in the walking distance from the beach and the lively La Rambla, from 20 to 40 EUR per person in a shared room depending on the season
Middle range: Ayre Hotel Gran Via, near the Plaça d’Espanya, excellent location and delicious breakfast buffet with sparkling wine cava, price for the cheapest room from 70 to 150 EUR depending on the season
Special occasions: W Barcelona, hotel in a unique glass building, the rooms have a beautiful panorama of the Mediterranean Sea, the price for the cheapest room from 400 to 500 EUR per night.
Any other ideas for a trip to Barcelona in winter?
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