A family or couple seeking a vacation spot to spend their holidays should look no further than Barcelona, Spain. Traditional customs, mingled with new, and steeped in culture and religion, make this a charming place to spend any holiday. Skipping a hotel and seeking a Barcelona apartment rental will make the vacation and the holiday more memorable and more enjoyable. An apartment will offer the comfort and convenience of home, in a setting full of history and beauty. Whether you are planning Christmas, New Years, or Easter in Barcelona, your vacation promises to be full of the cultures and customs of the city.
Christmas in Barcelona, Spain promises mild temperatures with a highly unlikely chance of snow. The holiday is as important in Spain as it is in the United States, and a visitor will enjoy taking in the sights and sounds of the holiday season. Christmas lights are abundant inside and outside of the city. It is worth the traveler's time to stroll the city streets to take in the displays. A few displays that are famous and not to be missed include Plaza de Catalunya, the Cortes Ingles Department Store, and the Ronda de Sant Pere.
Another important part of the Christmas tradition is the Nativity Scene. Seen in front of private homes and public establishments, the Nativity is a Christmas staple. Interestingly, it is customary to insert modern people of current interest, such as Barak Obama. A traveler could make a collection out of pictures taken of the various Nativity Scenes on display.
Shops will be open until Christmas Eve, but will be closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Most restaurants will also be closed on Christmas Day, but will reopen the next day for Boxing Day. There are listings at tourist sites of churches where English is spoken so that English-speaking visitors may attend Christmas services.
One must-see Christmas stop in Barcelona is Fira de Santa Llucia. This is a huge market, with stalls for selling Christmas trees, toys, and gifts. It is a very festive place, especially in the evening when the Christmas lights are lit. Even if you are not looking to buy anything, it is absolutely worth the time to browse.
If your family is planning to be in Barcelona for Christmas, you will want to bring some of your Christmas traditions with you, or at least, try to adopt a couple that you find in Spain. However, there is nowhere to put a Christmas tree or to burn a Caga Tio (log with a happy face) in a hotel room. Opening presents while sitting cross-legged on a hotel bed is not horribly comfortable. A Barcelona apartment rental is the answer. With an apartment, there is room for a tree or presents or whatever else your traditions demand. Given that most restaurants are closed on Christmas Day, having a kitchen in which to cook a Christmas dinner is also convenient. A little comfort of home will make the holiday much more enjoyable for all.
Because of the frequent juxtaposition of Easter and spring breaks, this is a very popular time to travel. For this reason, plans and reservations should be made ahead so as to ensure that lodgings are available and at a competitive price.
As with Christmas, Barcelona is steeped in Easter traditions. However, one of these traditions includes getting away. The week leading up to Easter, the Holy Week, is called Semana Santa. As Easter draws near, many residents of Barcelona leave the city to seek family or to travel, themselves. This does not mean that there are no Easter activities in Barcelona. Actually, it does mean that visitors will experience a great deal of celebrating, in an environment that is a little less hectic than “everyday” Barcelona when the streets are more crowded.
There are a number of Easter Parades; one of them begins at “La Iglesia de Sant Agustí,” complete with about 300 people and a handful of hooded penitents, as is custom. “Iglesia de Sant Jaume” is another church with an impressive Easter procession. The largest of the processions begins at Hositalet de Llobregat. Last year, the procession attracted more than a million followers.
Santa Maria del Mar, a beautiful Gothic cathedral , is an excellent place to attend Easter mass.
While enjoying springtime in Barcelona, and learning about their culture and traditions, your family can maximize their comfort and enjoyment if you consider a Barcelona apartment rental over staying at an apartment. There is more room for an Easter egg hunt; in addition, a full kitchen means a home-cooked Easter dinner, or a bite after mass. One way or another, eating out becomes a choice again instead of a mandatory activity. An apartment will provide a source of comfort that a hotel cannot.