Spring is finally here, and with it Semana Santa, the nine day break between the spring and summer term. It’s a great opportunity to get out of the city, but if you’re planning on staying in Barcelona for Semana Santa then check out our suggestions – one for each day of the holidays – for some staycation inspiration!
Get rid of all your teaching stress on the first day of the Easter break and learn a new skill with a Yoga Trapeze class. The classes are in English, run by two expert yoga trapeze practicioners, and suitable for yoga beginners. You’ll leave the hour long class feeling relaxed, flexible and in great shape to make the most of your ten days off work!
15€ per person
Visit La Calders bookshop in Sant Antoni. Originally a button factory, it’s just celebrated its seventh year as a bookshop, and the stock features lots of independent presses, interesting authors and experimental fiction. The English section is small but thoughtful, and you’ll be sure to pick up something great for your holiday reading! Plus, Montjuic is just on the other side of Parallel if you want a leafy reading spot.
Books from 9€
Discover the best falafel in the city, in Maoz on Carrer Ferran, with a huge range of salads, dressings and pickles, very fresh and for a very reasonable price. There’s not much eating space inside, so for a chilled afternoon off, pick up lunch to take away and head to Parc de la Ciutavella for a picnic. The rowboat rentals have started again for the season so you’ve got the perfect post-lunch activity right at your fingertips.
6€ falafel, 7€ for rowboat rental
Learn how to make an authentic paella. Marta hosts paella cooking classes on her Eixample terrace, where she explains the history of the dish while taking you through the process of cooking a paella step by step. Once it’s ready, you all sit down to sample the results together, with panoramic views of Barcelona spread out before you. Marta taught in San Francisco for years and does the classes in Spanish or in English, and she even gives you the recipe to take away with you so you can recreate her paella and impress your friends!
€40 per person
Hiking up the pine-covered slopes of Tibidabo is a great way to spend an afternoon. It’s lovely getting that pulled-back view of Barcelona and there’s a beautiful vista over the Collserola hills on the other side. You can also make it a walk with a destination, with the option of visiting the church Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor that can be seen from the city streets, or else going to the fairground where there are traditional rides like the rollercoaster and the Ferris wheel. You could also visit the Fabra Observatory on the way back down, go on the tour and do some stargazing if you’ve timed your walk with sunset.
28€ for full fairground access, 13€ for Ferris wheel and 10€ for an observatory visit
Take advantage of the spring sunshine to see Barcelona from the waterfront. The golondrinas down at the Colón monument have been running for 130 years, allowing locals to see their city from a different perspective. The 90 minute tour goes from Portal de la Pau along to Forum and back, taking in all of Barcelona’s beaches and allowing you to see the buildings along the shore from the water. The boat has an open deck, so you can sit outside in the sun, but make sure you bring a jumper – the breeze can be chilly on the water at this time of year.
16€ per person
Visit After the End of the World. This fascinating exhibition is made up of eight immersive installations in the CCCB gallery and the focus is the effects of climate change, both predicted and imagined by scientists, artists, sculptors, philosphers, designers and writers.
Have a vermut on the terrace of the Hotel Pulitzer. It’s just off Plaça Catalunya but the jungalicious terrace feels a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city streets. There are low sofas and wicker chairs grouped round tables, with enough greenery to make it feel like a rooftop oasis, and on Saturdays and Sundays there are DJs playing disco music all afternoon for a decadent 70s feeling.
Drinks from 2€
If you’re still feeling fired up after International Women’s Day, book tickets for La Ruta de las Mujeres de la Barcelona Rebelde. It’s a two hour tour which starts off at the port and winds through the Gotic quarter before ending at Plaça Universitat. Salva, your tour guide, will tell you the history of female protest in Barcelona and point out historical sites that you’ve walked past without realising their significance. We’d only recommend taking the tour if your Spanish is at intermediate level or higher, otherwise you might find it hard to follow.
10€ per person
If you haven’t been for a calçotada yet this year, you’d better get your skates on – it’s almost the end of the season! If you don’t fancy a trek out to one of the rustic restaurants surrounding Barcelona, there is another option. Slow Food Barcelona are running a weekly farmers market on Parallel, and every Saturday until the end of March the theme of the market is calçots. For a set price you’ll get a portion of calçots, a butifarra, romesco sauce and a pan amb tomaquet.
7€ per person
What’s your top recommendation for a Barcelona staycation? Let us know in the comments!