The Gracia Festival
‘Festa major de Gracia’
What is it?
The Gracia festival is one which began 200 years ago in the small ‘Barrio’ of Gracia. It is a celebration of colour, lights, sounds, creativity, imagination and neighbourhood. A time-old tradition where different streets come together once a year to compete for the prestigious title of ‘Best Decorated Street’. It is without a doubt my favourite Barcelona festival and I urge you to go and experience it for yourselves!
What can I expect to see?
A wonderful cacophony of colour, light and music. The best thing about it is that each year is different! The aim of the game is for each competing street to win best decorated street so they put all their efforts into designing, planning and making the designs for months beforehand. It’s all in the details and you must look closely from the ground up to the sky to see it all in its’ splendor! Many of the decorations are home-made from re-used and re-cycled objects from plastic bottles to CD’s!
Each year the streets individually choose what their theme will be, I have been for 5 years now and have seen Amazonia to Di Vinci to Charlie & the Chocolate factory to Ghostbusters and many many more!
(Can we just appreciate that some of these decorations are multi storey high!)
Where is it?
The barrio (neighbourhood) of Gracia can be found at the top of Passeig De Gracia in Barcelona. Going back in time it was detatched from the main city but as it grew, Gracia became a part of Barcelona whilst still keeping it’s own individual, bohemian vibe. It has managed to keep it’s small neighbourly feel and The Festa Major de Gracia shows that at its best.
How do I get there?
The easiest way is via metro. You can take the Green Line, L3 to Fontana or the Yellow Line, L4 to Joanic. You can also walk up from Passeig de Gracia.
What time should I go?
I recommend going in both the daytime and the evening. In the daytime you will see and appreciate more of the details but at night you must immerse yourself in the live bands, singers, DJ’s, food and drink to really appreciate the full atmosphere of the festival.
How much does it cost?
The best part – it’s completely free to enter!! One of the great things about festivals in Barcelona.
What can you eat and drink?
If you are lucky enough to belong to one of the streets in question, you are welcome to join in their street party meal which can consist of a huge Paella or BBQ and eat it with your neighbours.
If you are just visiting there are stalls which are set up on the streets especially for the festa! There you can purchase paella, BBQ, nachos, crepes, water, beer, mojitos! You can eat and drink all of these on the streets as you party away!
A few points to note!
Be respectful – The people who make the decorations do so with love and a lot of effort so please look but don’t touch! Also, the parties go on into the night but once they stop – go home quietly – it goes on all week and some people have to go to work in the mornings.
One way system – The decorated streets operate on a one way system so make sure you don’t go the wrong way! You need to see them in the way they have been planned to appreciate the full effect!
The timetable – You can access the timetable here. It is in Catalan so you might need your friend google translate! If all else fails – just walk around, follow the crowds & loose yourself in the streets!
When is it on?
Each year in August for one week. This year’s begins on Wednesday 15th August – 21st, 2018!
It is honestly one of my favourite festivals in Barcelona and each year I have gone with my friends and had a ball! So I leave you with some of my favourite moments and I hope you too go and come away with some amazing memories of your own!
Have you ever been to The Gracia Fesitval or do you want to go now?
Comment below to let me know!
The Wee Wanderer x x