Aire de Barcelona | Ancient Baths in Barcelona

Welcome to the most captivating spa experience in Barcelona. Aire Ancient Baths of Barcelona is, without a doubt, the most attractive spa in the city. After visiting its facilities, I can definitely say that it was an unforgettable experience for the mind and the senses.

A spa out of the ordinary

As soon as you cross the massive wooden doors of Aire in the majestic Passeig de Picasso in El Born district, you start feeling special. Every single detail has been taken into consideration in the design, from the delicate interior lighting to the scents in the air, you’ll be greeted by a friendly and helpful staff that will guide you through the entire experience of visiting Aire.

The mission of Aire is to restore the ancient roman and greek bath traditions in former historic buildings. In fact, Aire de Barcelona occupies the area of a former meat storage facility of the old Born market, that features archaeological remains such as old water wells dating from romanesque times, integrated in the spa.

Silence and serenity are two other ever present elements in Aire, to guarantee a complete state of relaxation.

 

Aire de Barcelona

What do you need for visiting Aire?

Just your swimsuit. But even if you fail to bring one, the center will provide one for you with no extra charge. It’s recommended that you book your visit and treatments previously.

Upon arrival, you’ll be guided to the dressing room. Here you’ll be handed all the accessories you’ll need for your visit. Having previously booked the extraordinary Wine Bath Experience, I was treated to a burgundy coloured bathrobe, special aqua shoes and towel.

Needless to say, the center has all the toiletries you can think of to groom yourself (bath gel, shampoo, conditioner, hair gel, shaving cream, blow dryer) and everything else you can think of.

Wine Bath Experience by ESDOR

Aire de Barcelona

This treatment is one of the most unique experiences offered in Aire de Barcelona. The incredible ritual takes place in an intimate private room, for a maximum of two people.

As the name implies, the Wine Bath Experience starts with a 30 minute immersion bath inside a marble venetian bathtub dating from the XVII century.

In total, this experience lasts around 3 hours.

First part – Wine bath Experience: 30 minutes

Prepare to immerse in a fantastic blend of 38º heated water, enriched with polyphenols of the red grapes grown in the region of Ribera del Duero.

This unique formula has incredible antioxidant and invigorating benefits for the skin.

After relaxing 15 minutes in the soothing atmosphere, you’ll be treated to a mind blowing head massage with a moisturising hair tonic, while you enjoy wine and grapes.

Second part – Full body massage: 45 minutes

Get ready to continue the relaxing experience with a 45 minute massage. You’ll be taken to a different (and identically intimate chamber) for a full body massage, applied with a special oil by Esdor, obtained from grape seed, rich in oleic and linoleic acid, as well as vitamin E.

Third part – Thermal Tour: 90 minutes

The final part of this experience includes a full thermal tour of the Aire de Barcelona facilities.

Feel free to try all the different spaces at your own pace. I started trying the Tepidarium, a warm water bath at 36ºC.

To experience a soothing sensation, continue with the Caldarium, a hot water bath heated at 41ºC. Then, to stimulate blood circulation, head for the Frigidarium, a 15º cold water bath that will revitalise your body.

Another space to explore is the Hammam. This quiet steam room features essential oils with proven beneficial effects for your health.

There is a small pool inside if you want to lower your body temperature. Next to the hammam, you will find the thousand water jet bath (36ºC), to massage different parts of the body.

Finally, the Salt Bath and its great concentration of salt will allow you to float and relax at 36ºC. You can take this tour in the order you desire. You can also choose to do the thermal tour first, before the wine bath.

Hydration is very important while you’re taking the thermal tour. Feel free to sit or lie down in comfortable benches while you enjoy water or tea.

About Aire Ancient Baths

Aire Ancient Baths is a leading world referent in spa & wellness centers. Aire is present in Sevilla, Barcelona, New York, Vallromanes and Almería. When you visit Barcelona, be sure to check this link for all the services and treatments they offer. You won’t regret it!

