March is a fantastic month to come to Barcelona as the weather is starting to warm up. This year, the Easter holidays are in April so it will be a fairly quiet month in terms of visitors. Festivals are starting to crop up and everybody is ready to wave the winter goodbye. Looking for things to do in Barcelona in March? Here are some of my personal recommendations.
Events and Festivals in Barcelona in March 2020
Sant Medir Festival (3rd March)
The so-called “Sweetest Festival” is a must if you are in Barcelona with children on March 3rd. It gets its name from the evening parade around the neighbourhood of Gràcia, where dozens of local groups (colles) climb on their horses, carriages and trucks and parade around the streets throwing candy to passers-by. Around 60 tons or more are given every year. The parade starts at 8pm and goes down the main artery of the neighbourhood (carrer Gran de Gràcia) until it ends at Jardinets de Gràcia with a fireworks display at 10pm.
Even if it isn’t raining, you would probably wonder why so many people are carrying an umbrella. Once the parade starts you will notice that this is a great candy-catching device when turned upside down so don’t leave your accommodation without one 😉
Rally Barcelona-Sitges (21st-23rd March)
Running since 1959, this is a very special race between Barcelona and the nearby seaside town of Sitges. The cars are all real period jewels dating before 1924. But don’t expect to see just the cars, the drivers and passengers are all required to dress up according to the time period the vehicle was built.
It leaves from Plaça de Sant Jaume at 10.30am on Sunday, March 22nd but you can admire the automobiles at the square from 8.30am onwards. If you are outside the city that day, you can still catch them on display at L’Illa Diagonal Commercial Center from March 2nd to March 21st (except Sundays).
The Barcelona Marathon (This event has been postponed until October 25th)
It doesn’t matter if you want to run it or if you prefer to cheer on the participants, a big city Marathon is always a great community event. It is also a fantastic photo opportunity to get unusual shots of Barcelona as the race passes by some of the landmarks of the city like Sagrada Familia, Passeig de Gràcia or Arc de Triomf.
The 42nd edition of Barcelona’s Marathon starts and ends at Avinguda Maria Cristina, by Montjüic’s Magic Mountain. If you are fit enough, you can register until
March 9th. For the less fit, you can check the Marathon’s route. And, if you have active children, why not have an exercise vacation? There are also short Kids Races on Saturday 9th.
International Beer Festival (13th to 15th March)
For beer lovers who are looking for things to do in Barcelona in March, this is a not-to-miss activity. It has become a massive gathering for anything to do with the yellow liquor and this year they are celebrating their 8th anniversary. It also includes an international competition under the name Barcelona Beer Challenge.
The event will take place for 3 days at La Farga de l’Hospitalet. Prices for the tickets online are €7-8 per day or €10 for the three days. It includes the glass that you will need in order to try the beers and 2 tokens to start the tastings.
Saint Patrick’s Festival (17th March)
Being a half-Spanish half-Irish owned tour company and with our corporate colour being green, we can’t leave the celebrations of Saint Patrick’s Festival behind. This is a tradition that has been recently adopted in Barcelona (not unlike Halloween, another Irish festival) but you can still enjoy it to its fullest. Head that day to the many Irish Pubs in Barcelona for the different activities and for the craic. As this year it falls on a Saturday, expect a lot of beer and whisky pouring out.
Festival of St Josep Oriol (21st to 29th March)
Saint Josep Oriol, a local saint from the 17th century linked to the Basilica of Santa Maria del Pi, is the main reason for this winter festival. The two squares beside the church are the central point for the activities that will happen during the weekend. This is a great opportunity to enjoy some of the Catalan traditions and to see the old giants of Santa Maria del Pi in full action. Don’t miss the big parade on Sunday morning with a display of giants, dragons, big heads and human towers.
One of the quirkiest of the weekend activities is the parade of Perot Lo Lladre (Peter, the thief). This giant, based on a real bandit from the 16th century, walks around the streets of the neighbourhood hijacking the local shops. At the end, there is a surprise for the children as the bounty is distributed around in the form of hundreds of chocolate gold coins. You can’t get much sweeter than this.
Barcelona Weather in March
You can definitely smell spring just around the corner as temperatures start to raise (around 16ºC during the day down to 7ºC at night). However, don’t put your guard down as it could be bitterly cold, specially at the beginning of the month. I still remember one of our very first tours in 2010 that took place while it was actually snowing. Rain is not that common at this time of the year.
Accommodation and queues
March marks that transition between Winter and Spring. Easter is not until April so it won’t be as busy as other years but I do recommend pre-booking your tickets for Sagrada Familia and Park Güell, specially if you are visiting towards the end of the month. My advice is to always use official websites for each site in order to avoid those annoying extra commissions.
Hope the post was helpful to plan your visit to Barcelona in March. If you are also here for a bit longer don’t forget to check our post with recommendations for things to do in February and things to do in April Remember that our award-winning Free Walking Tours in Barcelona still run during the winter and Easter, every day, twice a day. A fantastic way to dig deeper into Barcelona’s sites and history. And, if you are looking for a private guide, you can check out our fantastic private tours. Also, don’t forget to check our comprehensive article on what to do in Barcelona all year round.
Post updated in February 2020
Photographs by Ajuntament de Barcelona, Mikipons and Els Gegants del Pi
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