spain in december: celebrate christmas

Spain Weather in December: Your All-in-One Guide to Festive Feels and Winter Wonders

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Planning a trip to Spain in December and wondering what the weather will be like? You’re in the right place!

Spain weather in December isn’t just chilly nights and warm coats. Wondering how Barcelona’s coast differs from Madrid’s heart in December? From practical packing tips to regional weather breakdowns and highlights of what to see and do in Spain in December, this guide has you covered. 

Dive in and get the full scoop on Spain’s diverse December climate so that you can plean your perfect winter trip.

Spain Weather in December: Quick Answer

  • Temperature Range: Typically varies between 5°C in inland areas to 18°C in the southern regions.
  • General Climate: A mix of mild coastal conditions, colder inland temperatures, and snowy mountainous regions.
  • Rainfall: Most frequent in the Atlantic Coastal regions; occasional in the Mediterranean coast and southern areas.
  • What to Pack: Layered clothing with warmer gear for inland and mountain zones; lighter layers with a jacket for coastal and southern regions.
  • Top Activity: Skiing in the mountainous regions; coastal walks and indoor attractions elsewhere.

Overview of Spain Weather in December

If you’re planning on visiting Spain in December, you should be prepared for a chilly climate. That said, the weather in Spain during December can vary depending on the region you’re visiting. While some regions experience mild temperatures, others can be quite cold.

The average temperature in Spain during December ranges from lows of -3°C (26°F) in Sallent de Gállego in the Spanish Pyrenees to highs of 22°C (71°F) in Gran Tarajal in the Canary Islands. 

The north of Spain also tends to see more rainfall than the south. This means that if you’re planning on visiting the northern regions during December, you should be prepared for wet weather. On the other hand, the southern regions tend to be drier, with less rainfall.

If you’re planning on visiting Madrid, the capital city of Spain, you should be prepared for chilly temperatures. The average temperature in Madrid during December ranges from highs around 10°C (50°F)  to lows of 3°C(high 30s Fahrenheit).

Overall, the weather in Spain during December can be unpredictable, so it’s best to pack for all possibilities. Make sure to bring warm clothing, including a coat, hat, and gloves, especially if you’re planning on visiting the northern regions of Spain. 

Additionally, it’s always a good idea to check the weather forecast before you travel to Spain to make sure you’re prepared for any weather conditions that may arise.

Spain Weather in December: Temperature Averages & Rainfall

The temperatures in Spain in December can vary greatly depending on the region you’re visiting. Here’s a breakdown of the average temperature ranges across some of Spain’s popular cities:

  • Madrid: Highs of 9°C (48°F) and lows of 2°C (36°F)
  • Barcelona: Highs of 14°C (57°F) and lows of 7°C (45°F)
  • Seville: Highs of 16°C (61°F) and lows of 6°C (43°F)
  • Malaga: Highs of 17°C (63°F) and lows of 9°C (48°F)
  • Valencia: Highs of 15°C (59°F) and lows of 6°C (43°F)

As you can see, temperatures in Spain during December are generally on the cooler side. However, some regions, such as Andalucia, can experience milder temperatures and more sunshine. Be sure to pack accordingly, with warm layers and a waterproof jacket just in case.

It’s also worth noting that while December is generally a dry month in Spain, some regions can experience rain or even snow. The northern regions of Spain, such as Galicia and the Basque Country, are more likely to experience precipitation during this time of year while the southern and eastern parts of the country are generally sunnier and drier.

Spain Weather in December: Regional Differences

When it comes to December weather in Spain, there are several regional differences to keep in mind. While some areas of the country may be mild and sunny, others can be quite chilly and wet. Here’s what you can expect in some of the most popular regions.

Weather in Barcelona 

Barcelona is located in the northeast of Spain and enjoys a relatively mild climate in December. You can expect average temperatures of around 12°C (54°F) during the day and 6°C (43°F) at night. While there may be some rain, Barcelona typically sees around six hours of sunshine per day.

Weather in Madrid

Madrid, located in the center of Spain, can get quite chilly in December. Highs range from the high 30s to the low 50s (Fahrenheit), and lows can drop below freezing. Snow is not uncommon in Madrid during December, so be sure to pack warm clothes.

Weather in Andalucia

Andalucia, located in the south of Spain, tends to be milder than other regions in December. You can expect average temperatures of around 17°C (63°F) during the day and 7°C (45°F) at night. While there may be some rain, Andalucia typically sees around five hours of sunshine per day.

Weather in Valencia

Valencia, located on the east coast of Spain, enjoys a mild climate in December. You can expect average temperatures of around 17°C (63°F) during the day and 7°C (45°F) at night. While there may be some rain, Valencia typically sees around six hours of sunshine per day.

Weather in Galicia

Galicia, located in the northwest of Spain, is one of the coldest regions in the country during December. You can expect average temperatures of around 9°C (48°F) during the day and 5°C (41°F) at night. There may be some rain, and Galicia typically sees around four hours of sunshine per day.

