Wishing for a White Christmas again this year? Bah humbug! Maybe 2011’s New Year Resolution should be to try something a little different. How does Christmas beside the Mediterranean, surrounded by stunning architecture, history and culture with palm trees, great cuisine and wines sound? You can do all this, while at the same time enjoying all the comforts of home in one of our beautiful apartments.
Barcelona becomes even more magical around the holiday season. The city is transformed from its usual postcard image of sun, sea and sand and takes on a festive look and atmosphere offering the tourist plenty of surprises.
The 50km of lights which decorate the city are switched on at the beginning of December. It’s tradition for the city Mayor to do the honors and the first visitors are welcomed to the outdoor nativity at Plaça Sant Jaume 1 in the Gothic quarter. The 8th December is the Immaculate Conception and is a national holiday. You will find the streets thronged with families, friends and a very international mix of visitors enjoying the decorations, the lights, and stopping off here and there for some special Christmas delicacies. You can try some local Christmas specialties like neulas (which refers to Latin word ‘nebula’ or in English ‘snow’); a hard, sweet wafer in a tube shape or polvorones- a type of crumbly cookie sweet with a floury consistency which is shaped into form with your hand. These are typically sold in the small bakery shops in coloured wrappers. To discover all the flavours and colours of the season check out the markets scattered around the city. The Boquería market just off the Ramblas is buzzing with activity and the most well-known classic market is in Fira de Santa Llúcia, outside the city cathedral where you can find artesian craftworks and authentic handmade goods. The market held at Sagrada Familia provides a stunning backdrop for what is a smaller market but with similar offerings. Worth seeing! Christmas day, as in most other countries, is centered on the family and gift sharing.
New Year’s is a special night in all of Spain and Barcelona is no exception. The difference is that with its mild weather, and beautiful setting with sea, city and mountains, Barcelona offers an extra special way to ring in the New Year. Friends and families gather on the beach and fireworks light up the sky. It’s tradition amongst some to drink cava champagne and eat grapes whilst counting down the last 12 seconds of the year.
If you wish to experience a unique celebration (and experience a nice start to 2011!) why not come to Barcelona for the arrival of the Three Kings on the eve of 5th January. This is when the Three Kings (Melchior, Gaspar and Balthasar) come to the city, bringing presents to all the children. Various neighbourhoods organize their own parades, but the main one begins in Port Vell with the kings disembarking their ship in the harbour, accompanied by their pages and an enormous procession. The entire city becomes alive again to participate in the festivities.
Of course, it isn’t necessary to follow every tradition to the letter but the main objective is for everyone to enjoy the holiday in their own way in a city that offers plenty of culture and fun.
To enjoy a relaxed, comfortable stay we at Rent Top Apartments truly believe that self- catering apartments allow one the freedom to really make the most of everything the city has to offer. Our apartments are fully equipped and you will feel right at home as soon as you step inside the door. Choose a Barcelona winter experience by staying in the city centre and wander the Gothic streets or opt for a cool Mediterranean sea and city break, taking in the views and all the while enjoying facilities that your accommodation offers including gymnasium, paddle/tennis courts. Cook in the fully equipped kitchen or dine out, enjoy a festive drink on your private balcony or visit some of the thousands of hip bars the city has to offer, put up your feet in your cosy apartment or take a stroll on the beach…are you convinced yet!?
Visit our homepage now to find out what great apartments await you this holiday season!