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The Best Barcelona City Breaks for 2018

Picture of Tara Jessop
Updated: 18 January 2018
Thinking of planning a trip to Barcelona this year but want to make sure you get the dates right? While there’s always something happening in Barcelona, it’s true that some moments of the year are particularly worth visiting for – or avoiding. Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway or a holiday with friends, here’s the ultimate guide to when to visit Barcelona this year.

February 9 – 16

While it is Valentine’s Day on February 14, this isn’t the only reason you should consider a trip at this time of the year (not least because locals don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day). This year Shrove Tuesday (aka Pancake Day) and Ash Wednesday fall on February 13 and 14 respectively. This means it’s Carnival time too! In Barcelona the celebrations are relatively tame and family-orientated however the carnival in nearby Sitges is renowned for being pretty crazy. In any case there will be plenty going on in Barcelona that week.

April 20 – 24, 2018

If you’re looking to impress your lover with a romantic trip to Barcelona, show off your local knowledge by visiting during Sant Jordi’s Day. The most romantic day of the Catalan calendar, Sant Jordi (Saint George) is the patron saint of Catalonia and on this day it is customary for couples to exchange books and roses. The city fills with book stalls and flower merchants which pop up on each street corner as the whole city celebrates love (and reading).

May 30 – June 4

Why not time your visit with the arrival of one of Europe’s best music festivals in Barcelona. Primavera Sound will be taking place from May 30 to June 4, 2018, and as always you expect to find some of the biggest names of the pop, rock, indie and electro music scenes playing at the festival. Tickets are already on sale now and at a discounted price until the full line-up is confirmed.

June 22 – 25

Without a doubt the loudest of the celebrations to take place in Barcelona, Sant Joan corresponds to the pagan midsummer celebrations which take place elsewhere. Officially the celebration of Saint John the Baptist (John = Joan) in the Catholic calendar, the day also marks the end of the school year and the arrival of the summer. The main celebrations take place on the evening of June 23, when large bonfires are lit across the city and on the beaches, with fireworks crackling throughout the night.

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Fireworks are an integral part of Sant Joan celebrations | © Ferran Legaz

September 21 – 24, 2018

When best to visit the city but when it’s celebrating…itself! La Mercè is the patron saint of Barcelona and she is celebrated every year on September 24. In the week running up to the Day of La Mercè there are numerous traditional celebrations, dances, processions and more. But the real show is on the day itself when the celebrations come to an end with a spectacular pyrotechnical show in front of the National Palace at Plaça d’Espanya.

October 19-22

What’s so special about these dates? Absolutely nothing, and that’s the reason it’s a great time to visit. Prices will be cheaper than during the summer and if you’re lucky the weather will still be mild (some years it can still be beach weather in October). Plus, autumn is one of the best times to enjoy seasonal treats such as wild mushrooms, artichokes, nuts and more. All in all, October is one of the nicest months to visit the Catalan capital.

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October is one of the best times to visit the city | © Alberto Cabello

December 6 -10

Like every year, December 6 and 8 are both Bank Holidays in Spain and in the minds of most locals, this is when the festive season really begins. Come share in the seasonal cheer by spending a weekend in Barcelona where you’ll be able to wander through the Santa Llucia Christmas fair, see Las Ramblas with its Christmas lights on and treat yourself to a warming mug of hot chocolate and churros.