What to do in Barcelona in April
YOUR GUIDE TO APRIL IN BARCELONA
April is a great time to visit Barcelona: the weather is starting to warm up and there’s lots of interesting events taking place. And Easter usually falls on April… although that’s a double-edged sword: it’s great because you might get days off for a Holy Week vacation. But… many other people will, too! And that can mean a more people visiting the city, more expensive flights and hotels…
But if that won't deter you, do not doubt it: April is a great time to come! In today's post I'll be sharing the best things to do that are unique to April in Barcelona. This is not a sightseeing list: if you need help planning your stay, check this instead.
April Barcelona traditions & festivals
Festa Major de la Sagrada Familia
A “Festa Major” is the main festival of a city, village or district in Catalonia. And the neighborhood around the Sagrada Familia church celebrates it around April 23rd and during the last two weeks of the month.
The festival involves all kind of traditional events: giants, fireruns… But the best part is a Castellers meeting celebrated in front of the Nativity Façade of the Sagrada Familia church. Watching the teams build human castles in front of the most famous church in Spain is an experience you’ll never forget. Do check when it’s happening and synch your visit to the church with it!
The processions are smaller and less crowded. But there are ways to witness the local traditions such as attending Palm Sunday mass or buying a chocolate Mona cake for Easter Monday. You’ll find all the tips you need about Easter in Barcelona in our blog.
Sant Jordi (April 23rd)
That’s why on April 23rd men buy red roses to their significant others. And supermarkets offer roses to their clients, bosses buy roses for the female employees, dads buy roses to their daughters… If you are a lady in Catalonia and you don’t get a rose that day, even if you don’t have a boyfriend… Well, it’s a sad day!
April 23rd is also the International Day of Books, so in return ladies buy a book to their men. And moms to their kids – boys or girls, it doesn’t matter. And you buy one book for yourself too, to keep the tradition. It is said that thanks to this festivity the publishing industry of Catalonia is the strongest in Spain!
Feria de Abril
The Feria de Abril started as a farmers festival in Seville back in the 1800’s, but soon became an excuse to celebrate, meet friends, dance together and eat, and other Andalucia towns started copying the model.
In the 1970’s Andalusian immigrants started their own Feria de Abril in our land, and since then it’s evolved to a big event that is celebrated every year in the Forum area. It takes place after Easter for 10 days, taking up two entire weekends.
You’ll find there food and drink stands, as well as the typical “casetas” or tents run by Andalusian organizations featuring flamenco dance and music performances as well as other typically Andalusian traditions.
April sport events
FC Barcelona April fixtures
In April the FC Barcelona soccer team is fully immerse in the Spanish league, La Liga. They play every weekend, one at home and the next away. So you have two chances to attend a match – check their calendar here. Alternatively you can watch a match in a local sports bar, or visit the FC Barcelona Stadium.
And did you know the FC Barcelona has a great basketball team, too? In April they participate in the Spanish Liga and the Euroleague, what means more chances of hitting a match during your stay! Here is their schedule.
Not basketball for you? It needs to be soccer? Then check out the second soccer team of Barcelona, the RCD Español. Their stadium is located in the suburbs but it’s relatively easy to reach by subway. Here is the link to their calendar.
Barcelona Open (Conde de Codo tennis competition)
It takes place during the second half of April in the premises of the RCTB – the Royal Tennis Club of Barcelona, in the exclusive neighborhood of Pedralbes. Find all the information about it and buy tickets here.
- Barcelona Half Marathon. EARLY APRIL. 21km / 13 miles of a urban itinerary covering some of the historical areas of the city.
- Cursa del Corte Ingles. LATE APRIL. a bit over 10km / 6.5 miles. Organized by a famous department store since 1979, it’s considered one of the races with a largest number of participants in the world. Professional and amateur runners depart first, followed by an eclectic crowd of locals including moms with baby strollers, people walking their dogs, groups of teens… The itinerary is easy, you have up to 2 hours to complete it at a leisurely pace, and it feels almost like a party.
- Cursa de Bombers. EARLY APRIL, although due to political events and to the pandemic, these last years it’s been postponed to Autumn. 10km / 6 miles. Organized by the Barcelona Firemen (that’s what “bombers” means in Catalan) since 1999.
More fun things to do in Barcelona in April
Earth Day - April 22nd (and closest weekend)
In Barcelona an association has promoted a festival called Fira per la Terra or Mercat de la Terra since 1996. For many years it was a huge event celebrated in the Ciutadella Park, then it was moved to the Parc de Nou Barris, located in the periphery of Barcelona.
That diminished the affluence of visitors. And after going virtual during the pandemic, in 2022 they’ve moved to the town of Girona, hoping the new location will be more attractive.
