Sant Jordi: the most cultural celebration in Barcelona

by / Thursday, 21 April 2016 / Published in Culture
Sant Jordi en Barcelona / Sant Jordi in Barcelona

If you’ve never been to Sant Jordi in Barcelona before, you can’t miss it! Every 23rd of April, the most cultural Barcelona awakes to hit the streets and offer the best of the Catalan culture: books and roses stands everywhere, the sun, the beach as background and the smell of a new book, can you feel it? Experience the legend of Sant Jordi with Hostemplo!

Sant Jordi is just like the Catalan St. Valentines, with some differences, of course. This festivity celebrates love and culture. A very special diada for all Catalans merging history, legend and love; and, if that weren’t enough, it will be on a Saturday this year, so there will be a stunning atmosphere! Haven’t you heard of Sant Jordi’s legend? A dragon, a prince and a princess: blood, roses, books and love. At Hostemplo, we would like to share this special meeting with culture with all of you. That’s why we leave here our recommendations on what to do on Sant Jordi in Barcelona.

GETTING THE DAY OFF TO A GOOD START:

Hotel Boutique Hostemplo

Hotel Boutique Hostemplo 3* – Photo Hostemplo

Just imagine to get the day off with a great breakfast (free if you book through our web) at our central hotel: overlooking the Sagrada Familia and the scent of spring. From the balcony, you will be able to observe how the first books & roses stands are set up. Enjoy your breakfast, there’s a good walk waiting for you! Do you like this room?  This Hostemplo 3* hotel is located at Passatge Gaiolà 19, Barcelona, next to one of the starting points of your Sant Jordi walk: Passeig Sant Joan.

PASEANDO POR LA CIUDAD:

Paseando por Barcelona. Sant Jordi 2016

Barcelona citizens having a walk in Sant Jordi – Photo Desenfokados

Right shoes on? Let’s go! Let’s presume that you are at our comfortable apartment with your partner, close to Passeig Sant Joan, so we’ll start from there. We’ll walk from Passeig Sant Joan to Las Ramblas, walking through Passeig de Gràcia and Rambla Catalunya. You will find thousands of roses and books stands. Just a warning: it will be pretty crowded, but that belongs to the experience itself. Let yourself be carried away by the excited crowd on the streets with their books and roses, stopping and enjoying the day and the good weather. There are so many people around and the atmosphere is so special that you will be absorbed. Walk around, aimlessly, take your time and find out the latest editorial novelties.

“MUST” VISIT:

Pati dels Tarongers, Sant Jordi 2016. Barcelona

Orange Tree Patio, Generalitat de Catalunya – Photo Pilardeartebcn

How is it going? Maybe it’s time to take a break for a visit. Did you know that access to Palau de la Generalitat and Barcelona City Hall is free on Sant Jordi? Both buildings are usually closed to the public due to political agenda; however, they’re open to visit during this day.

There are some gothic treasures hidden behind the neoclassic façade of the Barcelona City Hall, such as the historic Saló de Cent (from the 14th century). It is a unique place worth visiting this day. Once you are in, have a look at the Salón de Crónicas, decorated with paintings from Josep María Sert. At the same time, the hall and the gothic stairs display works from Gargallo, Llimona, Subirachs, Marès, Miró y Clarà.

Located right in front of the City Hall, the Generalitat de Cataluña waits for you. This neoclassic building (with gothic, renaissance and baroque elements) opens every Sant Jordi day. Take the opportunity to get in and enjoy the beauty of the stairs by Marc Safont, the flamboyant gothic chapel on the first floor, the Saló de Sant Jordi and the gorgeous Orange Tree Patio, ‘Pati dels Tarongers‘. The books stands here are charity ones, so it’s a good occasion to give support.

LUNCH AT THE BEACH:

deliciosa-cover

La Deliciosa, Chiringuito –beach bar- from Pantea Group – Photo Pantea Group

You must be hungry after such a long walk and the visit. Why not having lunch at the beach? We can recommend various chiringuitos -beach bars- to eat by the seaside in Barcelona: tasty, convenient prices and great sights are waiting for you at Bambú Beach Bar, La Deliciosa, Blue Beach Bar, or Vai Moana, the best Beach Life in  Barcelona!

CULTURAL TOURS:

Iglesia Santa María del Mar, Barcelona.

Basilica of Santa María del Mar – Photo Unedseniorvila

And to help our stomachs digest, how do you feel about a cultural tour?
Who do you like better, Ruiz Zafón or Ildelfonso Falcones? Never mind, no matter whether you prefer The Shadow of the Wind or Cathedral of the Sea– novels about Barcelona- we cannot think of a better occasion to go through the streets in both books with a CultRuta, tour, book in advance! You can also make up your own route.  And if you haven’t read the books yet, there’s no better day to purchase them!

GET YOUR FAVORITE WRITER’S AUTOGRAPH:

Sant Jordi 2016, Barcelona. Cola para firmas autores

Sant Jordi stand detail – Photo Desenfokados

It is now time to dive into the crowd again and follow them, down to the middle of Plaza Catalunya. Mission? Find your favorite writer and get their autograph. You’ll have to queue, but being there some time in advance, you’ll make it. Most of the authors also visit some of the stands and bookstore around the city. And, there are not just local writers, not al all! Every year, hundreds of writers meet up in Barcelona for Sant Jordi to interact with their readers. So you know, no matter if you like bestsellers or not, your favorite writer might be in town, find here the signing plan for Sant Jordi 2016!

We would like to finish this article mentioning a post from kilometrosquecuentan.comthat we liked a lot and took as inspiration. Letizia Cassetta writes about 10 films and books to fall in love with Barcelona: great novels and celluloid to take into account before visiting Barcelona or just to discover on Sant Jordi itself.

There are yet many other things to do on such an special day: photography contests, public book readings, concerts… All you have to do is investigate a bit further and, most important, enjoy! Discovering Barcelona on Sant Jordi is a must; you’ll fall in love with the city! For everything else, at Hostemplo, you are more than welcome at our hotel, hostel, apartments and suites.

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