With religious holidays, music festivals and sports tournaments filling Barcelona’s calendar, it’s hard pinning down which are the best of the best. Here’s our favourite events in Barcelona 2017.
Combine your sightseeing and your fitness goals in one fell swoop – Barcelona’s annual marathon takes its runners for a tour of the city and keeps hearts pumping. Beginning with the lush greenery of Montjuic Park, the route includes landmarks like La Pedrera and Sagrada Familia Cathedral. Spanning over 42,000km, it’s one of Europe’s more popular marathons.
Date: 12 March
Celebrate Barcelona’s most romantic day of the year with a loved one at this festival. Commemorating Saint Jordi, a man renowned for his romantic prowess, it is frequently compared to Valentine’s Day and includes an exchange of gifts between lovers – women give books to their loved ones, while men give roses. Spend time roaming the special holiday floral market at Las Ramblas and keep an eye out for traditional performances and art scattered throughout the city.
Date: 23 April
Image via F1 facebook
See the best racers in the world take on record-breaking speeds at the Grand Prix, the jewel of Formula 1. With twenty drivers at the top of their game competing for the title, there are plenty of covered stands away from the blistering heat for spectators to cheer on their favourites at the Circuit de Catalunya of Montmelo.
Dates: 12 – 14 May
If you’re a fan of indie music, there’s no event better than Barcelona’s own Primavera. This music festival is one of the biggest indie and alternative music festivals in Europe and always attracts incredible headliners, including stalwarts like Radiohead and Tame Impala. This year, the likes of Arcade Fire, Bon Iver, Frank Ocean, Grace Jones and The xx are going to be there – better get booking!
Dates: 29 May – 4 June
Image via Sónar facebook
Running for more than twenty years, Sónar Fest brings electronic music and all its subgenres to the Barcelona music scene. Combining music with multimedia art installations, performers for 2017 include Justice, Cashmere Cat, Nicolas Jaar and more. The festival also has a more professional side, where industry talks, workshops and networking events take place.
Dates: 15 – 17 June
As one of the most important religious holidays of the year, Corpus Christi is one of Barcelona’s most important and includes an unforgettable procession that brings the whole city to life. This 13th century holiday celebrates the Eucharist and has many cultural traditions associated with it, like l’ou com balla where people make eggs dance on fountain jets and people dressed as giants roam the streets.
Date: 19 June
Image via Pinterest
Celebrating the start of Summer, the Feast of San Juan falls on the Summer Solstice and is an exciting public festival with fireworks and street parties happening all over the city. Head to the beach early with a picnic and cava to watch the fireworks and listen to live music or make your way to the main city squares where you will catch costumed revellers with sparklers and fireworks being let off!
Dates: 23 – 24 June
This popular street festival is a week-long fiesta that you won’t want to miss! The streets will be filled with art installations, amazing decorations, food stalls, funfair games and rides, parades and live music! Make your way up-town to the Gràcia district for a true Catalan experience to remember!
Date: August (dates to be confirmed)
Image via Pinterest
Taking place towards the end of September, La Mercé turns Barcelona into a gigantic street party for a day. Held to honour the Patron Saint of Barcelona, the Virgin of Mercy, it hails the beginning of autumn with traditional fire runs, parades, performances and bottles of cava everywhere you look. With colourful folk characters dancing through roads and decorations abounding, it’s one you’ll want to bring your camera for.
Date: 25 September
Running for the 48th year in a row, the Barcelona International Jazz Festival is one of the world’s finest music festivals and blends together big names with the up and comers of the scene. Next year’s programme has just been announced including musicians like Asaf Avidan, Chucho Valdés, James Rhodes, Madeleine Peyroux. Put a swing in your step and brush up on your own skills at some of their master classes.
Dates: October – November