Come to Barcelona on the eve of the 23rd June and you won’t be able to miss the spectacular celebrations happening for the Revetlla de Sant Joan. Considered to be one of biggest holidays of the year in Barcelona, the streets come alive with people and the constant crack of fireworks spiralling overhead throughout the city.
The origin of the Revetlla de Sant Joan
Whilst the actual holiday falls on the 24th June, a bank holiday in Catalonia, the celebrations all happen the night before. This is in order to celebrate the longest day of the year – otherwise known as Summer Solstice and considered to be the start of summer. Summer Solstice has always been an important tradition dating back to ancient Pagan rituals when people believed in the spiritual importance of both fire and the sun. Here in Catalonia we combined that with the celebration of the birth of Sant Joan, meaning it is still marked by symbolic customs.
As well as fire, people believe in the special powers of water and herbs on this night. For this reason you may see people going for a midnight dip in the sea as it’s thought to keep you healthy all year round. Herbs are also thought to become more powerful in their curative features on Sant Joan, especially Thyme, Rosemary and Verbena.
A night of firecrackers and bonfires
As mentioned above, fire is believed to have an extraordinary power on this night of the year, being thought to chase away evil spirits. This means the city comes alive with loud firecrackers and bonfires going on until the early hours. In fact, each city neighbourhood creates their own bonfire in which they throw old furniture, another old tradition that is thought to bring you good luck over the year. In the days leading up to the Revetlla de Sant Joan, little firecracker stands pop up all over the city for people to buy their supplies.
Celebrate la Revetlla de Sant Joan 2018 in Barcelona
Whilst there are many celebrations happening throughout the city, the neighbourhood of Barceloneta has an especially wide array of activities. Here you will find people partying until dawn, amidst an array of live music, banging firecrackers and bright burning bonfires. Beach bars set up temporary stands for revellers to stock up on food and drink over the night, and you can also find activities around the neighbourhood. These can include anything from fireworks displays with “diables” (dancing devils) and “dracs” (dragons) to beautiful orchestras getting people in the mood for a great night. If you head down to Barceloneta beach you can be guaranteed to find plenty of things to entertain you for the night.
You can check the program of Revetlla de Sant Joan 2018 in Barceloneta here
Don’t forget to try the Coca de Sant Joan!
To mark the occasion, people eat Coca de Sant Joan, the traditional food of the celebration. A cake that can be topped with a variety of different things including candied fruit, pine nuts or crackling.
There’s no doubt about it, the Revetlla de Sant Joan is one of the most magical nights of the year to be in the city of Barcelona. If you want to make that night even more special why not check out www.bizflats.com to book yourself the perfect accommodation in Barcelona.
Have you got your tickets for Sónar 2018? is one of those questions that you’re bound to have been asked lately. As a city, Barcelona has a deep love for music and partying, and therefore it’s no wonder that Sónar, a global reference for music festivals, is considered one of the most highly anticipated social events in the Catalan city.
What will you find in Sónar 2018?
Founded in 1994, Sónar is a three-day electronic music festival dedicated to creativity, technology and business. It is well known as a reference for international festivals by combining a carefully curated cultural offering, and mixing in avant-garde experimentation with electronic music and latest technology trends.
The 2017 Barcelona edition attracted over 123,000 attendees from over 100 countries. The festival is hosted in two different locations in the city: Sónar by Day is hosted in the city center at Plaça Espanya in Fira Montjuïc, and Sónar by Night is hosted a little further out at Fira Gran Via L’Hospitalet.
Sónar 2018 coincides with the festival’s 25th anniversary, and is sure to be a big one! To be hosted 14th June to 16th June 2018, big headliners have been announced already, such as Diplo, Gorillaz, Black Coffee, Amp Fiddler, Tony Allen, Thom Yorke, and more, for tickets and the full line-up click here. Also, keep an eye out for the immersive exhibition, which showcases the festival’s visual history in their 25-year journey so far.