 

See Hotels near Aire de Barcelona

How to get to Aire de Barcelona

Address: Paseo Picasso, 22, 08003 Barcelona
Phone number: +34 932 955 743

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*This article was written after the personal experience of being invited to visit the facilities of Aire de Barcelona.

10 hotel rooms with a view in Barcelona

1. Melia Barcelona Sky

melia_sky

Located in the Poblenou district, Meliá Barcelona Sky is one of the tallest buildings in Barcelona, with 29 stories offering spectacular views of the sea and the city. All rooms are equipped with glass windows from top to bottom, making natural light a common fixture for all rooms. For better views, book your room from floor 20 onwards. Book your room: Melia Barcelona Sky

2. W Barcelona

W_Barcelona

Any of the rooms of the W Barcelona Hotel will give you the feeling to be floating above sea water. The exclusive 26 story high structure resembling a sail is located right next to the coastline at the end of the Paseo Maritimo and has the best possible views of Barceloneta beach and the harbour. The variety of rooms with outstanding designs is just breathtaking. Book your room: W Barcelona

3. Hotel Arts Barcelona

arts_barcelona

Halfway between the coastline, the Olympic Port and the city, the luxurious Arts Hotel has some of the most impressive range of views of all hotel in Barcelona. Starting with Gehry’s Gold Fish in front row from the pool terrace to the breathtaking views of the upper rooms, where many of the Barcelona monuments are ever present. Book your room: Hotel Arts Barcelona

4. Barcelona Princess

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Just minutes away from the Forum and Diagonal Mar shopping center, this contemporary looking hotel offers the best views of northern Barcelona, Diagonal avenue, Agbar Tower and the Forum itself. Don’t miss the spectacular pool deck at the 23rd floor that lets you swim with astonishing views of Barcelona. Book your room: Barcelona Princess

5. Yurbban Trafalgar Hotel

yurbban_trafalgar

Aimed to urban and young travellers, Yurbban Trafalgar Hotel takes the “live as a native” to the next step, offering its guests only local and fresh products in an atmosphere of great comfort, and design at great prices. Very centrally located near Urquinaona Square, it offers great views of some key Barcelona monuments like the Barcelona Cathedral. Book your room: Yurbban Trafalgar Hotel

6. Mandarin Oriental Barcelona

mandarin_barcelona

Experience the luxury of staying in one of Barcelona’s most elegant and stylish avenues: Paseo de Gràcia. Can you imagine looking out your hotel window and stare at Gaudi’s Casa Batllo? At Mandarin Oriental it’s possible as well as enjoying luxurious treatments, indoor and outdoor pools, the latter with views of Barcelona’s most fashionable street. Book your room: Mandarin Oriental Barcelona

7. Gran Hotel La Florida

gran_florida

The stay at 5-star Gran Hotel La Florida is so exceptional that you probably wouldn’t care for spectacular views, but on top of all the goodies and high class facilities, this hotel has probably one of the best possible views of all Barcelona. Set on Tibidabo mountain, you can relax with a romantic dinner with Barcelona at your feet. Book your room: Gran Hotel La Florida

8. Hotel Miramar Barcelona

miramar_hotel

One hotel that has few rivals concerning astonishing views is Miramar Hotel, a perfect place to watch the sunrise. Set in Montjuic Mountain, it has a fabulous display of views over the Barcelona harbour and the sea, and it’s exceptionally close to many of the big attractions of these area like the Magic Fountain of Montjuic, Barcelona’s Olympic Park and Joan Miró Foundation. Book your room: Hotel Miramar Barcelona

9. Catalonia Barcelona Plaza

catalonia_plaza

Centrally located in one of Barcelona’s major transport hubs, Plaza España, Catalonia Barcelona Plaza is a natural balcony for the beautiful square, the fountains at Montjuic and the National Museum of Catalonia. If you happen to be a guest for New Year’s Eve or La Merce (Barcelona’s biggest holiday), you can have the privilege of watching the spectacular fireworks from your hotel room or from the outstanding rooftop pool. Book your room: Catalonia Barcelona Plaza

