Barcelona Holiday Time, Spain
Although Barcelona is not the obvious choice for a Christmas holiday getaway, if you’re interested in Christmas cheer without the possibility of snow – this might be the place. Barcelona can hold its own in the European Christmas market industry boasting at least 4 large holiday markets throughout the city.
One of my first years in Barcelona, I stumbled across a variety of Christmas artisans in market plazas or along main streets in my attempt to find the Fira de Santa Llucia market in one of the busiest tourists areas of the city.
Just a 10 minute walk from Placa Catalunya in the plaza Avinguda de la Catedral, this market has everything you need from decorations, stockings, trees, mistletoe, nativity scene figurines to as many traditional Catalan tio’s as you can fit in your trunk.
This year, 2020, was a little different as instead of a busy flow of shoppers in every direction at any time, the market was gated with security at both ends. In order to enter, we had to give our names and phone numbers, I guess in the unfortunate event there was some kind of COVID-19 outbreak. Sad but also reassuring to know that everyone was doing their best to ensure safety.
I knew I needed Christmas ornaments as one of the treats for the toddler treasure hunt I was organizing. As well, I wanted to continue with my yearly tradition of buying finger puppets for the tree or just to have. Some mistletoe would be nice to hang in the kitchen doorway and if I found something else it would be a pleasant surprise.
The market consists of two large aisles with back to back stalls in the middle row. Wreaths, Christmas trees, pointsettas, loud whizzy santas on strings and dancing tabletop Christmas trees are just a few of the items you can find. Aside from the Christmas fare, there are some amazing artisans selling pottery, glass items, bags, wooden gems, paintings, and jewelry. A perfect place to get all your Christmas decorating essentials and beautiful gifts for friends and family.
Of course no Christmas market visit is complete without a good meal afterwards. I happened to find a charming restaurant called Le Cereria that was a short 5 minute walk from the market behind the city hall buildings down an unassuming side street.
Part vegetarian, part music store this magical establishment seems like the perfect location for Christmas elves on a break or magicians in need of a tapa. The staff were warm and welcoming, the food was excellent.
Although there were some seating options inside, I decided to sit outside due to the virus, the reasonable weather and my loud unpredictable toddler. Often the most lovely of dining companions, one never knows when he will lose his manners and start screaming and throwing forks.
We sat outside and enjoyed soup, sweet potato fries and a spinach and vegan cheese crepe. All were delicious and definitely worth repeat visits.
Although I have lived in the Barcelona area for almost four years, I like that I still appreciate this fine city as a tourist. From the first time I visited in 2015 to a few weeks ago when I ventured into Gracia with my husband and son, this city always electrifies. I feel lucky that I live nearby and can continue to venture in and post blogs about my adventures.