Apart from raving to music by DJs and enjoyment, there is also a massive business and educational aspect to Sónar 2018. If you’re an industry insider, these may pique your interest: discussion panels by notable speakers to share the latest insights and developments. MarketLab, where creators can show the latest innovative technology projects they have developed; workshops and demos for those curious to learn more about music and technology. Networking events so that artists, investors, and start-ups can meet. You can see the organisors of Sónar take music and partying very seriously, and their passion for technology and business shines through.
What else can I do while in town for Sónar 2018 ?
With so many people in town, clubs and nightlife outside of the festival always have lots of events and performances on too, keep your eyes peeled for posters and flyers around town.
If you’re passionate about art, then a visit to MACBA to check out the latest contemporary art exhibitions is a must, or any of our other world-class museums, check here our recommendations for art lovers.
Only in town for a few days and are short on time? You’ll want to squeeze the most out of it with our 3-day and 5-day Barcelona guides, to make sure you tick off all the most important monuments and sights, like Park Güell, Sagrada Família and more.
And lastly, to make the most out of your trip for Sónar 2018, you’ll want to make sure you’re staying in some centrally located accommodation so that you can travel with ease within Barcelona. Check out our full online offering now at http://www.bizflats.com
Primavera Sound is an unmissable event in Barcelona. In our eyes, the arrival of summer in Barcelona is marked by a few things: rising temperatures and glorious blue skies, Ciutadella Park and Barceloneta slowly starting to fill up with sunlight lovers soaking in the rays, dinner times getting pushed back later and later as the days get longer, and the streets coming alive with life. The inauguration event to officially kick off summer? Well, we like to think that that’s Primavera Sound Music Festival.
What is Primavera Sound?
Primavera Sound is one of Europe’s most popular music festivals, and is hosted annually in Barcelona. This year it’s to be held May 30 – June 3, 2018, and over 190,000 partygoers are expected. The organisers of Primavera Sound pride themselves on carefully curating a mix of music styles and genres, with performances by both well-established artists and smaller acts that are just emerging, so that the audience can jam out to their favourites and also discover new music. El Pais says the music festival is “an integral part of Barcelona”, and La Vanguardia even went so far to rate it as “one of the best festivals in the world”. This year’s line up for 2018 was recently announced, and includes big headliners like Björk, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Migos, Arctic Monkeys, Lorde and A$AP Rocky.
Apart from the music, the location of the music festival plays a key part in the experience. The home of Primavera Sound is Parc del Fòrum, a massive waterfront park that overlooks the sea. With the glorious warm weather in May, there is no better feeling than swaying with the crowd, friends by your side, Aperol Spritz in hand, and watching the sun set on the Barcelona coastline, with the cool sea breeze in your hair… We already can’t wait.
What else can I do while in town for Primavera Sound?
Now that we’ve convinced you to come to Barcelona for Primavera Sound, you may be wondering what other things you can do while you’re here in the beautiful city of Barcelona, and to take full advantage of your travels here. Well, you’ll be spoilt for choice! No matter what you like there’s something for everyone.
For the foodies, you may wish to explore the rich gastronomic scene – plus all that dancing at Primavera Sound is sure to leave you with a great appetite. Perhaps a visit to the famous La Boqueria market on La Rambla? Or tapas-bar hopping in the well-known El Raval neighbourhood? Or you could take advantage of the beautiful weather and have a paella by the sea in one of our many beachside “xiringuitos”.
For those knowledge-hungry visitors, a visit to one of our world-class museums cannot be missed. Whether it’s arts or history, there are a huge variety of educational museums all around Barcelona.
And of course, there are a few historical sights that must be checked off one’s bucket list while in Barcelona, even if your legs are sore from dancing all day and night: a visit to Gaudí’s Sagrada Família, or a stroll through the scenic Park Güell will complete your Barcelona trip. If you’re really squeezed for time during your trip here for Primavera Sound, check out our three-day and five-day travel guides.
Are you attending Primavera Sound this year? What acts are you most excited for and what other things do you plan on doing in Barcelona? Let us know if we’ve missed anything!
To buy tickets and view the full-line up, visit the official Primavera Sound website… Be warned tickets sell out fast, so get yours before it’s too late!
