Barcelona in January (2025): Ultimate Guide on What To Do

Street in the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona in January with weather that's cool but mild
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Visiting Barcelona in January offers a unique experience, far from the summer crowds and heat. It’s a time when the city slows down a bit, letting you see a more laid-back side of Barcelona.

Living in Spain, I’ve spent quite a few Januarys in Barcelona and have come to appreciate this quieter, cooler month in the city.

So, what’s Barcelona like in January? Well, this cooler month might just surprise you with its own set of perks, from cozy café visits to fewer tourists at popular sights.

Let’s take a look at why starting your year with a trip to Barcelona could be a great idea.

Planning a trip to Barcelona last minute?

If you’re booking your trip to Barcelona last minute, I’ve got you covered. Below are some of the top tours, hotels, and more!

⭐ Most popular sights in Barcelona

  1. Sagrada Familia – tickets often sell out weeks in advance so get your entry ticket here (or entry tickets AND a guided tour here)
  2. Park Güell – grab your skip-the-line entry
  3. Casa Batlló – click here for tickets and audio guide

🌍 Top tours in Barcelona

  1. Montserrat Tour, Monastery and Winery (great day trip!)
  2. Flamenco Show at Tablao Flamenco Cordobes (incredible night out)
  3. Tapas Walking Tour with Food, Wine, and History (all the highlights at once)

🛏️ Top hotels in Barcelona

  1. Ohla Barcelona (5-star luxury with an amazing rooftop pool)
  2. Seventy Barcelona (boutique hotel with beautiful décor)
  3. Àmfores Boutique Guest House (great budget option with superb location)

🚌 Want free public transport while you’re in Barcelona? Check out the Hola Barcelona travel card!

Is January a Good Time to Visit Barcelona?

January is definitely a good time to visit Barcelona. After all, it’s not the peak tourist season so you can avoid the summer crowds, the weather is generally mild and there are several great cultural events this month for you to experience.

As you can probably tell from that description alone, there are plenty of reasons why you should consider visiting the Catalan capital during this month.

First and foremost, the weather in Barcelona this month is mild and pleasant. With an average temperature of around 16°C (61°F) during the day and 10°C (50°F) at night, you’ll find it comfortable to explore the city without feeling too hot or too cold. 

Street in the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona in January with weather that's cool but mild

Plus, you’ll get to enjoy the (generally) sunny weather, which is a welcome change from the gloomy winter days in other parts of Europe.

It also means that you’ll have no issue weather-wise doing the outdoor activities that visitors love to do in Barcelona all year round, including things like walking tours and strolling the beachfront (although getting in the water is likely to be a bit much).

Another reason to visit Barcelona in January is that the city is less crowded than during the summer months. You’ll have more space to yourself to explore the city’s iconic landmarks and you’ll also find it easier to get a table at popular restaurants and cafes, letting you enjoy a more relaxed pace of life.

Finally, January is a great time to experience some of Barcelona’s cultural events and festivals. The Three Kings Parade on January 6th is a highlight of the month, with colorful floats and street performances letting you join in the Christmas fun, even if you didn’t manage to make it to Barcelona in December

You can also catch the Festes de Sant Antoni, a festival celebrating the patron saint of animals, which comes with a range of activities and events.

January at the Barcelona Cathedral

Best Things to Do in Barcelona in January

Barcelona is an enchanting city filled with rich history, stunning architecture, and a vibrant culture. Visiting this coastal gem in January is the perfect time to explore the city, with fewer tourists and a mild winter climate. 

Here are the top things to do in Barcelona in January to make your visit unforgettable!

1. Sagrada Familia

As the most iconic landmark in Barcelona, the Sagrada Familia is an absolute must-visit. This breathtaking basilica, designed by the famous Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, boasts intricate details and awe-inspiring architecture. 

During January, you’ll benefit from shorter lines and a more intimate experience as you explore this masterpiece. The winter sunlight filtering through the stained-glass windows adds a magical touch to your visit!

PRO TIP: The Sagrada Familia is easily the most visited tourist site in Barcelona and tickets frequently sell out weeks ahead of time.

To make sure you don’t miss out, you need to book your tickets for the Sagrada Familia well in advance of your visit. As once they’re gone, they’re gone – and seeing inside is a definite must while you’re here.

