When you think of Christmas what first comes to mind? Presents? Food? Good will to all and peace on earth? No, of course not! Christmas markets, right?
OK, maybe not, but it’s definitely high up on the list of things to do during the Christmas period.
Here are the best Christmas markets to enjoy in Catalonia. Most people just stick to Barcelona but there are some amazing markets to visit outside of the city. Here are some of the best ones.
Barcelona – Fira de Santa LLúcia
Let’s start off with an old favourite. Fira de Santa Llúcia in Barcelona.
It’s the earliest recorded Christmas market in Barcelona, dating back to as early as 1786. The market takes place right by the cathedral with about 300 market stalls selling trinkets, gifts and decorations. There are some great stalls packed full of the infamous caganers which are an essential to see in Catalonia at Christmas. (If you’re not familiar with the caganer read up on it here. Catalan Christmas traditions are by far my favourite!) There’s also the giant Caga Tió for the kids.
Whole of December up until the 23rd
Vic – Medieval Market
Technically it isn’t a Christmas market as such, but it takes place around the first week of December and it’s a market. So, that’s good enough for me! Plus it’s a great market.
There are stalls absolutely everywhere. In the main squares, through the narrow streets and along the river. It’s also impossible to get bored here as not only are there arts and crafts, jewellery, knitwear, delicious food and pastries but demonstrations of metalwork, glass making and archery, and a band going around playing medieval classics such as the Game of Thrones theme tune.
3 – 6 December 2016
Espinelves – Fira de l’Avet d’Espinelves Fir Tree Fair
If you haven’t yet got your Christmas tree up yet, check out the Fir Tree Fair in Espinelves. Close to Vic, about 30 minutes by car to be precise, this small village of 200 people becomes inundated with over 50,000 visitors for the Fir Tree Fair. As the name suggests the main attraction is a whole load of fir trees but you can also find traditional Christmas stalls.
3 – 11 December 2016
Caldes de Montbui – Christmas Fair
Just an hour north of Barcelona, Caldes de Montbui is known for its thermal waters and the place to go for a relaxing spa day. In December these thermal waters are put to good use to make a giant traditional Christmas soup called El brou de Nadal. This soup is traditionally eaten on Christmas day and you can take some away to save for the special day.
The soup is made in the biggest pot (olla) in Catalonia, and it wouldn’t surprise me if it was the biggest in the world, as it manages to serve more than 5,000 people. La Colla de l’olla is the team behind this enormous broth each year.
3 – 4 December 2016
Olot – La Fira del Pessebre Nativity Scene Fair
For a more traditional and religious fair, each year Olot hosts the Feria del Pesebre, meaning a nativity scene fair. During the first weekend in December there are stalls selling Christmas gifts, decorations and artisanal products. And throughout the month up until the Three Kings Day (6th January) various spaces of the city celebrate and exhibit the nativity scene.
Christmas Market 6 – 8 December, Nativity Scene Fair is on the whole of December until 6 January
Llinars del Valles – Fira dels Torrons Turrón Fair
So you’ve sampled the traditional Christmas soup from Caldes de Montbui, now it is time to tuck into dessert.
Turrón is a very popular kind of nougat in Catalonia and Spain, especially eaten around Christmas time. If you want to try it then there’s no better place than at a whole fair dedicated to it in Llinars del Valles! In amongst the turrón you’ll find the usual Christmas stalls as well as yummy treats such as chocolates, churros and sweets.
Llinars del Valles is about 45 mins by car from Barcelona or 1 hour 30 mins by train.
3 – 4 December 2016
Let others know which market you’d like to visit this weekend. Share this post with your friends and family.