Barcelona, Iberia, Spain

Winter in Barcelona – Warm enough for a swim?

December 31, 2018
Park Guell Barcelona, in December

We have decided to be brave and book an entire month in Barcelona for our honeymoon this winter. It’s been almost two weeks since we are here and we do not regret our decision at all!

Orange Tree on Montjuic, in December
What winter looks like in Barcelona / Montjuïc Castle

Let us give you some tips on how to prepare for your trip and to enjoy Barcelona in wintertime.

1.It’s not exactly beach weather, so bring warm clothes

The average temperature during the day is about 15 degrees Celsius, as you might have already read somewhere. What does this mean?

Well, at times you will feel like wearing a T-shirt and shorts, and some other times you will need two jumpers and a jacket on top.

Street Performer Barcelona Cathedral
A well-dressed lady in front of Barcelona Cathedral

Make sure you have enough layers to get by in any kind of weather. Since we are here, there was literally no cloud in the sky, so I don’t think you need to worry about rain that much.

Also, I don’t think the temperature ever dropped below 3 degrees at night. It always felt warmer than 3 degrees anyway.

Christmas Lights in Barcelona
Christmas lights on our street

2.Make sure your accommodation has heating

We booked an airbnb for our stay and asked in advance if they could provide a radiator. The building we are staying in has no heating system, since it’s never that cold in Barcelona.

How to dress for winter in Barcelona
Sometimes you may need a beanie / December in Barcelona

Our host was kind enough to get a small radiator for us and we are very grateful. We would have been really cold without it, so we strongly recommend you do your research on this before booking your accommodation in winter.

3.That’s all you really need to worry about! Enjoy all that Barcelona has to offer, with shorter queues!

I have visited Barcelona a few times before, but never in winter. I was surprised to see that it looks nearly exactly the same.

Cocktails and coffee in Placa Reial
Plaça Reial

Palm trees, all the colorful fruit you can wish for at the Boqueria Market, volleyball on the beach and so much more!

Fresh Fruit in Boqueria Mercat Barcelona
Fresh fruit at Boqueria Market

And it’s so refreshing to enjoy all that Barcelona has to offer when the city is not as crowded as in the warm season!

Stay tuned for our tips on what to do and visit in Barcelona, in winter!

Street Performer Arc de Triomf Barcelona
Street performer @ Arc de Triomf

Check out our post on more free activities to do in Barcelona in winter!

4.Must! Don’t miss the Three Kings Celebration on 5th-6th January

If you are in Barcelona on January 5th, don’t miss the Three Kings Celebration. It starts in the afternoon and the parade moves around the city.

Three Kings Celebration in Barcelona 2019
Three Kings Celebration in Barcelona 2019

Keep in mind that most shops will be closed on the 6th due to this celebration.

5.New Years Eve at Plaça Espanya

If you plan to spend New Years Eve in Barcelona, Plaça Espanya is the place to see the firework show.

From our experience this year, you have to get there very early if you are keen to see the lights show from up close. At 11 pm the place was absolutely packed, so we could not claim our spot up front.

New Years Eve in Placa Espanya Barcelona
Not the best view, but good enough / New Years Eve at Plaça Espana

Bear in mind that a big part of the show includes the Montjuïc Magic Fountain as well. You might want to get as close to it as possible.

To be in line with the locals, bring 12 grapes and a bottle of Cava (instead of champagne or sparkling wine) with you. You can find these in shops and supermarkets on December 31st. It’s a tradition to eat the 12 grapes in the 12 seconds before midnight. Up for the challenge?

New Years Eve Traditions in Barcelona
New Years Eve grapes from Boqueria Market

6.Enjoy the sunny Barcelona beaches!

The sea is always calling for you in Barcelona, no matter what time of the year it is! The sun is always shining and the beaches are still packed with people that enjoy the sunlight.

View from Barceloneta Beach
View from Barceloneta Beach

You can rent a bike, grab a bite to eat with a stunning sea-view or just lay there in the sun when the day is at its peak. If you prefer a more quiet, serene atmosphere, wonder a bit further than Barceloneta beach and you will find what you are looking for.

Quiet Beach Front near Barcelona Casino
Quiet beach front near Barcelona Casino

If you are one of the brave ones, you can even go for a swim!

Swimming in the sea in December Barcelona
16 degrees sunny day

We haven’t crossed that one off our to do list just yet!

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