Ash
Written by Ash

Easter in Barcelona – Visiting During Semana Santa 2022

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Planning an Easter in Barcelona? Welcome.

First off a bit of congratulations – with the winter cold long gone and the insufferable heat of summer yet to arrive you’ve found the city’s schedule sweet spot, just in time for your Easter holidays.

Whether you’re clinking glasses in the city’s picturesque squares or taking a sunset tour of Barcelona’s top attractions there’s hardly a better time to visit than Easter.

Let’s get into it with my Barcelona Easter guide.

Easter in Barcelona 2022

Easter weekend in Barcelona goes the 15th of April (Good Friday) to the 18th of April (Easter Monday).

With Spain being a Catholic country there are naturally a ton of festivities for the entire Setmana Santa (Holy Week in Catalan) so there’s a lot to see even if you arrive a bit earlier.

Barcelona Weather During Easter Week

In general Barcelona Easter weather is quite pleasant – average temperatures during Semana Santa hit 17°C (62°F) with lows dropping down to a manageable 8°C (47°F).

With an average of eight hours of daily sunshine and only five days of rain you likely won’t be getting wet.

Before Visiting During Semana Santa

Firstly it’s recommended you get yourself a transport discount card. They save you money and help you take full advantage of your Holy Week holiday. Check out my article explaining the differences of these cards.

Secondly you’re going to want to avoid huge holiday lines by buying your attraction tickets in advance online. In many cases in addition to skipping the lines you can save up to 10%.

I also suggest reading my article on the best area to stay in Barcelona and selecting one of the best hostels, Airbnb discount homestays, or holiday apartments for your money.

Easter Events in Barcelona

It wouldn’t be Easter in Barcelona without the defining parades, religious ceremonies, and especially the top quality baked goods.

Here’s a list to get you started on Semana Santa – if you need any particular advice hit me up in the comments below.

Mass at Sagrada Familia

Yes, any layman off the street can participate in the Easter celebrations – at both Palm Sunday mass (April 10th) and Easter Mass (April 17th) at Sagrada Familia. It begins at 9:00 am and is on a first come, first served basis until all seats are full.

If you’re in a group of 25 or more you’ll have to fill out the form on Sagrada Familia’s website.

Also, for those interested in attending Easter Mass you can participate in the international version during Easter holidays at the Santa Maria del Mar in the ritzy Born area starting at noon on Easter Sunday.

The Barcelona Cathedral also hosts masses for visitors – the Mare de Déu de l’Alegria is celebrated, and mass will be held at its altar at 11 am on Easter Monday (April 18th). Keep in mind though that it is Spanish and Catalan only.

Eating a Mona de Pascua

Of all the things to do in Barcelona Easter weekend eating cake is a great one.

This local tradition dates back to a time when godparents would buy their grandchildren simple sponge cakes with a painted hard boiled egg on top. It was traditionally given in Barcelona during Easter after Sunday mass.

Today the cakes have taken on a whole new form.

You’ll see them in bakery windows everywhere – towers of delicious cake layers mounted with chocolate figures, animals, famous characters, marzipan and more. You’ll at least have to get a photo, though the more cheeky of tourists can’t resist taking one back to the hotel 😉

A great place to get one is Escriba Gran Via found at 546 Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes.

The Palm Leaves

On Palm Sunday you’ll see children everywhere holding on to palm leaves – a gift from their godparents.

Today the tradition has expanded to include almost everyone, and buying a palm leaf bouquet that honours the crowds which lined Jesus’ path into Jerusalem is city tradition.

The market stands outside the Barcelona Cathedral or Sagrada Familia are your best bets.

Barcelona Easter Processions

Here’s a quick list of Barcelona Easter parades – as a general rule you’ll see them more conveniently in the city’s famous Gothic Quarter.

April 10th (Palm Sunday – La Burreta)

The first of the Easter religious processions takes place in the Ciutat Vella (‘Old City’).

La Burreta (‘little donkey’) commemorates the arrival of Jesus to Jerusalem. Here you’ll find a ton of stalls selling the traditional bleached palm leaves and an eye-catching procession of floats and dressed up devotees.

Things get going early starting at Plaça Sant Agustí (metro Liceu)

Time: 10:00 am.

