Easter in Barcelona, between religion and folklore
Barcelona, as well as all of Spain in general, still has a strong religious sense today and it is therefore no coincidence that Holy Week (Semana Santa) is one of the most intense moments of the year.
Alongside the processions and religious rites that are held almost everywhere in the city, there are numerous events of different nature that animate the city, making it attractive even to those who do not propose a trip with a distinctly spiritual character.
During Holy Week, from March 20 to March 26 in 2016, the city is particularly crowded not only by tourists, but also by citizens who, considering the holiday period, have more free time.
Already from Palm Sunday it is however possible to attend various processions, one of the most characteristic is the one organized by the parish of San Agustín which also passes by the Rambla.
The main celebrations of the Holy Triduum are held in the square in front of the Cathedral of Barcelona: from Good Friday there are several processions, all very suggestive and participatory, and obviously the culmination is on Easter Sunday.
It is worth remembering that, unlike in Italy, Good Friday is also a public holiday: for this reason, many shops and clubs are closed, as well as the main tourist attractions. One of the rare exceptions for shopping is the MareMagnum shopping center which remains open even on holidays; while among the museums, you will find Casa Batllo, the Sagrada Familia, the Joan Mirò foundation (exceptionally open also for Easter Monday), as well as the magic fountain open all year round.
The Picasso Museum will be open for Easter, but closed on Easter Monday.
During the Easter weekend, therefore, only Holy Saturday is a weekday and, therefore, plan to find queues at the entrance of the main monuments. An alternative, therefore, to be evaluated very carefully these days would be to give more space to the discovery of the city, taking advantage of the mild climate of the period; in this sense, do not forget to pay particular attention to what you pack, having an eye for spring clothing and light enough.
For Easter lunch, both Amaya (in La Rambla), where I would recommend paella, and Elx Al Moll (at Maremagnum), specializing in seafood, should be open.
Barcelona's Easter cuisine includes sweets Easter Mona, made with sponge cake, yolk and candied fruit, but often available in less light and aesthetically more refined variants (take a walk through the windows of the pastry chefs in Barcelona to understand what I mean!), and Lent fritters, delicious donuts fried and sprinkled with powdered sugar.
If you love chocolate, there is no shortage of small and large masterpieces of beauty and goodness and, by the way, a visit to the Chocolate Museum, particularly popular in this period when chocolate abounds on our tables: sculptures of all kinds (there is also a version of the Sagrada Familia and Hello Kitty in chocolate!) await you to delight your sight ...
So, if you have not yet decided how to spend Easter, Barcelona will surely be one of the destinations to seriously consider!