The Top 10 Things to Do in Barcelona This Spring

Spring unfolding in Barcelona
Spring unfolding in Barcelona | © robin robokow / Flickr
Tara Jessop

While there’s always something going on in the Catalan capital, there’s no denying that come springtime, the city really blossoms. Here are some of the best things to see and do in Barcelona when the weather starts to warm up.

The Day of Saint Jordi

One of the most unique Catalan festivities, the Day of Saint Jordi is an homage to the patron saint of Catalunya, Saint George – known as Jordi in Catalan. On the 23rd of April each year, it’s customary for men to buy a red rose for their partners while women offer a book in return. In fact, Saint Jordi’s Day is the origin of World Book Day, celebrated worldwide on April 23rd. The streets fill with street vendors selling both types of gifts, and there are processions and celebrations in every neighbourhood.

A book stall for Sant Jordi

Barcelona Design Week

Fast becoming one of the foremost design events in Europe, the Barcelona Design Week celebrated its 10th anniversary last year. The week-long event – which brings together businesses and professionals from the industry – includes debates, workshops, presentations and exhibitions at the cutting-edge of design and innovation. The event will take place in the relatively new Barcelona Design Museum in the up-and-coming Poblenou neighbourhood from June 2–12, 2017.

Barcelona Design Museum, Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes, 37, Barcelona, Spain, +34 932 56 68 00

Brunch in the City

Another sure sign that spring has arrived is the beginning of Brunch in the City, formerly known as Brunch Electronik. Running every other Sunday from March to June, the event takes place inside the Poble Espanyol model village on Montjuïc hill. The lineup for this spring includes world-famous DJs and producers such as Joy Orbison, Dekmantel and Maceo Plex. The party kicks off at 4 pm and includes street-food stalls and even a Petit Brunch corner so that kids can have fun too.

Poble Espanyol, Av Francesc Ferrer i Guardia, 13, Barcelona, Spain

Primavera Sound

Springtime marks the arrival of festival season in Barcelona and no other festival best marks the season than Primavera Soundprimavera meaning spring in Spanish. Running for five days from May 31–June 4, 2017, the festival lineup boasts over 200 different acts, including the XX, Bon Iver, Frank Ocean, Romare, Flying Lotus and Aphex Twin. Tickets usually sell out before the start of the festival, so be sure to book ahead.

Sónar Festival

If Primavera Sound attracts an eclectic mix of genres, from pop-rock to folk, Sónar Festival is all about electronic music. One of the largest and most respected events of its kind in the world, Sónar is divided into two parts: Sónar by Day and Sónar by Night. The daytime events take place in the Fira de Montjuïc, while at night, the party moves on to the Fira de Gran Via on the outskirts of the city. Sónar is usually one of the craziest festivals to take place in the city, and outside the main event, the Off Sónar parties in clubs and bars around the area are worth checking out as well. This festival takes place June 15–17, 2017.

At Sónar Festival

The Night of the Museums

Once a year in May, over 80 museums and cultural centres across Barcelona and neighbouring towns open their doors to the public for free in the evening. From 7 pm to 1 am, discover the city’s most famous cultural institutions like never before thanks to the Nit dels Museus. Many museums put on special events for the occasion, including guided tours, concerts and presentations. The Night of the Museums is incredibly popular, so don’t miss it.

D’A Film Festival

The D’A Film Festival is Barcelona’s premier festival of cinema d’auteur, or art-house cinema, and features work by internationally recognised directors as well as showcasing emergent directors with less than three films in their repertoire. Screenings take place at six venues across the city, and there are talks and workshops organised throughout the festival. This year, be sure not to miss Marília Rocha’s A Cidade Onde Envelheço and Mike Mell’s 20th Century Women. D’A Film Festival will take place April 27–May 7, 2017.

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