You might be forgiven for thinking that summer is the best time of year to visit Barcelona, but there is actually lots going on during the winter months as well. The fun doesn’t stop when the temperature drops – quite the opposite in fact.

After you’ve booked your flights to Barcelona, take a look at some of the festivals that are popping up around the vibrant Spanish city. You’re bound to find an event that suits each member of your party and you can look forward to immersing yourself in an exciting new culture.

For a winter getaway you’ll never forget, try out one of these festivals:

Fira de Santa Llucia

A European holiday in December wouldn’t be complete without a visit to a traditional Christmas market, which you can find in pretty much every major city on the continent. You can bet that Fira de Santa Llucia, the oldest Christmas fair in Barcelona, will top the festivities being held in your local town, and it is a true wonder to behold.

From late November through to December, browse more than 300 stalls displaying all kinds of Christmas gifts and decorations, including the Catalan figure of the Caganer used for Nativity scenes, an unusual chap who can be seen crouching down with his trousers around his ankles.

The market has its own artisan section and you can even buy Christmas trees (although you might struggle to fit one in your luggage). Don’t miss the Nativity scene contest, or the many musical parades and exhibitions.

Cap d’Any (New Year’s Eve)

Spend New Year’s Eve in Barcelona if you can, because the festival atmosphere in Placa Catalunya is unbeatable on December 31st. Most Spanish families kick off the evening with a mammoth feast, but they’re always up for a party after midnight.

Tradition dictates that you must wear red underwear for good luck for the year ahead, and eat 12 grapes at midnight – one for every time the clock chimes. Join in the revelry and have a memorable New Year’s – it’ll beat whatever’s going on back at home.

Drap-Art

Creative types may be more inclined to visit Drap-Art festival, a celebration of international recycling that takes the shape of various markets, exhibitions and workshops.

The event primarily serves as a platform for up-and-coming artists who rely on recycled materials, and offers visitors the chance to discover more about this unique form of art. There is also plenty going on to keep passers-by entertained.

Drap-Art takes place at the Centre of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona and FAD exhibition space, but some elements will spill over into nearby venues as well. Dates for this year’s festival are December 13th to January 5th.

Els Grans del Gospel

Whether you’re in Barcelona for three weeks or three nights, this musical extravaganza is not to be missed. Born of the gospel section of the International Jazz Festival, Els Grans del Gospel, which takes place over 13 days in December, features performances from some of the best choirs in the world.

In the past, award-winning acts such as the Soweto Gospel Choir from South Africa have sung to crowds, as well as the New Orleans Gospel Chorale and Kings Gospel Choir. The event is being held at various venues around the city.