International Dance Day - April 29th
The International Dance Day (Dia Internacional de la Dansa, in Catalan) is celebrated worldwide since it was established by the UNESCO in 1982. That day, incidentally, was my 4th birthday… maybe they knew that and that dance will be one of my passions?
The Association of Professional Dancers of Barcelona organizes events and performances that day. And local dance schools and teams get out to the streets to dance as well. And when it’s not been possible because we were on lockdown or the dance academies weren’t allowed to open yet, they’ve danced at home:
Music and Culture Festivals
- Telecogresca. Join the largest college party in Barcelona: organized by the students of telecommunications of the UPC university since 1978, it’s evolved from a club party into an outdoors festival with live concerts, DJs and food trucks.
- Palo Alto Market. A Festival celebrated every month in the Poblenou district, combining live concerts of street music, food trucks and vintage and design shopping.
- D’A Film Festival. LATE APRIL – EARLY MAY. Indie cinema festival taking place in several locations around the city.
Fun trade shows
- Handmade Festival. For creative people interested in everything DIY and crafts. There’s workshops, stands, meetings with influencers, food truck, live music and a kids area.
- B-Travel. The largest travel-related show in Barcelona. A great place to prepare your next plans to travel to Spain or abroad!
- Barcelona Wine Week. Despite its deceiving name, it’s not a week anymore but 3 entire days dedicated to Spanish wine. Over 600 stands dedicated to Spanish wine brands, cellars and ODs. Debates, conferences, tastings, pairings and more.
April day trips from Barcelona
- Monastery of Montserrat. Now that the weather is warmer, the mountain of Montserrat because again a favorite destination for the spectacular views as well as for the Boys Choir. Plus April 27th is the Day of Our Lady of Montserrat, a great opportunity to see local pilgrimages and offerings.
- Sitges. This seaside village very close to Barcelona is a fun alternative to Costa Brava, thanks to its micro-climate with over 300 sunny days a year.
- Tarragona. The Roman Ruins of Tarragona are a cool historical destination that works every season of the year.
- Girona. This beautiful medieval town with an ancient Cathedral and a fascinating Jewish history is another wonderful option this time of the year.
And what about the Dali Museum? The lines there start being really long and the inside of the museum feels crowded during Easter and the weeks around it, and it’ll continue to be the same, specially on the weekends, until the Fall. It’s still a great place to visit, but it’s not a hidden gem off the beaten path.
And the wine country? It’s always a good destination all year around. You get to learn about the process of wine making and taste some lovely wines. But in April the vineyards aren’t too green yet, and it’s not a busy moment at the wineries so you won’t see many workers busying around.
Parks in full bloom
April is here and the blooming season is in full swing. The best parks and gardens to see blossoms this time of the year are the Mossen Cinto Verdaguer gardens with its tulips and bulbs, and the Botanical Garden.
Foods to try in April in Barcelona
FRUIT. Head to the Boqueria market to grab some of the last strawberries of the season and see if the first cherries have already arrived. Clementines will also soon be gone from the fresh produce stalls.
FISH. Did you know some fish and seafood is also seasonal? In April starts the season of local sardines, and it’s still the best time for shrimp. If you look around the fishmongers, you might also see some carrying more unusual fish such as moray, sword fish or sting ray.
BAKERIES AND DESSERTS. Torrijas and fritters can be purchased in local bakeries until Easter. And as Easter Monday appears, you’ll see chocolate sculptures on display at the cake shops: they are the “Mona” cakes that godfathers buy for their godchildren. On St. George’s day bakeries produce a red and yellow bread (in the manner of the catalan flag), made with cheese and sobrasada pork spread.
Barcelona April weather
CLOUDS AND RAIN: In Barcelona in April the sky is mostly covered all the time. There’s a 15% to 20% chance of rain in Barcelona, higher as the month goes by.
WIND. The wind is calmer in the Spring compared to the winter, and it comes mostly from the West.
WATER TEMPERATURE AND BEACH SEASON. The water temperature in April is around 15ºC / 59F. It’s definitely still too cold for most locals to get in the water, but it’s nice outside to enjoy lunch by the sea, practice sport in the Barcelona beach facilities and enjoy the first sunrays.
What to pack for Barcelona in April
Plan to dress in layers, it’s the best way to avoid being too cold or too hot. Bring a light jacket, some jeans and long sleeve shirts. No need for globes or other warm pieces of clothing. And it’s too early for tank-tops, shorts and t-shirts, too.
Jacket clips like these sold on Amazon are great to attach your jacket to your bag if it’s too cold and you don’t want to carry them on your hand (or worse, forget it somewhere!)
Will you be visiting Barcelona, Spain, in April?
Marta is the founder of ForeverBarcelona. She is a passionate tour guide that loves Barcelona and loves writing too. She is the main author of our Blog, and is committed to sharing her knowledge about Barcelona and her best tips with our readers.
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Last update on 2023-12-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API