Tourist Information Guide

Guide to Family Activities during the Christmas Period in Barcelona

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Christmas Traditions Day (Dia de Tradiciones I Costums Nadalencs): 12 December

In the Cathedral Square in Barcelona it is possible to find the city's main Christmas market (for more information please see our Guide to Christmas Markets in Barcelona). This market plays host to a special day devoted to traditional Catalan Christmas traditions (it may be worth reading our Spanish Christmas Cultural traditions, if you plan to attend).

Special Day: 12 December

In the morning there is a procession through the market with a figure known as the Carassa de Nadal, giving out sweets for the children.

Throughout the Christmas there is a stage located at the top of the square. Christmas stories are told by a local theatre company. This is followed by dancing carried out by children in traditional Catalan dress from a dance group known as the Esbart Catalá de Dansaires. This is a local celebration, so be warned that the commentary for the event which is broadcasted through a loudspeaker will be in Catalan. However, it is still possible to enjoy the visual aspects of the event, the music and the general atmosphere without a knowledge of the language.

Barcelona City Pass

Our Insider Tip

If you arrive in time for the dancing, you can join a short queue for free turron and cava. The cava is for adults only, of course!

Fira de Santa Llúcia
Carrer dels Lledó, 11, 2
08002 Barcelona, España.

metroMetro: Jaume 1 (Yellow Line, L4)

Caga Tio

Children Hitting the Tio Gegant
Children hitting the Tio Gegant

Also related to the Fira de Santa Llúcia (please see details above) is the Caga Tio. Please see our Guide to Spanish Christmas Cultural traditions for information on this interesting local tradition. If you are interested in treating your children to a Catalan alternative to a trip to see Santa Claus, you can take them to see the Tió Gegant at this market.

For no charge they can queue to see the large figure, situated on the stage at the top of the square and receive a small gift and lollipop. This event is sponsored, so the gift is, unfortunately, promotional material. Despite this, there is no denying the excitement in the children's faces as they wait impatiently for their turn to hit the log.

Where to See Santa Claus

Santa Claus at El Corte Inglés
Santa Claus at El Corte Inglés

There is no need to fear that your children will miss out on the opportunity to visit Santa Claus whilst in Barcelona. He can be found in the toy section (8th floor) of the Corte Inglés department store in Barcelona. This is a free service and customers are only required to fill in a form providing their address. Children are then invited to have their photograph taken and chat with Santa. The photograph is then sent to the address free of charge.

It is clear that in Barcelona Santa Claus plays a less central role than Caga Tió or the Three Kings, as, when I went to visit the store on a weekday evening there was no queue.

El Corte Inglés
Plaza de Catalunya, 14
08002 Barcelona, España.

Tel: +34 93 306 3800

How to get to El Corte Inglés in Plaça de Catalunya

MetroMetro: Catalunya (Red Line, L1) and (Green Line, L3)

Hop on hop off sightseeing tourist bus stop

Nearest stop for El Corte Inglés in Plaça de Catalunya is "Plaça de Catalunya" with the "hop on hop off" sightseeing bus

Public bus

Plaça Catalunya: 24, 41, 42, 55, 67, 68, H16, Aerobús

Car parking

Luggage Storage

Nativity - Barcelona Cathedral

Hidden in the cloisters of Barcelona's cathedral (contrary to popular belief, this is not the Sagrada Familia) there is a stunning Nativity scene that will impress all of the family. If you are facing the front façade of the Cathedral it is necessary to make your way around the left hand side of the building, where you will find a doorway to the cloisters.

The Candles in the Cloisters at Barcelona

During the Christmas period the central section of the area is filled with a life size Nativity scene, including a small river with running water, ducks and swans. It is a particularly attractive scene in the evening as red candles twinkle in the surrounding cloisters and the star above the Baby Jesus stands out in the dim light.

The admission is free, however, a contribution is requested.

Santa Esglesia Catedral Basilica de Barcelona
Plaza de la Seu
08002 Barcelona, España.

Tel: +34 93 342 8262

How to get to Santa Esglesia Catedral Basilica de Barcelona

metroMetro: Jaume I (Yellow Line, L4)

Hop on hop off sightseeing tourist bus stop

Nearest stop for Santa Esglesia Catedral Basilica de Barcelona is "Catedral - Gòtic" with the "hop on hop off" sightseeing bus

Public bus

Via Laietana / Plaça Ramon Berenguer: 45, V15, V17

Car parking

Luggage Storage

Month Day Time
January - December Monday - Friday 09:30 - 18:30
Saturday 09:30 - 17:15
Sunday and Public Holiday 14:00 - 17:00

3 Kings Parade - 05 January

In general, in Spain, the Three Kings replace Santa Claus as the bringers of the main gifts to children. The Three Kings Day is known as 'Cabalgata los Reyes Magos' and is the night when the three kings arrive bearing gifts (please see our Guide to Spanish Christmas Cultural Traditions for more details). To celebrate, before children go to prepare for the arrival of the three kings, there is a large parade through Barcelona.

Cabalgata los Reyes Magos: 05 January

The parade takes place in the evening, with people dressed up as the three kings arriving to be welcomed by the Mayor. The kings then parade through much of Barcelona city centre with a large procession. The exact times and route of the procession are not yet available. However, keep an eye on the Barcelona Council website for more details.


Date: 05 January
Start Time: 18:00

Each year we will provide details of what will be happening in Barcelona in the run up to Christmas and New Year.

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