Few moments in the year hold more promise than Barcelona in spring: As the weather warms up, the city emerges from its winter hibernation, and so do all the activities that come along with it.
One of the best parts about spring is obviously the rising temperature, and really there’s no better way to take advantage of seaside Catalan culture than al fresco. Enjoy the warming weather by taking a stroll down Las Ramblas, or through famous parks like Parc de la Ciutadella or Parc Güell. Even better, simply sip on a cold glass of beer at one of many reappearing open-air terrazas, which crop up like flowers after a fresh spring rain.
Festivals are abundant too. One of the most popular is San Jordi, on April 23rd, which not only celebrates the patron saint of Catalonia, but is also the Catalan equivalent of Valentine’s Day. For the holiday, sweethearts (and sometimes colleagues or friends) exchange gifts; typically the man gives a girl roses, a girl gives him a book. The occasion has also come to be celebrated as the Day of the Book (UNESCO has even adopted the holiday), which means the city (especially Las Ramblas) becomes dotted by impromptu rose and book stalls. Other festivals abound, too, from Easter’s processions, to Museum Day (May 18th), when all museums are free to enter.
Spring is also ideal for satiating your taste buds with seasonal cuisine, and no other food captures this enthusiasm better than the Catalan calçot. The green onion-like veggie remains in season during the early spring months and is celebrated by a party of sorts called a calçotada. During the fiesta, wire-strung calçots are draped over blazing coals. After this, guests strip the stocks of their charred outer layer before dipping the centers in a romesco sauce and then into their mouths.
And then of course there’s soccer. With the season well underway, catch one of Football Club Barcelona’s games at the famous Camp Nou. Note that the ultimate match to put on your calendar will be El Clásico, when rivals Barça and Real Madrid go head to head in one of their several annual battles.
- Contributed by Erin Ridley