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What to Do in Barcelona in January

Updated: November 1, 2023

This post covers the top 10 things to do in Barcelona in January, updated for 2024.

We include evening, free, as well as family-friendly activities.


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 our other popular Barcelona posts:

1. Take a Sightseeing Tour

The weather will be a bit chilly in the first month of the year, so taking a bus tour of Barcelona is one of the best ways to see the city. 

You can enjoy the commentary about popular attractions from the shelter of the bus. City Sightseeing Barcelona is one of the more well-known names to operate in the area.

Taking a cable car ride up Montjuic is also a popular way to get a bird's-eye view of Barcelona.

Of course, we recommend pay-what-you-like walking tours through the city centre to really help you get to know Barcelona.

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.

For more fun ideas, check out our family-friendly post

3. See the Lights of Sant Pau

Every holiday season, Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau puts on a special lighting display, Els Illums de Sant Pau.

This light show will be available to experience until January 14th, 2024, and tickets can be purchased here.

If you're also interested in entering this historic Art Nouveau landmark and UNESCO World Heritage Site, tickets are available for just €17.

Purchase tickets or learn more.

You can also get free admission to Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau itself by using a Barcelona Tourist Pass.

4. 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.

5. Celebrate a Christmas Market

One of Barcelona's Christmas markets stays open into January!

The Feria de la Gran Via, which first opened up a few stalls back in 1877, now has over 100 stalls.

You can find clothes, jewelry, decorations for the home, toys, and so much more.

This market is open until January 6th, Monday through Friday, from 10 am to 10 pm.

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

6. 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:

Note that tickets to a flamenco show are included on some discount passes as well, such as the Explorer Go City.

If you're looking for more evening things to do, check out our full post.

7. Experience Local Cuisine

January in Barcelona will be a bit chilly, which is the perfect time to jump from restaurant to restaurant and bar to bar on your search for the best tapas in the city. 

We recommend going on a tapas tasting tour with a local guide helping you in your search. 

If you strike out on your own, there are still a few bars in the area that participate in the tradition of offering free tapas with your purchase of a drink during specific evening hours:

8. The Three Kings Parade

On January 6, 2024, you can help ring in the new year and close out the holiday season with the Three Kings Parade on the evening before Epiphany. 

The Three Kings, or wise men, in the English Bible story, arrive on a ship and are given the keys to the city for the night. Traditionally, the Three Kings bring gifts to the kids.

You can see the ship arrive at Port Vell, at Moll de Las Fusta dock, around 16:00 (4:00 pm).

There will be a parade making its way through town, usually starting just after 6:00 PM.

For more free activities, check out our full post.

9. Enjoy Els Tres Tombs Festival and Parade

Barcelona neighborhoods take turns putting on their own festivals throughout the year, and this one has been around since the 15th century.

This January, you can make your way to the Sant Antoni neighborhood on January 17th to see some entertaining festival activities.

Long ago, farmers brought their animals to be blessed. In the modern day, locals bring their pets to be blessed.

A parade also takes place, with horse-drawn carriages and people on horseback.

Kids and animal lovers will love and be especially entertained by these festivities, which also include live music and dancing.

Find more free entertainment and family-friendly activities in Barcelona here.

10. Tourist Attraction Discount Pass

Explore as much of Barcelona as possible for less when you purchase 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
  • Barcelona Zoo
  • L’Aquarium Barcelona
  • Picasso Museum
  • Park Guell’s Monumental Zone
  • Montserrat Morning Tour

If you’re really looking to save the time and money you have in Barcelona, using a tourist pass is the best way to do that.

See our Barcelona Tourist Pass comparison here.

If you've already decided which discount pass you want, you can purchase one here: Explorer Go City | All Inclusive Go City | Barcelona Card | Turbopass Barcelona.


About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo,, and more.
Updated: November 1st, 2023
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