Planning an Easter in Barcelona? Welcome.
First off a bit of congratulations – with the winter cold long gone and the insufferable heat of summer yet to arrive you’ve found the city’s schedule sweet spot.
Whether you’re clinking glasses in the city’s picturesque squares or taking a sunset tour of Barcelona’s top attractions there’s hardly a better time to visit than Easter.
Let’s get into it with my Barcelona Easter guide.
Easter in Barcelona 2020 Dates and Weather
Easter weekend in Barcelona goes the 10th of April (Good Friday) to the 13th of April (Easter Monday).
With Spain being a Catholic country there are naturally a ton of festivities for the entire Setmana Santa (Holy Week) so there’s a lot to see even if you arrive a bit earlier.
In general Barcelona Easter weather is quite pleasant – average temperatures hit 17°C (62°F) with lows dropping down to a manageable 8°C (47°F). With an average of eight hours of daily sunshine and only five days of rain you likely won’t be getting wet.
Before You Arrive
Firstly it’s recommended you get yourself a transport discount card. They save you money and help you take full advantage of your holiday. Check out my article explaining the differences of these cards.
Secondly you’re going to want to avoid huge holiday lines by buying your attraction tickets in advance online. In many cases in addition to skipping the lines you can save up to 15%.
Easter Events in Barcelona
It wouldn’t be Easter in Barcelona without the defining parades, religious events, and especially the top quality baked goods.
Here’s a list to get you started – if you need any particular advice hit me up in the comments below.
Mass at Sagrada Familia
Yes, any layman off the street can participate in both the Palm Sunday mass (April 5th) and Easter Mass (April 12th) at Sagrada Familia. It begins at 9:00 am and is on a first come, first served basis until all seats are full.
If you’re in a group of 25 or more you’ll have to fill out the form on Sagrada Familia’s website.
Also, for those interested in attending Easter Mass you can participate in the international version at the Santa Maria del Mar in the ritzy Born area starting at noon on Sunday.
Eating a Mona de Pascua
Of all the things to do in Barcelona Easter weekend eating cake is a great one.
This local tradition dates back to a time when godparents would buy their grandchildren simple sponge cakes with a painted hard boiled egg on top. It was traditionally given in Barcelona during Easter after Sunday mass.
Today the cakes have taken on a whole new form.
You’ll see them in bakery windows everywhere – towers of delicious cake layers mounted with chocolate figures, animals, famous characters, marzipan and more. You’ll at least have to get a photo, though the more cheeky of tourists can’t resist taking one back to the hotel 😉
A great place to get one is Escriba Gran Via found at 546 Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes.
The Palm Leaves
On Palm Sunday you’ll see children everywhere holding on to palm leaves – a gift from their godparents.
Today the tradition has expanded to include almost everyone, and buying a palm leaf bouquet that honours the crowds which lined Jesus’ path into Jerusalem is city tradition.
Barcelona Easter Processions
Here’s a quick list of Barcelona Easter parades – as a general rule you’ll see them more conveniently in the city’s famous Gothic Quarter.
April 5th (Palm Sunday – La Burreta)
The first Easter procession of the season takes place in the Ciutat Vella (‘Old City’).
La Burreta (‘little donkey’) commemorates the arrival of Jesus to Jerusalem. Here you’ll find a ton of stalls selling the traditional bleached palm leaves and an eye-catching procession of floats and dressed up devotees.
Things get going early starting at Plaça Sant Agustí (metro Liceu)
Time: 10:00 am.
Route: Plaça Sant Agustí (10:00), Hospital (10:15), Pla de la Boqueria (10:30), La Rambla (10:45), Santa Ana (11:15), Portal del Ángel (11:30), Cucurulla (11:45), Portaferrisa (12:00), La Rambla (12:15), Pla de la Boqueria (12:30), Hospital (12:45), and Plaça San Agustín (1:00).
There will be a blessing of the palms ceremony at the end in Plaça San Agustín.
You’ll find this Barcelona Easter parade on Good Friday starting in the famous Gothic Quarter.
The Procesión de Viernes Santo de la Hermandad y Cofradía de Nuestra Señora de las Angustias involves wave after wave of tambourine bands playing through floats of all the important religious imagery associated with the holiday.
I’ve listed the times at some of the easiest/best viewing points below.
Time: 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm.
Route: Plaça San Agustí, La Rambla (5:45), Calle de Santa Ana, Portal del Ángel (18:30), Arcs, Plaza Nova, Avenida Catedral, Boters, Pi, Plaza del Pi (21:30), Cardenal Casañas, Boqueria, Hospital and Plaça de San Agustín.
April 12th (The Second Round)
This later-starting parade is good for (really) late risers.
It’s much the same as the other Barcelona Easter parade honouring its patron saint – the goal here I assume was simply to spread out crowds and create less chaos.
Time: 6:30 pm.
Route: Parroquia de San Jaime (Calle Ferran 28), Calle Ferrán, Plaza San Jaime, Calle del Bisbe, Avenida de la Catedral, Boters, Pi, Plaza del Pi, Cardenal Casañas, Boquería, Ramblas, and Ferrán.
Easter Opening Hours
At the best of times Spain’s opening hours are frustrating – imagine Barcelona during Easter!
Want to visit something and aren’t sure about the hours? Drop me a line in the comments below.
The Barcelona Tourism Office
First bit of good news, travellers! The hours here never change.
On Thursday April 9th and Friday April 10th 2020 the metro closes at 2:00 am.
