Spending Easter in Barcelona can be a great idea. Since it takes place on the beginning of spring, between March 25 and April 2, the weather on Easter week is already quite mild (especially for anyone from the UK or any northern country). But what makes the visit even more exciting, is that you will be able to discover some of the Catalan and Spanish traditions for what's known as the Holly Week.
Even though Easter in Barcelona is less religious and traditional than in other parts of Spain like Sevilla, there are still quite a few processions in several parts of the city (and the good thing is there won't be too many people). If you wish to see one or more of them, we would recommend you to go to Sant Jaume Church, the Barcelona Cathedral, Santa Maria del Mar or even Las Ramblas on Palm Sunday (the one before Easter week) or on Good Friday. However, on Holy Thursday there also is the Procession of Silence of Badalona, one of the most impressive and old ones.
One of the things you need to keep in mind is that Holy Thursday is not a public holiday in Catalonia but Good Friday and Easter Monday are, so most shops will be closed. Palm Sunday is also the day children take out their intricate palm leaves so they get blessed with holy water.
However, the most important day of the Holly Week in Catalonia is probably the Easter Monday. Especially for children. It is known as “Dia de la mona” in Catalan and on this day, Godparents give a “Mona de Pasqua” to their godchildren. A Mona de Pasqua is a dessert or a cake that has changed and evolved throughout the years. Many years ago, it was a ring-shaped cake made with egg and sugar and it also had boiled eggs on top. Nowadays, while you can still find the traditional “monas”, the popular ones are modern cakes that have chocolate sculptures and chocolate eggs on top, as well as action figures around, for the children to play with them. You should definitely go to a bakery and try some… not only children love them.
Barcelona, as usual, still has a lot to offer to those who prefer not to get involved in religious acts. You will be able to visit all the emblematic buildings, monuments and locations, such as La Pedrera, the Ramblas, the Camp Nou or the Sagrada Familia. However, we would still recommend to check timetables for those days and book tickets in advance if possible.
Shopping is another great activity you can do while in Barcelona. If you make sure to check the opening hours of the shops to know which days they are open during the Easter week, you can enjoy a great day of shopping in the city. Passeig de Gràcia and Portal de l'Àngel are probably the best streets to do so, if you are looking for all kinds of clothing. However, if you prefer special little shops and local products, we recommend you to get lost in the streets of the Gothic Quarter and the Raval district. You'll find many hidden gems!
We also suggest you stop to soak up the sun in Parc de la Ciutadella or take a relaxing walk on the beach after a good lunch. And if you want to enjoy a beautiful sunset, go up to the Montjuïc area or the Bunkers del Carmel. It can be the perfect ending to a day of tourism in Barcelona.
Uma Suites offers you the possibility to top your stay in Barcelona with great accommodation: modern and beautiful apartments in the city centre.
Post photo: Toa Heftiba
Header photo: Camille Minouflet