One of the most important festivals of the year in Barcelona is back. La Mercè 2022 will take place from the 23rd to the 26th of September and will be packed with music, shows, workshops, tradition, and lots of culture.
After two summers of restrictions, the city's main festival returns to its classic format, with massive street celebrations open to locals and tourists alike.
In this article we tell you everything you need to know about Barcelona's Festes de la Mercè, why the festival is held and all the activities you can enjoy this year. Keep reading!
When is La Mercè day in Barcelona?
Before you find out how La Mercè is celebrated, you need to know where this tradition comes from.
The festivity revolves around La Mercè Day, a date that commemorates the Virgin of La Merced, patron saint of the city of Barcelona. Although the official date is the 24th of September, the festivities are spread over several days, as it is impossible to fit all the activities around the city into a single day.
What does La Mercè consist of?
Every year, the festivities of La Mercè begin with the reading of a street cry by a prominent figure and end with the spectacular fireworks display. The opening speech this year will be delivered by the Barcelona filmmaker Carla Simón, who will represent Spain at the 2023 Oscars with the film 'Alcarràs'.
During the days of La Mercè, Barcelona becomes even more full of life with concerts, theatre shows and other arts, displays of popular culture such as the castellers (human castles) and the parade of gegants (giants), fireworks and workshops in all the city's neighbourhoods.
It's a great opportunity to get a close-up look at all aspects of Catalan culture and discover the city's history, as several of its emblematic buildings such as the Sagrada Familia, Montjuïc Castle and the city's museums hold an open day on the 24th.
There is also a guest city each year, which in 2022 will be Rome. In tribute, the festival will feature Italian musicians and cinema, as well as the reopening of the archaeological remains of ancient Roman Barcelona, Barcino, at the History Museum.
Programme of La Mercè Festivities 2022
These are some of the major events of La Mercè 2022 that you can't miss, but there are many more! Check out all the events on the official website.
La Mercè concerts
Street concerts are one of the highlights of La Mercè. Every night, some of the best-known artists on the Catalan scene, local groups and international singers take to the stage in various venues around the city. Flamenco, World Music, traditional Catalan music, modern pop-rock and electronica are just some of the genres that will be present in 2022.
Mercè Street Arts (MAC)
A music, dance and street circus festival that is part of the Mercè festivities, held in the Parc de la Ciutadella, Castell de Montjuïc and other venues around the city. At night, light takes centre stage with various mapping and performing arts shows.
Castellers in Plaza Sant Jaume
The last Sunday of La Mercè is the day of the "diada de colles", which brings together several groups of "castellers" (human tower builders) in Barcelona's City Hall square. A real visual spectacle that this year can be enjoyed both on Saturday 24th, with the eight colles from Barcelona, and on Sunday 25th, with guest colles from other cities in Catalonia.
The Piromusical is one of the most eagerly awaited shows of the Barcelona festival. This year it will be held again between Montjuïc and Plaza España on Saturday 26 September at 22:00h, with incredible pyrotechnic effects synchronized with music and the fountains of Montjuïc.
Find the best hotel for La Mercè 2022
If you'll be in Barcelona during La Mercè, we invite you to stay at the Grand Hotel Central, where you'll enjoy a comfortable stay in the heart of the city.
Our 5-star boutique hotel in Barcelona is located in the Gothic Quarter, where some of the popular cultural events take place during La Mercè. You'll also be close to Plaza Sant Jaume, Parc de la Ciutadella, and other major festival venues.
Make the most of your stay and discover the gastronomic offer of the Bistro Helena restaurant, take in the beautiful views of Barcelona from our rooftop skybar or relax at the Único Spa with exclusive massages, saunas and beauty treatments.
Don't wait any longer and book your stay at Grand Hotel Central to make the most of Barcelona's biggest party.