Route: Plaça Sant Agustí (10:00), Hospital (10:15), Pla de la Boqueria (10:30), La Rambla (10:45), Santa Ana (11:15), Portal del Ángel (11:30), Cucurulla (11:45), Portaferrisa (12:00), La Rambla (12:15), Pla de la Boqueria (12:30), Hospital (12:45), and Plaça San Agustín (1:00).

There will be a blessing of the palms ceremony at the end in Plaça San Agustín.

April 15th

You’ll find this Barcelona Easter parade on Good Friday starting in the famous Gothic Quarter.

The Procesión de Viernes Santo de la Hermandad y Cofradía de Nuestra Señora de las Angustias involves wave after wave of tambourine bands playing through floats of all the important religious imagery associated with the holiday.

I’ve listed the times at some of the easiest/best viewing points below.

Time: 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm.

Route: Plaça San Agustí, La Rambla (5:45), Calle de Santa Ana, Portal del Ángel (18:30), Arcs, Plaza Nova, Avenida Catedral, Boters, Pi, Plaza del Pi (21:30), Cardenal Casañas, Boqueria, Hospital and Plaça de San Agustín.

April 15th (The Second Round)

This later-starting parade is good for (really) late risers who may have taken the Semana Santa celebrations too far the previous evening.

It’s much the same as the other Barcelona Easter parade honouring its patron saint – the goal here I assume was simply to spread out crowds and create less chaos.

Time: 6:30 pm.

Route: Parroquia de San Jaime (Calle Ferran 28), Calle Ferrán, Plaza San Jaime, Calle del Bisbe, Avenida de la Catedral, Boters, Pi, Plaza del Pi, Cardenal Casañas, Boquería, Ramblas, and Ferrán.

Easter Opening Hours

At the best of times Spain’s opening hours are frustrating – imagine Barcelona during Easter!

Want to visit something and aren’t sure about the hours? Drop me a line in the comments below.

The Barcelona Tourism Office

First bit of good news, travellers! The hours here never change, even during the Semana Santa public holiday.

Over Easter in Barcelona you’ll be able to pick up your transport tickets as usual, whether it’s at either airport terminal (T1 or T2) or Plaça Catalunya.

Barcelona Easter Week Transport

On Easter Thursday (April 14th) and Easter Friday (April 15th) 2022 the metro closes at 2:00 am.

On Easter Saturday (April 16th) it’s open all night while on Easter Sunday (April 17th) it closes at 2:00 am.

City buses and night buses run regularly just like the rest of the year. Consult the schedules at any bus stop for times and frequency.

The famous hop on hop off Bus Turistic and the Aerobus run normally.

Sagrada Familia

At the moment there are no large schedule changes at Sagrada Familia over Easter.

That said, to accomodate masses there will be some slight alterations:

  • Palm Sunday: doors open at 3:00 pm
  • Holy Thursday: doors close at 5:00 pm
  • Passion Friday: doors close at 3:15 pm
  • Easter Saturday: doors close at 6:00 pm

As this is high season you must buy your tickets in advance online (at least 2-3 weeks in advance) or you simply won’t get in.

You can do so using the buttons below:

SAGRADA FAMILIA
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Park Guell

The world’s most spectacular urban park also follows regular hours over Easter.

The shuttle bus included in the ticket also will run at regular intervals.

Again, you must book in advance online or risk being shut out of the attraction all together.

Park Guell
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Casa Mila (La Pedrera)

Gaudi’s wobbly mansion and its famous rooftop warriors also runs as usual. There’s also the added bonus this year of having a photography exposition by the talented William Klein.

To guarantee times and save €3.00 per ticket it’s advised to book online.

CASA MILA
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Casa Batllo

This private entity doesn’t change hours and is open 365 days a year.

Over Easter you’ll even find this epic, marine-inspired mansion to be decorated with special lighting to commemorate the holiday.

To guarantee tickets and save €4.00 per ticket you must book in advance online.

CASA BATLLO BLUE
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Casa Vicens

Gaudi’s original masterpiece which has only recently been made available to the public is open as usual over Easter 2020.

You’ll save 10% per ticket buying online using the buttons below:

CASA VICENS
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Camp Nou

One of Europe’s greatest football stadiums is open with regular hours over Easter 2020.

If possible, schedule your visit for another day.