Mobile World Congress Barcelona 2018 is happening once more! You’re back in town again for one of the world’s biggest technological conferences, which this year takes place 26th February to 1st March at Fira Gran Via and Fira Monjuïc. There are new touristic attractions in town waiting for you to see, and also plenty of events and parties these days too. Check out this handy guide for things that you can’t miss!
New and old sights to visit during the Mobile World Congress Barcelona 2018
After a long day in a conference hall, there’s nothing better than to stretch those legs and get some fresh evening air. A visit to UNESO World Heritage site Casa Vicens is absolutely recommended; its doors were only just opened to the public for the first time in 130 years last winter.
Of course, if you didn’t get a chance to visit it yet, Gaudí’s Casa Batlló is stunning in the night, the myriad of coloured glittering lights almost bring the building to life. Sagrada Família after dark is also hauntingly beautiful, with the colossal structure illuminated as it looms over the rest of Barcelona. With Gaudí’s distinctive modernist style, as showcased in all three buildings above, it’s easy to see how he’s considered as one of Spain’s most renowned architects.
If you’re keen to take in more historical sights during your stay at Mobile World Congress Barcelona 2018, check out our Barcelona in 5 days, 3 days and 1 day travel guide.
Music events during the Mobile World Congress Barcelona 2018
Watch an opera performance at the spectacular Gran Teatre de Liceu. With it’s magnificent high ceilings, plush red curtains and opulent gold detailing, it is only fitting that such a grand venue would play host to one of the greatest love stories of all time, Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”. Showing on the evening of Tuesday 27th February.
If you’re aching for some music that you can move your body to, American pop star Jason Derulo will be performing at Sant Jordi club on the night of Monday 26th February, his top 40 hits will have you tearing up the dance floor.
Barça vs Girona soccer match during the Mobile world congress Barcelona 2018
Arriving a few days early in Barcelona? You’re in luck; on Sunday 25th February watch FC Barcelona and Girona battle it out in one of the world’s most famous football stadiums – Camp Nou. There’s even a tour and museum that showcases memorabilia and trophies for those big football fans.
Where to eat after Mobile World Congress Barcelona 2018
Tucked away on the famous Passeig de Gràcia, El Nacional is a feast for your taste buds and eyes alike, and the perfect casual dinner spot for after the Mobile World Congress Barcelona 2018. Originally constructed in 1870 as a textile factory, the 8,500 square foot space has been transformed into an all-new gastronomic heaven with a Wes Anderson-esque retro flair. With four culinary areas and four specialised bars, there’s plenty to choose from, including tapas, cold cuts, cheeses, oysters, cocktails and more.
If you’re a fan Spain’s most loved rice dish, paella, check out our recommendations for Best Paellas in Barcelona. If you’ve got some important clients from Mobile World Congress Barcelona 2018 to host, there’s plenty of Michelin-starred restaurants that will wow your companions, check out our guides for Barcelona and Catalonia here.
Where to party after Mobile World Congress Barcelona 2018
Whether it’s just to grab a post-conference drink, or if you want to party until 6am, Port Olimpic’s glitzy beach-front bars and clubs are always pumping, no matter what day of the week. You’ll find a cosmopolitan crowd dancing and drinking the night away at places like Opium, Carpe Diem, Shoko and Pacha.
Also recommended are Bling Bling and Luz de Gas in upper Diagonal area, these are places to see and be seen, put on your best threads and they’ll have you wrapping up the Mobile World Congress Barcelona 2018 on an absolute high! Check out our Facebook page for the latest updates on which parties to go to, or check out this article on Barcelona nightlife.
Mobile World Congress 2018 will be a very busy time for Barcelona, we highly suggest booking accommodation in advance. Check out our short-term rentals here and book your apartment today.
Barcelona New years eve is around the corner. Where are you planning to go? Apart from the official events, like the gigantic New Year celebration at Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina, there are some other great events on offer during the Barcelona New Year’s Eve festivities.