Inside the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

2. Els Llums de Sant Pau (until January 14th)

If you plan to be in Barcelona during the first half of January, you can’t miss Els llums de Sant Pau (The Lights of Sant Pau). It’s an incredible display of lights, projection and innovative art work displayed at the biggest and one of the most spectacular examples of Art Nouveau architecture in the world: the Sant Pau Recinte Modernista.

The front façade of the main building has an amazing light show projected on to the front of it, that plays a couple of times each evening during the holiday season – so it’s free to see!

facade of the Hospital Sant Pau during the Els Llums de Sant Pau in Barcelona in January

But the inside takes things to another level, as Sant Pau is transformed into a sparkling fairy tale setting, offering a truly unique experience. With about 1.5 km (almost one mile) of lights, projections and glowing art work, I mean it when I say you’ll truly be amazed by the spectacle.

You can find out more here, including information on getting tickets to this. Alternatively, if you’re coming later in the month – and especially if you’re interested in Art Nouveau – then the Sant Pau Recinte Modernista is definitely still worth a visit and you can grab your tickets to the Hospital of Sant Pau here.

3. Park Güell

Another of Gaudí’s masterpieces, Park Güell is a vibrant, expansive park that offers stunning views of the city. 

In January, you can enjoy the park’s colorful mosaics, whimsical structures, and serpentine benches without the overwhelming crowds. The crisp air and bright winter sun make for an ideal setting to explore this beautiful outdoor space.

FYI: If you’re looking to visit both the Sagrada Familia and Park Güell and you’re short on time, you can get skip-the-line entry and a tour of both sights in one day right here.

4. Día de Reyes (January 6th)

Día de Reyes, or Three Kings’ Day, is a significant celebration in Barcelona, akin to a second Christmas. On this day, families come together to honor the Three Wise Men’s visit to the baby Jesus, often exchanging gifts, with the Kings also having brought presents for kids overnight.

A culinary highlight is the ‘Roscón de Reyes’, a circular, sweet bread, sometimes filled with cream or other fillings. Inside the cake, there’s usually a small figurine and a bean – finding the figurine is considered a token of good luck and means you get to wear the paper crown!

On the other hand, beware, as the person who finds the bean typically pays for the cake…

Roscon de Reyes for Three Kings Day

5. Cabalgata de Reyes (January 5th)

On the eve of Día de Reyes, the city hosts the Cabalgata de Reyes, a lively parade that marks the arrival of the Three Kings. This event is quite a spectacle with elaborately decorated floats, performers, and musicians.

The Kings (or the wise men, for the English-speaking crowd), portrayed in the parade, throw sweets into the crowd, a gesture that’s particularly loved by children.

These parades are held throughout the city, although there’s one major one held each year. If you’re planning to attend, it’s a good idea to arrive early to find a good viewing spot, as the streets tend to get crowded.

6. Visiting the Pyrenees (Three Countries in One Day)

Visiting the Pyrenees in January is an excellent idea as the region transforms into a stunning winter wonderland. With its snow-covered landscapes, charming villages, and festive vibes, it’s the perfect time to explore this part of the world.

For a whirlwind adventure, consider this One-Day Tour to Spain, France, and Andorra where you’ll be taken to all three countries in one day. Highlights include medieval Bagà in Spain, a French village for lunch, followed by stunning mountain vistas in Cadi-Moixero National Park and relaxation in Ax-Les-Thermes’ healing waters.

(The option of tax-free shopping in Andorra isn’t bad either!)

Snowy mountains in Andorra near Barcelona in January

Alternatively, this Guided Day Trip to Andorra and France offers a great blend of nature, culture, and history all in one. You’ll relish traditional French cuisine and hot springs in Ax-les-Thermes, marvel at breathtaking views from Pas de la Casa, and explore Andorran landmarks like Casa de la Vall and Sant Esteve Church.

It’s a perfect choice for those who appreciate a mix of guided activities and free exploration, for a day full of diverse experiences.

7. Gothic Quarter

Step back in time and wander through the winding, narrow streets of the Gothic Quarter. This historic neighborhood is filled with stunning architecture, lively plazas, and charming cafés. 

In January, you’ll find a more authentic atmosphere as you explore the area’s hidden gems, such as the stunning Barcelona Cathedral and the vibrant Els Quatre Gats café.

