While the weather certainly isn’t anywhere near as warm as it is during the summer months, there are still many exciting things to do in Barcelona in January. Sure, the famous Spanish city is quieter during the winter months, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be bored as you explore.
Take in the Three Kings Parade
If you’re traveling with young children, you won’t want to miss out on this popular traditional Spanish festival. The Three Kings Parade takes place on January 6th. It was on this date in Biblical times that the three gift-bearing Magis arrived in Bethlehem. If you go to Barcelona’s Port Vell on January 5th, you’ll witness the parade that celebrates the iconic ‘three kings.’ A ship docks and delivers gifts to the city’s children. Needless to say, you’ll have a great time at this event.
la Festa de Sant Antoni
The Catholic heritage is strong in Spain and is evident in many of festivals held throughout the country. This event, which takes place during the third weekend of January, celebrates the life of Saint Anthony, the patron saint of lost things. You will have to travel to the district of Gracia to take in this festival. In Placa de la Virreina and Placa Diamant, people set massive bonfires. There are also lots of firecrackers.
Take Your First Swim of the Year
This fun thing to do is for the brave, adventurous sort of traveler. Yes, the waters of the Mediterranean Sea are very cold this time of the year. But that doesn’t stop hundreds of locals and tourists from rushing into the water at San Sebastian and then rushing out. Have some towels and hot drinks on standby.
As is the case in North America and much of Europe, shopping in Barcelona right after Christmas is a fantastic time to snatch some amazing bargains. It should be noted that the best sales don’t start until January 7th, after the Three Kings Parade and festivities have ended. Look for signs that say Rebaixas (in Catalan) or Rebajas (in Spanish). These can be found in both massive chains stores as well as in small family businesses.
Els 3 Tombs
Saint Anthony Abad is also revered as a protector of animals. During this festival, which coincides with la Festa de Sant Antoni, horses and donkeys, as well as household pets and even some exotic animals, are blessed by local priests. Some owners even dress up their animals for this special occasion. While you’re in the neighborhood, it’s worth checking out the local barrio of Sant Andreu.
This world-famous cathedral from the late Middle Ages attracts many tourists each year. Designed by Antoni Gaudi, this unfinished church is a true masterpiece. The architecture is simply breathtaking. It takes about 45 minutes to explore the entire inside of the church.
This colorful building was also designed by Antoni Gaudi. It was later commissioned by the city of Barcelona. What was once a house is now a museum and cultural space.
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