On Saturday April 11th it’s open all night while on Sunday April 12th it closes at 2:00 am. On the 13th it closes at midnight.
City buses and night buses run regularly just like the rest of the year. Consult the schedules at any bus stop for times and frequency.
The famous hop on hop off Bus Turistic and the Aerobus run normally.
At the moment there are no schedule changes at Sagrada Familia over Easter.
It’s possible though that on the two Sundays (Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday) that there could be some slight alterations in the hours but as of January 2020 it has not been confirmed.
As this is high season you must buy your tickets in advance online (at least 2-3 weeks in advance) or you simply won’t get in.
You can do so using the buttons below:
The world’s most spectacular urban park also follows regular hours over Easter.
The shuttle bus included in the ticket also will run at regular intervals.
Again, you must book in advance online or risk being shut out of the attraction all together.
Gaudi’s wobbly mansion and its famous rooftop warriors also runs as usual. There’s also the added bonus this year of having a photography exposition by the talented William Klein.
To guarantee times and save €3.00 per ticket it’s advised to book online.
This private entity doesn’t change hours and is open 365 days a year.
Over Easter you’ll even find this epic, marine-inspired mansion to be decorated with special lighting to commemorate the holiday.
To guarantee tickets and save €4.00 per ticket you must book in advance online.
Gaudi’s original masterpiece which has only recently been made available to the public is open as usual over Easter 2020.
You’ll save 10% per ticket buying online using the buttons below:
One of Europe’s greatest football stadiums is open with regular hours over Easter 2020, though on April 12th there’s a clash against Atletico Bilbao – meaning those taking the Camp Nou Experience tour will not be able to visit the field.
If possible, schedule your visit for another day.
You’ll guarantee your spot and save €3.50 a ticket booking online using the button below:
The world’s biggest Picasso Museum also runs normal hours over Easter, though keep in mind that on Thursday the 8th it’s a free entrance day so if possible best to schedule the visit then.
Tickets for free days are only available 4 days in advance using the buttons below:
This spectacular open air architecture museum doesn’t change its hours and is open 365 days a year.
Typically over Easter there are some special events organized and I’ll be updating the 2020 events here as they become available.
The Magic Fountain show goes Easter week on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 9:00-10:00 pm.
For Easter 2020 there will be no show on Sunday or Monday.
La Boqueria Market
The Rambla’s famous Boqueria Market is closed on April 10th, 12th, and 13th.
You’ll need to visit on Saturday the 11th.
Easter Shopping Hours
Bad news, shopping lovers!
Most major shopping destinations will be closed on the 10th, 12th, and 13th so if you’re looking to do some shopping you’ll have to do so on the days before or after the holiday.
There is one very convenient exception however: Maremagnum Shopping Centre.
You’ll find it at the bottom of Las Ramblas open as usual.
Where to Eat during Easter in Barcelona
If you’re looking to stuff yourselves silly over Easter break in Barcelona you should consult my list of the best restaurants in Barcelona.
Most of them allow easy online reservation (if not, drop them a line on Facebook!).
When you’re there know that traditionally Easter in Barcelona is a time of no meat. This means feasting on seafood and you can’t go wrong getting any of the following:
- Bacalao con garbanzos (cod with chickpeas)
- Bacalao con sanfaina (cod with a delicious tomato-based vegetable sauce)
- Croquetas (fried potato croquettes with cheese or fish)
- Buñuelos de cuaresma (fried dough balls filled with cream or chocolate)
Another thing to keep an eye out for during your Easter break is the ultimate of all Catalan dishes: calçots. These massive spring onions are barbecued and served with a tangy red pepper and garlic based sauce called romesco.
Just make sure they bring you a bib: things tend to get messy.
Finally, if you’re traveling to Barcelona with kids during Easter keep in mind that Palm Sunday holds one of the region’s great traditions: giving kids the gift of a ring-shaped cake called tortell de rams.
This very colourful marzipan-stuffed cake decorated with candied fruit is given only after the masses have been attended – a type of traditional, culinary bribe!
Additional Easter Events
SAGRADA FAMILIA MASSES
There’s a Palm Sunday mass (April 5th) to attend at the legendary Sagrada Familia.
It starts at 9:00 am and is on a first come first served basis.
There are additional masses on Holy Thursday (April 9th) at 8:00 pm, Good Friday (April 10th) at 6:30 pm, and Easter Vigil (April 11th) and 9:00 pm.
For groups of 25+ you must sign up using the form on the Sagrada Familia website.
If you’re looking for Easter Sunday mass you can attend the international version at the Santa Maria del Mar at 12:00 pm on Sunday.
Parties and Flamenco
- For people visiting the Barcelona with kids it’d be wise to check out the “De Flor en Flor” event at the legendary Poble Espanyol from (2020 dates TBA). Here you’ll have some creative recycling activities, floral decorations, gardening, and much more. All accompanied by amazing music.
- Those looking for a fiesta loca can’t miss the classic Elrow electro festival on (2020 dates TBA) – the outdoor dance fest goes from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm.
- In the market for a spectacular Flamenco show in a setting straight out of a movie? Check out Opera y Flamenco at the famous Palau de la Musica Catalana or check the Gran Galà Flamenco.
Get at Me in the Comments Below
Is there anything I missed or a question you’re just dying to ask?
Let me know in the comments below.
And don’t be afraid to join the Easter in Barcelona discussion by first giving me a like on Facebook and then joining my group I’m Off to Barcelona – here you can ask any questions, air out grievances, and chat with thousands of Barcelona travelers.