Author: Shree Magdani
Barcelona is predominantly Catholic, which makes it a very exciting city to be in during the Easter festivities.With Spain being a Catholic country there are naturally a ton of festivities for the entire Semana Santa (Holy Week) so there’s a lot to see even if you arrive a bit earlier than Good Friday (30th March).
With the winter cold long gone and the overwhelming heat of summer yet to arrive, you’ve found the city’s most desirable climatic balance. Whether you’re clinking glasses in the city’s flooded squares or taking a sunset tour of Barcelona’s top attractions there’s hardly a better time to visit than Easter. Here we have a breakdown of all the fun activities that take place which you can dive into, and behave much like a local.
Palm Sunday 🌴
You will see a lot children proudly clutching their palm leaves on this day, a week before Easter, which have been gifted to them by their godparents. Boys receive tall palms (palmónes) and girls intricately woven palms (palmas). The weave is quite beautiful and takes a lot of skills to create. If you want to buy one, go to the market stands outside the Cathedral, Sagrada Familia or on Rambla Catalunya.
Eating a Mona De Pascua 🥚
Take a look at some of the beautiful chocolate window displays of the bakeries. The traditional cake is called Mona de Pascua. Pascua means Easter and Mona is the Moroccan word for gift. Again, it is the godparents who give this cake to the children on Easter Monday. This local tradition dates back to a time when godparents would buy their grandchildren simple sponge cakes with a painted hard boiled egg on top. It was traditionally given in Barcelona during Easter after Sunday mass. Today the cakes have taken on a whole new form. You’ll see them in bakery windows everywhere – towers of delicious cake layers mounted with chocolate figures, animals, famous characters, marzipan and more. You’ll at least have to get a photo, though many can’t resist buying one.
Plan ahead, stay prepared ✓
Because it is a long holiday weekend, many locals will head outside the city for a mini-break to neighbouring towns and cities. On the other hand, many tourist (Spanish and foreign) will be pouring into Barcelona for their vacation so be prepared for lots of visitors, and an international crowd. Queues for attractions will be very long so be fairly organised and pre-book your tickets online to avoid the long waits. We can arrange these for you at: www.activities.stay-u-nique.com.
If you are planning to shop, be aware that shops are closed on Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday. Some museums might have half day timetables so it is advised to check official website’s for opening hours in order to plan ahead.
Processions in the city
March 25th (EL PASO DE LA BORRIQUITA)
The first Easter procession of the season takes place in the Ciutat Vella (‘Old City’). El Paso de la Borriquita (‘the route of the little donkey’) commemorates the arrival of Jesus to Jerusalem. Here you will find many stalls selling the traditional bleached palm leaves and an eye-catching procession of floats and dressed up devotees.
Time: 12:00 noon.
Route: Plaça San Agustí, Hospital, La Rambla, Santa Ana, Portal del Ángel, Cucurulla, Portaferrisa, La Rambla, Hospital and Plaça San Agustín.
March 30th (LA PROCESIÓN DE LA VIRGEN DE LA MACARENA)
You’ll find this Barcelona Easter parade on Good Friday starting in the famous Raval area.
La Procesión de la Virgen de la Macarena (the procession of the Virgin of Hope of Macarena – patron saint of Barcelona) involves waves of tambourine bands playing through floats of all the important religious imagery associated with the holiday.
Time: 5:00 pm to 10:30 pm.
Route: Route: Plaça San Agustí, La Rambla, Santa Ana, Portal del Ángel, Arcs, Plaza Nova, Avenida Catedral, Boters, Pi, Plaza del Pi, Cardenal Casañas, Boqueria, Hospital y Plaça de San Agustín.
March 30th (PART 2)
This later-starting parade on the other side of Las Ramblas is good for (really) late risers.
It’s much the same as the other Barcelona Easter parade honouring its patron saint – the goal here I assume was simply to spread out crowds and create less chaos.
Time: 6:45 pm.
Route: Parroquia de San Jaime, Ferrán, Plaza San Jaime, Bisbe, Avenida de la Catedral, Boters, Pi, Plaza del Pi, Cardenal Casañas, Boquería, Ramblas y Ferrán.
Both processions beginning on Good Friday eventually meet at 8:00 pm in front of the Cathedral (Plaza de la Seu 20).
Sun, sea and sangria! ☀
In general, Barcelona Easter weather is quite pleasant – average temperatures hit 17°C (62°F) with lows dropping down to a manageable 8°C (47°F). With an average of eight hours of daily sunshine and only five days of rain you can probably leave your umbrella’s at home.
Plan your journey
-On Friday March 30th the metro closes at 2 am.
-On Saturday March the 31st it’s open all night while on the 1st and 2nd of April it closes at midnight.
-City buses and night buses run regularly just like the rest of the year. Consult the schedules at any bus stop for times and frequency.
For more information, please go to: https://www.tmb.cat/en/barcelona/operating-hours-metro-bus