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January in Barcelona: What to Do + Top Events (2024)

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Barcelona in January offers a unique charm that’s miles away from the typical beach blowout.

That’s why I’m gonna show you what to do in Barcelona in January to explore the Catalan capital properly.

From fewer crowds to a plethora of cultural experiences and January events – here it is!

Is January a Good Time to Visit Barcelona?

January in Barcelona presents a serene escape from the usual hustle and bustle of tourist seasons.

The mild weather in Barcelona in winter opens up avenues for a more intimate exploration of its rich cultural heritage.

The winter sun, almost always out, provides the perfect backdrop for sightseeing. January also sees significantly fewer tourists, resulting in shorter queues at Barcelona’s top attractions.

Hotel availability is excellent during this time, and you can find accommodations at lower prices.

⚠️  Warning ⚠️: Barcelona’s top two attractions must now be booked in advance.

You can book fast track tickets to both individually or get them as part of a discount pass:

You will not be able to book these tickets on site – lock in your tickets ASAP or you could miss out.

Weather in Barcelona During January

Barcelona in January experiences average daytime temperatures around 16 ºC (61 ºF), dropping to about 10 ºC (50 ºF) at night.

Rain is infrequent, with the city averaging only five rainy days in January.

You’re unlikely to encounter snow, but you might see some frost on the surrounding hills at night.

When packing, include a warm jacket, sweater, scarf.

Sunglasses are still recommended due to the low, bright winter sun.

What to Do in Barcelona in January

sagrada familia interior stained glass windows

La Sagrada Familia: Gaudi’s Cathedral Masterpiece

La Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece, is a must-add to all Barcelona itineraries.

Its intricate facades and stunning interior are less crowded in January, allowing for a more immersive experience.

The cathedral’s design, a blend of Gothic and Art Nouveau styles, is both awe-inspiring and spiritually uplifting.

Sagrada Familia Tickets
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Want to unlock the symbolism best? Check out the best Sagrada Familia tours.

three kings waving at a parade in barcelona spain

Three Kings Parade

The Three Kings Parade on January 5th is a highlight of Barcelona’s January festivities.

This vibrant parade marks the arrival of the Magi with a grand procession through the city streets.

Colourful floats, music, and dance enliven the atmosphere as the Three Kings distribute sweets to the excited crowds. It’s a magical event that captures the spirit of the holiday season in Barcelona.

The parade usually begins at 6:00 PM along Marquès de l’Argentera Avenue and concludes around two hours later at the Magic Fountain (Font Màgica) on Montjuic Hill.

Winter Barcelona Flamenco

Barcelona’s top flamenco shows captivate with their passionate dance moves and deeply moving music.

If you’re visiting Barcelona in January, settling into a cozy flamenco bar and feeling the heat from the stage is a great way to warm up.

Authentic flamenco experiences await at venues like Tablao Cordobes.

Opt for the complete dinner-drink package to fully immerse yourself in this rich cultural experience.

TABLAO CORDOBES
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a light projection on the chandelier at casa batllo winter nights visit

Casa Batllo Winter Nights Visit

Casa Batllo, with its dragon-inspired design and vibrant facade, stands as a year-round architectural marvel.

In January in Barccelona, you can visit between 6:30 pm and 8:45 pm for the spectacular night tour.

This includes awe-inspiring light projections in the hall and an augmented reality tablet, bringing a new dimension to this iconic building.

Casa Batllo Winter Nights
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sunset from the park guell panoramic view in barcelona spain

Park Güell: Gaudi’s Vibrant Mosaic Park

Park Güell is another testament to Gaudi’s genius.

This public park, adorned with colorful mosaics and whimsical structures, offers panoramic views of the city.

The lesser crowds in January mean you can take your time exploring its nooks and crannies.

Park Guell
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Other Gaudi Marvels

Don’t miss other Gaudi creations like Casa Batlló, Casa Mila (La Pedrera), and Palau Güell.

Each building showcases Gaudi’s unique approach to architecture, blending natural forms with innovative design.

All three can be booked with the same pass:

GAUDI BUNDLE
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mirror and light room at the moco barcelona

Visiting Museums in January in Barcelona

The Museu Picasso houses an extensive collection of Picasso’s works – it’s the top of my list of Barcelona’s best museums.

The Fundació Joan Miró offers a deep dive into Miró’s artistic journey, while the MNAC (Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya) showcases a wide range of art from Romanesque to modern.

Finally, the hottest new museum in town: the Moco Museum (pictured) offers an amazing window into modern art showcasing artists like Bansky.

Moco Museum Barcelona
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guide in front of the kissing mural on a barcelona free tour guide in front of the kissing mural on a barcelona free tour
Take a Two-Hour Walking Tour – For Free!

Festa Dels Tres Tombs

The Festa Dels Tres Tombs, celebrated on January 17th, is a traditional festival honouring Saint Anthony, the patron saint of animals.

