Things to do in April in Barcelona
There is something about April that is simply refreshing. The city’s energy becomes softer and people spent even more time outside. The anticipation of summer creates a certain level of excitement that is very apparent in the city. This is the perfect time to enjoy the city at an easy pace and enjoy the calm atmosphere of the spring before summer arrives.
Things to do: April in Barcelona
Easter in Barcelona
Semana Santa is the holy week, it takes place from the 2nd of April until the 9th. In Barcelona, the week starts with Palm Sunday. The name stems from the tradition of the parade of people holding palm leaves in remembrance of the greeting Jesus got a week before his death when he arrived in Jerusalem. On this day, godparents give their godchildren palm leaves. These palms are traditionally blessed by a priest and children are supposed to keep them at home until the following spring, when the palms will be burned. The ashes will then be used by priests to draw a cross on people’s foreheads to mark the beginning of the week.
The second important day of the week is Good Friday. The streets are paraded with large floats carrying religious figures. The procession is followed by hundreds of worshippers. The greatest site to see Good Friday processions is outside Barcelona Cathedral, where there are generally a lot of events between 4 and 11 p.m. It should not be confused with the Sagrada Familia, as it is a basilica rather than a cathedral.
Easter Sunday is a day of joyous masses and religious processions. The Barcelona Cathedral serves as the focal point of the festivities. This day marks the conclusion of Lent and the beginning of a feast that is often celebrated with Mona de Pascua. For most Catalans, this dish is a delicious way to commemorate Easter. In Spanish, ‘pascua’ means Easter, while ‘mona’ comes from the Arabic word “munna,” which means “gift.” Godparents are expected to provide such a gift to their godchildren on Easter Sunday as well.
Mona de Pascua
The traditional mona had a circular shape and was filled with hard-boiled eggs. The number of eggs might range from two to twelve, reflecting a child’s age. Local children generally get their first communion at the age of twelve. Modern monas, on the other hand, are more varied and sometimes include complex chocolate embellishments, as well as crème brûlée fillings, cream, or butter. The top of the cake is decorated with miniature chocolate eggs and chicks, small dwellings, cartoon figures, and coloured goose feathers. Mona doesn’t necessarily have to be sweet. Sometimes it is substituted with savoury products.
A wonderful Easter dessert may be purchased from the nearby bakery. The Eixample neighbourhood has some of the most beautiful chocolate window displays. Mona de Pascua is traditionally offered on Easter Sunday but only consumed the next day, Easter Monday.
La Passió d’Olesa de Montserrat
This event recalls and tells the story of the death and resurrection of Jesus. It is not simply a theatre show that makes this event so special, it is the fact that people have held on to this tradition for centuries. The ‘Gran Teatre de La Passió has been the location of the event ever since 1952. This year the event will be different from previous editions. There’s a completely new show that is more modern and only about two hours long. If you’re not able to attend the show in person, then you can also watch it on TV with Spanish or English subtitles, so it might be the perfect way to also test your Spanish skills a bit.
Whether you are single or in a relationship, Sant Jordi, on the 23rd of April, is a beautiful day to celebrate love in whatever shape or form. Traditionally on this day, women receive a rose from their loved ones and men receive a book, however, nowadays people all have their own way of celebrating this day. It is beautiful to have a walk around the city, with buildings such as Casa Batlló covered in roses. Even if you do not feel like participating in this tradition, it is still very nice to have a walk around the city and get an idea of this part of Catalan culture.
Feria de Abril
Feria de Abril also ‘Fair of April’ is a fair that takes place every year. The idea of the fair is to start off the Spring season in a celebratory and exciting way. The fair brings together Catalan and Andalusian cultures. In 1847 the first edition took place in Spain. In 1971, migrants living in Castledefells started their own version of the fair. It started off with four stands but grew out into a fair where horse dressage demonstrations, bullfights, music and dance performances and human towers were taking place. Even though the fair originates from Seville, Catalan culture is very much so instilled in this festivity as well. The fair takes place from the 22nd of April until the first of May at ‘el Fòrum’.
Comic Convention - Saló del Còmic
The comic convention, known as ‘Saló del Còmic’ takes place in Fira de Barcelona. It is one of the most popular conventions in Spain amongst comic book lovers. For those who enjoy playing video games and/or reading comic books, this is the perfect event to attend. The convention is held annually since 1981 and is known internationally. We’d recommend getting tickets beforehand since there are many people who will be attending.
The Hat Parade - Passejada amb barret
To celebrate the beginning of springtime, participants of ‘passejada amb barret’ put on their best hats to join the parade through the streets of Barcelona. The parade is an initiative of Nina Pawlowlsky and Cristina de Prada, who are both hatmakers in Barcelona. It’s becoming increasingly popular amongst the Catalan people. The parade starts at Rambla de Catalunya, so put on your most extravagant hat and join the parade!
Barcelona Tennis Open
This year the tournament will already be the 70th edition. From the 15th until the 23th of April, the best tennis players in the world will meet here in Barcelona to face each other on the field. Rafa Nadal, twelve times champion of the Barcelona Open, will also be present. Though he is currently the number three in the world, this tournament is not going to be an easy battle for him, with versatile and very skilled rivals and many young stars. Players include Stefano Tsitsipas, Hubert Hurkacz, Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz amongst many others. With players from 19 different nations, this edition of the competition will be the most international yet.
Brunch in the city
If you’re looking for a place to dance, brunch and enjoy the outdoors, the music festival Brunch in the City is the place to be. The festival starts in March and takes place until the beginning of June. This year the festival won’t only take place at Plaza Mayor, but also at Parc del Fòrum and TNC Come.
The festival’s purpose is to bring together those who have a big appreciation for electronic music. At the event you will find that there are both Catalan and International artists performing, creating an amazing atmosphere for locals and expats. This festival, unlike many others, is family-friendly. For the kids, there is a petit-brunch. This is a great way for children to make new friends. They will also be able to enjoy the outdoors through multiple entertaining activities and workshops. This festival is really beloved in Barcelona, so it is recommended to get your tickets on time.