March City Events in Barcelona
If you are visiting Barcelona in March (and we are open from the end of March!) you will see the city come alive with the Easter celebrations and the coming of spring. Here are our top picks for this month:
Semana Santa (Holy Week), city wide – 24th – 31st March
Easter week is one of the most important times in the calendar. Barcelona has a whole week of processions, pageantry and parades. All of the processions end up at the stunning Barcelona Cathedral; so might be worth getting a seat at a cafe in the square outside and you will get a good view. The biggest Easter processions in Barcelona are in the suburb of Barcelona called Hospitalet de Llobregat; you can get there by metro on blue L5. As well as the religious traditions the city will be packed with special markets. Try the Easter “mona” cake which is sold in many cafes, shops and on stalls. As Easter is the end of Lent you may find the locals are in the mood to party, big time.
Barcelona Marathon 2013 city wide – 17th March
Like many European cities Barcelona is proud to have its own annual marathon. If you fancy cheering on the participants then the best spots include the starting and finish point near the Playa Espanya. Or why not stand along the Grand Via where the runners will have done about a third of the route and will probably need a bit of encouragement. Along the route there will be stations with live music, food stalls and performers to keep you entertained. Wherever you go to see the runners make sure you get there early as the streets are likely to be packed with spectators and you may find public transport disrupted as well.
Blues Fridays at the European Museum of Modern Art (MEAM) – Every Friday in March
For something a little less energetic and a little more relaxed try the Blues Fridays at the Barcelona European Museum of Modern Art. Enjoy some of Europe’s finest contemporary art with a glass of cava in your hand and some tuneful blues in your ears. This is a great way to wind down after a hard week of sightseeing and partying. Or it could be the perfect pre-drink before heading out to a club. Either way it is a good way to see the museum and the surrounding old town.
Barcelona Beer Festival 2013 at Cúpula de las Arenas – 8th – 10th March
Beer festival – says it all really. But if you need more info here it is: more than 300 craft beers from both national and international brew houses to taste as well as seminars and sharing of love and knowledge of the craft. It’s not just beer, though, as there will be stalls selling the perfect accompaniment to your tipple; with fine cheeses, meat dishes and traditional Spanish meals. As with many European beer festivals no money will exchange hands and you will need to purchase a special festival currency to buy anything. So whether you are a lager lover or a bitter buff then this event is for you – and the best bit entry is free!
Festa de Sant Medir at Carrer de Sant Salvador – 2nd March
Any visit to Barcelona is likely to coincide with a Saint’s Day festival. So if you are in the city at the beginning of the month you will be celebrating Festa de Sant Medir. As with many Saint’s Day festivals there are parades. For this festival head to the Gracia area of the city and see the processions wind through the old streets. This is one of the best festivals to go and see as the people on the floats throw handfuls of sweets into the crowd and it is known locally as “the sweet festival”. So if you want to see some real Spanish culture and mix with the locals then this is for you.
Maria Canals Music Competition 2013 at Palau de la Musica Catalana – 8th -31st March
Does the tinkling of ivories fill you with joy? Then you have to see some of the players at the Maria Canals Music Competition. Maria Canals was one of Europe’s leading solo pianists and aimed to pass on her knowledge and love of music by setting up Spain’s most prominent music competition. Hundreds of pianists from more than 25 countries are flexing their fingers to win the coveted prize. If you can’t get tickets to get in then fear not there is a series of “Off Maria Canals” concerts and recitals across the city, many of them are free and venues include civic centres, libraries and even the Metro. If you fancy yourself as a budding Beethoven or rising Rachmaninoff then there are also pianos doted around the city for anyone to play.
FC Barcelona v AC Milan: champions league at Camp Nou – 12th March
This is one for football fans. FC Barcelona is arguably the world’s best football club and their track record is stunning. Equally AC Milan are no slouch themselves so this battle for a place in the final 8 of the champions league will be hard fought. With the historic rivalry between the clubs (and the parts of Spain they represent) you’ll see some great action on the pitch and passion from the stands. If you don’t have tickets but just happen to be in Barcelona during the match then you will undoubtedly feel the excitement in the air, why not settle down in a bar for the game? If you are a Milan fan best to keep quiet though!
St Patricks Day in Barcelona city wide – 17th March
What? you say, St Patrick’s Day in Barcelona? Well, yes and why not? There are plenty of Irish themed bars and pubs in the city for you to find a decent pint of Guinness or green dyed lager if that is your thing. One of the most popular places is Kitty O’Shea’s Irish Pub which organises a street party every year with traditional musicians and dancers. Or try The Temple Bar which is just off La Rambla and does a great pint in an authentic setting. So put on something green and get a bit of cross culture action.
BarSWINGona 2013 at Casino l’Aliança del Poblenou – 27th – 31st March
As an alternative to all the parades and other Easter stuff, try the Barcelona Swing Festival. You don’t need to have your dancing shoes as you can just go along and watch as couples dance their hearts out to the upbeat and jumping music. So fancy something a bit different; check out the trailer.
Beach House at Sala Apolo – 14th March
For something totally chilled out and a bit ethereal try Beach House. They are playing at Barcelona’s Sala Apolo and the gentle lyrics and smooth music will transport you to a much calmer place out of the hustle and bustle of the city. This pop due make new and different music by being more flexible and more creative with instruments, as it is only the two of them. Their newest album “Bloom” is doing well after an appearance on the David Letterman Show last year.