This blog was originally posted on February 15th 2019 and was updated for March 2020.
Barcelona begins to awaken from its winter slumber in March and spring is tapping at the windows. With temperatures rising, the days growing longer and the streets growing busier, March is a great month to dust off the cobwebs and set out for a holiday in Barcelona. Perfectly nestled between the low and high seasons, March is a window of opportunity to explore Barcelona before the crowds really start to arrive.
Read on to discover the weird and wonderful events of Barcelona in March…
Sant Medir Festival: Candy Culture
When: 3rd March
Where: Carrer Gran de Gracia, Gracia neighbourhood
Price: Free, although you may wish to purchase a big bag.
At first glance, this festival is a little tricky to understand. Well, first glance, second glance, at all glances really, unless you also have a candy and horses festival in your town? We didn’t think so.
The Sant Medir Festival is born out of a local story of a farmer called Medir and a passing Bishop who was escaping Roman persecution. The Bishop told Medir that he was willing to die for his faith and told Medir not to lie if the Romans asked if he had seen him. Medir, who had been sowing his crop of beans, swore to tell the truth and, once the Bishop had moved on, his crop of broad beans began to grown rapidly. Unfortunately, when the Romans came and Medir told them he had seen the Bishop pass through, they took Medir, captured the Bishop, and both were executed. There is a sanctuary, the Ermita de Sant Medir, in Sant Cugat.
How does this connect to candy and horses? Well, there’s another story too (stay with us): a local baker was suffering an awful illness and made a promise that if he recovered, he would make a pilgrimage every year to the Ermita de Sant Medir. As the years went on, people joined his pilgrimage and were said to throw broad beans to the crowd that watched. Over time, broad beans were (thankfully) replaced with candy and thus the “Sweetest Festival” was born.
On 3rd March, you can watch the procession which now not only has horses and carts, but trucks and decorated floats. You’ll want to bring a big bag or even an umbrella (turned upside, a local trick!) to catch as much candy as possible. This is a great evening of fun to share, especially if visiting with children, as they can catch candy and then follow the procession to the firework display in the Jardinets de Gracia.
Monumental Club: ¡Ay, qué rico!
When: 14th March
Where: La Plaza Monumental de Barcelona (map link)
Price: From 5€ per person (ticket link)
Monumental Club is an event worth attending just to see the inside of one of Barcelona’s old bullrings (this activity has been banned in Catalonia since 2012; another bullring located in Plaza Espanya has been converted into a shopping centre). La Monumental still retains all its seating and the Monumental Club event takes place right in the ring in the centre. Walking in and out of the old entrances for the “matadors” and bulls alike is an awesome experience in itself, but throw in some live music, delicious food and beer and you’ve got an all-round winner.
Monumental Club takes place at least once a month in Barcelona, always with different acts and different themes, so don’t worry if you miss this March edition.
Barcelona Beer Festival
When: 13th, 14th and 15th March
Where: La Farga de l’Hospitalet (Google maps link)
Price: from 7,75€ (official site)
Well, the title is pretty self-explanatory here! Take the train from Plaza Catalunya out to L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, which takes around 30 minutes and only costs a few euros, and join thousands of others in sampling the best international beers at this huge three-day festival. Tickets start from just 7,75€, which includes the booking fee, a glass that you use for sampling the beers and that you can keep after the event, a map and booklet to show you where to go and two tokens to help get you started on your tasting adventure.
If you’re new to the world of craft beers, you will find volunteers around the venue that will be more than happy to explain the origins of craft beer and also make suggestions on what to try. This is undoubtedly a must-see (and must-taste!) attraction for beer lovers; there will also be delicious gastronomic offerings to help line your stomach, so what more do you need?
The opening times on Friday 13 and Saturday 14 are from 11.00h to 23.00h – that’s right, a full 12 hours of beer drinking! Make sure you have something to eat at one of the amazing stands. On Sunday 15, it’s from 11.00h to 21.00h, but ten hours is enough for a Sunday!
Barcelona Beer pt. 2: St Patrick’s Day
When: 17th March
Where: All over the city
Price: Varies, but at the minimum it’s the price of a few beers!
Yes, even in Barcelona, St Patrick’s Day is now widely celebrated. It’s up to you if you want to celebrate it in the city centre with other tourists, in one of the many Irish pubs that can be found around Barcelona, or if you want to celebrate with the locals in a small bar or restaurant, we hope the luck of the Irish will bless you! Be prepared for Guiness, Irish music and even Irish dancing – and plenty of “craic” (which means “fun” in Irish slang).
When: 21st, 22nd and 23rd March
Where: starting from Plaza Sant Jaume
Price: Free to watch
Now, we cannot stress enough how important it is not to drink and drive! But if you want to see some incredible cars after visiting the beer festival, then the Barcelona-Sitges Classic Car Rally is here to help.
Held every year since 1959, the rally sees participants race from Barcelona to Sitges, with the exit from Barcelona a highlight. Classic cars, lovingly restored by the participants (who will also dress in period-appropriate clothing), leave from Plaza San Jaume in the centre of Barcelona and travel to Sitges. Don’t worry if you don’t catch the opening ceremony, there are other spots around the city to catch the race – look out for updates on the official website.
Also, from the 2nd to the 21st March, six classic cars will be on display at L’illa Diagonal Shopping Center, including a 1916 Hispano-Suiza and a 1908 Cadillac Thirty.
Festival in the Gothic Quarter
When: 20th – 24th March
Where: Gothic Quarter
Price: Most festivities are free.
The Festa Major del Pi, also known as the Festa de Sant Josep Oriol, takes place in the Pi area of the Gothic quarter, which consists of the church, Santa Maria del Pi, and the streets that surround it. The major features of the celebrations are the Gegants del Pi, some of the oldest Gegants in the whole of Catalonia (gegants are large paper-and-wood representations of men and women, each neighbourhood has their own). While the gegants will be used in dances and processions, there will also be theatrical demonstrations of local legends, from stories about Sant Josep Oriol to tall tales about thieves and highwaymen.