10. Ayre Hotel Rosellon

ayre_rosello

This list couldn’t be complete without including this modern 4-star hotel which offers privileged views to Sagrada Familia, Barcelona’s star monument. Start your morning staring at this wonderful Modernista building directly from your bed or take a rest in any of the sunbeds at the terrace with this awesome view. Book your room Ayre Hotel Rosellon

10 great summer attractions in Barcelona

Barcelona is great to visit all year round, but there’s no doubt that during the summer, this city simply shines. These are the top 10 attractions to see in Barcelona in the summertime.

  1. The waterfront by the Port Olimpic

 

Barceloneta Beach, Barcelona

Did you know there are over 5 Km (3.10 miles) of car-free paths to wander freely by the Port Olimpic? There are 10 beaches in Barcelona, some of them considered among the best city beaches in the world, and beyond that is the place to go for a drink in a chiringuito, roller skating, biking or the best place to chill out after a perfect day in the sand.

  1. Enjoy a relaxed evening in the city parks

barcelona-parks

Barcelona is not exactly a green city but its parks are one of a kind. Spend the evening relaxing at Ciutadella Park with live drums in the background or by the lake, get lost at Horta’s Labyrinth Park, find a shaded spot at the Botanic Garden in Montjuic or take a break from shopping at the secluded Turó Parc near Diagonal’s shopping district.

  1. Discover new heights in a fancy hotel rooftop

360_Barcel_Raval_4_hotelear

If you’re looking to enjoy a cocktail in a nice atmosphere, where there’s good music and terrific views, just head to any of the hip hotel rooftops that unwrap beginning early May. Whether is the new and fancy terrace at Yurbban Hotel, the rooftop at Barceló Raval that gives away 360º views or the last floor at Condes de Barcelona Hotel in Passeig de Gràcia, there are so many to choose from!

  1. Take a ride at Montjuic fun cable car

Montjuïc Cable Car, Barcelona

It’s short but superb: the cable car that takes you to Montjuic Castle is the fastest, most styling and exciting way of going up the hill. If the day it’s sunny (hello, we’re in Barcelona), you’ll get the best pics for Instagram.

  1. Visit Casa Batlló

casa-batllo-rooftop

Gaudi and Barcelona go hand in hand, but nothing like Casa Batlló to take you on a journey to an architecture you’ve never imagined. Take a legendary snapshot in the rooftop during sunset in the coolest house ever built by Gaudi.

  1. Magic Fountain of Montjuic

    It’s refreshing, it’s fun and best of all: it’s free! The Magic Fountain of Montjuic is one of the most beautiful shows in Barcelona mixing lights, water and music that appeals to all ages.

Magic Fountain at Montjüic

  1. Find refuge from the heat in the best museums

MACBA. Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art

So many museums to choose from and so little time! There are so many things to see in Barcelona but if you don’t have that much time and want to shy away from the heat, don’t miss Picasso Museum (a must), MACBA or the Joan Miró Foundation. The Barcelona Museum Pass may be just what you were looking for, one same ticket for 6 museums.

  1. Take it to the countryside in Montserrat

montserrat-bcn

Take my word on this one. You will never see anything like Montserrat anywhere in the world. Imagine a fairytale mountain with a beautiful Monastery embedded in the rock and breathtaking views. This is a must in any visit to Barcelona.

  1. Unmask the unique sites of Costa Brava and Dali’s work

Cadaqués in the Costa Brava

If you’re up for more excursions out of the city, take one or two days to discover another impressive and unique site of Catalonia: Costa Brava. Miles of gorgeous little towns scattered along the rocky coastline, with beautiful and secluded beaches and home to Dali’s former house and workshop, now turned into a museum.

