Festes Majors in Barcelona 2020

With another year coming to a close, we’re already thinking about 2020 and the celebrations it will bring with it. 

If you’ve not had the chance to experience a local festival in one of Barcelona’s many buzzing neighbourhoods, we’re sure that 2020 will be your year. With over 70 festivals set to be scheduled, you’ll be certainly spoilt for choice.

As 2020 is just around the corner, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite festes majorswith their preliminary dates so you can start planning your next trip!

Festa Major de Sant Antoni

Dates:17–26 January 2020

2019 was this festival’s debut year, so we’re sure its second year will be an event not to be missed. Enjoy a range of activities centred around the neighbourhood’s recently renovated market.

Festes de Santa Eulàlia

Dates:7–12 February 2020 (tbc)

Coinciding with the day of former patron saint of Barcelona (12 February), expect to see the centre of Barcelona come alive with castellers(human towers) and an array of parades in her honour.

Festa Major de la Sagrada Família

Dates: April–May 2020 (tbc)

Experience this renowned Gaudi masterpiece with over a week of various events and activities suitable for all ages. 

Festa Major del Casc Antic

Dates:June 2020 (tbc)

No one can deny that Barcelona’s old quarter has a unique charm – so why not discover its more traditional side. Head to Sant Pere and Santa Caterina i la Ribera to see castellers, parades of giant puppets and the modestsardanes dance.

Festa Major del Raval

Dates:June 2020 (tbc)

In honour of the neighbourhood’s patron saint, this bright and colourful festival in the centre of Barcelona stands out thanks to its castellers and artisans selling local craft products.

Festa Major del Poble-sec

Dates:July 2020 (tbc)

The festival of Poble-sec will take you on a journey through its most emblematic, local locations, from the Semblador square and the El Molino theatre. Be sure not to miss its blazing correfoc fire run.

Festa Major de Gràcia

Dates: 15–22August 2020

Perhaps the most eagerly awaited of all the festes majors of Barcelona, discover how the streets of Gràcia are transformed by the local residents with decorations of every colour.

Festa Major de Sants

Dates:August–September 2020 (tbc)

From concerts, decorations and correfocs, the Festa Major de Santstransforms this residential and professional district for a week of celebrations in honour of patron saint Bartholomew. 

Festa Major de Poblenou

Dates:11–20 September 2020

One of the largest of the festivals with around 500 activities, this event is not to be missed. Discover the magnificent cercavilaparade, sign up to run the 5 or 10 km race or take part in some of the artistic workshops that run alongside this celebration.

Festa Major de la Rambla

Dates:September 2020 (tbc)

This special celebration of one of Barcelona’s most renowned landmarks sees the façades of its buildings decorated with fresh flowers. What’s more, museums in the area are free during these celebratory dates.

Festes de la Mercè

Dates:18–24 September 2020

In honour of the patron saint of Barcelona, the entire city comes together to celebrate with popular culture, live music, castellers,correfocs and much more. There’s something for everyone at a range of locations throughout the city centre.

Festa Major de la Barceloneta

Dates:September 2020 (tbc)

In this beachside festival that celebrates the best of one of Barcelona’s most traditional neighbourhoods. We recommend catching a havaneresconcert (colonial songs sung by local groups) on the beach.

Is the festa majorof your favourite neighbourhood missing? Don’t worry; very soon the entire list of Barcelona’s local festivals will be published here, where you will also be able to check their exact locations on the map. 

We hope to see you there!

The Best Japanese Restaurants in Barcelona

In the last few years, izakayas (small Japanese taverns serving food and alcohol) have been popping up left, right and centre in Barcelona. These charming and welcoming eateries serve a lot more than just sushi and often specialise in one particular dish. 

It might not be the first thing you think of when planning a trip to Barcelona, but we’re sure by the time you finish this article you’ll be craving Japanese food.

What’s more, in cosmopolitan Barcelona you’ll find not only the best of Japan, but also a range of exotic and exciting fusions. Read on to discover Japanese tapas, steaming-hot ramen, fresh sushi, okonomiyakiand much more!

Mosquito
Carrer dels Carders, 46

Located close to Carrer Princesa and the Picasso museum, you’ll find Mosquito tucked away on a side street. Choose from a range of freshly baked dumplings and small Japanese tapas washed down with a pint of local craft ale. We recommend getting there early to put your name down for a table, as this quaint tavern can get particularly crowded.