The festival features a procession of horses and carriages through the city streets, symbolizing the blessing of animals. It’s a unique cultural experience that showcases the local customs and traditions of Barcelona.

It goes down the Ronda Sant Pau.

calcots bundled up for a calcotada barcelona spain

January Culinary Delights and Dining Experiences

Catalan cuisine, with its Mediterranean roots, truly shines in winter, offering comforting dishes that warm the soul.

When I’m in Barcelona during the colder months of January, these are the dishes I make sure to savor:

  • Escudella i Carn d’Olla: This traditional Catalan Christmas meat stew is revered as the region’s oldest dish. It’s a delightful two-course meal, starting with succulent meat and followed by a rich broth simmered with pasta shells. A must-try at Estevet.
  • Canelons: Eaten traditionally on Saint Stephen’s Day (December 26th), these pasta tubes are filled with finely ground leftover roasted meat from the Christmas feast, blended with creamy béchamel sauce. A culinary delight at Petite Comite.
  • Calçots: These spring onions, harvested in late winter, are celebrated with ‘calçotadas’ – festive barbecues where calçots are the main attraction. Experience this unique dish at Can Travi Nou.
a family goes shopping in barcelona

Shopping in January in Barcelona

January in Barcelona is a shopper’s paradise, thanks to the ‘Rebajas’ – the much-awaited post-Christmas sales.

This is the time when Barcelona’s top shopping spots: city’s boutiques, department stores, and markets offer significant discounts on a wide range of items.

The extended shopping hours add to the convenience, allowing more time to explore and discover great bargains.

ice skaters in placa de catalunya barcelona spain

Go Ice Skating in January

Plaça Catalunya, a central and iconic square in Barcelona, is conveniently located near the Gothic Quarter and other key areas.

During the festive season, it hosts Europe’s largest outdoor skating rink, typically opening from late November or early December and remaining open until early January.

Prices for Winter 2023 are yet to be announced.

Tips for Visiting Barcelona in January

  • Dress Warmly: January can be chilly, so pack layers including a warm coat, scarf, and comfortable walking shoes.
  • Enjoy the Sales: Take advantage of the January sales (‘Rebajas’) for great deals, especially in shopping areas like Passeig de Gracia.
  • Visit Major Attractions: With fewer tourists, it’s the perfect time to explore popular sites like La Sagrada Familia and Park Güell without the crowds.
  • Try Seasonal Cuisine: Sample traditional Catalan winter dishes like Escudella i Carn d’Olla and enjoy hot chocolate with churros.
  • Check for Special Events: Look out for unique January events like the Three Kings Parade and local neighborhood festivals.

Barcelona Events in January 2024

Here’s a quick breakdown of all the best Barcelona January events for 2024:

  • Three Kings Parade: Janaury 5th (6:00 pm at Marquès de l’Argentera Avenue)
  • Casa Batllo Winter Nights: Daily from 6:30 pm to 8:45 pm.
  • Festa dels Tres Tombs: January 17th (Ronda Sant Pau)
  • Ice Skating: Late November till January 6th, 2023 (Placa de Catalunya)
  • Castanyada: Chestnut cookouts with sweets (all over the city, throughout early January! try at Ronda de Sant Pau, 76)

Got any other January events on the horizon? Let me know and we’ll add it to the list!

Things to Do in Barcelona in January FAQ

  • Is Barcelona good to visit in January?

    Yes, Barcelona is good to visit in January. It offers a more relaxed atmosphere with fewer tourists, allowing easier access to major attractions like La Sagrada Familia and Park Güell. The mild winter weather is ideal for exploring the city, and visitors can enjoy local festivals, post-Christmas sales, and traditional Catalan cuisine.

    It’s a unique time to experience the city’s charm without the usual crowds.

  • Is Barcelona still warm in January?

    Barcelona in January is mild with average temperatures around 10-16°C, not warm but comfortable for sightseeing.

  • Can you still swim in Barcelona in January?

    Swimming is generally not recommended in January due to cooler sea temperatures.

  • Does it snow in Barcelona in January?

    Snow in Barcelona in January is rare, especially in the city itself.

  • What to wear in Barcelona in January?

    Wear layers, including a warm coat, scarf, and comfortable shoes, to adapt to mild but variable weather.

  • How busy is Barcelona in January?

    Barcelona is less crowded in January, offering a more relaxed experience compared to peak tourist seasons.

  • What to do in Barcelona Spain in January?

    In Barcelona in January you should try to enjoy the winter sales, visit major attractions like Sagrada Familia and Park Guell without the crowds, and experience local festivals like the Three Kings Parade.

Ready for January in Barcelona?

January in Barcelona is a blend of cultural richness, architectural beauty, and festive joy.

It’s a time when the city lets its guard down with a more intimate side, allowing visitors to experience its culture without the rush.

That said, if you’re still looking for things to do in Barcelona in January hit me up in the comments for custom advice! 🙏

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