Barcelona New years Eve: Best parties in town
Poble Espanyol Complex
A fine end of year party always takes place at the Poble Espanyol complex. This year sees the 29th edition of the best Barcelona New Year’s Eve party. Start the night bringing in the new year with the 12 chimes, grapes and cava in hand, ready to start a night of fun with new musical hits and some of the songs from the past. Three spaces are prepared for the party and include Plaza Mayor, the Carpa and the VIP area, located in one of the most renowned nightclubs in the city – La Terrazzza.
For some special VIP treatment and nightlife elegance, then one of the best parties in Barcelona for New Years Eve has to be the Sutton Club’s 2018 celebrations. There are 50 VIP tables and on this night, they maybe reserved from €1000 and have for the best views of the dance floors and the finest service for you and your friends. DJs on the night are Albert Martin and Carlos Ramos in the main room.
OneOcean Club & Bar
This place is a new private members club and restaurant built on the water alongside the super yachts in the heart of Barcelona’s Port Vell. It is the place to be seen for Barcelona’s social elite. It has fast become known for its fine service and marina views. Seeing in the New Year here will be nothing short of spectacular. Your ticket will include a gala dinner, live music performances, dance floor, delicious cocktails and many more surprises. You can book your place and reserve your place at €195 and celebrate your Barcelona New Year’s Eve in style.
This is one the city’s finest venues, and is more than just a dancehall. The complex located on Avinguda del Paral–lel, has music halls, a hotel, theatre, bars, gaming facilities, and offers an enviable and mixed billing every week. The site has always been a centre for entertainment for more than 80 years, and today Sala Apolo is popular with big music names as well as with emerging local and international artists. While the line-up for its end of year extravaganza is top secret, this will be one of the best Barcelona New Year’s Eve events.
Harlem Jazz Club
Credited as one of the top 10 Jazz clubs in the world by Forbes Magazine, Harlem Jazz, nestled in the heart of the Gothic Quarter, plays host to jazz, blues and swing bands from or touring in the city. Regular bands include The Big Beat Swing Band & Sax Attack, Big Mama & Tota, JV & 2 Moons and Son de la Rambla. The venue’s stage can easily house a large band and there is plenty of room to groove, with drinking tables situated close to the action. But arrive early as spaces fill quickly over Barcelona New Year’s Eve.
Aurora at Velòdrom d’Horta
If you are partying through to the first day of the year, then Barcelona New Year’s Eve celebrations don’t stop in the early hours. On the 1st of January, a new event featuring some of the best DJs on the planet will take place for the first time and is set to be an extravaganza at the old Olympic Cycling Racing Venue situated at Velòdrom d’Horta. Superstars include US House DJ sensation Seth Troxler and rising Belgian Techno star, Amelie Lens. Gates open at 16:00 hours, so you may have some time to catch up on some much needed sleep before the party starts again!
All in all, Barcelona is a city of fiesta, and whichever Barcelona New Years Eve event takes your fancy, make sure your stay is complete by choosing one of our beautiful apartments located throughout the city. See our selection here.
Which are the best things to do in Barcelona in December? The Christmas agenda is jam-packed with fun and interesting things to do and see. Below we select a few things to do you can’t miss:
Things to do in Barcelona in December: Christmas Concerts
As you’d expect, Barcelona has many open-air concerts during the festive season. Plaça del Rei hosts some of the best ones on a medieval square. It is situated in the Gothic Quarter and you will also find the Palau Reial (Royal Palace), Tinell Salo, the Chapel of St. Agatha and the Torre del Rey Martí. Also most of the city’s churches have things to do in December such as traditional religious events and classical music recitals. We recommend the St. Stephen’s Day Christmas concert at the magnificent Palau de la Música concert hall in Barcelona. A beloved annual Christmas event in Barcelona by The Orfeó Català choir and other choirs.
If architecture and music is your thing during your stay, then you must include this a visit to El Palau de la Música. Designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner, El Palau Música Catalana is styled in a similar theme to that of Gaudí’s work, but more functional in contrast to many other buildings built in the modernism style throughout the city. The design of the Palau is typical of Catalan modernism.
