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Visiting Barcelona during the La Merce festival--good or bad idea?

We are a family of 3 adults planning a visit to Spain in September. After Madrid and Andalucia for the first 12 days or so, we were thinking of concluding or trip with 3-4 days in Barcelona, doing it in this order so that we could be there for the La Merce Festival.

We could make our plans so that we are in Barcelona for only the last two days of the festival (23-24) or most of its four days (21-24). Which would be a better option?

Mainly I'm concerned whether overlapping all--or even 2 days with the festival--would make it really difficult to do the regular tourist sites and experience in Barcelona? Will things be so crazy that a lot of tourist attractions are either closed or overloaded? Will getting around or even getting hotel rooms, dining options etc be exceptionally hard?

Thanks for any advice!

Posted by
7172 posts

Not familiar with this festival, but have been to Barcelona 4 times and love the city. Just put your valuables in a money belt, that city is the pickpocket capital of Europe.

Also, going to a city during a popular festival is usually not a good idea, since lodging may be hard to find and more expensive. Check for lodging before you book air.

Posted by
5808 posts

We were in Barcelona for a week during La Mercè back in 2006. We had a fantastic time. It’s a great time to visit. The link is to the festival’s main events and program for 2023.

Posted by
253 posts

Have been in Barcelona for festival and enjoyed it. Look at the program and decide 2 best days or if you see things for 4 days do that then. A lot of attractions are free during Merce.

Posted by
36 posts

Also have stayed in Barcelona during the festival, and it was fantastic! The city has just an extra vibe and energy and performances all over the city.
Of course it will be busy, but booking accommodation and dining selections with plenty of time prior will ease that concern.