There are many famous carnivals in the world but if you are in Barcelona in February, Sitges carnival is a must. The carnival in Sitges has 100 years of history and it is celebrated either in February or March depending on the year. It starts on Thursday "Dijous gras" as we call it and ends next Wednesday "Dimecres de cendra".
There are two famous parades where people dress up and can show their outfits, the parades are "Rua de la Disbauxa and Rua de l'Extermini" with more than 2000 participants. Sitges carnival is more contemporary, informal and oriented to the party, it is less traditional than Vilanova i la Geltrú carnival.
Granja Viader and hot chocolate
What can be better in the winter than a hot chocolate? I can't think of anything better, and Granja Viader is the best place. It is a traditional cafeteria that serves sweet pastries and Catalan delicacies. In this place is where Cacaolat was born, is a Catalan chocolate shake like no other, you can order it warm or cold, and it is good either way. I would recommend you to try it, is one of those things that all children would ask to their mums, Cacaolat is a must!
Aire de Barcelona
Aire de Barcelona in Born area are a complex of thermal baths inside an incredible palace, where they restored an ancient bath. It is beautiful and a lovely relaxing atmosphere, you can enjoy the hot baths and different swimming pools.
Is there a better plan than a thermal bath in winter in Barcelona? Regardless if you are in a romantic getaway, a friend's gathering or a solo traveller, pampering yourself is always a good option. You can not only bathe but also get a massage if you would like to.
Ice skating in Barcelona
Ice skating in la Farga is pretty new from 2015, called Bargelona with a surface of 4000m2 making it the biggest rink in Europe. A good thing is that it's free to get into the stands to watch if you are not up for a skate. There is room for 350 skaters on the rink, it opens from 10am to 9pm on weekdays and on Fridays and Saturdays until 11pm. The ice skating will be opened from 27th November to 10th January. Av. Carrilet (M: L1; FGC) Price: €7/half hour. €10/hour
Calçots: Catalans are crazy for burnt onions
Calçots are large and thin onions very appreciated in Catalonia, they are grilled and eaten with a very special sauce called Romesco. It is typical to go for a calçotada in winter with your family or friends. A calçotada consists of grilled onions -calçots- grilled as a starter and then as a main grilled meat -carn a la brasa-.
The romesco sauce is very good, is done with a special kind of pepper called nyora, with garlic, oil and tomato among other ingredients. The sauce is the best part of the calçotada, and it is a typical thing to do so you have to try it out.
Since the calçots are large onions you need to bend your head and raise your arms to eat them so there is a big chance for you to stain your shirt, that is why they always give away paper or plastic bibs.
Visit a museum: Picasso
Winter time is a good moment to be indoors and a museum is the perfect place to discover part of the culture. What better to visit Picasso museum? The Picasso museum is full of paintings of the formative years of the painter. He lived in Barcelona and his relationship with the city shaped his youth and adolescence.
The museum is very rich in his works from the formative years, the blue and pink periods of Picasso are present as well as works from 1917 and Las Meninas series. Check out the free things to do in Barcelona, there are days and times where some museums in the city are free, having a good plan for winter doesn't have to be expensive.
The winter sales are a classic in many countries, in Barcelona they start on 7th January, right after the Christmas period. The first day is crazy since is when there is more variety of clothes and products on the shops so everyone goes out browsing.
Christmas in Barcelona
Winter and Christmas are two concepts that go together, the city is beautifully decorated with Christmas lights, the shops are with red and golden colors, reindeers, Santa Claus etc... Barcelona is full of Christmas markets with the typical Caga Tió and caganers to decorate the nativity scene, discover Christmas catalan traditions in Catalonia.