Visit the most important Christmas Markets in Barcelona
Barcelona organizes many traditional and not-so tradition Christmas Markets (Mercats de Nadal). They’re excellent places to get some great Catalan traditional gifts, Christmas themed decorations and artisan food products. They are one of the most important things to do in Barcelona in December and are open throughout the holiday period. We recommend the oldest market, Fira de Santa Llúcia at Barcelona Cathedral or the largest one,Fira de Reis a la Gran Vía, which run along this main road between its junctions with Carrer Calabria and Carrer Comte Urgell. For more information read our article about the oldest Christmas Markets in Barcelona
New Year’s Eve Celebrations
If you are lucky enough to be visiting during the city’s busy New Year Celebrations, then your things to do in Barcelona in December list must include a visit to PlaçaEspanya to fully experience the Catalan New Year traditions. Get there early as the crowds will be massive as they wait for midnight to come and see in the New Year with grapes and cava – when the midnight bells toll you must eat a grape with every dong, and simultaneously take a sip of cava, 12 times in total, to ensure you have a lucky and prosperous 2018. There will also be the best fireworks show the city has to offer.
If you are here in the search for the perfect gift for loved ones, then a visit to one of Barcelona’s shopping hotspots has to be among the things to do in Barcelona in December. We recommend the luxury shops all along the Passeig de Gràcia for top-end items. If you have time, there is the famous La Roca Shopping Village located just outside the visit for more top brands and luxury gifts at factory outlet prices. Plaça de Catalunya is also a great place to discover traditional Catalan Christmas themes and high street retail brands situated around the city’s largest square.
Barcelona Michelin Star Tapas Walking Tour
Things to do in Barcelona in December has to include Tapas, and what better way to experience the best tapas with Barcelona’s Michelin Star Tapas Experience. Your guide will take you to two very different restaurants, which are owned by Michelin-starred chefs and that represent different regions of Spain to try various tapas dishes and wines. The tour last for three hours and whilst also getting to sample some the best tapas in the city, the guide will also share some other culinary places of interest to discover during your stay.
So If you are choosing Barcelona as your Christmas destination this year, then there is no better option for your stay than renting one of our cozy apartments. Please see our selection here and book your accommodation with us.
A visit to a Barcelona Christmas Market is the best way to sample the city’s Christmas Spirit. The oldest one in the city is the Fira de Santa Llúcia – situated in front of the Barcelona Cathedral at Avinguda de la Catedral. It’s right in the centre of city and full of seasonal hustle and bustle, while brimming with traditional Catalan Christmas trinkets and decorations for house and garden.
This Barcelona Christmas Market was created to celebrate the feast day of Santa LLúcia on December 13, but has now grown into a major part of the city’s Yuletide celebrations. This year, it runs from November 24, through to December 23 while also celebrating its 231st anniversary.
What to find in this Barcelona Christmas Market
There are over 250 stalls which are arranged in 4 distinct sections; Nativity Scenes & Figurines, Greenery and Plants (which includes fresh mistletoe for romantic visitors), Crafts & Fabrics and Traditional Musical Instruments.
It still is a very traditional Christmas market, but over time the Fira de Santa Llúcia has grown and grown. Today, it supplies additional products like toys and games for the children as well as decorations, hand crafted gifts and artisan products. Expect to see the traditional specialty on display, turrón, a baked cake of nougat made of honey, egg white and sugar with toasted almonds, or nuts with a rice paper coating. Buy two, so at least one gets to make its way home with you!
Among the many religious and more modern gift ideas, a few of the more traditional decorations items are on display and for sale. However, no Barcelona Christmas market would be complete without the infamous Caganer figures, a key fixture for the Catalan nativity scene, referred to as ‘El Pesebre’. This normally depicts a peasant defecating and the Caganer’s exact origins are pretty much unknown. But there he is, often hidden away in the far corner of a nativity scene, typically nowhere near the manger or main characters. The Catalan tradition is to have children find the hidden figure.
This leads to another fascinating tradition… the Tió de Nadal or Christmas log. The children will recite a famous song about el Tió de Nadal and before beating the Tió all the kids have to leave the room to pray, asking for the Tió to deliver a lot of presents. This makes the perfect excuse for the relatives to do the trick and put the presents under a blanket behind the Tió while the kids are praying. The Tió is not for large gifts, as they are brought by the three Kings on January 6th, but they are used more for smaller, communal gifts, treats and dried fruits that are shared by the whole brood… all of which are on offer at this Barcelona Christmas market.
