Barcelona’s Sunny Winter
Sunshine and Barcelona are the perfect couple, but it doesn’t have to only be a summer fling. With its mild winter, its budget-saving bargains, its cosy traditions, its quieter streets and its sweet treats, winter in Barcelona really is a wonderland. Here’s our five top reasons why Barcelona is great even when it isn’t summer-dress and shorts weather.
Cloud-less and Crowd-less
Dry and mild days with big blue skies is a regular occurrence throughout the winter months in Barcelona. While the temperature might not be bikini-friendly, there’s no shortage of sunshine in Barcelona during winter. Best of all, with the lower temperatures comes a different kind of Barcelona than most visitors have experienced. Say goodbye to the packed La Rambla and endless queues for Sagrada Familia and say óla to Barcelona with quieter streets and less time waiting in line to see some of Gaudi’s masterworks. Queuing time can be halved during wintertime, giving you more time to actually holiday. You’ll also find tourist-popular areas like the Gothic Quarter have a newfound charm without the need to get up at dawn to beat the crowds.
Barcelona’s famous La Boqueria can seem less like a food market and more like airport when it’s at peak tourist capacity on the busiest summer days. In winter however, La Boqueria, like other markets in the city offers a more authentic market experience, with locals grocery shopping, chefs choosing ingredients for their menu and a fresh array of seasonal produce on display. You’ll also be able to experience seasonal specialties beyond the markets and throughout the region where winter-favourite delicacies make an appearance on tapas menus and even as street food. Charcoal roasted chestnuts are the perfect snack for a little ramble on La Rambla and if you have friends in the city or ask at Hotel Continental for a recommendation, then calçots are a must. A Catalonia delicacy, these not-quite-a-leek almost-a-spring-onion vegetables are charred over open flames and then generously dipped into a rich romesco sauce before eating.
Spain loves Christmas and Barcelona is no different. Catalonia however offers a particularly passionate and unique take on Christmas with their own traditions and festivities that continue beyond the 25th. For a full Barcelona Christmas experience then the Fira de Santa Llúcia market with its Gothic cathedral backdrop is the perfect place for all your festive décor, delights and gifting ideas. The Three Kings parade, the Christmas lottery, the Tió de Nadal and sopa de nadal are all part of a Catalan Christmas as well the amusingly indecent caganers that sneak their way into nativity scenes.
Budget-Saving Barcelona & Rebajas!
Off-season bookings can mean cheaper flights, great hotel deals like Hotel Continental’s special offers and cheaper entrances to some of Barcelona’s most loved attractions. With all those saved Euros you’ll also have more excuses to spend them with some of the year’s biggest sales happening in winter. Barcelona’s end-of-year sales are exceptional, with shopping-streets and department stores like Portal de l’Àngel, Corte inglés and Rambla de Catalunya offering some of the best bargains.
If you were watching your calories for beach weather, then winter is the perfect excuse to take a break and indulge in some of Barcelona’s sweet specialties. The Carquiñolis -which you can find in the 24-hour Buffet of the Continental Hotel-, a cookie that contains an almond is a delight to taste with “muscatel” the famous Catalan sweet wine. The multi-flavored Christmas turron is also a perfect excuse to skip the diet … But, if you only allow yourself an exception in Barcelona during your winter holidays, you have to taste the chocolate with churros; if you add cream, you have to ask for “a Suizo (a swiss); you can also combine it with ensaimadas mmmmmm and with melindros, another delicacy that combines great with chocolate. On Petritxol Street, 5 minutes walking distance form Hotel Continental, you will find two of the most great and typical places to taste “Dulcinea” and “Granja La Pallaresa”.