Festes de Santa Eulàlia A week’s worth of music, dances, parades of gegants (giants), castellers (human castle-builders) and fireworks in honour of one of Barcelona’s patron saints – the saint’s day falls on February 12.
Semana Santa (Holy Week) There’s a procession from the church of Sant Agustí on c/de l’Hospital (El Raval) to La Seu, starting at 4pm on Good Friday, while Palm Sunday sees the blessing of the palms at La Seu.
23: Día de Sant Jordi St George’s Day, dedicated to Catalunya’s dragon-slaying patron saint – the city fills with roses and books, exchanged by sweethearts as gifts.
Last week: Primavera Sound The city’s hottest music festival heralds a massive three-day bash, attracting top names in rock, indie and electronica.
Last week: Festival de Flamenco de Ciutat Vella Five days of guitar recitals, singing and dancing, plus DJ sessions and chill-out zone.
Usually 2nd or 3rd week: Sónar Europe’s most cutting-edge electronic music, multimedia and urban art festival attracts up to 100,000 visitors for three days of brilliant noise and spectacle. By day, the focus is on events at MACBA/CCCB; by night, the action shifts to out-of-town L’Hospitalet, with all-night buses running from the city to the Sónar bars and clubs.23/24: Verbena/Día de Sant Joan The “eve” and “day” of St John is the city’s wildest annual celebration, with bonfires and fireworks (particularly on Montjuïc), drinking and dancing, and watching the sun come up on the beach. The day itself (24th) is a public holiday.
End June to August: Festival de Barcelona Grec The summer’s foremost arts and music festival, with main performances at Montjuïc’s open-air Greek theatre.
First week: Montjuïc de Nit Once a year, Montjuïc’s galleries throw open their doors for the night, while parks, spaces and buildings across the whole hillside throb with free gigs, dance, theatre, films, street art and family events.
Mid-month: Festa Major de Gràcia Music, dancing, fireworks and castellers in the neighbourhood’s streets and squares.
11: Diada Nacional The Catalan national day is a public holiday in Barcelona.
24: Festes de la Mercè The city’s biggest traditional festival lasts for a week around the 24th – the 24th itself is a public holiday (and there’s free entry that day to city museums). Highlights include costumed giants, breathtaking firework displays and competing teams of castellers.
Third week: Festival de Tardor Ribermúsica Wide-ranging four-day music festival held in the Born, with free concerts in historic and picturesque locations.
End October to November: Festival de Jazz The biggest annual jazz festival in town highlights big-name solo artists and bands.
1–22: Fira de Santa Llúcia A Christmas market and crafts fair outside La Seu.