This blog post was originally posted on October 17, 2015, and was updated on December 14, 2017.
A big, fiery and noisy festival is coming up soon! Do you know how you will celebrate Sant Joan in Barcelona?
Of the many festivals we celebrate throughout the year in Barcelona, perhaps there is none as noisy as La Nit de Sant Joan. Falling on the night of the 23rd of June, the city lights up with bonfires, firecrackers and fireworks as we celebrate the summer solstice, the longest day of the year and a beautiful few months of warm Mediterranean living ahead of us.
Though the big celebration is on the night of the 23rd, the people of Barcelona enjoy a public holiday on the 24th, and you can expect to find most businesses closed in the city and throughout the whole of Catalonia.
Of course, there are plenty of ways to enjoy this fiery celebration! Whether you’re into the chaotic (and non-stop) pops of firecrackers, or prefer something a bit on the calmer side, it’s definitely a night worth seeing. Here are five different ways to celebrate Sant Joan in Barcelona!
Head to the Beach
If you’re in the city of Barcelona on the night of Sant Joan, most would agree that the beach is the place to be. Bring a picnic, don’t forget the cava, and take part in the buzz as you and thousands of others watch fireworks over the water. Get there before sundown to grab a good spot!
Watch from Above
If you’d like to witness Sant Joan in Barcelona, but would prefer not to be in the midst of it all, we recommend going up. A great place to view the fireworks without too much chaos is at the Montjuic castle.
Pack a picnic, or alternatively, head up to one of our favorite spots in the city, La Caseta del Migdia, which does their summer inauguration on the night of Sant Joan. A barbecue, a bar, and great views—what more do you need?
Get Out of Town
The entire of Catalonia celebrates Sant Joan, and sometimes the small towns are the ones who put on the biggest fiestas! Sant Joan is the perfect excuse to take a small trip outside of Barcelona, whether it be to the coast or mountains, and see what shenanigans the locals are up to!
Have a Barbecue
Undoubtedly a sign that summer has begun is to dust off your barbecue and throw some botis on the grill! As this is celebration associated with fire, it’s the perfect moment to have a delicious Catalan barbecue with friends.
Botifarra (boti for short!) is a delicious Catalan sausage, and a staple at any barbecue in Barcelona. Don’t have the space or the equipment? Find a merendero nearby—these are public spaces for barbecues, and many of them are accessible by public transport (though you may need a car to lug all the botifarra!) Want to enjoy this delicious dish in a traditional Catalan restaurant? Take a sneek peek inside one of our favorite places to devour it!
Eat a Coca
Beyond picnics and barbecues, a Sant Joan celebration would not be complete without the traditional coca, a flat, crunchy brioche typical of this holiday. Though there are many variations of coques, almost all contain a bit of aniseed, as well as pine nuts and candied fruit. Look out for them in pastry shop windows! You couldn’t possibly celebrate Sant Joan in Barcelona without devouring a few of these!