Weather in Asturias

Asturias, located in the north of Spain, can be quite chilly in December. You can expect average temperatures of around 10°C (50°F) during the day and 6°C (43°F) at night. While there may be some rain, Asturias typically sees around four hours of sunshine per day.

Weather in Canary Islands

The Canary Islands, located off the coast of Africa, enjoy a mild climate year-round. In December, you can expect average temperatures of around 22°C (71°F) during the day and 15°C (58°F) at night. While there may be some rain, the Canary Islands typically see around six hours of sunshine per day.

Is December a Good Time to Visit Spain? 

Spain in December is particularly well-suited for travelers who appreciate cultural experiences, as they can immerse themselves in traditional Spanish holiday celebrations. Those looking to dodge the peak-season crowds will also find it advantageous. Winter sports enthusiasts eyeing the slopes will find December in the mountainous regions of Spain to be perfect. 

However, if you’re the beach-loving, sun-chasing kind of traveler, you might want to consider a different time of year or stick to the southern coasts where it’s milder.

Spain in December offers a unique charm that summer tourists often miss. The festive season is in full swing, and cities from Barcelona to Seville light up with holiday decorations, markets, and celebrations. 

For those who prefer a quieter travel experience, December usually sees fewer tourists, making it an ideal time to explore popular attractions without the usual crowds. Additionally, the milder temperatures of the coastal and southern regions can be a refreshing change from the harsh winters of northern Europe or North America. 

And for winter sports enthusiasts, the snow-capped peaks of the Pyrenees and Sierra Nevada offer excellent skiing opportunities.

However, the weather can be a mixed bag. While coastal areas remain relatively mild, the inland regions can get quite cold, especially at night. Snow in major cities like Madrid is rare but not unheard of, and the days are notably shorter with sunset occurring early. 

Some attractions or accommodations may have reduced hours or might even be closed during the winter months. Travelers looking for the vibrant beach scenes Spain is often associated with might be disappointed as beach towns can be quieter, and the sea too cold for a swim.

Personally, I really enjoy visiting Spain in December as I generally prefer traveling in the low season. It’s quieter, it’s easier to find good accommodation deals, and I get to enjoy a more peaceful visit. Plus, Spain really knows how to celebrate the festive season! If you are looking for milder weather in December, I highly recommend visiting Andalucia during this month. Cities like Seville, Cadiz, Granada, and Malaga are great winter destinations where you can still enjoy warm days and plenty of sunshine.

Spain weather in December is ideal for skiing in Prodollano

Winter Activities and Attractions in December in Spain

On a trip to Spain in December, you’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of winter activities and attractions to enjoy. From skiing in the Sierra Nevada to exploring Christmas markets, there’s something for everyone.

Christmas Markets

Spain is known for its lively Christmas markets, which are a great place to find unique gifts and souvenirs. Some of the most popular markets include the Mercado de Navidad in Madrid, the Fira de Santa Llúcia in Barcelona, and the Feria de Muestras in Valencia. These markets offer everything from handmade crafts to traditional Spanish sweets.

Ski Resorts

If you’re a fan of winter sports, you’ll want to check out the ski resorts in the Sierra Nevada. This mountain range is located in southern Spain and offers excellent skiing and snowboarding opportunities. 

The resort town of Pradollano is a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders, with plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops to keep you entertained after a day on the slopes.


Spain is home to some of the world’s most famous museums, and December is a great time to explore them. The Prado Museum in Madrid, for example, is home to works by artists such as Velázquez, Goya, and El Greco. The Picasso Museum in Barcelona is another must-visit, with over 4,000 works by the famous artist.


Spain is known for its stunning architecture, and December is a great time to explore the country’s historic buildings. The Alhambra in Granada is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and features beautiful Islamic architecture. The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is another must-visit, with its unique blend of Gothic and Art Nouveau styles.

Beaches in Spain

While it may be too cold to swim in December, Spain’s beaches are still worth a visit. The Costa del Sol, for example, is known for its beautiful beaches and mild winter weather. If you’re in search of the sun, the Canary islands are also a great choice… and you’ll probably even have the beaches all to yourself! 

Cultural Events in December in Spain

A visit to Spain in December means that you’ll get a taste of how the Spanish celebrate the festive season. From Christmas celebrations to New Year’s Eve parties, there are plenty of cultural events to attend.

One of the most famous events in Spain in December is the celebration of Christmas. Spanish culture is deeply rooted in Christianity, and Christmas is a significant event. Many cities and towns have their own unique way of celebrating Christmas, but some of the most popular traditions include the nativity scenes, Christmas markets, and carol singing.

Malaga is particularly well-known for its festive decorations and light, so if you’re visiting the city, don’t miss their Christmas Lights!

On Christmas Day, many people attend mass, followed by a big family meal. In some parts of Spain, it is tradition to eat a big meal on Christmas Eve, known as Nochebuena. The meal often includes seafood, such as prawns or lobster, and a dessert called turrón, which is made from almonds and honey.

