Easter Weekend 14 April - 17 April 2017
The period known as 'Semana Santa' (Holy Week) is important in Spain. During Easter week Catholics celebrate the period with various ceremonies, masses and processions.
Video showing the Easter day Parades near Barcelona Cathedral
However, as with the rest of the world, Easter in Spain is no longer just about religion. It is a lovely time to be in the city, as the streets are filled with people enjoying the long weekend, the windows of chocolate shops and patisseries are piled with treats and Spring is in the air.
Be warned that, due to the fact that the weekend is a Spanish holiday many facilities will not be open on the Friday and the Monday of the weekend.
In this article I will provide details of what is open during Easter weekend, what activities are available and what you should look out for if you are visiting during this period.
|The Santa Maria Church|
Good Friday ( 14 April)
This is the Friday before Easter Sunday. It is a public holiday in Spain. You will find that a large majority of the shops are closed. Many of the bars and restaurants will also be closed. There are processions throughout the day. As a general guide make your way to Barcelona Cathedral from 16:00 to 23:00 where there will be processions and activities occurring in the square outside the Cathedral.
Do not confuse Barcelona Cathedral for the Gaudí Sagrada Familia otherwise you would be in the wrong location for the centre of the Easter activities. The Sagrada Familia is not a cathedral but a Basilica.
Video Showing the Good Friday Night Parades
Map showing location of Barcelona Cathedral in relation to the nearest metro stops.
|= Metro Stops||= Hotel|
Easter Saturday (15 April)
Easter Saturday is not a public holiday, so everything runs as normal. The shops and markets are open and are busy with people getting stocked up for the next three days.
Easter Sunday (16 April)
Easter Sunday, like every other Sunday in Barcelona, most of the shops are closed. Many of the restaurants are also closed, however many will be open to serve those enjoying family holiday meals. There are many masses and religious processions occurring throughout the day. Once again make your way to Barcelona Cathedral which is the centre of all the activities.
Easter Monday (17 April)
Easter Monday is a public holiday. The large majority of shops and restaurants are closed.
For specific information regarding what restaurants will be open over the Easter period check our page: Restaurants opened during Easter in Barcelona
|Semana Santa Notices|
The Easter period gives rise to various religious ceremonies and processions in Barcelona. If you are in the city for this period and would like to attend one of these it is best to go to the church closest to you for information. You will find that most churches contain information boards displaying details of events taking place.
Some of the larger churches and the cathedral will have masses with choirs and processions ending at their location. Barcelona's cathedral is located close to the top of the Ramblas. Its details are provided below.
Santa Esglesia Catedral Basilica de Barcelona
Plaza de la Seu
08002 Barcelona, España.
Tel: +34 93 342 8262
How to get to Santa Esglesia Catedral Basilica de Barcelona
Metro: Jaume I (Yellow Line, L4)
Hop on hop off sightseeing tourist bus stop
Nearest stop for Santa Esglesia Catedral Basilica de Barcelona is "Catedral - Gòtic" with the Barcelona City Tour "hop on hop off" sightseeing bus
Via Laietana / Plaça Ramon Berenguer: 45, V15, V17
Monday - Friday: 08:00 - 12:45 and 17:45 - 19:30
Saturday: 08:00 - 12:45 and 17:15 - 20:00
Sunday and Public Holiday: 08:00 - 13:45 and 17:15 - 20:00
Entrance €6.00 with a guide:
Tuesday - Sunday: 11:00 - 13:00
|Barcelona's Chocolate Museum|
Barcelona has a long tradition of producing and consuming sumptuous quality chocolate. No time of year celebrates chocolate more than Easter, making it an exceptionally good time to be in Barcelona. Chocolate shops and patisseries display chocolate sculptures of varying degrees of intricacy and creativity. And nowhere is this better displayed than in the Museu de la Xocolata (Chocolate Museum) in the El Born area.
|People Queuing at the Museum|
This museum is always popular but during the days of Semana Santa a queue forms down the street. There are a few special courses available during the Easter period, but in general there is the same display that is on show all year round.
One of the highlights of the museum trip is the entrance ticket. In true Willy Wonka style the 'golden ticket' itself is a bar of chocolate. This is helpful when walking around a museum of chocolate sculptures - without it I may have been tempted to break into one of the display cases!
|A Chocolate Version of Gaudí's Famous Dragon|
|The Chocolate Ticket|
The museum comprises a short history of chocolate and various sculptures made from chocolate - everything from the Sagrada Familia to Hello Kitty are there. There is also a section with changing temporary exhibitions - on my visit it was a Barcelona FC themed display.
The children's enthusiasm is infectious as they run from life sized chocolate footballer to chocolate Asterix scene. The shop and café at the end of the tour provide an opportunity to buy some quality chocolate gifts or simply sip on one of their thick hot chocolates.
Over 7 years old: €6.00
Under 7 years old: Free
Monday - Saturday: 10:00 - 19:00
Sunday and Public Holiday: 10:00 - 15:00
|The Museum Shop|
Museu de la Xocolata
Carrer Comerç, 36
08003 Barcelona, España.
How to get to Museu de la Xocolata
Metro: Arc de Triomf (Red Line, L1)
Hop on hop off sightseeing tourist bus stop
Nearest stop for Museu de la Xocolata is "El Born - Ciutadella - Zoo" with the Barcelona City Tour "hop on hop off" sightseeing bus
Tel: +34 93 268 7878
Website: Chocolate Museum
All in all, Semana Santa is a lovely time to be in the city of Barcelona. With two bank holidays in a row spirits are high and there is a sense of occasion amongst the local community. However, do remember that this is not a normal weekend in Barcelona; if you are planning on hitting the shops or trying out lots of different restaurants it may be a safer bet to come on a normal weekend.