If you’re looking for a great tour that will show you the highlights of Barcelona’s incredible 2,000+ year history, I definitely recommend this Old Town and Gothic Quarter Walking Tour.

You’ll be taken to the best parts of the oldest, most interesting parts of the city, while hearing stories about this time and the centuries that have followed. In particular, for first-timers, it’s a great way to see all the main spots at once.

building in Gothic Quarter in Barcelona in January

8. Festa Major de Sant Antoni/Els Tres Tombs (January 12th to 28th)

In mid-January, the Festa Major de Sant Antoni takes place, featuring the traditional ‘Els Tres Tombs’ parade. This event revolves around a procession of horses and carriages that circle the Sant Antoni neighborhood three times, a nod to an ancient ritual blessing of animals.

This neighborhood festival also includes various other activities, such as workshops, dances, and food stalls, where you can try local delicacies. You’ll also typically find huge bonfires lit, primarily around the Gràcia neighborhood.

It’s a great opportunity to experience a bit of the local Barcelona culture, away from the more tourist-centric activities. Make sure to check the dates on the Barcelona council’s official site, as the dates do shift slightly each year.

Happy woman walking down street in Spain

What’s your perfect destination for your dream trip to Spain?

Want to discover a city or live your island dreams?

Embrace the food scene or step through the pages of history?

Whatever your travel style, discover the perfect Spanish city to add to your trip here!


9. Casa Batlló

Discover the modernist gem that is Casa Batlló, one of Gaudí’s most imaginative residential buildings. With its unique, colorful façade and curved lines, this architectural wonder will leave you inspired. 

January’s fewer tourists provide a more relaxed atmosphere for admiring the organic shapes and innovative design of this iconic building.

10. Casa Milà (La Pedrera)

Casa Milà, also known as La Pedrera, is another Gaudí-designed masterpiece that you simply can’t miss. This striking building features an undulating stone façade and extraordinary rooftop chimneys.

January’s cooler temperatures make exploring the rooftop terrace and its breathtaking views of the city even more enjoyable. You’ll appreciate the opportunity to take in the intricate details and innovative design without the usual crowds.

And if you want to stroll in past the post-Christmas crowds waiting in line to enter, you can get skip-the-line entry to Casa Milà here.

11. Barcelona Food Tour

No trip to Barcelona would be complete without indulging in the city’s delicious cuisine.

In January, you can join a food tour around Barcelona to sample the best tapas, sweets, and local dishes while learning about the city’s rich culinary history. Even if the weather’s a bit chilly, you’ll be ducking in and out of tapas bars anyway, so you’ll barely feel it.

And besides, “needing” some tapas and wine “to warm up” is basically the best excuse there is.

MY PICK: My favorite food tour in Barcelona is this Tapas Walking Tour with Food, Wine and History1,000+ reviews with an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 can’t be wrong!

But if you want something to take your Barcelona food experience to the next level, check out this Paella Cooking Experience and Boqueria Market Tour. It’s a great way to learn (under the guidance of a professional chef) while getting to enjoy what you make at the end!

12. Sales (from January 7th)

Starting from January 7th, Barcelona enters its sales season, which can be quite an interesting time for shopping enthusiasts. Most stores, ranging from big brands to local boutiques, offer significant discounts.

This is the perfect opportunity to explore some of the city’s shopping areas like Passeig de Gracia or the various shopping centers. The sales usually last until the end of February or early March. It’s a good time to find quality items at reduced prices, but be prepared for more crowded stores and a bit of competition for the best deals.

13. Ice Skating (until January 6th)

For the first week of January, there’s the option of a unique winter treat – ice skating at Plaça de Catalunya. This bustling square transforms into a magical winter wonderland, complete with a large ice rink that welcomes skaters of all ages and skill levels.

Surrounded by the city’s festive decorations and lights, the ice rink becomes a focal point of holiday cheer in Barcelona. Whether you’re gliding across the ice with ease or taking your first tentative steps, it’s a perfect way to enjoy the holiday season, offering a fun break from shopping and sightseeing.

14. Museu Picasso de Barcelona

Art enthusiasts will delight in visiting the Museu Picasso de Barcelona, which houses one of the most extensive collections of Pablo Picasso’s artwork. 

