Christmas with the family
It isn't the Christmas log, the tió, or the Three Wise Men, who play a starring role in the Christmas celebrations: it's the kids! With their enthusiasm, cheerfulness and sense of hope, boys and girls bring a touch of magic to this time of the year... Their eagerness to go out and soak up the Christmas spirit grows day by day after the lights have been switched on for the first time. Here is a long list of activities to fill your days and evenings to ensure you enjoy the best Christmas ever in Barcelona!
The Christmas lights trail
There's no better was to see the city decked out in spectacular twinkling lights than the Barcelona Christmas Tour. A panoramic experience on a double-decker bus, with an on-board commentary, that will show you the city's most iconic streets and buildings dressed up for the occasion. The Barcelona Christmas Tour is an experience you simply can't afford to miss this Christmas!
Unmissable Christmas fairs, markets and Nativity scenes
You'll find Christmas fairs, markets and Nativity scenes all over Barcelona. From the popular Santa Llúcia Fair to the market by the Sagrada Família, along with the Epiphany Fair on Gran Via and a great choice of markets in the city's different neighbourhoods. The city's boroughs are also waiting for you with their own unique festive processions and parades.
In Barcelona, Christmas is experienced right by the sea. The old harbour, the Port Vell, and the Port Olímpic cast off their characteristic summery, Mediterranean atmosphere and are transformed into a winter wonderland for several weeks. The Harbourside Christmas fair has all kinds of activities for the family as well as other attractions and activities associated with the sea, sustainability and the performing arts.
The Nativity scene in Plaça de Sant Jaume is the most popular one in the city. It always introduces innovative designs that break with convention. This year, for the first time, the Nativity will be extended to the neighbouring streets and doorways of the nearby shops. If you want see a tradition in sculptural form, make sure you visit the Museu Frederic Marès, right by the cathedral.
Christmas festival in the centre of Barcelona
In the mornings, the Plaça de Catalunya will be holding a Christmas festival with six areas where you can take part in a wide variety of games and activities: books, life-size wooden animals representing every species; a Christmas-card workshop; present-day photos of Barcelona superimposed onto vintage ones; art and entertainments using recycled materials; and a mini-festival of short films and Christmas stories.
There will also be an urban dance showcase that will get kids and adults up and dancing. There'll be a great line-up of activities and entertainments throughout the afternoon for people of every age and background: music, theatre, circus, film… everything!
Barcelona's Christmas festival will also extend to Plaça de la Universitat. You'll find a festive, state-of-the art, hands-on installation that will get you moving non-stop and introduce you to the different ways the locals enjoy Christmas.
Christmas at Barcelona Zoo and on Tibidabo
Barcelona Zoo and Tibidabo are two of the city's attractions that are synonymous with activities for kids. They've lined up lots of activities so you can enjoy them in a different way. Tibidabo has a prepared a great selection of things to do: the centenary celebrations of the Talaia, or Watchtower, ride, with a ball and exhibition of the giant figures, gegants; Tibidavis, a festival dedicated to the elderly; a concert by Dàmaris Gelabert and the traditional daily Christmas entertainment. At Barcelona Zoo, you'll find the Christmas spirit in the special themed activities which will give you an insight into the different species that live there.
The Poble Espanyol at its most Christmassy
This year. Christmas returns to the Poble Espanyol. You can visit Father Christmas's house or meet one of the Wise Men and tell him what you want for Christmas. In the main square you'll find a huge Christmas tree that will be the envy of all the other trees around the city. Under the marquee, you'll be able to enjoy all kinds of family entertainments. Make sure you don't miss YU, a fun, fast-paced show for all the family brought to the Poble Espanyol by Sàndal Produccions.
The Liceu sets the stage for Christmas
If you're a lover of the performing arts, the Liceu brings you a programme that covers every genre. You can enjoy a concert version of Charles Dickens' Christmas Carol illustrated by Borja González's sand poetry. The Nutcracker will reveal the beauty of ballet and The Musicians of Bremen will immerse you in a world of dance and puppetry.
The Three Kings' factory and workshop of ingenious inventions
The Three Kings' factory, in the Sant Andreu district, will introduce you to their helpers who make sure the toys are ready for the eagerly awaited twelfth night.
At the workshop of ingenious inventions, in the Besós district, you'll be able to see the brand-new eco-float built from repurposed materials with a carbon-zero footprint. You'll also be able to deliver your letters to the Three Wise Men and tiny tots will be able to hand in their dummies.
The most eagerly awaited parade
On the evening of 5th January, the Kings of the Orient will return to Barcelona and disembark from their ship at the quayside, the Moll de la Fusta, where they will be welcomed by the mayor of Barcelona and people from all over the city. The kings will set off from the harbour to embark on their big parade through the city centre, with entertainments and celebratory floats that are truly spectacular. This year has something new in store! After many years, when each king has travelled on his own individual float, this year all three of them will be parading on one giant float.
There are many more activities too. If you want to discover what else you can do in the city over the festive period, check out our event calendar for families and make the most of your time with the discounts and benefits that the Barcelona Card Family has for you!
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