You are going to spend the first week of april in Barcelona? Good news for you, you will be in one of the best cities in the World at one of the best time due to Easter. Semana Santa, literally “Holy Week”, is one of the most important holiday seasons in Spain. Because of Barcelona is such a Cosmopolitan city, it maybe does not reach the dimensions of other cities in Spain which celebrate this Christian feast more eccentric than Barcelona, e.g. Sevilla, which became famous for it’s church parade. But anyways, Barcelona is for a lot reasons very visitable during this time of the year. In 2012 Easter time starts with Palm Sunday (Domingo de Ramos) on the 1st of April, Good Friday (Viernes Santo) is on the 6th of April and it ends on Easter Monday (Lunes de Pascua) on the 8th of April.
This article will give you several helpful tips and suggestions how you could spend your time in Barcelona during this time of the year and what attractions you should not miss.
The escape from the city
At Easter more than half a million citizens of Barcelona leave the city to spend the large weekend in the surroundings of Barcelona to relax and enjoy these days with the family. Because of many Barcelonans leave Barcelona by car this mass exodus with unavoidable traffic ja mis called “Operación Salida” which means “operation exit”.
Parades and processions
You shouldn’t miss the colourful and artistical parades which take place especially on Plam Sunday. One of the best-known procession is “El Paso de la Borriquita” in the Ciutat Vella, commemorating the arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem on a donkey. All over the parade you can find stalls in the street selling traditional bleached palm fonds while the floats dressed up participants are passing by.
But this is just the beginning of a week full of devotional parades and processions which take place in the Barrio Gótico and along the famous Las Ramblas.
On Good Friday the Christian religion dictate not to eat meat, thus this is a great opportunity for all seafood lovers to enjoy the unique seafood kitchen of Barcelona.
In addition the bakeries and chocolaterías all over Barcelona are doing a great job creating delicious sweets e.g. Bunyols, Torrijas or Mona de Pascua. Original, the Mona de Pascua was a cake made out of marzipan especially for Easter. Nowadays you can buy the cake in various forms, some of them are also made out of chocolate.
Different types of celebrating Easter in BCN
Beside the typical Catalan traditions to Easter you can also find usages from different parts of Spain. If you e.g. searching for a Little bit of Andalusian atmosphere,you haveto check out the borough L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, here is the right place for you thanks to its significant number of original Andalusians. It’s said, that the procession which is unique for Barcelona, started in 1977 by a small group of homsick Andalusians. These processions are normally hold on Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. So you have enough chances to be there and watch this exciting spectacle.
Opening hours on holidays
Shops are closed on Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday. Smaller shops for daily needs can be open. Holy Thursday is not a public holiday. Museums and other attractions are open during the holidays. Because of Monday is a holiday, the museums are open and don’t have their usual day off.
Public transport during Easter
Metro and buses are in operation during the holidays, it is the normal weekend and holiday schedule. Also you will find a taxi at any time, even if there will be high demand.
Weather in Barcelona while Easter
The weather around Easter time is characterized by becoming longer and warmer days. But it can still be a little bit cold and rain from time to time. In particular, when Easter is very early but fortunately this will not be the case this year.