We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.


Which Barcelona hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Level Contributor
51 posts
Save Topic

How busy is Barcelona at Christmas? Are the restaurants open for Christmas lunch and if so how far in advance do you have to book? Would love to be there at Christmas!!

Palafrugell, Spain
Level Contributor
1,005 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Xmas?

Christmas in Barcelona is quite different to the UK. Traditional foods for Christmas are fish and pasta. While Christmas Day is an important holiday, presents are exchanged on Jan 5/6th so there's not quite the crescendo of activity that builds up in the UK.

Barcelona, Spain
Destination Expert
for Barcelona
Level Contributor
9,242 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Xmas?

Sorry, Saul D, but I was born in Barcelona's area, from a generations-old Catalan family, and last thing we would have in our table for a Christmas meal would be "fish and pasta", never heard of such menu! Traditional Christmas meal around here is the "escudella i carn d'olla" and then, some families add roasted chicken, stuffed with dried fruits. As the amount of food is usually HUGE, the traditional meal for next day (Sant Esteve) are "canelons de Sant Esteve" (cannelloni made with the leftovers of some of the meats of the escudella and the chicken... yumm)


In any case, COYSUk: Christmas lunch is a family affair here, and usually we do not eat out on that day. This does not mind you would starve, but your choices will be limited, and most likely real local places will be closed (their staff will be celebrating at home too). However, as over the last years there is a lot of tourists visiting on these dates, more restaurants open, and not only the "ethnic" ones. This page is quite useful for planning a meal on Dec 25/26 in Barcelona:


The city is busy, the atmosphere is lovely with the Christmas lights... Mostly everything will be closed on the 25 though (however, some touristy sights will be open). Mind Dec 26 is a festive day here too. All in all, I'd say is a great time to visit, but do not get your expectations wrong. As Saud D said, here the celebrations carry on until Jan 6. Nowadays most people exchange presents BOTH on Christmas evening and on Epiphany day. For something actually different and worth seeing, move your dates or extend your stay until Jan 6, and enjoy the fabulous parade of the "3 Kings" on Jan 5 evening:


Tonbridge, England
Level Contributor
42 posts
99 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Xmas?

I stayed in Barcelona for five days Christmas 2013, and had a great time. Busy, buzzing, quite a few tourists, great atmosphere, and lovely Christmas lights in the streets. Decorations in shops etc understated by UK standards, but very pretty.

Quite a few restaurants close for dinner on the 24th and all day 25th, but you will find plenty remain open.

A bit of careful planning is needed as some sights close over 24th, 25th, or 26th, so if there are places you particularly want to see, you will need to plan your visits around those days. The websites for each site will give you the dates when they are closed.

On Christmas Day itself, I had 9am tickets for the Sagrada Famila, so could enjoy it before the main bulk of sightseers arrived - magical. I then caught the metro and then the funicular up to Montjuic, and had a lovely afternoon wandering around the castle and enjoying the views. One of the best Christmas Days ever!j

4. Re: Xmas?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 15 July 2015, 06:17