This post covers the top 10 things to do in Barcelona in December, updated for 2023.
We include evening, free, and family-friendly activities.
December's weather is too cold for the beach but is an excellent time to explore the city's cultural sites and nightlife.
TOP 10 EVENTS AND THINGS TO DO
This top 10 list has concerts, football games, tours, and other fun things to do this month in Barcelona.
If you’re looking for even more fun things to do, make sure to check out our other popular Barcelona posts:
1. Take a Sightseeing Tour
City Sightseeing Barcelona is one of the more well-known names to operate in the city.
They are a hop-on-hop-off bus tour that will help you get your bearings in Barcelona and double as a convenient form of transportation.
Of course, we recommend pay-what-you-like walking tours to start with.
Most free walking tours cover sites and subjects such as the Gothic Quarter, Gaudi, and Modernist architecture.
If you miss any of the guided tours available, you can always just take our own self-guided Barcelona tour.
If you're willing to brave the cold breeze, bike tours are popular with adventurous visitors.
2. Go to a Sporting Event
European Football (soccer) is quite popular in Spain, and the Barcelona team is aptly named FC Barcelona.
Taking a tour of Camp Nou, FC Barcelona's football stadium, would be a fun thing to do for any football fan.
Another football team you might try to get tickets for is RCD Espanyol.
If your interest is in basketball, there's FC Barcelona Basquet, a team that's seen player Pau Gasol go on to become a six-time NBA All-Star.
Finally, the Barcelona Master Final World Padel Tour, a racket tournament for a sport often called Padel Tennis, is in town in December.
For more fun ideas, check out our family-friendly section of our Things to Do in Barcelona post.
3. Attend a Flamenco Show
Flamenco is a traditional Spanish art form that is based on folkloric traditions and combines instrumental music, dance, and song.
There are a number of shows in the city that give you a real sense of the spirit involved in this art form.
Here are just a few of the shows you can attend:
- Flamenco at City Hall
- Tablao Flamenco Cardobes
- Los Tarantos Flamenco Show
- Flamenco Show w/ Tapas
- Flamenco Show w/ Drink
Find other theatre shows as well as comedy shows here.
4. Enjoy a Major Concert
Barcelona attracts some of the most talented musicians in the world, some of whom are visiting in December.
It also has local musicians who are sure to put on a great show for visitors.
- Barcelona International Jazz Festival | October 16-December 27th | various locations
Click here to see even more concerts in Barcelona.
And if you’re looking for other ways to spend an evening in the city, take a look at our full post on nighttime activities in Barcelona.
5. Celebrate Christmas at a Market
Christmas is just around the corner, so Christmas Markets will soon start popping up in Barcelona in late November and early December.
In addition to Christmas lighting and decor, you might find nativity scenes, Ferris wheels, ice skating, and market stalls that sell winter snacks such as hot chocolate and roasted chestnuts.
A few of the more popular markets include:
For even more markets, read this post covering all of the Christmas Markets in Barcelona.
6. Take a Paella Cooking Class
Paella was traditionally the food of farmers, made with rice and whatever else could be pulled together.
Over time, the paella recipe has developed, becoming one of the most popular dishes in the country (and the world, actually).
If you'd like to learn how to cook a traditional seafood version, classes can be found in Barcelona.
In fact, you will go along to buy ingredients at La Boqueria with the chef, tasting tapas along the way, before your paella-making workshop. It's truly a tasty activity!
Of course, you can always find Paella and other delicious foods in restaurants throughout Barcelona.
7. Enjoy Holiday Foods
Speaking of food, you won't want to miss some of the festive or seasonal foods that can be found this time of year.
Many restaurants will be offering these delicious dishes, so be sure to give them a try.
Canelons | Typically eaten on Boxing Day, it's thick pasta filled with meat, fish, or veggies, and covered with béchamel sauce and melted cheese.
Escudella i Carn D'Olla | a soup/stew that has pasta, meat, and vegetables and is flavored with garlic, thyme, parsley, saffron, salt, and pepper.
Turron | is a sweet made with ground or whole almonds, sugar, honey, and egg.
Rostit de Nadal | a traditional slow-cooked Christmas roast with plums, onions, pine nuts, garlic, and a touch of cinnamon.
Tronc de Nadal | a yule log cake served during Christmas dinner
8. Visit Game of Thrones Filming Locations
Winter is coming, and there's no better time to see some of the locations where Game of Thrones was actually filmed.
Catalonia, just around 1-2 hours outside of Barcelona, was the site of many notable sets in the hit HBO show.
You'll experience the medieval walls of the city and a variety of other sites tied to the Game of Thrones series.
There are a number of different tours you can take that will transport you to and from Catalonia to see these filming locations.
9. Save More with a Tourist Attraction Discount Pass
Save yourself more time and money as you explore Barcelona by purchasing a discount pass.
These passes bundle admission tickets to give you savings of up to 50% on regular retail pricing.
Attractions Available for Discount Include:
- Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Tour
- Barcelona Bike Tour
- Camp Nou Tour
- Barcelona Zoo
- L’Aquarium Barcelona
- Picasso Museum
- Park Guell’s Monumental Zone
- Montserrat Morning Tour
- Hard Rock Cafe
If you’re really looking to maximize the time you have in Barcelona, using a tourist pass is the best way to do that.
10. Celebrate New Year’s Eve
As with many other major cities, Barcelona puts on a stunning fireworks display at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve.
You'll find live music, performers, and human tower displays in Placa Espanya by the Magic Fountain. and, of course, amazing fireworks!
There will be plenty of clubs, restaurants, and bars that will be having parties and special menus.
INSIDER TIP: You can take part in an interesting Spanish New Year’s Eve tradition by attempting to eat 12 grapes during the last 12 seconds of the year.
At 1 grape per second, it is a bit more difficult than it sounds.
11. See the City From Above
One of the most noteworthy sites in Barcelona is Montjuïc Castle which sits at the top of a hill in the middle of the city.
If you take the Montjuïc Cable Car to the top, you can enjoy the views as you rise to the top and then get an even better view from the castle itself!
This is the main way to reach the summit, and it's also a great way to experience the landmarks and historic attractions around the city as you ascend the hill.
Note: If you’re planning to visit multiple museums or notable locations, the Barcelona Card is a great option.