  1. Join the best electronic parties in town

becool-barcelona

Sala Be Cool Facebook Page

There’s no way you can leave Barcelona without hitting any of the best electronic parties taking place all summer. The best of the genre gathers every year in Barcelona to deliver the best music to a very demanding crowd.

Did I leave out any of your favorites? Don’t be afraid to share your thoughts!

Halloween in Barcelona

Even though it’s a borrowed tradition from overseas, Halloween in Barcelona keeps growing in popularity every year. This is how Barcelona celebrates Halloween.

halloween

Halloween’s celebrations in Barcelona are blended with the original catalan holiday of Tot Sants (All Saints), which takes place on November 1st, and given that Halloween is not as hyped as in the US, this holiday has different shades and a flavor of its own, compared to the Halloween celebrations in other countries.

Despite being associated with a children’s holiday, Halloween in Barcelona is very popular among adults too, but either way, trick or treating is not a usual habit. Instead, lavish costume parties for grown ups take the town by storm throughout the city’s bars and clubs.

One thing you can’t miss about the Halloween/All Saints in Barcelona is “La Castanyada”, a popular tradition from Catalonia that commemorates the dead each November 1st, by having a meal including chestnuts, sweet potatoes and panellets (small cakes made of marzipan and covered with nuts).

panellets

 

Since late october, the presence of street vendors selling roasted chestnuts wrapped in newspaper is common in Barcelona. Along with these delicacies, several events like music concerts and choral ensembles.

One popular way of celebrating Halloween in Barcelona is heading to Port Aventura, a large amusement park located 110 Km (68 miles) away from Barcelona. It offers a special horror weekend and shows with ghosts, zombies, monsters and pumpkins of course.

Other big parties in Barcelona for Halloween are those in Razzmatazz with the Razzlloween Night on october 31st. CDLC Club will host the “Fear of the Night” Halloween party, as well as Sutton Club, that will held the #WILD Halloween Costume Ball on wednesday Oct. 29th. Opium Mar, Shoko Club, Sala Apolo and Monasterio will also host Halloween themed parties.

For a different Halloween celebration, head to the Moll de les Drassanes on the night of the 31st (right next to Las Golondrinas dock) and go on board a catamaran with your costume on, for a three hour Halloween Boat Party with music and drinks.

Photo Credits: Hanna Horwarth and Manel Zaera in Flickr

The best 5 underground electronic parties in Barcelona

atlantida

Image: L’Atlàntida Facebook Page

The electronic music party scene is quite busy in Barcelona. Oftentimes the best parties are a one time thing or random events, however these are the best 5 underground electronic parties in Barcelona that happen frequently at a specific place.

L´Atlàntida Barcelona

This club can be considered “The club of the Barcelona summer” by two facts: it’s in front of the sea and has a magnificent outdoor pool, as well as being quite spacious. Different types of parties take place depending on the day of the week.

The events on Friday at L´ Atlàntida are organized by FACT , promoter group of international relevance, satisfying the most demanding tastes in reference to styles like minimal, tech house or softer line techno.

At parties organized by FACT you can enjoy performances by Dj’ss such a Adriatique, Anja Schneider, Craig Richards, Davide Squillace, East End Dubs and others as equally important on the worldwide electronic music scene.

Saturdays at BeCool

Saturday nights at BeCool have become one of the most wanted parties in Barcelona for techno lovers.

These parties are organized by Javi Lago, Sintetics Label manager from Barcelona, who also have residence once a month on Saturdays programming.

The programme has had in the line-up names like Alexander Kowalski, Dustin Zahn, Petar Dundov, Heiko Laux, Samuel S. Session, Oscar Palacios and Delusions, among many others.

Also you can find on the programme special Showcase nights such as Sintetics label night or Enemy Showcase night.

Moreover, they often have some details for party goers like fruits or candy.

Moog Club

The very space of this club makes it the ideal party place in Barcelona. The lights, the flooring, the mirrors, metal and wood with a techno-punk air, give the club a festival-like touch.

