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Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain | © Luciano Mortula, Shutterstock
Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain | © Luciano Mortula, Shutterstock
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What's On In Barcelona In December

Picture of Tara Jessop
Updated: 16 November 2016
It most certainly is beginning to look a lot like Christmas. The temperatures have dropped, the scarves are out, and households across Catalunya are preparing to welcome the Caga Tio into their homes. December is a great time to visit Barcelona, with events organized throughout the month in celebration of the holiday season, from traditional church services to the popular Christmas market. Here’s our guide to what not to miss this month in the Catalan capital.


ART | World Press Photo 16 At The CCCB

📅   Until December 11th

Returning to the CCCB this year for what will be the 12th edition to take place in Barcelona, the World Press Photo exhibition is widely regarded as one of the most significant and prestigious photojournalism exhibitions in the world. The show consists of some of the most thought-provoking and evocative images from the world of journalism in the past year, reflecting the social, political, and economic climate of the time.

Tickets: €6

📍 CCCB, Carrer de Montalegre, 5, Barcelona, Spain


MUSIC | Caravan Palace At Sala Razzmatazz

📅   Thursday, December 1st

Their last shows in both Barcelona and Madrid were sold out, so back by popular demand is Caravan Palace, perhaps the most famous electro-swing act of the moment, having released their first album back in 2008. Drawing from the tradition of swing jazz but incorporating elements of electronic music – think Django Reinhardt meets Daft Punk – the concert is guaranteed to have you dancing all night long.

Tickets: €27 on the door, €22 in advance

📍  Sala Razzmatazz, Carrer de Pamplona, 88, Barcelona, Spain


ART | I Wanted To Be A Photographer At Fundació Colectania

📅   Until December 10th

In an age where anyone with a smartphone can take high-resolution imagery and the selfie is king, what does it mean to be a photographer? I wanted to be a photographer at the Foto Colectania Foundation attempts to address precisely this question, looking at how the world of photography has changed in recent times through the works of 13 international artists.

Tickets: €3

📍  Fundació Foto Colectania, Carrer de Julián Romea, 6, Barcelona, Spain


MUSIC | Just For Funk At Harlem Jazz Club

📅   Friday, December 2nd

One of the closing acts of the world-famous Barcelona Jazz Festival (currently known as the Voll-Damm Jazz Festival), Just For Funk is an international funk band hailing from every corner of the world: Morocco, Brazil, England, and Cuba. Drawing from a range of influences such as the King of Funk himself, James Brown, to soul references such as Aretha Franklin, the band delivers a passionate performance which is likely to be a perfect ending for the festival.

Tickets: from €12

📍 The Harlem Jazz Club, Carrer de la Comtessa de Sobradiel, 8, Barcelona, Spain



CHRISTMAS | The Feast Of The Immaculate Conception

📅   Thursday, December 8th

This religious holiday, celebrating the immaculate conception of Jesus by the Virgin Mary, marks the beginning of the Christmas celebrations throughout Spain. In homes throughout the country, people gather for family meals and celebrations, including the arrival of the Caga Tio – the wooden log which ‘poops’ presents come Christmas time. Wander around the city and take in the atmosphere as nativity scenes, known as pessebres, pop up across the city and embody the holiday season.

📍  Various locations throughout the city


MUSIC | Scaramouche At The Harlem Jazz Club

📅   Thursday, December 8th

This swinging band is no stranger to Barcelona and are regulars at the popular Harlem Jazz Club located in the heart of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter. Inspired by the sound of gypsy jazz artists such as the great Django Reinhardt, there is a sound designed to get you moving your feet. Borrowing from different genres, from classic swing to funk, bossa nova or gypsy rumba, Scaramouche captures the simplicity of the gypsy jazz tradition while offering a fresh perspective on some of the classic melodies of the genre. 

Tickets: €10

📍 The Harlem Jazz Club, Carrer de la Comtessa de Sobradiel, 8, Barcelona, Spain


THEATER | The Original Glenn Miller Orchestra At Gran Teatre Del Liceu

📅   Friday, December 9th

Experience the sound of the world-famous Glenn Miller Orchestra at Barcelona’s Liceu theater this December. Formed in the late 1930s, the swing band pioneered a new style of music for the time, led by frontman Glenn Miller. This modern homage to the band has toured over 200 countries and will be performing one night only in the Catalan capital, so be sure to book your tickets early.

Tickets: €27 – €84

📍 Gran teatre del Liceu, La Rambla, 51-59, Barcelona, Spain


MUSIC | Kevin Saunderson At Sala Razzmatazz

📅  Friday, December 16th

Along with fellow DJs Derrick May and Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson forms part of the legendary trio of DJs that pioneered the techno scene in Detroit back in the ’80s. He’ll be returning to the stage at Sala Razzmatazz’s The Loft for a new take on his 1988 classic The Sound, in what promises to be a fun night for old school techno lovers and newcomers alike.

Tickets: €10

📍 Sala Razzmatazz, Carrer de Pamplona, 88, Barcelona, Spain


ART | Cubism And War At The Picasso Museum

📅  Until January 29th

This thought-provoking exhibition looks back at the artistic expressions to emerge from Paris in the period from 1911-1914 when Europe was in the midst of a brutal World War. Throughout that time, the Cubist movement produced a variety of responses to the events that were unfolding, and the exhibition brings together some of the most notable works of the era, from artists including Picasso, Juan Gris, Matisse, and Henri Laurens.

