What to do in Catalonia this Christmas season

With some Covid-19 restrictions eased last month, festive markets return and cultural spaces reopen

Visitors browse stalls at the 2020 Santa Llúcia Christmas market (by Carola López)
Visitors browse stalls at the 2020 Santa Llúcia Christmas market (by Carola López) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

December 3, 2020 01:10 PM

With some lockdown measures eased in the last month, Catalonia is beginning to open up again, with cultural activities back in place and the Christmas season just around the corner. 

Theatres, cinemas, and concert halls opened up again at 50% capacity, with a maximum capacity of 500 people, the same limits of visitors placed on museums, galleries, and archives. However, nightlife remains shut.

You can click here to consult the latest Covid-19 restrictions in place in Catalonia.

Here’s our selection of the best things to do in Catalonia in December, from festive fairs and performances to thought-provoking exhibitions. 

Traditional Christmas fairs | Throughout Catalonia | Various dates

The Christmas season is upon us once more, with pooing logs, festive crappers, and delicious food as always. It’s been a difficult year, but you can get in the Christmas spirit with a visit to the historic Santa Llúcia Christmas fair here in front of the Barcelona cathedral. Extra safety measures in place have seen capacity controls and fewer stalls set up this year, but you can still visit the market every day until December 23rd. 

In Girona, the biggest market takes place in Plaça Independencia, in Tarragona you can visit the market the fair on Rambla Nova, while in Lleida, be sure to take in the market at the cathedral.

Other great Barcelona markets to check out this month are the Sagrada Família fair which is also open until December 23, the Delicartessen 19 art sale, and the Design Market Barcelona

‘So Lazy’ exhibition | CaixaForum | All month

One of Barcelona’s finest exhibition galleries, the CaixaForum, is back with another fascinating and thought-provoking work. “So Lazy. In praise of waste” offers visitors an ironic and utopian glance at the concept of consumption. The exposition examines George Bataille’s argument that the economy is not based on production and consumption, but rather spending on waste, and thus proposes a different use of time, reducing work, and valuing laziness more. 

Tàpies at 30 | Fundació Tàpies | All month

Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Fundació Tàpies in the centre of Barcelona is a new exhibition looking at the life of the artist while he was in his 30s, between the years 1953 and 1963. The museum describes this period as the time that the Catalan artist’s work reached maturity, with the creation of the “matter paintings.” The exposition is open until June.

Turkey Fair | Vilafranca del Penedès | December 19-20

One of the most beloved weekends of the year for the town of Vilafranca del Penedés, in the heart of the Catalan wine country, is the annual turkey fair, a traditional poultry market that takes place the weekend before Christmas each year. While there will still be options available in person as well, the 356th edition of the fair has adjusted to the pandemic and will let people reserve online in advance and collect their purchases. 

Vic Christmas Crafts Fair | Vic | Various dates

One of the biggest Christmas markets outside of Barcelona is the Vic Christmas Crafts Fair, where over 40 venders will sell their high quality, handmade crafts, such as jewellery, natural soaps, turned wood pieces, leather, dried flowers, and much more. The market kicks off on December 6 and will also be open for some days in January. 

Mozart’s Magic Flute for kids | Liceu concert hall | Various dates

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s ‘The Magic Flute’ has been reimagined for an audience of children this winter. Youngsters will be regaled by the tales of adventure of Papageno the bird catcher, as he and his friend Prince Tamino look to rescue Princess Pamina. The production by the Comediants group is a regular on Liceu’s programme and has already been enjoyed by over 400,000 people. Shows can be visited on December 12, 13, 28, 29, and 30.