Barcelona Christmas Markets by First Class rail on daytime trains
Prices from £749 per person (in First Class)
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Catalan capital and a city of fascinating architecture from gothic to Gaudi, Barcelona revels in its fabulous setting. Sun-kissed and lapped by the Mediterranean, Barcelona offers gastronomy, culture and vibrant nightlife to its fortunate visitors. Enjoy a different side to this diverse city as you explore its traditional Christmas markets amid the backdrop of stunning buildings and the warmth of the winter sun.
3 night / 4 day holiday by First Class rail on daytime trains from £749 per person.
Standard Class rail option from £549 per person.
Day 1 – London to Barcelona by First Class rail on daytime trains
Your holiday begins as you enter the stunningly restored St. Pancras International station. Take your time to appreciate the splendour of the magnificent glass roof, then sit back, relax and watch the countryside swish past as you travel by Eurostar to Paris at speeds of up to 186mph. Enjoy the light meal and drinks served on board in Standard Premier Class (Eurostar’s 1st class for leisure travellers). On arrival at the Gare du Nord your taxi transfer will take you across Paris to the Gare de Lyon to continue your journey by TGV through France into Spain. You travel through the changing French landscape at high speed on this brand new direct train to the vibrant city of Barcelona.
You arrive in time for dinner or tapas before you settle into your hotel for 3 nights the comfortable, traditionally-styled and highly-rated Roger de Lluria Hotel (4 star), ideally located in the centre of the city.
Barcelona and its Christmas Markets
This morning after breakfast why not explore this magical city and visit the most famous of its Christmas Markets? The Fira de Santa Llύcia dates from 1786 and is a traditional Christmas fair that has expanded to more than 300 stalls selling all manner of handcrafted Christmas decorations and gifts, along with mistletoe, poinsettias and Christmas trees. The most popular figure on sale for Nativity scenes is the curious Catalan figure of the caganer or your might like to buy a caga tió – a log with a friendly face that is an important part of Catalan Christmases. You might like to wander around the section of the market named ‘Artesania’. Here there are a wide range of stalls selling various hand-made and artisan products such as jewellery, toys, leather goods and ornaments. There is also a Nativity scene contest, musical parades and exhibitions, including the popular life-size Nativity scene in Plaça Sant Jaume. There is an undeniably Christmassy feel to the market- particularly in the evening, when the lights of the market glisten against the backdrop of the impressive Cathedral.
During your stay there are other Christmas Markets to experience as well including the Fira de Nadal or head to Plaça de Sant Josep Oriol where the street musicians, fortune tellers and painters will entertain visitors, who are being tempted by the designer boutiques and handicraft shops.
Make sure you allow plenty to time to soak up all aspects of this remarkable city, from the lively Ramblas to the smart shops of Passeig de Gracia. Perhaps head towards the cathedral and older parts of town with wonderful examples of Gaudi architecture or visit one of the city’s museums. Don’t miss the Sagrada Familia Cathedral, Antoni Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece, or the Picasso Museum which houses one of the most extensive collections of the 20th-century painter’s artworks. There are plenty of options for dinner from wonderful gastronomic restaurants to cosy bistros and tapas bars.
Day 4 – Barcelona to London – Homeward bound
This morning after breakfast make your way back to Barcelona Sants station for your First Class journey to London. You travel north on the superfast TGV as it speeds you onward to Paris. Your private transfer takes you across the city to the Gare du Nord and heralds the last leg of your journey. Here you join the Eurostar service and head for home. Take time to reflect on the magnificent sights, sounds and tastes you have enjoyed over your short break in Barcelona, as you sit back and relax with a light meal and drinks before your arrival into London St Pancras and the final leg of your journey home.