La Mercè: a gigantic and unmissable festival in Barcelona

Pauline
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Article updated 14 November, 2018. 0 comments

Do not miss the festival of la Mercè, an incredible festive tradition lasting several days and transforming Barcelona into one enormous festival hall!

la Mercè
Where?

everywhere in the city

When?

21st-24th September 2018

How much?

free

Why?

for a party atmosphere
to see another side of Barcelona

True to its reputation, Barcelona is one of Europe’s party capitals, and the city outdoes itself for la Mercè, the most popular celebration of the year.

La Mercè: Catalonia’s biggest festival

La Mercé is celebrated every year since 1902 and takes place around the 24th of September. It is a tribute to the Virgin Mercè, the patron of Barcelona.

It also celebrates the changing season, just like Sant Joan. In the case of la Mercè, it’s Autumn that the city is welcoming in with great pomp.

La Mercè, a typically Catalan festival

Like many other festivals during the year, la Mercè is a time for Catalan people to celebrate their traditions. The streets fill with sardana dancers, human towers (castellers in Catalan) and plenty of other surprises.

la mercè castellers

Concerts, spectacles and fireworks

The whole city is out! Montjuïc castle, Trinitat park, the parc de la Citudella, the Fabra i Coats factory and even the Bogatell beach hold the greatest number of shows.

More than 2000 events are planned every year. And they’re all free!

Street art, concerts, fireworks competitions, circus shows, exhibitions, wine tastings, and open houses in some cultural centres…

La Mercè is also a chance to see a parade of gigantic puppets: els Gigants.

Useful information

Where to go?

  • Castellers: you can witness these impressive human tours on the Plaça Sant Jaume.
  • Correfocs: These demons and monsters running the streets with fireworks and sparklers can be dangerous for children, which is why the Barcelona authorities organise some safe correfocs at the start of the evening before the grown-up correfocs begin later in the night. The correfocs take place around the Via Laietana. Maybe avoid wearing your best clothes, just in case!
  • Parade of giants: on the Plaça de la Mercè, in front of Barcelona cathedral and on the Plaça Sant Jaume.

la mercè plaça espanya

Getting around

  • Given the number of activities and the huge numbers of participants, we strongly advise against trying to travel by car or taxi during the festival of la Mercè.
  • The metro runs 24hours and there are extra transports available for getting to the Fòrum park or Montjuïc.

People with reduced mobility

  • The biggest events in the festival of la Mercè are adapted for people with reduced mobility. You will find ample information on the subject on la Mercè Barcelona website.
  • It is advisable to arrive 30 to 45 minutes before the beginning of a show to have time to find a space.

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About the author

Pauline

Pauline loves books, food and new discoveries. For her articles, she loves finding original and authentic places which are a treat for both the eyes and the tastebuds. Her favourite thing to do in Barcelona? Getting lost in the Old Town and soaking up its unique atmosphere... whilst enjoying the appetising smells emerging from restaurant kitchens! Is there anything better than that?