Ramen-ya Hiro
Carrer de Girona, 164

If you’re looking to try the best ramen in Barcelona, you’ve come to the right place. Rumour has it that their speciality stock is slow-cooked over 48 hours. With seating for less than 20 customers, get there early and join the queue before opening time. Trust us, it’s worth the wait!

Sato I Tanaka
Carrer del Bruc, 79

For the true sushi experience that you’re not afraid of paying for, we’d recommend this discreet and modest restaurant. The mere 15 seats are arranged around the bar and kitchen so you can watch in awe as chef Sato delicately prepares each piece of sushi. Discover the art of sushi preparation in this tranquil atmosphere and impeccable service. 

Yatai
Carrer del Comte d’Urgell, 112

Step into Tokyo with this beautifully decorated restaurant located in the Eixample area of Barcelona. Capturing the essence of day-to-day life in Japan with a varied range of typical dishes, we’d recommend trying the curry, takoyaki (bite-size fried octopus) and donburi dishes (grilled meat in breadcrumbs or fish served on a bed of steaming rice).

Can Kenji
Carrer del Rosselló, 325

If you’re feeling adventurous and in the mood to try something unique, why not drop by the restaurant Can Kenji. Serving simple yet exquisite dishes that combine the best of fresh, local Catalan ingredients with traditional Japanese cuisine, we’re sure you won’t be disappointed. 

Fan Shoronpo Ramen
Carrer de Sèneca, 28

Specialising in steaming-hot bowls of every type of ramen, including ramen for vegetarians, Fan Shoronpo is a perfect choice for these chilly autumn nights. Be sure to try their speciality dumplings filled with hot stock.

Bouzu
Ronda de Sant Antoni, 26

A cosy Mediterranean-style izakayaclose to the San Antoni market, Bouzu specialises in Japanese-inspired tapas. Offering a lot more than just sushi, we’d recommend the okonomiyaki – an omelette-style dish from the region of Hiroshima made with grilled egg, noodles and vegetables topped with sweet Japanese barbeque sauce. Dig in!

Yoi Yoi
Avinguda Diagonal, 383

A great central location, this restaurant that specialises in udondishes can be found on the corner of Passeig de Gràcia/Diagonal. These thick wheat noodles are served in hot stock and can be combined with a range of delicious toppings. Don’t miss the selection of second hand Japanese books and vinyls and Japanese Asahi beer served on tap!

Recharge your batteries after a long day of sightseeing with these tasty options! Let us know, what’s your favourite Japanese restaurant in Barcelona?

A Guide to Christmas Concerts in Barcelona

The nights are drawing in earlier, the mornings are chillier and soon lights of every colour will illuminate the streets of Barcelona. 

This can only mean one thing! Christmas is almost upon us.  And if you’re spending Christmas in Barcelona this year, we can recommend a different plan to ensure you make the most of time with your loved ones. Amidst the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping and preparing for the many family gatherings and meals, take some time out to enjoy a unique musical experiences.

christmas concerts in barcelona

We’ve compiled this short guide to concerts during the festive season for you to sit back and be regaled by local choirs and orchestras. What better way to get in the festive mood!

Christmas on Broadway

Where: L’Auditori

When: Friday 20 and Saturday, 21 December 2019

Join the Symphonic Orchestra of Barcelona on a journey through the musicals of Broadway in a fantastic gala show to kick off the festive season in style. With music from works by Rodgers and Hammerstein (2015), Lloyd Webber (2017) and Bernstein (2018), there’s something for everyone.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Where: Gran Teatre del Liceu

When: Saturday, 21 and Sunday, 22 December 2019

Enjoy this Christmas classic surrounded by loved ones. Music by Albert Guinovart together with Symphony Orchestra of the Gran Teatre del Liceu and the Amics de la Unió children’s choir.

Star Wars & OCM: Original Soundtracks by John Williams

Where: El Palau de la Música Catalana

When: Thursday, 19 and Saturday, 21 December 2019

Relive some of John William’s most emblematic soundtracks from the big screen including Star Wars, E.T., Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, Schindler’s List. We’re sure that you’ll laugh, cry and be entertained by the favourites of this renowned and prize-winning composer.

Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci

Where: Gran Teatre del Liceu

When: Various dates from 5–22 December 2019

This December enjoy a unique double opera session of two acclaimed Royal Opera House productions. These two Italian classics set in the 1950s will be performed side by side in what is sure to be an epic evening of emblematic opera.

The Magic World of Hans Zimmer

Where: L’Auditori

When: Wednesday, 25 December 2019

What better way to spend the most magical day of the year than enjoying music from some of the most epic films of the century. From The Lion King, Gladiator, Pearl Harbour, Pirates of the Caribbean and many more, bring this special day to a close surrounded by your loved ones.

St. Stephen’s Choral Concert: Christmas at the Palau

Where: El Palau de la Música Catalana

When: Thursday, 26 December 2019

Take part in this festive tradition of Catalonia with this unique concert held every St. Stephen’s Day. The charming melodies of the Orfeó Català and a combination of choirs are sure to bring the whole family together in an enchanting venue.

If you’re spending Christmas season in Barcelona, we’re sure one of these magical concerts will make for an unforgettable experience with your loved ones.

8 Books Set in Barcelona that you will love

Many writers have chosen Barcelona as the backdrop to their novel over the years and many have written guides to its streets, its secrets and its past. And it is true that Spain’s cultural capital lends well to the page: from historical dramas, post-war sagas and tales of the Barcelona bourgeoisie to anecdotes, ghost stories and legends.

We’ve compiled this list of 8 books for you to discover another side of Barcelona:  these novels will take you back in time to the Barcelona of the past, uncover its secrets and help you get to know its people and its culture.

Perfect for enjoying a beer or coffee on a sun-drenched terrace, when topping up your tan at the beach or on your journey to Barcelona. Just sit back and enjoy this literary tour of Spain’s cultural capital with these 8 books set in Barcelona.

The City of Marvels by Eduardo Mendoza

Set during the years between Barcelona’s Universal Expositions (1886–1926), we follow the footsteps of the protagonist Onofre Bouvil – an immigrant, deliverer of anarchist propaganda and hair-tonic seller. In a Barcelona on the cusp of cultural evolution, discover how this ordinary man’s ambition takes him to powerful heights.

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

This bestselling novel and first of the Cemetery of Forgotten books trilogy is set in a 1945 Barcelona. It is in this cemetery that the novel’s protagonist finds an unusual book that is to change life as he knows it.

What’s more, fans of the saga can visit the parts of Barcelona that inspired Zafón’s stories on one of the many “Shadow of the Wind” literary tours that take place around the city. 

The Cathedral of the Sea by Ildefonso Falcones

This historical drama set in 14th-century Barcelona takes readers on a journey through the construction of the city’s magnificent Santa María del Mar cathedral. A gripping tale of love, family and revenge, we’re sure you won’t be able to put it down.

The Time of the Doves by Mercè Rodoreda 

Written during her time of exile from Catalonia, Mercé Rodoreda’s bestseller is written in an unusual stream of consciousness style. This powerful and incredibly moving book tells the tale of normal girl named Natalia – known as La Colometa– during the civil war and post-war in Barcelona. In Catalan the book is named after Gràcia’s “Plaça del Diamant” which can be visited today.

We Had Won the War by Esther Tusquets

This bestselling novel set in post-Civil War Barcelona uncovers a perspective that is often excluded from Spanish war narrative: that of the winners. Through the author’s own memoir, she relates her experience of growing up among the Francoist bourgeoisie and her struggle to find her own place.

I’ll Give You the Earth by Chufo Llorens

This story of a young peasant boy set within the city walls paints a picture of medieval Barcelona. Discover this story of impossible love, passion, ambition and betrayal in the 11thcentury.

Un senyor de Barcelona (A Gentleman of Barcelona) by Josep Pla 

Available only in Catalan and Spanish, this biography by Josep Pla relates the life of Rafael Puget, a member of the Barcelona bourgeoisie through family portraits, anecdotes and memories.

Mysteries of Barcelona by Ernesto Milá 

This non-fiction guide uncovers long-lost facts and secrets of Barcelona. Divided into three sections that cover places, people and unusual traditions, this book is perfect for those who are looking to discover the other side of Barcelona.

We love reading about this wonderful city and we hope you also enjoy discovering its long-lost stories and uncovering its many secrets. Tell us, what’s your favourite book about Barcelona?