Updated Nov 09 2021
One of the most eagerly awaited Christmas moments for all Barcelona residents, if only out of curiosity, is to go and see the famous and (almost) always controversial Nativity Scene in Barcelona’s Plaça Sant Jaume (in English Sant Jaume square and in Spanish Plaza San Jaime).
Each year, a different approach is taken on the representation of the birth of Jesus. On some occasions it is quite faithful to the more traditional nativity scene and on other occasions, it is much more ground-breaking, unconventional and even surreal, which causes the always present controversy and is probably also one of the objectives expected by its creators.
All about the Nativity Scene of Plaça Sant Jaume
The Nativity Scene of Plaça Sant Jaume usually opens at the end of November, coinciding in most cases with the official lighting of the Christmas lights in Barcelona and the opening of the Christmas market of the Sagrada Familia and the Santa Llúcia Fair, thus marking the beginning of the Christmas period or, rather, pre-Christmas.
Visiting the nativity scene, which is usually quite large and, therefore, covers a large area in Plaça Sant Jaume square, is completely free and remains on display until 6 January, when the Three Kings Day is celebrated across Spain.
2021 / 2022 Plaça Sant Jaume Nativity Scene
Dates: to be confirmed.
Where: Plaça Sant Jaume (square).
€ Entry price: free.
If you would like to see other nativity scenes, more traditional and made by authentic artisans, we recommend you to visit the headquarters of the Association of Nativity Scene Makers of Barcelona, which with more than 150 years of history is responsible for keeping this beautiful tradition alive.
In order to do so, it organises different courses and workshops for all those who are interested in getting more involved in this marvellous world of Nativity Scenes, as well as for all of you who are curious and want to find out a little more about how these authentic handcrafted works are made.
Also, the association usually displays a traditional nativity scene during the Christmas period in a central location of the city. During the days leading up to Christmas Day, interesting artisan nativity scenes are also displayed and it is possible to visit an exhibition of nativity scenes on the ground floor of Barcelona City Hall, in Plaça Sant Jaume itself.
Association of Nativity Scene Makers of Barcelona
c/ (street) dels Lledó, 11
Association of Nativity Scene Makers exposition
Patio Frederic Marès Museum 2021 to be confirmed
Nativity Scenes expositions
pl. Sant Jaume, s/n 2021 to be confirmed
City Hall’s Nativity Scene exposition
pl. Sant Jaume, 1 2021 to be confirmed
Map and how to get to the Nativity Scene in Plaça Sant Jaume
It is recommended to get to Plaça Sant Jaume by public transport (metro, bus or taxi), and it is not recommended to go by private vehicle (unless by motorbike). However, if you decide to get to the city centre by car, you can reserve your parking space in the car park next to Barcelona Cathedral, just a few metres from Plaça Sant Jaume.
Jaume I (line 4) and Liceu (line 3).
Líneas 45, 47, 120, V15, V17 and hop-on hop-hff bus.
By car or motorcycle