We have to point out that the style of the club is mainly oriented towards techno, though there can be other styles of electronic music like house, electro or minimal.

In Moog you can enjoy good djs, local as well as international, such as Rabent, Fran Navaez, Olmos, NX1, Angel Alanis, among others. This is one of the techno clubs one must visit when you are in Barcelona and also a good place to meet people.

Club4

Is the club on Thursday nights at City Hall. It can be said that Thursdays in Barcelona are of Club4.

This parties organized by B4 Bookings are an important reference for techno in the city, one of the best electronic music clubs in Barcelona and right in the city centre.

In Club4 are held Label nights, special long dj sets and other specific parties. Normally you can find playing Djs such a Paco Osuna, Joseph Capriati, Adam Beyer, Sian, Misstress Barbara, Dubfire and many others.

Insert

Even though Insert is a club that just opened very recently, it has become the hallmark of the industrial clubs in Barcelona. Insert is compared with clubs like Tresor in Berlin.

It offers sessions of quality underground techno on a standard basis, which makes it a club thought of for a public with a deeper knowledge of the techno genre.

Insert has a fixed location in winter, now is characterized for offering itinerant parties, because its concept is known well.

Its resident Djs are Audiolux , Tork and Men, and in addition its line-up has included Pfirter, Flug, Tadeo, James Ruskin and Tommy Four Seven, among others.

Party options in Barcelona

Famous Modernista buildings in Barcelona

Barcelona, among many other things, is worldwide known because of its remarkable style in Modernista architecture, a feature most likely unmatched by any other city ever. Modernisme, also called Catalan Art Nouveau, it’s an artistic movement that became particularly strong in Barcelona during the turn of the 20th century. Two prominent Catalan architects were the main figures of this movement: Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Muntaner, which created some of the most famous Modernista buildings in Barcelona. These are the ones you cannot miss on your next trip.

Sagrada Familia

sagrada_familia

Probably the most famous landmark in Barcelona, Sagrada Familia is the building Gaudí was working at the moment he passed away in 1926, leaving it unfinished. An intricate piece of art, as of today, it’s still a work in process, with the promise that it will be completed by 2028.

Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site

sant_pau

One of the biggest Modernista venues in the world, the former hospital (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), has been turned to Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site, a stunning and huge complex designed by Domènech that now works as a space devoted to embrace different institutions in the fields of education, health and sustainability. It hosts meetings and events and the complex itself can be visited with or without a guided tour.

Parc Güell

Park_Guell

The most unique city park ever, it could easily be part of a fairytale setting. Gaudí created one of the most fascinating places in Barcelona merging the most extravagant forms along with breathtaking landscape designs. Don’t leave Parc Güell without taking a picture at the famous Dragon, the park’s most photographed icon.

Palau de la Música Catalana

The most celebrated concert hall in Barcelona, the impressive building designed by Domènech has been operating for over a century now. A visit to Palau de la Música Catalana is greatly encouraged (either by attending to a concert or with a guided visit) as you’ll never witness something quite like it.

Palau de la Musica Catalana, Barcelona

Casa Batlló

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The nature inspired house Casa Batlló is another Modernista wonder in Barcelona that you must pay a visit to. It’s impossible not to be swept away by the imaginative and clever ideas Gaudí created for this beautiful yet functional house. One of the highlights is the top floor when you can enjoy a panoramic view of fancy Passeig de Gràcia avenue, Barcelona’s own 5th Avenue.

All pictures by Barcelona N’ Do

 

How to visit Parc Güell for free

© gatsi/stock.adobe.com

Park Güell is one of the most remarkable works by Gaudí in Barcelona. A true exponent of catalan Art Nouveau style “Modernism”.

Since it opened, Parc Güell was always an open park for residents and tourists alike. However, due to the growing amount of visitors, it’s required to buy a ticket in order to visit.

