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Barcelona Christmas Markets 2024
Barcelona is the perfect escape for a gay weekend of Christmas fun, parties and hot Spanish guys! Stuff your Santa sacks with lots of gifts and fun memories in one of Europe’s most gay-friendly cities.
- Visiting Barcelona for Christmas? The gay neighbourhood of Eixample, or Gayxample, is full of charming gay restaurants, bars and hotels. You can also find some great apartment options dotted across the city.
Barcelona is home to several traditional Christmas markets, each with its own unique offerings. Here are our shortlist:
La Fira de Santa Lucia
- Late November until 23rd December, 2024 – Barcelona’s Santa Lucia Christmas Market is the city’s oldest, dating back to the late 18th Century. The Market is in front of the famous Barcelona Cathedral, along Avinguda de la Catedral de Barcelona. The Market is open daily from 10.30 to 20.30.
- Enjoy epic views of both the Market and the Cathedral by choosing a hotel nearby. Stay at the Ayre Hotel Rosellón and experience the breathtaking Cathedral from the rooftop bar, one of the most instagrammable spots in the city.
- The Market features more than 100 stalls selling a wide range of traditional goods, including caganers and cagatios.
Unusual Barcelona Christmas Traditions
- The Caganer or “Shitter” is a cheeky figure that first appeared in Catalan nativity scenes during the 18th Century. Traditional caganers wear Catalan national dress; a red and black “barretina” (sock hat), and “espardenyas” (canvas shoes). In recent years they have been joined by “celebrity” caganers depicting famous people, superheroes, politicians, footballers and members of the British royal family.
- Caga Tió is The Catalan equivalent of Father Christmas! Caga Tió is a Christmas log with a smiling face painted on one end. The log is placed in the living room on December 8th and has to be fed daily with traditional Christmas food like turró (Spanish nougat) and nuts. It is covered with a red blanket and wears a barretina to keep warm.
- The process of feeding and caring for the tió continues up until Christmas eve. Finally, the whole family gathers around the log and sings as the children hit it with sticks until it shits out presents!
- Make the NH Calderon your home base for your Christmas escape. It is ideally located close to the gay bars and clubs of Eixample; close to the famous Las Ramblas in the heart of Barcelona and a short ride from the Christmas Markets.
Book a Private Christmas Experience
- Get a glimpse of Barcelona at the most magical time of year on a private and customizable half-day tour at Christmas time. With just your guide and private party, you’ll see the Gothic Quarter adorned with festive lights, learn about Catalonia’s Christmas traditions, and sample gourmet treats at La Boqueria Market on Las Ramblas. Plus, you can choose a start time to suit your schedule.
Fira de Nadal de la Sagrada Família
- Late November until 23rd December, 2024 – The Fira de Nadal has been held in Plaça de la Sagrada Família since 1962, making it the Eixample district’s most traditional Christmas market. It starts at the end of November or the beginning of December and runs right up to Christmas.
- The numerous stalls that fill the square are divided into four sectors: Christmas trees and plants; nativity scenes, traditional figures and Christmas decorations in general; food, with some establishments selling sweets; and the gift sector, with stalls selling craft products, costume jewellery and clothes.
- The Sagrada Família fair is held at the same time as the Fira de Santa Llúcia, in front of the Cathedral. It is an extension of the latter and began when there was no more space in front of the Cathedral. A group of craftspeople decided to move to the Dreta de l’Eixample neighbourhood, and that is how a new Christmas market, which today has around a hundred stalls, was born.
- The Market is open daily from 10 am to 9 pm (10 pm on festivals and weekends).
Gay Parties in Barcelona during Christmas
- Check out the festive parties taking place over the Christmas Season in the city. Two events not to miss include the Churros event and the PopAir night.
- Enjoy a Christmas cocktail at the Axel Hotel Sky bar, a great way to start your evening out in the Eixample gay district. Follow up with a crazy and fun night at Priscilla featuring the city’s best drag shows and a unique atmosphere.
