NYE chimes and other traditions
The countdown to the end of the outgoing year is marked by the last twelve chimes of the year, which are eagerly followed by everyone. As each chime sounds a grape is eaten and it is customary to make a wish. This ritual is a call for good luck, even if eating grapes for New Year is not all that new in comparison with other Christmas traditions. In fact, its origin lies in the grape surplus of 1909. https://runnerbeantours.com/what-to-do-for-new-years-eve-in-barcelona/
Xmas street lights
Another feature of Xmas in Barcelona is the street light decorations, unfortunately, the present Mayoress and her team have very peculiar ideas on what Xmas should be and this line-item seems to be way down in her list of priorities in comparison to previous administrations. This was last year's: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7NKNGb537o Note that Xmas street lights are divided into two groups: those paid for by the City Hall and those paid for private enterprises (or guilds).
What's Barcelona like in December?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1xq3VDPlVw and this presented by a (rather silly) local TV host https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2sE569DTeI
Nothing to add, as said earlier, get warm clothing, it can be cold up there in winter. Having said that, you'll notice our winters tend to be quite sunny, so regardless of the temperature, the sun always brightens the day!
Sant Cugat del Vallès
Sant Cugat? Except for the magnificent Romanesque monastery https://visit.santcugat.cat/en/the-monastery-of-sant-cugat/, I personally wouldn't find much reason to visit... as a tourist I mean.
For me personally is a must. And I always suggest adding a 'detour': in the morning, at around 9pm, take a bus from Barcelona to Besalú http://www.teisa-bus.com/en/intercity-bus, a magnificent medieval town https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xcLai6lLI8 and at around 1pm take the bus to Girona, have lunch there and visit the city until the evening. The last high-speed train to Barcelona departs at around 9pm and it's only a 40' journey to Barcelona. Girona is indeed a special city, nicknamed the "romantic city", it's a bit of a cauldron of the history of Catalonia. There's also a Xmas market at Independence Square and Xmas streetlights throughout the city. Girona is often considered the second capital city of Catalonia after Barcelona. Lots of things to see and to do. Well worth visiting.
Avoid travelling on the 25th and 26th and Jan 1st as there are fewer trains/buses. Book your Xmas restaurant in advance, the ones opening tend to be quite busy. Prepare to pay double the normal price on that day. Do taste our traditional Catalan 'dinar de Nadal' (Xmas lunch) and other food: https://devourtours.com/blog/typical-catalan-christmas-foods/?cnt=ES Dress in layers, it can be deceitfully pleasant during the day but it gets colder in the evenings. When in crowds, be aware of pickpockets.
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