How to visit Park Güell for free

As in every museum or attraction in Barcelona, there are several ways to enter Parc Güell for free:

 

  • During winter (November 1st-March 30th). On the first Sunday of every month, a limited number of free tickets are given out at the box office while supplies last.
  • During summer (April 1st- October 31st). Every Sunday from 17:00 to 20:00 hours.
  • Open house on April 23rd for Sant Jordi, May 18th and September 24th for La Mercè.

Get Tickets to Park Güell


It’s important to highlight that only the Monumental Zone of the park is restricted to ticket holders. This is the area that includes the Dragon, the Hypostyle Room and the main terrace.

The rest of the park remains open to the general public.


Buy tickets for Parc Güell

If you wish to buy your tickets online, there are a few advantages such as a lower price and no waiting times to enter the Monumental Area.

 

Buy Tickets to Park Güell

 

Barcelona residents can register to apply for free entrance tickets, on the Office of Citizen Services at the Plaça Sant Miquel 3.

 

New Year’s Eve in Barcelona

Barcelona_fireworks

When you think about New Year’s Eve celebrations, most likely cities like New York, London, Rio de Janeiro, Sydney or Paris come to mind. No wonder, those cities hold the best reputation for staging the most amazing New Year’s Eve shows in the world. But should we expect a new city joining this select group? You bet, as Barcelona is heading to grab headlines this next December 31st.

Barcelona hasn’t yet succeeded in staging a memorable New Year’s Eve spectacle, with the exception of the one that took place in 1999 to celebrate the Millennium. But this is all about to change, as this year Barcelona wants to top that night with an ambitious performance, in order to set new grounds for an annual event that hopefully will shake things up and become one of the most awaited shows in the world. A steppingstone in the city’s successful reinvention as top touristic destination.

The show has already been planned to the last detail, and the key to stand out from the crowd is showing the world a different and unique aesthetics in the ceremony, completely inspired in the local culture and traditions. To meet such standards, they resorted to famed theatrical group “La Fura dels Baus”, who were the centerpiece for the 1999’s show that attracted 20.000 people in Plaza Cataluña.

Hopefully, the attendance this year will be much larger, as the usual scenery for la Mercé pyrotechnics show, the Maria Cristina Avenue at Plaza España, will host the show and it has already proved to host big crowds. Hold your breath, because the pyrotechnics display will run for about 45 minutes into the new year, and don’t expect the regular clock: the twelve strokes at midnight will be created through fireworks effects. With more surprises to come, we can’t wait for New Year’s Eve to witness this magical show with Montjuïc’s Magic Fountain in the background.

If you want to be a part of this exceptional performance, don’t forget to show up at Plaza España no later than 21.00h, as the access to the premises will open at that time, and above all, bring all your excitement and get ready for the biggest party of the year in Barcelona!

Photo credit: Xavi on Flickr

Things to do in Barcelona if you’re coming on a Cruise

The Port of Barcelona is one of the biggest in the Mediterranean and has a huge capacity to dock the biggest cruise ships in the world. Out of the millions of visitors that each year visit Catalonia’s capital, a generous amount decide to make it by sea. In 2013, a total of 3.6 million passengers reached Barcelona from cruise ships, and if you want to be one of them in the future, we want to share some recommendations on how to make the most of your visit.

Cruise_Barcelona

Cruise Ship arriving to the Barcelona Port

 

The arrival time of the Cruise ships that come into Barcelona are varied, and generally the passenger has between 6-8 hours to get off the ship and visit the city, however you should check your own schedule and be extra sure of the departure time of your cruise so you can plan your journey. The average time from the Port Terminal to the city usually takes up to 15 minutes, but that depends on your choice of transport, for more information, check out our page on how to get from the Cruise Port Terminals to Barcelona.

Once in Barcelona, the alternatives are endless. There are plenty of things to do and little time to spare, so to help you organize your visit we’re sharing the first of many routes that you can make in Barcelona in the space of the few hours you get off the cruise. We know it’s impossible to see Barcelona in just one day, but our goal is that you get to see the most of Barcelona depending on your interests and highlighting low cost and local choices. All routes are designed to start and finish at Columbus Monument.