Fira de Reis, The Kings Market
- Mid December – 6th January 2025 – Christmas traditions in Spain are a bit different. The primary day for giving and receiving presents in Spain is Kings Day (dia dels Reis Mags) on January 6th. The Fira de Reis is located on Gran Via between Plaça de la Universitat and Carrer Comte Borell. Opening times are from 11:00 to 14:00, then 17:00 to 21:00.
The Three Kings Parade
- Although many locals celebrate Christmas day, the main party in Spain takes place on January 6th and is called the Feast of the Epiphany. The Night of the Three Kings (Cavalcada de Reis in Catalan) takes place on January 5th, and a colourful parade begins at Moll de la Fusta at Port Vell and makes its way through the city.
Other sights and Christmas Lights
- Plaça de Catalunya and the Ramblas get dressed up for the Christmas season. Take time to enjoy some spectacular Christmas lights and festive shop windows. For a special treat, head over for light and sound shows at Montjuic.
- Don’t miss the llums de Barcelona, a magical new Christmas tradition in one of Barcelona’s most historic locations, Sant Pau, running throughout December.
The Santa Swim
- December 23rd 2024 – Watch or join in as many people brave the freezing water to jump into Portal de la Pau harbour on Christmas Day. This fun event is known as the Copa Nadal de Natació, and Catalans have been following the festive tradition for more than 100 years.
The Nativity Scene
- The traditional Nativity scene is known as the “Pessebre” in Barcelona, and there are several displays across the city. Festivities start on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8th when many visit the Pessebre in Plaça Sant Jaume.
Where to stay during Christmas in Barcelona
Gay Map of Barcelona
The gay district of Barcelona is located in the city’s Eixample district, known locally as “Gaixample”. Here you will find most of the gay bars, clubs and restaurants. It is quite compact and easy to navigate. There are also lots of hotels and apartments available in this area.
Recommended Hotels in Barcelona
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We have chosen hotels in Barcelona that keep you close to all the shops, restaurants & bars
El Palace, 5 Star
Old World Charm
- 5 Star, Mayan-Style Luxury Spa & amenities
- A short walk to the gay bars
- Classic decor, satellite TV, private bathroom
- Old World charm meets modern luxury, close to Barcelona’s main attractions and vibrant gay district.
H10 Metropolitan, 4 Star
Great chill out pool
- 4 Star, Rooftop Terrace with Chill-Out Pool
- Close to the gay district
- Flat-screen TV, air conditioning, coffee machine
- Enjoy the rooftop chill-out pool and modern amenities, steps away from Barcelona’s lively gay scene.
Catalonia Plaza, 4 Star
Great Value for money
- 4 Star, Modernist Building with Outdoor Pool
- Close to the gay district
- Air-conditioned, free Wi-Fi, satellite TV
- Combining historic charm and modern facilities, offers an outdoor pool and proximity to gay bars.
Hotel Cram, 4 Star
Stylish- Perfect Location
- 4 Star, Modernist Façade and Elegant Interior
- A short walk to the gay bars
- Advanced lighting, private bathroom, air-conditioned
- Stylish hotel with state-of-the-art facilities, perfect location for exploring Barcelona’s gay nightlife.
Video Of Barcelona Christmas Markets
Promotional video for Christmas in Barcelona
Top Gay Neighbourhoods in Barcelona
Barcelona is known for its diverse and vibrant LGBTQ+ community, and there are several popular gay neighbourhoods that offer exciting experiences. Here are five of the most well-known gay neighbourhoods, each with its own unique charm and attractions
Eixample | Close to the city centre
- Located to the northeast of the city centre, Eixample is one of Barcelona’s most famous gay neighbourhoods, often referred to as “Gaixample”.
- The neighbourhood is home to numerous gay-friendly hotels, gay bars, clubs, restaurants, and shops.
- One of the most popular attractions in Eixample is Antoni Gaudí’s modernist building, Casa Batlló.
- Discover the best things to see and do in Barcelona
Raval has a bohemian atmosphere with an alternative gay scene and is home to Barcelona’s Museum of Contemporary Art.
The gothic quarter offers a mix of historic charm, trendy shops, and an inclusive atmosphere in the heart of the city.