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Since the weekend of La Mercè has an abundance of activities happening all around the city, you will have to pick which ones you want to attend. Sadly, it is impossible to go to every event (trust us, we’ve tried) but with some tips from Spanish Trails and a little planning, you can be sure to make it to the highlights and a few extras!

Keep in mind that every neighborhood has smaller scale events with group Sardana performances, Castellers, correfocs and parades which occur non-stop so if all else fails just walk around the corner and you are sure to run into a host of activities!

La Mercè is always a fantastic time but it is also always hot… be sure to have a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and water on hand throughout the day to keep yourself cool and comfortable!

Thursday, Sep 22nd:

65th Annual Book Fair

You can find everything here from rare antiques to modern classics! There are set to be 50 stalls and a solo exhibition on “150 Years of Illustrated Covers.”
Where: Passeig de Gràcia, at the Consell de Cent intersection
When: 10am – 9pm

National Museum of Catalonian Art
Free admission today and throughout the weekend at this museum and multiple others!
Where: Just off of Placa d’Espanya, it’s housed in a palace on Avigunda de la Reina Maria Cristina – you can’t miss it!
When: 10am – 8pm

Inaugural Sardanas
Watch locals dance the quintessential Catalonian folk dance as you listen to La Cobla Sant Jordi, a band formed in 1983 that plays creative interpretations of traditional works.
Where: Avigunda de la Catedral, in front of the Cathedral of Barcelona
When: 7:00 pm
(Other sardana events occur: Saturday the 24th at 6:15pm in Placa de La Mercè; Sunday the 25th at 1pm on Avigunda de la Catedral; Sunday the 25th at 6pm in Placa Sant Jaume)

*Check the program guide link at the bottom of the page for specific concerts and performances happening today!

Friday, Sep 23rd:

Today is mainly devoted to music festivals, international exhibitions, and street events. Wander around the city and see what fun events you run into!

International Folkart Festival
Take in the performances and crafts of other cultures right in the heart of Barcelona. Visiting countries here for La Mercè include: Chile, Nepal, El Salvador, Macedonia, Guinea, and Scotland along with the guest city of Paris.

Where: Placa Sant JaumeWhen: 6:00-9:00 pm

(Photo source: Wikipedia, https://goo.gl/qQYbJ5)

Barcelona Street Arts
Roam around Parc de la Ciutadella and enjoy musical performances, shows, food trucks, and films from La Mercè’s guest city, Paris.
Where: Parc de la Ciutadella
When: Food trucks start a 5:00 pm but the event goes until about 9:00 pm

Saturday, Sep 24th:

Parade of Dwarves and Giants
See “gegants i capgrossos” dance above the crowd in all their splendor! A traditional element of festivals in many regions of Spain.
Where: Placa Sant Jaume
When: 11:00 am

Castells (local)
An old tradition that dates back to the 18th century. Human towers have become an iconic part of Barcelona’s festivals, particularly La Mercè. See them in action for yourself!
Where: Placa Sant Jaume
When: 12:30 pm

Sunday, Sep 25th:

Stick dancing (Bastoners)
Traditional stick dancers or bastoners perform lively and rhythmic choreography for onlookers. Stay in the plaza to see the Castellers at noon!
Where: Placa Sant Jaume
When: 10:00 am

Castells (guest)
These human towers are built by guest groups of Castellers and they are always impressive!
Where: Placa Sant Jaume
When: 12:00 pm

Tabaler drummers concert
Listen to percussionists excite the crowd before the big correfoc starts on Via Laietana!
Where: Placa del Rei
When: 7:00 pm

Drummers Concert

(Photo source: Wikipedia, https://goo.gl/4fgrCa)

Kids’ “Little Devils” Correfoc
A tamer version of the adult fire-run that happens at night. Great for families!
Where: Via Laietana
When: 6:30 pm

Correfoc de La Mercè
The official fire-run! Wearing proper clothing is important at this one. Be sure to wear long sleeve shirts or jackets, long pants and closed-toe shoes that you don’t mind getting singed. If that doesn’t seem like enough, bring along a hat and sunglasses for good measure. For this event you can get as close to or as far away from the danger as you want, it’s up to you!
Where: Via Laietana
When: 8:30 pm

It is probably abundantly clear by now that fire is a big part of celebrating La Mercè. This closing ceremony fireworks show is no different! Do not miss this one!
Where: Avigunda de la Reina Maria Cristina, in front of the National Art Museum of Catalonia
When: 10:00 pm


(Photo source: Levante, https://goo.gl/YxpmpC)

We can’t wait to see you here!

Each night running from roughly 9pm to midnight (there is some variation each night, consult the program for specific times) is the Colorama projection mapping on the façade of the Barcelona city hall.
Where: Placa Sant Jaume

Text: Caroline Guardabassi
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