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The Three Kings Market on the Gran Via
20 December 2018 until 6 January 2019
Monday to Friday from 11am until 10pm. Weekends from 11am until 10pm.
- Where: Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, between the streets Muntaner and Entenza (Metro L1 | Buses 50,59 H12, L94, L95, N1, N12, N13,N14, N15, N16, N17).
- Price: Free
- Accommodation Nearby: Find your monthly rentals in Eixample Esquerre and live like one of the Three Kings.
- Website: Official Page
Like every year, the Kings Market (or "St. Thomas and Kings Market") returns to Barcelona from 20 December 2018 to 6 January 2019 to delight young and old. The fair takes place in the Gran Vía de les Corts Catalanes, between the streets of Muntaner and Entenza. Get carried away by the festive atmosphere of this fair and come to choose the gifts that the Three Kings will make this year. If you already know what you want, do not waste your time and download a letter to write to the Three Kings.
History of the Market
The Kings Market was held for the first time in Barcelona in 1877. This event, far from being recent, is linked to the important Spanish tradition of the Three Kings. Although all European Catholic countries celebrate the Epiphany of Kings, it is only in Spain and in certain parts of Italy and Portugal where this date has a very special meaning.
The 6 January is not only the day in which the Spaniards eat the cake of the kings with family. On this day, the Spanish children receive many gifts from the expected Three Kings. The arrival of the Three Kings is much more expected than Santa Claus since the latter does not traditionally distribute toys in Spain.
The Kings Market shows children and adults the wide range of gifts that can be requested from the Three Kings. If the children have behaved well, they just have to cross their fingers that their wishes will be fulfilled. Before going to bed on 5 January, young children leave their slippers near the window, with some food for the Three Kings and their camels. The next day, they will find their gifts instead of food.
In the following article, discover all the information you can imagine about the historical, religious and traditional figures of the Three Kings.
- All about the Three Wise Men Other than Santa Clause, the Three Wise men are also celebrated in Spain on The Epiphany
Stalls at the market
In the 2018 – 2019 edition of the Kings Market, there are more than 270 stands offering all kinds of products:
- Toys: 53 stands selling mainly products for children, such as stuffed animals or traditional toys. These stands are located between Comte d'Urgell and Muntaner streets.
- Gifts: 200 stands are dedicated to the sale of jewellery, clothing, hats, scarves, and lamps which could be a good gift for a loved one. These stalls are located between Comte d'Urgell and Calabria streets.
- Crafts: 40 stands of handmade products that you will not find anywhere else. To discover these original items, you will have to go between the streets of Rocafort and Calabria.
- Food: as every year, you will have the opportunity to taste delicious churros thanks to the 11 stalls that offer this typical Spanish food throughout the fair.
- Charity: at the market, there are stalls dedicated to collecting gifts for children that the Three Kings forgot about. Parents try to show children that it is important to not just think about yourself and that it’s good to do small gestures for other people.
The Vigil Night for the Kings
The Spanish tradition consists of welcoming the Three Kings the day before, on 5 January during the colourful procession of the Three Kings' parade. At the end of the parade many people come to the Kings Market, which remains open until three in the morning.
If you want more information about the Kings Parade 2019 in Barcelona, consult the following article:
- Spain's 'Second Christmas': Three Wise Men Parade 2017 Jan 05 The Three Wise Men of the east will parade the streets of Barcelona on 5 January
The 5 Best Things to Buy at the Market
One thing is certain: it is difficult to leave this market empty-handed. To avoid unnecessary purchases, here is a list of the 5 things that could be interesting to buy: Churros and Carbón Dulce to taste:
The Kings Market is organised in part by the Gremi Artesà de Xurrers de Catalunya, the association of artisans who make these famous sweets. This means that the market offers you the opportunity to taste the best churros in the city.
These elongated delights are originally from Madrid. In Spain, traditional churros are eaten at breakfast accompanied by a cup of hot chocolate to dip them into. At the market, you will find the famous traditional churros as well as churros filled with dulce de leche, nutella or white chocolate.
2. Sweet Coal
On 6 January, when the children who have behaved badly during the year awaken, they discover that the Kings have not left them any gifts but sweet charcoal.
The legend says that this charcoal is actually the ashes of incense brought by the Three Kings to Jesus. The myth says that Carbonilla is a page of the Three Kings that has as mission to watch the children during the year to know if they have been good or bad. When the Kings are reading the letters, Carbonilla tells them if the child who writes it has to receive gifts or charcoal. In the case of it being coal, he is the one in charge of taking it.
Even if you and your children, nephews or grandchildren are very good people, do avoid buying a little coal to try it. The two-piece bag costs € 2 and the three-bag costs € 3.
3. Chocolate poo
This is something that you will only find in this market. Walking around, you will be surprised to discover that in the middle of hundreds of sweets there are small excrements for sale. According to the legend, they represent the myrrh brought by the Three Kings to the baby Jesus.
Although it doesn’t look delicious, it tastes delicious. You also have the option of eating the same chocolate with the appearance of gold that the Three Kings wore.
The market is the perfect place to find the gifts that children will receive on the morning of 6 January. Many stalls offer toys, making it a true paradise for the little ones: remote control cars, dolls and much more.
You can customise your children's toys by adding their first name. Make sure your young children don’t argue about who the toys belong to.
5. Handmade Products
The market offers a large number of stalls selling handicrafts such as handbags, sweaters, wallets, etc.
Ladies, you will be surprised at the many jewels that can be bought. The only question that will arise: will the gentleman have the kindness to give her one?
Gentlemen, don’t worry, there is something for you too! You will find many original items, such as watches made from vinyl records or leather goods of all kinds.
Should you go to the market?
If you are still not convinced by everything you have just read, we provide you with the positive and negative points of this market. Next, you will decide whether the positives outweigh the negatives. We are sure you will not be able to resist the call of the Churros any longer ;)
Although it has many similarities with a Christmas market, this market is not one! So, if you're tired of always seeing and doing the same thing, the Kings Market will be the change you've been waiting for.
While the Christmas markets in Barcelona close on 23 or 24 December, the Kings Market is open until 6 January! Something to occupy your children during their holidays.
The Three Kings traditions, peculiar to Spain, is rather unknown for Europeans, so it is a good opportunity to discover it.
Confectionery is worth the detour: besides being tasty, they are unique! On what other occasion will you be able to eat a chocolate poop?
The Kings Market stretches along a long avenue and has many stands. Something to satisfy the whole family: toys of all kinds for children, jewellery for mum and sweets for dad.
As the market is located on both sides of the Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, cars drive between the two alleys. This somewhat spoils the festive spirit of the market and is not reassuring for parents with toddlers.
To browse the market, you have to wait for traffic lights at every corner.
Prices can sometimes seem excessive. But hey, it's Christmas, we can have fun!
The Kings Market takes place as we said in the Gran Vía de les Corts Catalanes in the Eixample Esquerre district of Barcelona.
If you go there, take a look at two monuments that you cannot miss: The Casa Batlló designed by the famous architect Antoni Gaudí and the Ametller House created by Teresa Amatller. You can also simply walk through the streets to discover the modernist architecture of this area or relax in the Joan Miró Park, weather permitting.
Here is a short video explaining in 6 minutes all there is to know about this area of Barcelona.