Events & Holidays
Throughout the year, Barcelona throws an array of fun and exciting festivals and events where both locals and visitors come together to eat, drink and celebrate. Below are some of the best and most famous ones that you may just get lucky enough to cross off of your bucket list…
Famous Annual Events in Barcelona
Epiphany – January 5th and 6th
Start the new year off right by being at least a small part of this city-wide tradition where Spaniards and Catalans recognize the arrival of the three kings to the Messiah’s manger by exchanging gifts. This is much like the traditional Christmas except with massive floats making their way through the streets of a grand parade filled with clowns, elves, acrobats and excited onlookers.
Formula One Spanish Grand Prix – May
Into fast cars and revving engines? Then head to Barcelona in the month of May for both of those and so much more! These three-day event draws in people from all over the world to watch races and see which one qualifies each round. A vibrant, lively and pulsating atmosphere seems to fill the air during this entire event.
Primavera Sound Festival – May & June
For music lovers, this one is an absolute must! An extremely popular alternative rock and dance festival will have you singing, dancing, drinking and mingling with fellow travelers and friendly locals all looking to have a good time. There is ALWAYS a
fantastic line up of artists so be sure to check www.primaverasound.com to see who will be there next!
Sala Montjuic – July & August
The summer is an incredible time to head to Barcelona as you will get the chance to join in on Sala Montjuic, where you’ll be invited to head to the Montjuic fortress for a romantic picnic along with a jazz concert followed by an open air cinema experience.
Bracelona is the city which offers tons of events, festivals and celebrations every year, find and explore more here.
If you have yet to decide when to head to beautiful Barcelona and know you want to make the most of your trip when you do go, consider planning the timing around these three amazing festivals. You definitely won’t be sorry…
Dia de Sant Jordi – April 23rd
In celebration of a man known in Catalan as Sant Jordi (St. George) who although spent many days in the English countryside slaying dragons, was dubbed patron saint of Catalonia and therefore given a festival. By far one of the most colorful festivals throughout all of Barcelona, nearly the entire length of Las Ramblas proceeds to turn into a gigantic flower stall. If you decide to not only gaze at the flowers, consider taking part in the tradition of the festival by, if you are a man, giving one of the flowers to a woman in your life or if a woman, buying the men a book.
Fiesta Major de Gracia – Mid August
By far the most famous district festivals of Barcelona, Fiesta Major de Gracia is a week long event where the streets proceed to be dotted with woodwork ornaments, paper mache statues and decorated lanterns along with concert concerts in the squares and plenty of food and drinking to go around. The bars and cafes get prepared for days of flowing beers, wines and cocktails to ensure a fun and memorable time for everyone participating.
Fiesta de la Merce – Late September
In honor of the former Our Lady the Virgin of Mercy who provided a deliverance from the locust outbreak in the year 1687, she was dubbed patron of the city leading to a festival that is still celebrated today. The days are filled with plenty of loud fireworks, concerts, food and overall celebration for the day at hand. Another great bonus of this event is the fact that there is free entrance to all of Barcelona’s museums on the 24th.
Before planning any activieties always mind the holidays which there are plenty in Barcelona!
The following is a list of additional the holidays you may encounter during your stay!
• 06 January: Three Kings Day
• 03 April: Good Friday
• 05 April: Easter Sunday
• 01 May: Labor Day
• 01 June: Local Holiday
• 24 June: St. John’s Day Festival
• 15 August: Assumption Day
• 11 September: National Day of Catalonia
• 24 September: La Merce Festival (biggest)
• 06 December: Constitution Day
• 08 December: Day of the Immaculate Conception
• 26 December: Saint Stephen’s Day/Boxing Day
Tips for Enjoying Barcelona’s Festivities
If you are lucky enough to head to Barcelona in the perfect timing of attending one of the many fantastic festivals or events throughout the year, be sure to take into consideration the following tips that will help to ensure you make the most out of your time in beautiful Barcelona…
Book Accommodation Early: As you can imagine, many of the events are extremely popular and attract not just for those in surrounding cities but throughout the rest of Europe and the world. To avoid extremely high rates and overall disappointment before even arriving in Barcelona, book your accommodation as early as possible. Rooms fill up quick and you don’t want to end up sleeping somewhere you won’t enjoy.