How to get to Fira de Santa Llúcia
Due to the traffic jams during christmas holidays, we recommend you to get there using public transport. If you take the Metro, you can stop in Jaume I station (L4) and walk 3 minutes until the Cathedral.
Also you can stop in Plaça Catalunya, go down Portal de l’Àngel and have a walk in the main shopping street of the city until you get to the Cathedral (10 minutes walking)
The best way to discover this Barcelona’s Christmas Market is to rent a beautiful apartment in the city centre close by all the Christmas action, then please see our apartments in Barcelona here and book your festive vacation in Barcelona with us.
La Mercè 2017 is the main event on Barcelona’s festival agenda, uniting all of its neighbourhoods and serving as the city’s Festa Major. This year it aims to extend further throughout the city by adding even more new venues and activities.
Every year, Barcelona invites a city from around the world to jointly celebrate the festival. This year Icelandic capital Reykjavik has been invited to be this year’s special guest city and will be honoured throughout La Mercè.
Overall, it is a religious festival that has been celebrated since the Middle Ages and observes the holy feast day of Our Lady of Mercy. It is the biggest weeklong festival in the city and an age-old tradition, but there are very up-to-date activity items as well, such as specialty markets, art displays and musical performances for example.
Gegants & Capgrossos – La Mercè 2017
Catalunya has a great tradition for processions of giants or bigheads, which are tall, hollow structures with very large papier-mâché heads, each with a unique identity and character. They are carried on top of people’s shoulders in a parade as they dance and run at the crowds. Also, there are the Bestiari – which are figures of medieval, folkloric creatures. This parade happens on the first day of the La Mercé celebrations.
Gegants Procession, September 22, Palau de la Virreina on La Rambla, 99, at 19:00h
The Correfoc – La Mercè 2017
The famous fire run is always on September 24 – the actual saint’s day for La Mercé. Performers dressed as devils and fiery dragons dance in a long procession through the city. Hordes of “diables” hoist pitchforks, or forquilles, above their heads, with spinning fireworks attached that spray in all directions. If you’re going to get a close-up photograph, then protective clothing is advised. There is also an early fire run for children.
Correfoc (Adults), September 23, Via Laietana at 20:15h
Correfoc (Children) September 23, Via Laietana at 18:30h
Castellers – La Mercè 2017
The Catalans are very good at building human structures. In fact he last few world records – 10 persons high – have been have been set in the region. Participants, or Catsellers, climb on top of each other, interlocked into a delicate balancing act to get people to reach into the sky as far as possible. The human tower is supported by a large number of people at the bottom, and then it’s a race to reach the highest point in strict formation before the structure breaks.
Human Towers, September 23, Plaça de Sant Jaume at 11:30h
Human Towers, September 23, Plaça de Sant Jaume at 12:30h
Barcelona Acció Musical has been running for over 20 years and hosts more contemporary rock and pop music concerts. It runs in parallel to the main festival, and as Reykjavik is the partner city for this year’s La Mercé, then a contingent of its artists will perform, as well as national and internal artists. Concerts usually take place at Plaza Real, Plaza Catalunya and at the MACBA, among many other intimate places and open-air venues around the city.
BAM, September 22-25, various venues http://lameva.barcelona.cat/bam/en
Piromusical – La Mercè 2017
This is a critically acclaimed, professional fireworks display that takes place on the last night of La Mercè 2017 on Avinguda reina Maria Cristina. You need to arrive early for the big finale, as thousands of people gather to watch this spectacular show.
Check the official agenda for more firework displays and digital light mapping events throughout the festival, at http://lameva.barcelona.cat/merce/en.
Piromusical, September 25, Avinguda de Reina Maria Cristina (Plaça Espanya) at 22:00h
The La Mercè Festival is a great way to see Barcelona at its best. Your stay could be much more convenient with your own apartment. Check our website for an excellent selection of short-term holiday rentals so that your stay in the city is as comfortable as possible.