January’s calmer vibe allows you to truly appreciate the genius of Picasso’s work (and, let’s be honest, escape the chill outside), from his early pieces to his more experimental later creations.

Want to see several museums while you’re in Barcelona – without busting your travel budget?

The Barcelona Card gives you free admission to 25+ museums, including the Picasso Museum, the National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC), the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA), the Museum of the History of Barcelona (MUHBA) and many more.

Valid for three to five days (so only pay for what you’ll use!), you also get free public transportation. Check the full list of museums and grab your card here.

Museu Picasso de Barcelona in January

15. Calçotadas

Calçotadas are a seasonal gastronomic event in Catalonia, typically occurring between January and April.

Calçots, a type of scallion or green onion, are grilled over a flame and then eaten with a special sauce, usually romesco or salvitxada. This is a messy but fun dining experience, often enjoyed at outdoor gatherings or at specialized restaurants known as ‘masías’.

If you’re adventurous with food, attending a calçotada can be a memorable part of your Barcelona visit. It’s not only about the food but also about the experience of communal dining and embracing local customs.

16. La Rambla

La Rambla is a lively, bustling boulevard that stretches from Plaça de Catalunya to the picturesque Port Vell. 

January is a great time to stroll along this iconic street, as you can enjoy the various street performers, local markets, and unique shops without the usual throngs of tourists. Be sure to stop by La Boqueria market to sample delicious local cuisine.

17. Fundació Joan Miró

Discover the vibrant world of Catalan artist Joan Miró at the Fundació Joan Miró. This museum, located up high on the picturesque Montjuïc hill, offers a fantastic collection of Miró’s paintings, sculptures, and textiles. 

The cooler weather in January in Barcelona is perfect for exploring the surrounding gardens and taking in the stunning views of the city.

18. Passeig de Gracia

One of Barcelona’s most luxurious and elegant streets, Passeig de Gracia is home to upscale boutiques, designer stores, and more Gaudí masterpieces. 

Enjoy a leisurely walk along this beautiful avenue in January, when the city’s holiday lights still illuminate the street, creating a magical atmosphere.

19. Port Vell

Explore the stunning waterfront area of Port Vell and breathe in the fresh sea air. In January, you can take advantage of the quieter atmosphere to visit the impressive Barcelona Aquarium, catch a movie at the IMAX theater, or simply relax and enjoy the view of the marina with a warm cup of coffee at a nearby café.

Weather in January in Barcelona

January is a great time to visit Barcelona, as the weather is mild and pleasant. The average temperature during the day in January is around 16°C (61°F), which drops to 10°C (50°F) at night. The city isn’t likely to see much rain during your stay, with an average of only five rainy days per month in January.

While the weather isn’t as warm as during the summer months, it’s still comfortable enough to explore the city and its many attractions. You can expect to see plenty of sunshine during the day, but it’s important to pack warm clothing for the cooler evenings.

Of course, if you’re planning to visit Barcelona in January, it’s a good idea to check the weather forecast before you go. This will help you to pack appropriately and plan your activities accordingly. You can also use this information to decide which attractions to visit and when, based on the weather conditions.

What to Wear in Barcelona in January

Visiting Barcelona in January can be a wonderful experience, but it’s important to pack the right clothes for the weather. It can be warm and mild when the sun is out, but chilly at night. 

Here are some tips on what to wear in Barcelona in January:

1. Warm Jacket

A warm jacket is a must-have for your trip to Barcelona in January. I’d recommend that you bring a jacket that’s waterproof and windproof, as it can sometimes get a bit windy and rainy in both January and February in Barcelona

A fleece-lined jacket or a down jacket would be a great choice, as they provide warmth without adding bulk to your luggage.

2. Scarf

While you’re not going to reach freezing temperatures in Barcelona in January, you’ll be surprised how cold it can feel. For this reason, bring a scarf to keep your neck warm. 

If you want to be extra careful, you can also bring (light) gloves, but you may not need them. However, they don’t take up much space in your luggage so perhaps add them just in case.

Gothic Cathedral Barcelona in January

3. Boots

Boots are a great choice of footwear for Barcelona in January. They’ll keep your feet warm and dry, and they are also stylish. Just make sure they’re comfortable enough for some long days of walking! 

