Public holidays in Barcelona

Spain is known for its many party’s and holidays. The calendar counts 13 days off per year, and to that should be added 2 local holidays. Whether it is summer, fall, winter or spring, there is always something to celebrate, in a city like Barcelona.

Does a holiday fall on a Tuesday or a Thursday? Chances are there will be a “puente,” literally a “bridge. That means the intervening Monday or Friday is also taken off, making for an extra-long weekend. During puentes, there are often more tourists in town.

Before you travel, it is useful to find out if you will be in town during a holiday. In this article you will find all holidays in Barcelona listed, with a brief description of the what, where and why.


Spanish and regional holidays

As in the Netherlands, Catalans are free on January 1 (New Year’s Day), December 25 (Christmas Day) and December 26. Unlike in the Netherlands, in Catalonia 26 here is not celebrated Boxing Day, but the Día de San Esteban. It is a regional holiday and in the rest of Spain, with the exception of the Balearic Islands, people basically just have to go back to work. During San Esteban, canelones, which are filled with leftovers from Christmas dinner, are traditionally eaten.

Other national holidays celebrated throughout Spain are April 7 (Good Friday), May 1 (Labor Day), August 15 (Assumption of Mary, the day the Fiestas of Gràcia/ also begin), October 12 (Día de la Hispanidad), November 1 (All Saints Day), December 6 (Constitution Day) and December 8 (Immaculate Conception Day).

September 11, Catalonia’s national holiday, is also a day off in the region. In addition, the region also normally chooses to make Easter Monday, April 10 a day off.

Please note that most stores are closed on these days. Except on January 1 and December 25, many tourist attractions are open.

La Diada

La Diada.

Below is an overview of the remaining holidays in 2022 and the holidays in 2023.

Holidays 2024

January 1, 2024 – New Year’s Day

On January 1, stores are closed all over Spain and so are stores in Barcelona. Of course, a New Year’s dive is a lot nicer at Barcelona’s beach than along the North Sea coast. At noon, the Club Natació Atlètic-Barceloneta organizes a normally New Year’s dive along La Barceloneta beach, Platja de Sant Sebastià to be exact, in the direction of the Hotel W.

January 6, 2024 – Epiphany, Reyes Magos

The day when Spanish children receive presents. The three wise men from the east make a parade through the city on Jan. 5 starting at 6 p.m., handing out thousands of candies.

April 29, 2024 – Good Friday

On this day, the Catholic world commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus. Several religious processions take place in the center of Barcelona, although less intense than in southern Spain. Good Friday is an official holiday: locals are free and stores are closed on this day.

March 31 and April 1, 2024 – Easter First and Second Day (Sunday and Monday)

Although it is a regular working day in the rest of Spain, the Monday after Easter is still officially a day off in Catalonia, and thus Barcelona.

May 1, 2024 – Labor Day

Unlike in the Netherlands, May 1 is a day off throughout Spain. Be prepared for mass demonstrations in the main squares and streets in downtown Barcelona.

June 5, 2024

Catalonia is one of the autonomous regions where Whit Monday is also an official holiday and therefore a day off. Whit Monday is always on a Monday. This year, however, the government of Catalonia has decided to shift the day off from May 29 to Monday, June 5, due to local elections.

June 24, 2024 – Sant Joan

La Nit de Sant Joan is the Catalan midsummer night festival. Every year, the shortest night of the year and the beginning of summer is celebrated on the night of June 23-24, the birthday of John the Baptist (Sant Joan). The beach is the place to be during this celebration, where fireworks, cava (or other alcoholic refreshments) and coca (Catalan pastries) are the main ingredients.

August 15, 2024 – Assumption of Mary

This Catholic holiday, also known as Assumption of Mary, is celebrated annually on Aug. 15. This is also the first day of the famous Festa Major (neighborhood festival) in the Gràcia neighborhood.

September 11, 2024 – Diada de Catalunya

La Diada Nacional de Catalunya, or La Diada for short, is the holiday of the Catalonia region. On Sept. 11, more Catalan flags hang out than ever and residents take to the streets en masse. Although officially a regional celebration, Catalans call it their “national” holiday.

24 September 2024 – La Mercè

Barcelona’s long hot summer traditionally ends with the celebrations of La Merced (or La Mercè, in Catalan). The highlight of the festival is Sept. 24, but the days surrounding it are also full of celebration. Because September 24 falls on a Sunday this year, this is compensated with an extra day off on Monday, September 25.

October 12, 2024 – Fiesta Nacional de España

This is the national day of Spain. It is a holiday entirely dedicated to Spain and the Spanish empire, which was created after Columbus’ discovery of America. Apart from many stores being closed, you don’t really notice much of this in Barcelona.

November 1, 2024 – All Saints’ Day

On All Saints’ Day, Spaniards honor their deceased relatives and cemeteries fill up. Catalonia and Barcelona hold “castanyadas” on this holiday, where locals roast chestnuts (castanyas) and drink sweet wine. All Saints’ Day is an official holiday throughout the country.

December 6, 2024 – Constitution Day

On this day, Spanish people celebrate the “Constitución Española” (Spanish Constitution) introduced after a referendum in 1978. This ended the transition period after the death of General Franco (1975) and Spain became a democratic state under the rule of law. Barcelona does not celebrate it very extensively, although it is an official holiday.

December 8, 2024 – Day of the Immaculate Conception

One of the high holidays of the Roman Catholic Church and an official holiday throughout the country. So keep in mind that stores may be closed.

December 25, 2024 – Christmas

For some Spaniards, “Nochebuena,” the evening of Dec. 24, is the most important moment of Christmas and for others it is the following day, Dec. 25.

Christmas is also a family celebration par excellence in Spain. Stores are closed. If you plan to eat out, you would do well to make reservations in advance.

December 26, 2024 – Sant Esteve

Unlike the rest of Spain, December 26 is a day off in Catalonia.

Catholics celebrate the name day of Stephen, Christianity’s first martyr. Traditionally, canelones are eaten, filled with the leftovers from the Christmas meal.