You’ll guarantee your spot and save €3.50 a ticket booking online using the button below:

CAMP NOU EXPERIENCE
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Picasso Museum

The world’s biggest Picasso Museum also runs normal hours over Easter, though keep in mind that on Thursday the 8th it’s a free entrance day so if possible best to schedule the visit then.

Tickets for free days are only available 4 days in advance using the buttons below:

PICASSO MUSEUM
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Poble Espanyol

This spectacular open air architecture museum doesn’t change its hours and is open 365 days a year.

Typically over Easter there are some special events organized and I’ll be updating the 2022 events here as they become available.

POBLE ESPANYOL
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Magic Fountain

The Magic Fountain show goes Barcelona Easter week on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 9:00-10:00 pm.

For Easter 2022 there will be no show on Easter Sunday or Easter Monday.

La Boqueria Market

The Rambla’s famous Boqueria Market is closed on April 17th.

You’ll need to visit on Saturday the 11th.

Easter Week Shopping Hours in Barcelona

Bad news, shopping lovers!

Most major shopping destinations will be closed on the 14th, 16th, and 17th so if you’re looking to do some shopping you’ll have to do so on the days before or after the holiday.

There is one very convenient exception however: Maremagnum Shopping Centre.

You’ll find it at the bottom of Las Ramblas open as usual.

bus-touristic-barcelona

Where to Eat during Easter in Barcelona

If you’re looking to stuff yourselves silly over Easter break in Barcelona you should consult my list of the best restaurants in Barcelona.

Most of them allow easy online reservation (if not, drop them a line on Facebook!). Again, do double check the hours by getting in contact with them directly. During bank holiday days in Barcelona it’s hard to guarantee online information.

Traditional Dishes

When you’re there know that traditionally Easter in Barcelona is a time of no meat. This means feasting on seafood and you can’t go wrong getting any of the following:

  • Bacalao con garbanzos (cod with chickpeas)
  • Bacalao con sanfaina (cod with a delicious tomato-based vegetable sauce)
  • Croquetas (fried potato croquettes with cheese or fish)
  • Buñuelos de cuaresma (fried dough balls filled with cream or chocolate)

Another thing to keep an eye out for during your Easter break is the ultimate of all Catalan dishescalçots. These massive spring onions are barbecued and served with a tangy red pepper and garlic based sauce called romesco.

Just make sure they bring you a bib: things tend to get messy.

Finally, if you’re traveling to Barcelona with kids during Easter keep in mind that Palm Sunday holds one of the region’s great traditions: giving kids the gift of a ring-shaped cake called tortell de rams.

This very colourful marzipan-stuffed cake decorated with candied fruit is given only after the masses have been attended – a type of traditional, culinary bribe!

Easter Week Parties and Flamenco

  • For people visiting the Barcelona with kids it’d be wise to check out the “De Flor en Flor” event at the legendary Poble Espanyol from (2022 dates TBA). Here you’ll have some creative recycling activities, floral decorations, gardening, and much more. All accompanied by amazing music.
  • Those looking for a fiesta loca can’t miss the classic Elrow electro festival on (2022 dates TBA) – the outdoor dance fest goes from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm.
  • In the market for a spectacular Flamenco show in a setting straight out of a movie? Check out  Opera y Flamenco at the famous Palau de la Musica Catalana or check the Gran Galà Flamenco.

Visiting Barcelona During Easter?

Get at me with any questions for custom advice in the comments below.

And don’t be afraid to join the Easter in Barcelona discussion by first giving me a like on Facebook and then joining my group I’m Off to Barcelona – here you can ask any questions, air out grievances, and chat with thousands of Barcelona travelers.

Anything goes!