Why Shouldn’t You Travel to Barcelona in January?

If you’re looking for a winter wonderland with snow and chilly temperatures, Barcelona might not be the place for you in January. While the city does experience some cooler temperatures, it’s nothing compared to the harsh winters of other European destinations. 

This means that you won’t be able to experience the joys of snowball fights or skiing in Barcelona during this time of year.

Additionally, some tourists are surprised that while Barcelona may not be snowy in winter, it can still feel quite chilly during January. If you don’t pack appropriately, this can make it difficult to enjoy outdoor activities. 

Another potential downside to traveling to Barcelona in January is that some tourist attractions and restaurants may have reduced hours or be closed for renovations. It’s always a good idea to check ahead of time and plan accordingly. 

However, Barcelona is a bustling city with plenty of options, so you’re sure to find something to do and somewhere to eat no matter the time of year.

The Guell Palace in Barcelona

Travel Tips for January in Barcelona

If you’re planning a trip to Barcelona in January, you’re in for a treat! The city is less crowded, the weather is mild, and the prices are lower. 

Here are some travel tips to help you make the most of your trip:

1. Take Advantage of Cheaper Accommodation

Since January isn’t the peak tourist season, you can find some great deals on accommodation. Look for hotels and apartments that offer discounts for off-season travel. 

You can also consider staying in hostels or budget-friendly guesthouses. Check out websites like Booking.com or Airbnb to find the best deals.

2. Pack for the Weather

While Barcelona in January is generally mild, it can still get chilly at night. Make sure to pack a warm jacket, a scarf, and a hat. 

During the day, you can expect temperatures to be around 16°C, so pack plenty of light layers. Don’t forget to bring comfortable walking shoes, as you’ll likely be doing a lot of exploring on foot.

3. Explore the City on Foot

Barcelona is a great city to explore on foot, and January is the perfect time to do it. With fewer crowds, you can take your time exploring the city’s many sights and attractions. 

Some must-see spots include the Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, and the Gothic Quarter. You can also take a stroll along the beach or visit the city’s many museums and galleries.

Park Guell Barcelona in January

4. Use Public Transportation

While walking is a great way to explore the city, Barcelona also has an excellent public transportation system. You can use the metro, buses, or trams to get around quickly and easily. 

Consider buying a T-casual ticket, which gives you 10 rides on any form of public transportation for a discounted price.

5. Try the Local Cuisine

Barcelona is known for its delicious food, and January is the perfect time to try some of the city’s specialties. Some must-try dishes include paella, tapas, and churros con chocolate. You can also sample some of the city’s excellent wines and cava. 

Don’t be afraid to venture off the beaten path and try some of the city’s lesser-known restaurants and cafes. You might just discover a new favorite dish!


Can You Swim at the Beach in Barcelona in January?

While the water temperature is quite chilly in January, you can still swim at the beach in Barcelona if you’re brave enough to handle the cold. The average sea temperature in January is around 13°C (55°F), which isn’t exactly warm, but it’s still possible to take a dip. 

However, it’s important to note that lifeguards are not on duty during this time, so swim at your own risk.

Does It Rain in Barcelona in January?

January is one of the driest months in Barcelona, with an average of only five rainy days throughout the month. However, it’s still possible to encounter some rainfall during your visit. Be sure to bring a waterproof jacket or umbrella just in case.

The view of City of Barcelona in January

Is It Hot in Barcelona in January?

No, it’sn’t hot in Barcelona in January. The average temperature during the day is around 16°C (61°F), which can feel quite mild if the sun is shining. However, the temperature drops to around 10°C (50°F) at night, so be sure to bring warm layers for the evenings.

Is It Cold in Barcelona in January?

Compared to other parts of Europe, Barcelona’s January temperatures are relatively mild. However, it’s still considered winter, so you should expect cooler temperatures. The average temperature during the day is around 16°C (61°F), but it can drop to around 10°C (50°F) at night. 

Be sure to pack warm clothing to stay comfortable during your visit.

Is Barcelona Windy in January?

January isn’t known for being particularly windy in Barcelona. The average wind speed is around 8 km/h (5 mph), which is relatively calm. However, it’s always a good idea to check the weather forecast before your visit to make sure you’re prepared for any weather conditions.

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