Plan Your Transportation: Whether you are flying into the Barcelona airport or taking a train or bus into the city, be sure to buy your tickets well in advance. If your timing is already cutting it close, the last thing you will want to find out is all the tickets have already been taken.
Getting to Barcelona
With Barcelona being one of the top destinations to head to during a journey throughout Europe, there are multiple ways in which to arrive there. Depending on your preferred method of travel, you may arrive in either train, plane or car.
There are 4 different train stations throughout Barcelona and several national, regional and international trains that come into the 4 stations…
Estacio de Barcelona Sants: This is the city’s main train station where you can be assured to arrive from nearly any major city throughout all of Europe including National, International and Regional trains.
Estacio de Franca: A beautiful building that allow for both National and Regional trains that connect to Barcelona.
Estacio de Passeig de Gracia: This train station allows for only Regional trains to come through.
Estacio de Placa de Catalunya: This train station allows for only Regional trains to come through.
Plane: Barcelona-El Prat Airport is the city’s main airport and has two terminals within it. Other airports include Girona, Reus and Lleida-Alguaire airports.
Regional: There are regional flights that leave daily and frequently from larger cities such as Madrid and are usually a fair price.
International: As a main transportation hub, there are dozens of flight coming into Barcelona from all over the globe.
Car: Located only 150 kilometers from the French border and connected to the French motorway network at the AP-7, NI-II and C-32 Barcelona motorway, there are plenty of available car options. From the south, the AP-7 and C-32 also enter the city via the Avinguda Diagonal. Many travelers find it much easier to drive than to fly or take the train so as to do some exploring on their own. With plenty of car parks right in the city, parking is never really a problem.
Getting to Barcelona from Amsterdam
By car: The journey between Amsterdam and Barcelona is approximately 1550 km long and takes 14 hours nonstop driving thus the trip can be done in one day if needed. One of the best and easiest way is following the path: Amsterdam, Antwerp, Lille, Paris, Bourges, Beziers, Girona, Barcelona. However, before planning the car drive, it is needed to consider any construction work on the main roads which would significantly increase the travel time.
By train: The journey from Amsterdam to Barcelona can be done in approximately 12 hours with a connection in Paris. The first step is taking a Thalys high speed train between Amsterdam Central and Paris Gare du Nord which takes just a bit more than 3 hours. It runs up to ten times daily and stops at Rotterdam, Antwerp and Brussels. The next step is transferring across Paris between Gare du Nord and Gare de Lyon. This step takes about 30 minutes using the RER D line passing just two stops. Otherwise it is also possible to take a taxi. The last step of the journey is taking a direct TGV train between Paris Gare de Lyon and Barcelona Sants which takes about 6,5 hours. From Barcelona Sants the city centre can be reached by metro, bus or train within 10 to 15 minutes.
By plane: Flight from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to Barcelona El Prat takes approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes and is the easiest and quickest way to reach the sunny Barcelona from Amsterdam. The airports in both cities can be reached easily by train, car or taxi. If you are planning to fly to Barcelona, the best avio companies to check for the offers are Vueling, Transavia, Iberia and British Airways.
Getting to Barcelona from Rome
By car: The journey between Rome and Barcelona is approximately 1350 km long and takes 13 hours nonstop driving thus the trip can be done in one day if needed. One of the best and easiest way is following the path: Rome, Florence, Pisa, Genoa, Montpellier, Narbonne, Girona, Barcelona. However, before planning the car drive, it is needed to consider any construction work on the main roads which would significantly increase the travel time.
By train: While the land route between Rome and Barcelona isn’t as direct as the flight path, it is still possible to take the train from Rome to Barcelona. You can’t do it directly, but you can take a train from Rome to Milan and from there get on an overnight train to Barcelona. Rome-Milan by train is roughly 3.5 hours on the high-speed Frecciarossa and then you’ll get on the Elipsos Salvador Dali overnight train – called a “Trenhotel” – from Milan to Barcelona. Milan-Barcelona takes about 14 hours. There are several stops along the way, but no train changes are required, so assuming you can sleep on trains you shouldn’t have any trouble sleeping for quite a bit of the trip. Trains leave Milan’s Centrale Station in the evening and reached Barcelona on early morning.
