About the Barcelona Carnival
The Barcelona Carnival is one of the most popular festivals of the year in the Catalan capital. For a week each year, the city is transformed into a place of revelry and playfulness, where everything is allowed, particularly when it comes to eating, pranking and having fun! Celebrations begin in “dirty Thursday” (28th of February in 2019), which refers to the copious amounts of food that are consumed during that day and end on Ash Wednesday. King Carnival (Rei Carnestoltes) is the rule of law during this short period of partying before Lent begins!
A little bit of history
During the 16th century, Barcelona’s Carnival rivalled that of Venice in grandeur and wild reputation. The rule of dictator Francisco Franco from 1939 to 1975 put an end to this tradition (as it seemed too ludicrous), but celebrations started again after the end of the regime.
Where is it?
The main point of the 2019 Barcelona Carnival will be in an around the area of El Born in the Ribera neighbourhood. However, there will be many activities going on in all parts of the city.
Take a look here for a full list of the events and locations.
What to do in Barcelona during the Carnival
- Attend the Arrival of the King on Fat Thursday. This is the official commencement of the celebrations, as the King Carnival arrives in the city to spread the spirit of joy associated with the days. The event will start in front of the Santa Monica Arts Center on La Rambla.
- Take part in the Carnival parades: All of the neighbourhoods in Barcelona will organise their own parades, aided by the king’s seven ambassadors, one for each historic village in Barcelona.
- Visit the Sitges Carnival: According to the locals, the Barcelona Carnival is good, but the Sitges one steals the show. The town is only a short drive away, so don’t miss the gran Rua de Carnaval, during which bars around town organise their events and fancy dress parties.
- See the Burial of the King: After a week of debauchery and disgraceful behaviour, the Rei Carnestoltes is condemned to be burned for his sins on Carnival Tuesday. The day after his execution (Ash Wednesday) marks the end of the Carnival celebration, as we officially enter the period of Lent.
You can find more details about this and other events associated with the festivities on the official website of the Barcelona Carnival.
Tips for enjoying the Barcelona Carnival
- Dress up! Although you don’t have to, it’s one of the most fun things you can do if you are visiting during the Carnival. You can pick any costume you like, although we recommend that you visit one of the local shops for recommendations.
Try the Egg Sausage (Botifarra d’Ou). This local delicacy is a traditional Fat Thursday dish is offered throughout Barcelona during this day. So are the typical carnival sweets,
bunolsand coca de llardons. If you want to try out as many local dishes as possible, sing up for a food tour to discover Barcelona’s top ratedculinary experiences.
- Visit the local bars and clubs. Celebrations in the streets last throughout the daytime, but if you want to keep on enjoying the festive atmosphere well into the night, visit one of the local venues. Most of them organise their own fancy dress parties and are now part of the tradition!
- Use common sense. Even though Barcelona is a safe city, you should always be careful in crowded places. Store your bags and personal items safely in one of our StashPoints in Barcelona and keep an eye out for pickpockets and other suspicious individuals.
Where can you store your luggage in Barcelona?
You need both hands free to enjoy the carnival and the local street food. Don’t waste your time dragging heavy bags around the city!
Here are some of our most popular luggage storage providers in Barcelona:
Click here for the full list of luggage storage locations in Barcelona.