Thinking of spending Christmas in Barcelona this year? Great choice! Let me count the ways you will enjoy the festive season here. Better still, spend it in a gorgeous luxury villa in Sitges, a short drive from the center of Barcelona.

What is the weather like in Barcelona at Christmas?

In Barcelona and Sitges average temperatures are around 15 degrees centigrade. The days are often sun-soaked with beautiful clear blue skies. And while it may be 15 degrees in the shade, don’t underestimate the power of that Spanish sun! Step out of the shade, and it feels like a warm June day in Blighty. Having begun many Christmas days with a glass of cava on the beach, we can vouch for the fact that it is a lovely way to kick things off. The water is a little chilly for sure, but it braces you for an afternoon of gluttony! Another feature of Christmas in Barcelona and Sitges are the fantastic sunsets at the end of your promenade each evening.

A buzzing atmosphere full of festive spirit in Sitges.

Sitges is different to many Spanish beach towns. Namely, it has a substantial resident population which means that it doesn’t close down for winter. Shops, restaurants, and bars stay open, and there is a beautiful Christmas spirit throughout the town. The food, culture, activities, and surrounding attractions that make Sitges such an appealing summer destination are available to you all through winter. The tapas bars are a wonderful way to spend Christmas Eve. Full of life and conviviality.

Caganers, a christmas tradition in Barcelona

1. Unusual Christmas Traditions in Catalonia

Come to Barcelona for Christmas and you can enjoy the unique (and scatological) traditions of Christmas in Catalonia. There is the Tió de Nadal. A children’s favourite, loaded up with sweets and lollies and then beaten with a stick until it “poops” out its bounty. Much to the kids’ delight! Keep an eye out for The Caganer. This little guy is hidden in every nativity scene, answering the call of nature. The figure often represents a famous figure caught with their pants down. You will find politicians, sportspeople, and movie-stars are regular favourites.

The nativity scenes that house the Caganers are worth a visit in their own right. From the life-sized display at Plaza St Jaume (you’ll need to go early as the crowds get crazy!) to the more intimate offerings in local shop windows, a fantastic effort goes into their creation. On December 28th there’s the local equivalent of April Fool’s Day, with jokes and gags all around. Finally, on December 31st, there is The Man of the Noses, and fun figures, races, and much more.

Christmas Markets in Barcelona

2. Christmas Markets in Barcelona and surrounds

The Christmas markets of Spain are amazing. The biggest, and most famous, is the Fira de Santa Llucia. It dates back to 1786 and is hosted in the heart of Barcelona’s Gothic quarter. This mind-blowing market has you covered. Kill two birds with one stone. Visit Antonio Gaudi’s masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia, and you can enjoy the Christmas market at the front of the architectural marvel. With Barcelona a 30-minute drive or a 40-minute train ride away it is an easy jaunt from Sitges. There are huge outdoor Christmas markets in local towns such as Cubelles and Canyelles. Both around 10 minutes drive from Sitges, they offer gifts, food, warm spiced wine, music, kids entertainment, and more.

3. Open-air ice-skating at Christmas in Barcelona

Take your choice! There is the large rink in Plaza Catalunya at Christmas in Barcelona. Or, for a more intimate vibe, head to the rink in beautiful Vilanova I la Geltru. This historic town is a 10-minute drive or 15-minute train ride from Sitges. The surrounding bars are a great place to people watch with a glass of something as the kids go round and round the rink.

Ice Skating at Christmas in Barcelona

4. Christmas Lights in Barcelona

The Barcelona city tour is magical when illuminated by the more than 3,000 Christmas lights. There is a Christmas tree for each area. After, you can take in the beautiful light and music show that is the magic fountain show at Plaza de Espana.

5. Food glorious food

Our favourite restaurants and bars are open, and we don’t have to queue for tables. While we love the buzz that summer brings, winter in Sitges has a different feel. There seems to be a little more time for everyone to have a chat and a smile as we share this special time together. There are some delightfully cosy tapas bars to choose from at this time of year. Sitges has a number of cosy pinchos bars such as Taberna Guria. And there is the lovely Nem and L’Avinyet for fusion tapas. In Vilanova i la Geltru there is no beating Celler de Cal Puput for old world charm, a convivial vibe and great tapas. The chevre chaud (hot goat’s cheese on toast) is divine. There are also traditional restaurants with real fires if the weather does take a turn. La Masia is a great example in Sitges itself.

6. Wandering around the Gothic quarter in Barcelona at night.

There is something very Christmassy about the tiny narrow streets in the old part of Barcelona at night. The air is crisp. The bars, restaurants and shops are like twinkling jewels. You can find unique gifts in the many independent shops. Try the tapas in Bar Del Pla which is reminiscent of how a good old world pub should be. I suppose it feels strangely Dickensian in a Spanish sort of way. And this sort of old world charm is hard to find in 21st century Britain. Trust me, even the worst Scrooge amongst you will absorb that Christmas spirit!

7. A Christmas ramble and a hearty lunch

It’s lovely to go on a nice long walk in the hills at Christmas. And it’s even better in Spain because the chances are the sun will shine! But the mild winter temperatures make it possible to manage those hills. There is a beautiful walk from Sitges up into the hills to a restaurant we know. We call it the Hunter’s Lodge, because it is part of a shooting range, but really it has a Catalan name, Asador Brasería Los Cazadores. Here the order of the day is meat cooked on the Brasa or BBQ. Delicious and perfect for after a nice Christmas walk.

8. But wait there’s more.

We love that Christmas is just the beginning of the festivities. New Year’s Eve and the festival of the Three Kings (January 5th) are celebrated with even more ceremony than Christmas. This means that the festive season keeps ongoing. The energy of the people to keep the party going never fails to amaze us!

3 kings festival after Christmas in barcelona

Where to stay for Christmas in Barcelona

The best way to enjoy Christmas in Barcelona is in one of the exquisite villas available from Utopia Villas. The villas are spacious and comfortable, with excellent facilities to enable you to enjoy your Christmas holiday. They offer intimacy and a privacy that a hotel cannot replicate. The fully-equipped kitchens mean you can host your Christmas dinner in the villa. Or if you choose, we can even provide an in-villa chef to arrange the perfect meal for your group. We have villas with open fires and log burners if you want a cosy feeling for the main event. Or maybe a fire in the garden for a novelty cosy Christmas in the sun?

You also get access to our Utopia Villa’s guest relations team. They can organize trips, transfers, activities, babysitters, in-villa fitness and wellness, and so much more for you.

For a very Merry Christmas in Barcelona, a luxury villa in Sitges should be number one on your Xmas list. Even if you have been a little naughty….