By plane: There is no a direct land route between Rome and Barcelona, although both cities lying at the same parallel but on two separate peninsulas lying next to each other. Flying, on the other hand, is about the most direct route possible – direct flights from both Fiumicino (FCO) and Ciampino (CIA) Airport will take you to Barcelona in less than two hours. On budget airlines like Ryanair and Vueling Airlines, you can find one-way flights from Rome to Barcelona for less than €40 (sometimes less than €20), and even on bigger airlines like Iberia one-way tickets can be had for less than €75. Round-trip tickets range from €40-120 (and up) depending on the season.
Getting to Barcelona from Brussels
The journey between Brussels and Barcelona is approximately 1350 km long and takes 12 hours nonstop driving thus the trip can be done in one day if needed. The trip is very similar as the one from Amsterdam. One of the best and easiest way is following the path: Lille, Paris, Bourges, Beziers, Girona, Barcelona. However, before planning the car drive, it is needed to consider any construction work on the main roads which would significantly increase the travel time.
By train: The best possible way to plan the train trip from Brussels to Barcelona is with a change in Paris: Brussels - Paris - Barcelona. The tickets from Paris to Barcelona are as cheap as 35 euro when buying them well in advance and no change of trains is needed. The trip in total takes around 10 hours.
By plane: The flight from Brussels to Barcelona takes 2 hours and can be as cheap as 30 euro, depending how well in advance the tickets are booked. Between Brussels and Barcelona are opperating Ryanair and Norwegian, often offering cheap offers for the trips. Other companies offering the flights are Iberia, British Airways and Brussels Airlines.
Transport From Barcelona Airports
The 4 different airports with Barcelona allow for arrivals to make a quick trip into the city with the use of cars, trains or buses.
Barcelona-El Prat Airport
Aerobus: This is a daily bus service that frequents every 10 minutes and services passengers between Placa de Catalunya and Barcelona-El Prat Airport. The journey time is typically 35 minutes.
RENFE Train: This train frequents every 30 minutes and services passengers between Barcelona Airport and the Renfe (Spanish Rail) stations at Sants. The journey time is typically 18 minutes.
TMB Bus: Leaving from Terminal 1 & Terminal 2, the 46 bus frequents every 25 minutes and runs between the airport and Pl. d’Espanya.
NITBUS Night Bus: Frequents every 20 minutes at night using the N17 night bus for Terminal 1 and the N16 night bus from Terminal 2.
Car: There is an option to either rent a car from the airport or to make use of the many city taxis there with a journey time into the city center being 20 minutes on average.
For more information visit their website at: http://www.barcelona-airport.com/
Girona – Costa Brava Airport
This airport is approximately 95 kilometers from Barcelona.
Barcelona Bus: This is a coach bus company that leaves from Barcelona Nord Bus Station.
For more information visit their website at: http://www.girona-airport.net/
Reus – Costa Daurada Airport
This airport is approximately 108 kilometers from Barcelona.
Hispano Igualadina Bus: This is a coach bus company that leaves from Sants Station.
For more information call their telephone at: +34 97 777 2204
Lleida – Alguaire Airport
This airport is approximately 170 kilometers from Barcelona.
RENFE Train: This is a train that leaves from Lleida Airport (www.renfe.es)
ALSA Bus: This is a coach bus company that leaves from Lleida Airport (www.alsa.es)
Public Transportation in Barcelona
The public transportation within Barcelona is extremely easy to use and convenient for all travelers, offering a wide range of different means of transportation throughout.Read more about the public transport in Barcelona ..
Even though the transport infrastructure in Barcelona is well developed and organised, be prepared for your trip fully by going through our selected tips for the best experience when travelling in Barcelona!
Keep An Eye on Your Belongings: In any major city, including Barcelona, there are certain characters out there hoping to take advantage of the many wallets, credit cards, cameras and other goods that are all the too easy to snatch up. If you can, leave most of your cash and electronics back at your accommodation to avoid pickpockets.
Carry Your Accommodation Address: When you are out at festivals partying, celebrating and drinking, it is easy to forget the name or address of your accommodation. If you are staying outside of the city center, it becomes even easier to do. To avoid not finding it at the end of the night, grab and carry a business card from the front desk with the address on it.
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