Another significant event in December is New Year’s Eve. Puerta del Sol in Madrid is the most famous place to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Spain. Thousands of people gather in the square to watch the clock strike midnight and eat 12 grapes, one for each chime of the clock. This tradition is said to bring good luck for the coming year.

Finally, December 28th is the Día de los Santos Inocentes, which is similar to April Fool’s Day. It is a day of practical jokes and hoaxes, and many people play tricks on their friends and family.

December is a great time to experience Spanish culture and attend some of the unique events that take place during this month. Whether you are celebrating Christmas, New Year’s Eve, or just enjoying the festive atmosphere, there is something for everyone in Spain in December.

Spain in December: Travel Tips

Here are some travel tips to help you prepare for your trip to Spain in December.

  • Spanish winter can be unpredictable. Wear layers so you can easily adjust to the varying temperatures, especially if you’re moving between coastal, inland, and mountainous areas in one trip.
  • Check out local event calendars. December is filled with festive events, from Christmas markets to special parades. Ensure you know local schedules to make the most of your visit.
  • While Spain’s coastal regions might be milder, inland can be chilly, and it might rain. Waterproof shoes or boots are a must, especially if you’re planning to walk a lot.
  • Remember, daylight is limited in December in Spain. Plan outdoor activities for earlier in the day and utilize the evening for indoor attractions, dining, or events.
  • If using public transport, check schedules in advance. Services might run on reduced hours, especially around Christmas and New Year’s.
  • Not all accommodations, especially older or budget ones, have central heating so be sure to check in advance.
  • If heading to the beach regions, remember that while it may be milder, it won’t be beach weather in the traditional sense. Beach towns will be quieter, but it can be an excellent time for coastal walks or enjoying seaside towns without the crowds.
  • December is considered low season in Spain, which means you may be able to find some good deals on accommodation and flights. However, keep in mind that prices may be higher around Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

Spain in December: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the weather like in Spain during December?

Spain’s weather in December varies depending on the region, but in general, it is cooler than most other months. Spain is generally warmer than other European countries, and Andalucia is the warmest region during winter. However, the northern regions such as Galicia, Asturias, and the Basque Country can be rainy and chilly.

What are the average temperatures in Spain in December?

The average temperature in Spain in December is around 12°C (54°F), but it can range from 8°C (46°F) to 16°C (61°F) depending on the region. Andalucia, the Canary Islands, and the Balearic Islands tend to be warmer, while the northern regions are cooler.

Is December a good time to visit Spain?

December is a good time to visit Spain if you want to avoid the crowds and enjoy a more authentic experience. The weather may be cooler, but there are still plenty of things to see and do. Plus, many cities and towns are decorated for Christmas, which adds to the festive atmosphere.

Which parts of Spain are the warmest in December?

Andalucia is the warmest region in Spain during December, with daytime temperatures averaging around 16°C (61°F). The Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands are also warm, with temperatures averaging around 20°C (68°F). Barcelona and Valencia are also relatively mild, with temperatures around 12°C (54°F).

What should I pack for a trip to Spain in December?

When visiting Spain in December, it is important to pack warm clothing, especially if you plan to visit the northern regions. Bring a warm jacket, a sweater, and comfortable shoes. If you’re visiting Andalucia, the Canary Islands, or the Balearic Islands, you may want to pack lighter clothing as the weather is milder.

Are there any special events or festivals in Spain during December?

Yes, there are several special events and festivals in Spain during December. Christmas is a major holiday in Spain, and many cities and towns have elaborate nativity scenes and Christmas markets. New Year’s Eve is also celebrated with fireworks and parties. The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is celebrated on December 8th, and the Day of the Holy Innocents is celebrated on December 28th. In Catalonia, the Feast of St. Stephen is celebrated on December 26th, and in Andalucia, the Festival of the Three Kings is celebrated on January 6th.

Recommended Spain Travel Resources

Travelling to/around Spain and need help planning your dream trip?
Here are my favorite travel resources.

  • I usually use to look for hotels or apartment rentals. It’s easy to use, with lots of choices… and you can unlock more discounts with their Genius loyalty programme!
  • To research transportation options around Spain, I use Omio which lets me compare different modes of transportation and prices in one place.
  • For the ultimate freedom, rent a car in Spain. Check prices on DiscoverCars to find the best deals (you’ll be surprised at how affordable it is!).
  • For activities and tours, Get Your Guide is my trusted platform. Viator also has a big catalog of activities!
  • I love free walking tours and usually use Guruwalk to find and book tours I like.
  • An easy way to stay connected while travelling is to use an eSim. Airalo offers various eSim choices so that you’re already connected the moment you arrive in Spain!
  • Say goodbye to carrying loads of cash or paying huge transaction fees when using a card in a foreign country! Wise is my borderless banking service of choice and I’ve used their debit card everywhere in Spain without any issues.
  • I never travel without SafetyWing travel insurance in case of emergencies or unexpected incidents. Get an obligation-free quote here.

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