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Barcelona in winter – 10 lovely ideas for a perfect weekend!

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barcelona in winter - top things to do in barcelona

We were sitting at home, looking out the window at lovely Munich winter… To make the 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?

Visiting Barcelona in winter is an excellent choice. The atmosphere of the Spanish Carnival, plates full of tapas and pitchers with sangria… 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!

barcelona in winter - park guell

barcelona in winter - park guell details

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 🙂

barcelona in winter - green parrots

barcelona in winter - green parrots

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.

barcelona in winter - la boqueria

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.

barcelona in winter - me in a gothic quarter

barcelona in winter - gothic quarter

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!

barcelona in winter - me in my barcelona outfit

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!

barcelona in winter - gaudi masterpiece

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!

barcelona in winter - la sagrada familia outside

barcelona in winter - la sagrada familia inside

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, churro is rather a dietician‘s nightmare, but dipped in warm chocolate sauce bring smiles to every face.

barcelona in winter - churros

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?

barcelona in winter - view from the caramel bunkers

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! 

barcelona in winter - me and the donkey


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, is 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.

Click here to book your perfect hotel in Barcelona!

barcelona in winter - park guell

Any other ideas for a trip to Barcelona in winter?

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How to spend a perfect weekend in Barcelona in winter? Our guide to the best attractions and places to stay in the city.

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  • Reply
    Cristina P
    March 18, 2017 at 07:21

    We have yet to go to Barcelona but reading your article makes me want to visit it for my birthday (December).

    • Reply
      March 18, 2017 at 07:42

      Definitely! Even if the weather is not good, you can still spend hours in Picasso Museum 😉

      • Reply
        Cristina P
        March 18, 2017 at 08:09

        The only problem is that we don’t like art museums, we go for technical and history 🙂

  • Reply
    The Jetset Boyz
    October 23, 2017 at 13:34

    In May it was our third visit to Antoni Gaudi’s fabulous La Sagrada Familia and yet again we were in awe!

    The detail in this cathedral is mind blowing… from a distance, it looks very Gothic in nature but then you get closer and every single element leaves your jaw hanging. From the lighting, the tree-like columns, the sculpture… It’s safe to say we have witnessed a work of art in the making!

  • Reply
    Kaylie | Happiness Travels Here|
    February 14, 2018 at 13:10

    It looks fantastic, I’m going with my 7 year old next week, I forgot about Churros! so excited.

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