Well, coming from a country where traditionally and historically the Christmas markets are very much part of the festive season, with real snow, with ice skating ring in the middle of the market, with people drinking mulled wine, punch, eating from the street food selection all the local goods, kolbász, lángos, kürtöskalács, etc 😋, where people are buying Christmas presents, decoration, bulbs from the handcrafted art and design sellers of the market, little angles, snow globes and baby Jesus everywhere ✨well of course I can be a bit homesick and looking for something similar during this time of the year, even in Barcelona!
So this weekend we decided to check what Barcelona can offer, how the mercados de navidad look like here. So on the 6th and 7th of December we have visited the most common spots, even it was extremely sunny, 18-20 degrees during the day. 😁
Since 1962, a Christmas fair is organized around the Sagrada Família. It starts at the end of November or at the beginning of December and can be visited until Christmas days. You can find here Christmas trees and Christmas plants to buy for your home, living and plastic options too, sellers of the traditional figures (like the caganer and tios) and Christmas decoration in general, food, with candy stores, and the gifts sector, with stalls of handicrafts, jewelry and clothing. And given the fact that it’s quite warm during the day, you wouldn’t desire any mulled wine, not like anyone would sell it. It’s a different atmosphere, but of course it’s enjoyable too.
Our second spot was Port Vell, with its 31-meter high Christmas tree. It’s a new initiative, and the new Christmas market is installed in the Portal de la Pau square and it is open since 5th of December. At the fair you can stroll below a Christmas tree of 31 meters with led lighting, the largest installed ever in Catalonia. You can also see a giant sword, a floating aluminum crib and a light beam in front of the Rambla de Mar, and a classic carousel. Moreover every night, the facade of the headquarters of the Port of Barcelona will be illuminated with a spectacle at the rhythm of music and with more than 100,000 led lights.
I have checked the food stands too, mainly empanadas, churros, buñuelos, fresh coconuts(!), pizza slices, cakes and beers.
The manger of this year’s on Sant Jaume square is a creation of the set designer Paula Bosch. The manger can be seen from November 29 to January 6, and contains everything that is needed to celebrate the festive season in the houses of Barcelona. The installation is full of boxes of all kinds, large, small, of different materials, shoe boxes, other lined with paper. And inside each box, the objects that remind us that Christmas has arrived: the tureen, the galets, the glasses of cava, the grape, the polvorones, different mangers, small, large, with old and new figures, mounted, unassembled, wrapped garlands, Christmas trees, etc.
And, in addition, the installation has two faces: at the back of the boxes you can see a city with illuminated windows, lighted street lamps, cables that connect one house with the other, worth to check! On the other side of the square, we can see a beautiful, traditional Christmas tree, too.
The most traditional one, Fira de Santa Llúcia is located in front of the Cathedral, on Avenida de la Catedral. This year commemorates its 233rd anniversary (1786-2019) and opened its doors already on the 29th of November and stays open until 23rd of December.
This market is also mainly about tios, nativity scene figures, Christmas trees, greenery and plants for your home, hand made products, gifts, clothes, jewelry and decorations.
Net-net, Christmas markets are definitely different here, and even though I miss the sweet treats, the mulled wine and a more wintery atmosphere, no complains here, there are more than enough bars in Barcelona, even around these markets to enjoy even a sunny ‘winter’ day! 😉