INDULGE IN A SUIZO
Hot, sweet, topped with whipped cream and thick enough to stand your spoon up in. Yes, the Catalans certainly know how to make a good hot chocolate, or suizo, as the cream-topped version is known. And the colder the weather, the better it tastes. Head to one of Barcelona’s most traditional granjas for the best suizos in town. Try Granja Pallaresa (Petrixol 11), Granja Banys Nous (Banys Nous 4) or Granja Viader (Xuclà 6).
GET YOUR SKATES ON
The weather is just too good for Barcelona to be the stuff of winter wonderland fantasies, but you can still give it your best shot. Pretend you’re in colder climes and go ice-skating this December. Try the rink on Roger de Flor 168 (www.skatingclub.cat) or head up to the FC Barcelona rink at Camp Nou. Both cost about €14 including skate hire.
DECK THE TREE
You can pick up a tree at any of the Christmas markets in the city. But, for a truly authentic experience, make your way to the town of Espinelves in the comarca of Osona from December 5th-13th for the Fira de l’Avet. Every year, this pretty Romanic town fills with stalls selling Christmas trees and artesanal products. See here for more information.
SAVE YOUR EUROS
Christmas is an expensive time of year. Get through December without breaking the bank by enjoying all the wonderful free activities this city has to offer. Check out www.forfree.cat/en for exhibitions, concerts, screenings and other fun stuff, so you can save your euros for enjoying the holidays.
Forget the turkey and impress your Catalan friends with some local fare instead. Barcelona Cooking is putting on a special Christmas menu with classes on December 25th and 26th. Among other delicacies, you’ll learn to make duck confit, turbot with mousse of langostine and pea purée, and a Christmas log with lemon and raspberry.