Who said that Christmas time has to be spent at home? Increasingly more people prefer to travel on these dates, visiting either big cities to enjoy the special festive ambience or remote and quiet places to enjoy calm and relaxation.

If you like the cheerful atmosphere the biggest European cities have at this time, watching the illuminated streets and avenues and feeling the Christmas illusion as a child, Barcelona can be a perfect city where to spend Christmas and meet the New Year.

For those who have the opportunity to spend Christmas time in the beautiful city of Barcelona this year, we offer 10 activities that can not be missed.

  1. Christmas Market Santa Llúcida
    With more than 200 stalls of Christmas decorations and nativity figurines, the Christmas Market  of Santa Llúcida is considered one of the most important and the most interesting in Europe.
  2. Ice Rink
    During the Christmas time Barcelona has the largest temporary ice rink in Europe. There are numerous activities  held at this time for people of all ages, including introductory courses for children from 6 to 12 years in various winter sports such as ice hockey, short track, figure skating and more.

    Magic Fountain of Montjuic, BarcelonaPicture source: http://w2.bcn.cat

  3. Magic Fountain of Montjuïc (performance of water, light and music)
    At Christmas, more than ever, the fountain of Montjuïc becomes a magical place where the water dances to the rhythm of light and Christmas songs. It is an impressive show full of colours to spread the Christmas spirit.
  4. Caga “Tió”
    It is a peculiar custom of Catalans which tourists can found being as strange as fun.When the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8 comes, the Catalan children begin to feed a small trunk called Tió that poops presents on Christmas Eve. When this magic time comes, children require the trunk to make a poo, hitting him with a stick while singing special songs for the Caga Tió. For children who have been good during the past year, the Tió  poos presents, and for those who not – coal.

    Catalan tradition - the solidarity Caga TioPicture source: http://w2.bcn.cat

    This year the Barcelona City Council will place a Solidarity giant Tió in the Santa Llúcida Christmas Market , so that all children will have the opportunity to make a big Tió poo a little present for them, after giving it a good beating with a stick, as the Catalan tradition demands.

  5. Nativity scene exhibition
    What would Christmas be without the Nativity scenes! In the courtyard of the town hall, you can see an exhibition of items from the Barcelona Ethnology Museum including works of a great value displaying the Catalan Nativity-Scene traditions.
  6. Collecting toys and food
    The Christmas time has always been a special time for solidarity, and is especially necessary right now, when more and more people suffer from the deep economic crisis of Spain. Therefore, the City Council and many other organizations, have provided numerous collection points for toys and food items, so that everyone who wants to contribute in this cause can support those people who need it most.
  7. The “Nose Race”

    The traditional New Year's Eve race in BarcelonaPicture source: http://w2.bcn.cat

    If other cities of the world celebrate the traditional San Silvestre race at this time, Barcelona has its own name for the event: “Cursa dels Nassos” or “Nose Race” in honour of the Catalan character who usually appears touring the streets of Barcelona at this day.
    The goal, however, is the same, to do some sports in a fun race that often ends up as a costume competition.

  8. Chimes in the Agbar Tower
    As a tradition since 2006, the Catalan regional television broadcasts the chimes of the New Year’s Eve from the impressive Agbar Tower, an icon in front of which more and more people every year get together to celebrate the upcoming New Year and enjoy a magnificent show of light and colors.
  9. The first swim of the year
    More adventurous inhabitants and guests of the city have a special meeting on the beach of San Sebastian on January 1 at noon, when crowds of people come together to celebrate the New Year by taking a chilly dip. But don’t be afraid, the bravest quickly get warm again, as they are rewarded with a nice cup of hot stock and a diploma as a reward for their courage.
    Are you in?
  10. The Three Kings parade
    The end of the Christmas time is marked by the magic Twelfth Night. You can’t miss the parade in which the Three Kings travel around the city giving to children something much greater than gifts: an illusion.