This blog post was originally posted on February 9, 2015 and was updated on February 4, 2020.
Spring is just around the corner, and endless events coupled with plenty of sunshine make Barcelona the place to be in March.
Our agenda this month is packed with everything from authentic Catalan festivals to classic car rallies and everything in between. Plus, since March is still considered part of low season, it’s a great time of year to travel here responsibly and avoid the larger tourist crowds that descend upon the city in the late spring and summer months (win-win!). Here’s what we’ll be up to in Barcelona in March—will you be joining us?
1. Celebrate the Festes de Sant Josep Oriol
Traditional Catalan music and dancing, communal hot chocolate gatherings, and merry giants performing in the streets? Believe it or not, all that and more awaits you at one of the most authentic and unique festivals taking place in Barcelona in March: the Festes de Sant Josep Oriol.
Over the nearest weekend to March 23, the neighborhood surrounding the church of Santa María del Pi in the emblematic Gothic Quarter will come alive with all of the above and so much more in honor of St. Josep Oriol, a pious man who lived in the area during the 17th century. Also known as the Festa Major del Pi, this fun festival is a nonstop party and the perfect way to get a glimpse of an authentic Catalan tradition in a neighborhood usually dominated by tourists.
2. Follow the Barcelona-Sitges Rally
Classic car lovers, this one’s for you. Every year in mid-March, dozens of flashy hot rods zip along the Catalan coast from Barcelona to Sitges as part of the International Vintage Car Rally.
The kicker? Each participating car dates from 1924 or earlier, and the drivers and other occupants of the vehicle all dress in period clothing from the year the car was manufactured. As a result, it’s so much more than a rally—it’s that, a fashion show, and a living history lesson all rolled into one, making it without a doubt one of the coolest things to do in Barcelona in March.
2020 dates: March 21–23
3. Eat candy at the Feste de Sant Medir
If you’ve got a sweet tooth, the Sant Medir Festival is a must if you’ll be visiting Barcelona in March. Every year on March 3, a colorful caravan of horses, carriages, bands, costumed participants and more make their way through the streets of several different Barcelona neighborhoods, most notably Gracia.
The parade is actually a short religious pilgrimage, but it’s far from solemn. As they walk, participants throw a rainshower of colorful candies and sweets to the spectators watching eagerly from the sidelines. Whether you’re looking for a kid-friendly activity or just want to experience an authentic Catalan festival, you won’t want to miss this lively event.
4. Explore Barcelona’s gardens
The first few days of spring are upon us, and Barcelona’s gorgeous array of parks and gardens are calling our name. As the days get longer and plentiful sunshine beams down onto the city, there’s no better way to take advantage of Barcelona in March than by visiting one of its many beautiful green spaces. Despite its busy vibe, the Catalan capital still offers plenty of natural beauty within its limits, so you can relax and escape the hustle and bustle for a bit while remaining close to the action of the city.
5. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day like a local
Increased globalization and Barcelona’s status as one of Europe’s most cosmopolitan destinations mean that foreign festivals like Halloween and St. Patrick’s Day are now just as popular as the dozens of local events that take place every year. St. Patrick’s Day in particular gets bigger and better every year, with thousands of locals and visitors alike flooding into the Irish bars dotted throughout the city center.
It’s easy to get caught up in the festivities in Barcelona’s most central neighborhoods, but if you’re looking for a more authentic experience and don’t mind a bit of a trek, hop on the bus or metro and make your way out to Pedralbes. Home to lush greenery, a handful of lesser-known Gaudí works and sophisticated villas, this chic, off-the-beaten-path neighborhood has been hosting its own St. Patrick’s Day festivities for more than a decade. The crowds here will be overwhelmingly local, and you’ll almost feel as if you’ve been whisked away to Dublin despite being a stone’s throw from Avinguda Diagonal. Just don’t forget to wear something green.