57 comments
  • November 2, 2019 at 3:48 am
    Didit
    Hi Ash, So glad I bumped into this site as I plan my trip next year - Apr 4-13 '20! Looks like I can find everything I need to know in this website alone :) So informative! Will await your details on what to do Easter 2020. By the way, do let me know too when is a good time to visit Montserrat during holy week. Many thanks!
    • November 2, 2019 at 12:40 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Didit, Thanks so much for the kind words, always glad to help :) During Holy Week it's gonna quite busy so any non-weekend or holiday day... so this would be the Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday for me. Ash
  • April 19, 2019 at 10:16 am
    Julie
    Hi Ash, really useful info. for us tourists - thank you. We'd like to go to Montnegre today (we are in Montgat Nord) and feel a taxi is the only way. Could you recommend a taxi service we could book for a return journey and who can speak English? Many thanks
  • April 17, 2019 at 9:44 pm
    Eddie
    Fantastic Blog, really one of a kind and super super helpful! Sad that the Boqueria is only open Saturday - do you have any recommendations nearby for any other nice restaurants that might be open?
    • April 18, 2019 at 9:00 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Eddie, Thanks so much for the kind words :) For restaurants near La Rambla you’re unfortunately in tourist trap hell… but luckily an amazing restaurant has opened up on La Rambla called El Louro. I went there myself for a sampling and it was so good and so central (usually what my readers want) that I asked them to set up a no money down reservation form for my readers. They're open Easter Sunday. I have more info about it in this Facebook post. Ash
  • April 15, 2019 at 7:45 pm
    Melissa
    Hi!! I will be Barcelona April 21-24 for my Honeymoon and would love say ideas for honeymoon couples and it doesn’t necessarily have to be romantic ... Great tips for Easter we’re great btw!
    • April 16, 2019 at 10:08 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Melissa! Thanks for the kind words and congrats on your wedding :) You could start by reading my post on the best things to do in Barcelona as a couple. In addition to this, if you like cooking you might consider taking a traditional Spanish cooking class where the wine really flows. I personally really enjoyed Paella Club: an expert lesson covering Spain's most famous dishes (including dessert) in a Masterchef-like setting. For more information check out my Paella Club info page. Other than this, please let me know if there is something you guys are particularly interested in and I am sure I can help you find the perfect activity in Barcelona. Cheers :)
  • April 10, 2019 at 4:42 pm
    Raquel
    Hi! I was wondering if you knew the date of second Easter this year? Thanks! Raquel
    • April 11, 2019 at 8:50 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hello Raquel, Apparently it falls on June 10th: https://www.elperiodico.com/es/economia/20180913/calendario-laboral-festivos-barcelona-2019-7032364 :)
  • April 10, 2019 at 12:05 pm
    Deborah
    I’m traveling to Barcelona on a budget over Easter and am wondering... what is your recommendation for cheap places to eat when everything is closed? Are there supermarkets open?
  • April 9, 2019 at 4:29 am
    Arlene
    Hello Ash, Thank you for this guide. I just have one question, is "EL PASO DE LA BORRIQUITA" on Easter Sunday, April 21st or on Good Friday, April 19th as I read that most processions are on Friday. - Arlene
    • April 9, 2019 at 9:50 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Arlene, La Borriquita always goes on Palm Sunday so the 21st of April would be the date :) Ash
  • April 3, 2019 at 3:52 am
    Cathie Doyle
    Hi! I will be visiting Barcelona with my 16 year old daughter arriving early on 4/18 and leaving for a cruise on 4/20. Given it is Easter weekend, I was hoping you could suggest best options for us to do on the 18th and 19th? Also, have you ever been on. Hot air balloon ride in Barcelona? Thanks so much.
    • April 3, 2019 at 9:13 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Cathie, I've got a full list of the Easter events to see in my dedicated article here: https://www.barcelonahacks.com/easter-in-barcelona/ If you're still in need of something a little more custom please let me know :) I have no been on the hot air balloon ride so can't really comment but maybe you should check out the reviews on Tripadvisor for example. Ash
  • March 14, 2019 at 12:21 pm
    J Smith
    Thanks for the guide! Do you know if bars/restaurants in the Gracia neighbourhood will be open on Easter Sunday? We wanted to wander around after Park Guell but maybe we should save it for another day if everywhere will be closed.
    • March 15, 2019 at 7:54 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi J, There are many restaurants open on Easter Sunday throughout the city but it's basically on a restaurant by restaurant basis... unfortunately I always leave the city for a holiday during this week so haven't been to any myself. What you can do is make a list of 5-6 and then contact them directly via their social media page... anybody who's anybody should give you a quick response. I'll keep an eye out and see if I come across any open in Gracia. Ash
  • March 27, 2018 at 8:14 pm
    Krista
    Does the aero bus back to the airport run on Easter Monday?
    • March 27, 2018 at 8:45 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Krista, The Aerobus runs a normal schedule on Easter Monday, so no worries :) Ash
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