Tickets: €14

📍 Picasso Museum, Carrer Montcada, 15-23, Barcelona, Spain


CHRISTMAS | The Fira Santa Llucía

📅   Sunday, November 27th – Friday, December 23rd 

Traditionally organized on the day of the feast of Saint Llucía on December 13th, the Fira de Santa Llucía is the oldest and most popular Christmas market in Barcelona. There are over 300 stalls present each year, selling everything from Christmas trees to artisan decorations, presents, and of course, the ever-popular Caganer – the small pooping figuring which figures in Catalan nativity scenes.

📍  Pla de la Seu (in front of the Cathedral), Barcelona, Spain


ART | Barcelona International Art Fair At The Maritime Museu

📅  December 16th-17th

Organized once a year in collaboration with some of the most well-regarded art galleries in Europe, the Barcelona International Art Fair is a unique opportunity to see work by emerging contemporary artists here in the city. Over 100 exhibitors will have their work on display in the Maritime Museum over the weekend, and entrance is free for all.

Tickets: free entrance

📍 Maritime Museum, Av. de les Drassanes, Barcelona, Spain



FOOD | Christmas Rush At La Boqueria

📅   Saturday, December 24th

While Barcelona’s markets are lively places on any day of the week – not just places to shop but also thriving social hubs which play an important role in the community – if there’s one day of the year when the mood is particularly electric, it’s the last day of market before Christmas. It’s the day when the locals come out to collect their orders of meat and especially fresh fish and seafood for the big day. Wander around La Boqueria and soak up the holiday atmosphere as parcels are handed over, and friends and neighbors wish each other a very Merry Christmas.

📍 La Boqueria, La Rambla, 91, Barcelona, Spain


THEATER | Elektra At Gran Teatre Del Liceu

📅   Friday, December 23rd

This turn-of-the-century opera by the German composer Richard Strauss is rarely performed at the Gran Liceu Theatre, making this a rare occasion to experience the classic performance here in Barcelona. Directed by the Catalan Josep Pons, this representation of Elektra features Evelyn Herlitzius as Elektra and Waltraud Meier as Klytämnestra.

Tickets: €27 – €84

📍 Gran teatre del Liceu, La Rambla, 51-59, Barcelona, Spain


ART | Miralda MadeInUsa At MACBA

📅   Until April 9th

This ongoing exhibition at the MACBA brings together a collection of work by the Spanish artist Antoni Miralda (Terrassa, Spain, 1942) – works that were created in the USA. The main body of the collection focuses on the 14 major projects carried out by the artist between the ’70s and ’90s, offering a comprehensive overview of one of his most significant periods of activity. The exhibit includes pieces such as Breadline (1977), Wheat & Steak (1981), and Honeymoon Project (1986-92).

Tickets: €10

📍  MACBA, Plaça dels Àngels, 1, Barcelona, Spain


THEATER | Priscilla Queen Of The Desert At Teatre Tívoli

📅  Tuesdays – Sundays until December 31st

When The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert was released back in 1992, nobody expected it to be the worldwide hit it turned out to be. Fast-forward 20 years, and Priscilla the musical has made it to Barcelona where it will be performed nearly every night this month at the Tivoli Theatre. The show is in Spanish, but don’t let that discourage you; the costumes alone are worth the visit, and the music is sure to have you singing along in no time.

Tickets: from €19

📍 Teatre Tívoli, Carrer de Casp, 8, Barcelona, Spain



CHRISTMAS | Celebrate Sant Esteve Like A Catalan

📅  Monday, December 26th

Each year on the day following Christmas day, here in Catalunya, locals celebrate the day of Saint Stephen, known locally as Sant Esteve. It’s traditional for families to gather at home and enjoy a meal of leftovers, especially the famous canelons – stuffed cannelloni pasta made with leftover meat from the day before. Book a table at one of the city’s more traditional restaurants such as Can Cañete, Botafumeiro, or La Barceloneta for a taste of authentic Sant Esteve.

📍 Various locations across the city


ART | Renoir Among Women

📅  Until January 8, 2017

Organized in collaboration with the Musée d’Orsay and L’Orangerie, this exhibition looks at some of Renoir’s most intriguing representations of women in his art, retracing his female ideal throughout the times – from the Moulin de la Galette to The Bathers. There will also be works on display by some of Renoir’s contemporaries such as Picasso and Van Gogh.

📍 Fundació MAPFRE, Carrer de la Diputació, 250, Barcelona, Spain


SPORTS | The Cursa Dels Nassos

📅  Saturday, December 31st

Organized for the first time on the last day of the previous millennium, December 31, 1999, the Cursa dels Nassos – literally meaning ‘Run of the Noses’ – is a popular ten-kilometer race which takes place each year on New Year’s Eve. This year, the race will be kicking off in the Poblenou neighborhood and crossing through the Parc de la Ciutadella, attracting friends and family of those taking part.

📍 Starting from Carrer Selva de Mar


FESTIVAL | The Eating Of The Grapes On Plaça De Catalunya

📅  Saturday, December 31st

Barcelona is without a doubt one of the best cities in Europe to spend NYE, with parties, shows, and firework displays taking place across the city. Come midnight, make your way to the Magic Fountain near Plaça d’Espanya and grab a bottle of Cava and some grapes along the way. Each year on NYE, the square fills with party-goers who gather to take part in the traditional ‘eating of the 12 grapes.’ Swallow a grape on each of the last strokes of midnight, and you will have good luck in the new year. Happy New Year everyone!

📍Plaça d’Espanya, Barcelona, Spain