Sant Jordi, or Saint George's Day is much more than a simple feast day in Barcelona. It is the Catalan equivalent to Valentine's Day and love is in the air!
|Stalls along Las Ramblas provide roses and books on Sant Jordi day|
Each year, the streets are filled with people strolling around grasping books and roses wrapped in ribbons in the colours of the Catalan flag (The Senyera).
Sant Jordi is not a public holiday; therefore all of the shops and restaurants are open as normal. However, there is no mistaking the feeling that this is fiesta time.
The story of Sant Jordi is the same as the one that is known worldwide. Saint George was a hero - he saved a beautiful Princess who was about to come to a sticky end at the hands of a dragon who had been terrorising a village. There are various versions of the story but these facts always remain the same. Sant Jordi is the Patron Saint of Catalunya and his tale is well-known throughout the city.
|Sant Jordi is one of the most popular calendar events in Barcelona. This is a shot of Las Ramblas on the day|
The basic idea for Sant Jordi is that men give women roses and women give men books. And it can be anybody, not necessarily your partner or somebody who you have taken a liking to. For this feast, boys buy roses for their mums; girls buy books for their friends. Also, in today's forward thinking society the rules are no longer set regarding who gets what. A girl is just as likely to receive a book and vice versa.
The streets and squares of Barcelona are filled with stalls selling books and roses. It is a picturesque sight in the Spring sunshine. Couples walk hand in hand clutching roses. The buses are jam packed with old Catalan people, tipsy from a day of strolling from bookshop to vermouth stop.
During Sant Jordi stalls crop up all over town. However, for the largest concentration of stalls it is best to head to the large square and streets: as shown below. La Rambla will be the centre of all the activity however it can become a little overcrowded during peak hours in which case you could try going to one of the other squares mentioned below.
Plaça Sant Jaume
How to get to Plaça Sant JaumeMetro: Jaume I (Yellow Line, L4)
Hop on hop off sightseeing tourist bus stop
Nearest stop for Plaça Sant Jaume is "Catedral - Gòtic" with the Barcelona City Tour "hop on hop off" sightseeing bus
Via Laietana / Plaça Ramon Berenguer: 45, 120, V15, V17
La Rambla / La Boqueria: 59, 91, V13
Plaça de Catalunya
How to get to Plaça de CatalunyaMetro: Catalunya (Red Line, L1) and (Green Line, L3)
Hop on hop off sightseeing tourist bus stop
Nearest stop for Plaça de Catalunya is "Plaça de Catalunya" with the Barcelona City Tour "hop on hop off" sightseeing bus
Plaça Catalunya: 24, 41, 42, 55, 66, 67, 68, V15, H16, Aerobús
How to get to La RamblaMetro: Drassanes (Green Line, L3)
Metro: Liceu (Green Line, L3)
Metro: Catalunya (Green Line, L3)
Map showing the centre of activity for Sant Jordi day in Barcelona
|= Metro Stops||= Hotel|
The event is an all day event so there are no fixed hours. The best thing would be simply to make your way to anywhere along Las Ramblas which will be the centre of all the activity. However you will find flower and books stalls popping up all over the city on this day.
Ajuntament de Barcelona (town council) opens its doors to the public.
There are only 3 days in the year in which the Ajuntament de Barcelona, opens its doors to the public and Sant Jordi day is one of these. You will be able to take a stroll through the Ajuntament de Barcelona and see its interior. The Ajuntament de Barcelona is open until 20:00 for the public to visit.
Sardana Dancing (Catalan traditional folk dancing)
From 15:00 to 20:00 there will be Sardana dancing in Placa Sant Jaume which is well worth a visit. The Sardana is a traditional Catalan folk dance.
|Traditional Catalan Dancing - The Sardana|
Romantic hotels in Barcelona
If the theme of your visit to Barcelona is romance then we have put together a review of what we think to be the most romantic hotels in the city centre. Staying at one of these hotels could add that little extra romance to your visit.
If you reason for a visit on Barcelona's Valentine's day is to propose we have also put together a page on the best romantic proposal spots that add that extra drammatic setting.
The Feast of Sant Jordi is a treat for the eyes with the streets filled with stalls selling beautiful flowers. Make sure to bring your camera and plenty of memory cards. Take a stroll, soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the day Catalan-style.