Festivals in Barcelona | Art & Culture | Barcelona Travel Guide
A rich and vibrant city on the Mediterranean coast, Barcelona is the place where it all happens. From processions to parades, it is all a part of everyday life here in Barcelona. On the shortest day of the year, thousands take to the streets to celebrate one of the most storied Barcelona events - The Festival of Sant Joan.
Barcelona is also home to various music festivals such as the indie rock heavy Primavera Sound, the electric fest Cruilla and the experimental showcase Sonar Festival. These make up the bulk of Barcelona festivals and attract huge crowds from all over the world.
Most Popular Festivals in Barcelona
Here are some of the many Barcelona festivals that happen throughout the year:
A festival that is native only to Spain, the Epiphany celebrates the arrival of the three kings and marks a day when Catalans exchange gifts like they do on Christmas day. There is an entire parade where three men dressed as the kings hand out children sweets and indulge in revelry. (Image Credits)
A day dedicated to the saint Antoni of Abat, who was famous for taking care of animals; the day is marked by a cavalcade that goes through the city, led by animals such as donkeys, mules and horses. Here the animals are blessed to ensure that they stay healthy and the farmers get a good harvest.
One of the most fun and entertaining Barcelona events in the year, the Carnival is a must-attend event when in the city. The 7-day long event includes processions, fancy dress parties, masked dances, traditional food tasting and more. The date of the carnival changes annually but it starts on Fat Thursday and ends on Ash Wednesday.
The annual carnival that takes place each year before the start of 40 days of lent, this is one of the biggest Barcelona events that take place during the year. It lasts a week and starts from the first typical Fat Thursday, a day of eating and concludes with Ash Wednesday.
The resort town in Ibiza, it is one of the biggest tourist hubs in all of Spain. Santa Eulalia is a place where revelries go on for weeks, if not months!
A festival dedicated to the audio visual community, this is the festival to be if you are really inclined to do something in this line of work. It is not only a festival, but a competition where you can submit videos and win prizes! (Image Credits)
Perhaps the most important of Barcelona festivals, the Dia de Sant Jordi is the highlight of April. It is the day that celebrates the patron saint of Barcelona. On this day the entirety of Las Ramblas turns into a flower stall! The idea is that men should show their appreciation for women through flowers on this day.
The Spanish fiesta culminates on this night, where you can see a spectacular fireworks display and the day is given as a national holiday so people can enjoy a cold cerveza and party at the beach.
A celebration of dance, theatre and music, the Grec festival is aptly named as it takes place in the Greek theatre that was built in 1929. It happens every summer and over the course of over a month and a half, you will get to witness a new performance every single night.
A three day fiesta! The Festa Major del Raval takes place on the Rambla del Raval, where you can find concerts, flea markets, workshops and more. It prides itself on being incorporative of many cultures, with music and food from various parts of the world being showcased throughout the festival.
A unique festival and among the most anticipated Barcelona upcoming events, the Sala Montjuic takes place in an old castle that transforms into an outdoor cinema for a month! You can have a picnic and enjoy classics and independent cinema that run throughout the day.
A street festival, this one is one of the more extravagant of the Barcelona festivals. 25 streets in the Gracia district turn into mosaics, filled with designs of pirate ships, Jurassic landscapes and more! The festival starts off at Placa de la Vila de Gracia and ends with the castle of fireworks. There are tons of activities in the streets and solves the conundrum of ‘what to do in Barcelona’!
The Gothic Quarter’s annual ravelry, this festival is one of the oldest in the city, dating all the way back to 1859! During this time the entire Gothic Quarter comes alive. The festival involves a lot of drinking and celebrating, so if you are in the mood to have fun, this is it! (Image Credits)
A celebration that can be seen throughout the city, Fsta de la Merce or the day of the lady of mercy has been celebrated since the late 19th century. On this day you can see various paper statues and streets filled with parades and activities.
Another one of Barcelona’s experimental music festivals, the LEM is a festival that takes place in the Gracia district of the city. It is a festival where emerging artists play in tandem with established global artists. The festival is in its 24th iteration and is among the most revered Barcelona festivals.
This is more a market than a festival, yet the scale and popularity of the Fira de Llucia makes it an event to look forward to. Starting on 23rd of November of this year, the fair will have multiple stalls, activities and more.
Held in the Placa de Sagrada Familia, the annual festival has been taking place since the early 1960s and is a traditional Christmas market where you can buy decorations, food and more! It is one of the most notable Barcelona events.
Christmas in Barcelona is a notable one. The whole city gets decked out in lights and you can find a host of activities and events happening in and around the city.
Apart from these events that happen throughout the year, the city also has various other activities that take place in and around Catalonia. La Tomatina, the world famous tomato fight takes place in a city just four hours away from Barcelona. If you are more into sports, the city is home to two giants of Spanish football, FC Barcelona and RCD Espanyol. The former happens to be one of the biggest clubs in the world and the talismanic Lionel Messi regularly enchants crowds with his magic. You can catch a football game almost every other weekend and if you are lucky, you can catch a Champions League game on Tuesdays or Wednesdays!
When it comes to Barcelona festivals 2020, there are a plethora of options and you will never need to ask the question ‘What to do in Barcelona’!
Q. What is the biggest festival in Barcelona?
A. La Merce festival is the biggest the city of Barcelona hosts.
Q. What goes on in Barcelona during the summer?
A. The summer time means fiesta time and the city comes alive with various music and film festivals.
Q. Is December a good time to visit Barcelona?
A. Yes, the city experiences only three days of rain during this time period and the weather is a pleasant 15 degrees during the day time and 9 degrees during the night.
Q. How many days is the ideal time to explore Barcelona?
A. You can explore the city and attend various Barcelona festivals in under four days!
Q. What time do festivals start?
A. Usually most festivals begin around the nighttime.
Q. Will public transportation be operational during city wide events?
A. Yes, although certain streets will be closed and hence buses will be operational in different parts of the city.
Q. What time does the Sonar festival begin?
A. The music festival kicks off at night time around 8:30-9:30.
Q. What time does the day of Sant Joan festivities begin?
A. This is a festival that goes on throughout the day, however, the real festivities begin at night.
Q. When is the Circuit festival?
A. The festival runs for 10 days from 6th August to the 16th August and is the biggest LGBT festival in the world.
Q. When is the Monegros Desert Festival?
A. Among the most hotly anticipated Barcelona festivals 2020, the Monegros Desert Festival takes place on August 1st this year.