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Not only does Christmas in Barcelona provide for a wonderful ambiance and electric vibe, but it's also a great time to shop. There are plenty of deals, known as Rebaixes (discounts) all over the city and one of the best parts about shopping in Barcelona is that the stores will gift wrap your presents for you, on the spot, free of charge.
In addition to the department stores and specialty shops selling everything from gourmet chocolates, to select wines and high quality olives oils and foods, there is also a wide variety of outdoor markets strewn throughout the city. One of the most famous ones is located directly in front of the Cathedral in the Gothic Quarter. This market is open all month, from December 1st and is one of the best places to browse, stroll and buy Christmas trees. There are also excellent markets in Gracia and Poble Sec Neighborhoods as well as the Born.
Since most locals don't start their days before 11am, if you want to shop when the stores are empty, be the first to show up at 9:30 or 10am. The heaviest crowds are later in the day, so if you're able to shop in the mornings, you'll be at quite an advantage.