Route #1: Barceloneta & Montjuïc

Start by walking through the Rambla de Mar so you can make all your shopping at Maremagnum. Walk around the marina all the way to Barceloneta, the perfect place to taste the best Mediterranean food, for that we recommend trying out legendary Bar Electricitat for the best local tapas, in Barceloneta’s main square. Next step we recommend renting a bike so you can get a grip of all the neighborhood and the beaches, this way you’ll have more time to stroll around the seafront promenade, the fancy W Hotel and the Olympic Port.

Just a short walk away from Barceloneta’s Boulevard, on the same direction as W Hotel, you’ll notice a steel tower several stories high. We’re talking about Barcelona’s Port Cable Car, the one that takes you from Barceloneta to Montjuïc in a very short time. The ride takes place at 70 meters high above the ground so you get breathtaking views of all the harbour and the city.

From Barceloneta to Montjuic

Barceloneta & Montjuic

 

Montjuïc is very extense and the places of interest are abundant, check out our page What to do in Montjuïc, so you can get acquainted with all the attractions available and see which ones suit you best, but we suggest visiting Montjuïc’s Castle, the Olympic Stadium, Joan Miró Museum and the Magic Fountain. We recommend to head down to Plaza España once your journey is over so you can easily take Metro Line 3 to Drassanes and head to the Cruise Terminals.

 

Saint George’s Day in Barcelona

Legend says that once there was a kingdom besieged by a dragon. To keep the dragon from attacking the reign’s domains, the people decided to give him two lambs everyday, to satisfy the dragon’s hunger. When the town was left without animals, the dragon then demanded to be fed with maidens, and left with no other choice they relinquished. Until the day the turn of the princess came, and upon entering the dragon’s cave, out of the blue, a knight appeared and fought the dragon to death.

Sant-Jordi-Roses-2013

The dragon’s dead body was down on the ground and out of the blood that started to emerge, red roses were born. Saint George, the knight’s name, gave a rose to the princess as a symbol of his love. That’s why on April 23rd, on Saint George’s day, there’s the tradition of every man giving a rose to a woman and in return, every woman gives a book to a man, in remembrance of the passing of two of the greatest writers in literature, Cervantes and Shakespeare.

Sant-Jordi-Roses-2013

 

Sant George or Sant Jordi, along with La Mercé and Sant Joan, is the biggest holiday in Barcelona, and oddly enough, it’s a working day. It could also be viewed as the alternative to Barcelona’s own Valentine’s Day, as traditionally February 14th is celebrated more among foreigners living in Barcelona. Lately the book and the rose are being exchanged between friends and it doesn’t have any romantic implication.

If you happen to be in Barcelona for Sant Jordi, consider yourself lucky, this is truly a spectacular day to witness. These are some things that you shouldn’t miss on Sant Jordi:

  • Buying books. Plenty of them. Sant Jordi is one of the biggest days for literature year round, lots of stores have special discounts and there are plenty of book releases (as well as their authours in person signing them). 
  • Buying roses, or better yet, getting roses if you’re a girl! The city will be filled with street stands selling red roses, although you’ll also notice some more outrageous designs striving for the most original multicolored rose. As the day passes by, you’ll see how the roses start to cost each time less and less.

Sant-Jordi-Roses-2013

  • Walk down La Rambla and Passeig de Gràcia. If you don’t mind the hassle of big crowds, you’ll have a great time browsing through the hundreds of book stands, the relaxed atmosphere is contagious.
  • Taste a “Coca de Sant Joan“. A traditional bread prepared for Sant Jordi’s Day, made with Majorcan sausage and cheese and it’s decorated resembling the Catalan flag. You’ll find it in most bakeries.
  • Visit Barcelona’s City Hall. They will have an open day on April 23rd, a perfect opportunity to discover the City Hall from the inside. There will be plenty of other activities for Sant Jordi, you can check them out here.