Festa Major de Gracia Barcelona 2018 - top things to do

Festa de Gracia Barcelona

La Festa Major de Gracia 2018

Festes de Gràcia 2018 - calendar and visitor guide
The dates for Festa mayor de Gràcia festival dates are 15th August to 21st August 2018. The Gracia festival hashtag is (hashtag #FMGràcia2018) 

Updated August 2018

Guide in English to Barcelona's Festa de Gracia festival 2018 in English with recommendations for top things to do. The 2018 Gracia Festival opens on 15th August 2018 for the 201st edition. The Gracia festival dates are always 15th to 21st August every year. The first day of the festival on 15th August is a public holiday in Spain called Assumption day.

The Gracia Festival is considered by many to be Barcelona's best, nicest, most festive and most welcoming street festival. It takes place in the Gracia neighbourhood of Barcelona. Gracia is located 20 minutes on foot from the city center in the direction of the hill range to the north west of Barcelona. Scroll down for maps. On this webpage you can find the Gracia festival 2018 programme highlights, unmissable top events and tips and ideas for what to see.

You also find links to Festa de Gracia map, links to Festa de Gracia Iphone and Android apps and where to find the daily programme and schedule of Barcelona's biggest block party street festival which takes place every year from 15th to 21st August. When you are at the festival you can buy the full Festa de Gracia programme for €1.

Map decorated streets Gracia Festival Note the blue circles with white arrows indicate which way to enter the decorated streets (calles engalanadas).

IMPORTANT message for visitors: The Gracia festival is famous for its hospitality and open arms welcome of all cultures and persons to the festival. However please note that this is fundamentally still a festival for the Gracia neighbours and residents, but the residents of Gracia are kind enough to welcome visitors.

In return for the residents of Gracia opening their neighbourhood to tourists and visitors with open arms, they ask that you respect their home and the decorations and be careful not to create noisy disturbances after 1pm at night. As always we would like to offer our thanks to the wonderful residents of the Gracia neighbourhood of Barcelona for giving up some much of their spare time and holidays in August to make the Gracia Festival such a unique experience for all visitors.

Map location Festa Major de Gracia

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The Gracia festival is a very colourful local street festival that fills many streets and plazas in the Gracia area of Barcelona. Gracia was once a separate village from the city of Barcelona and was not fully incorporated into the city until 1897. This is why the Gracia neighbourhood still has narrow village streets and a special village feel and charm.


The Festa Major de Gracia street festival is Barcelona's biggest, most colourful and most popular neighbourhood festival. The neighbourhood festivals are organised by residents of local neighbours with the aim of bringing the residents and neighbours together in communal activities and events. It's a wonderful tradition and the Gracia festival is the most famous of all the local Barcelona festivals, attracting over one and a half million visitors each year in August.

Poster Festa de Gracia 2018

Poster Gracia Festival 2018


Useful pages and apps:

Map decorated streets Gracia Festival Note. the blue circles with white arrows indicate which way to enter the decorated street.
Twitter Festa de Gracia (hashtag #FMGràcia2018)
Instagram Festa de Gracia (hashtag #FMGràcia2018)
Android App Festa de Gracia
Iphone App Festa de Gracia
Pictures Festa Major de Gràcia
Programa Festa Major de Gracia

The Gracia festival has been declared a Traditional Festival of National Interest by the government of Catalonia and has been awarded the Creu de Sant Jordi (St George's Cross). As in previous years, many of the Gracia neighbourhood's streets are decorated and filled with activities for all the family including competitions, workshops, sports, concerts and lots more.


The best time to visit the Gracia festival in Barcelona (in our opinion) is in the evening from 8pm when it starts to get dark, but we recommend that you avoid the first evening when it is usually most crowded. The lights on most decorated streets are switched on at around 8.30 pm and the decorations generally look nicest when they are illuminated. The first two days of the Gracia festival are always very crowded, so have patience when visiting - and please be careful with the street decorations which are all handmade and often fragile. 

Opening times Festa de Gracia festival
There are activities in the decorateds street until 2.00am on weekdays and 3.30 am on Fridays and Saturdays with the exception of Plaza Sol, Plaza Diamant and Plaza Revolució, which are open until 1.00am on weekdays and until 2.30am Friday and Saturday.


The Festes de Gràcia always presents an extensive and varied programme of more than 500 activities of which over 300 are for families and children during the day. Many activiites are also specifically for residents, but the many free concerts and the street decorations are free for visitors to enjoy.

This popular festival is organised by the neighbours and families in Gracia and like all Festa Major festivals in Spain and Catalonia it was originally only for residents, but the originality and beauty of the Gracia street decorations has become world famous and now people come from all over Barcelona and from all over the world to experience the annual Gracia festival.

In 2018 21Gracia streets and plazas will be decorated by the residents and during the five days of the Gracia festival you can experience many wonderful Catalan traditions in a full programme of concerts and activities which bring the streets of Gracia to life during the festival.

Smartphone Apps for Gracia Festival

The Festa de Gracia festival has smart phone apps for Android and Iphone. Download them here:
Iphone App Festa de Gracia
Pictures Festa Major de Gràcia


Map location Gracia Festival

It is easy to find the Gracia area of Barcelona. From the centre of Barcelona it takes15 to 20 minutes to walk up the Passeig de Gracia street from Plaza Catalunya square. Passeig de Gracia means road to Gracia and the name comes from the time when Gracia was a separate village from Barcelona. Most of the Gracia Festival is in the area of Gracia called 'Vila de Gracia' marked on the map below. If you take a taxi, then the taxi driver will drop you on on the edge of the festival area and then you just walk in.

There are maps of the festival plazas and streets in many places and in the festival programmes, which you can buy for 1 euro in cafes or festival events.

Closest metro to Gracia Festival
If you take the metro then take the green line metro to one of these three metro stations nearest to the Gracia Festival: 2 stations on metro green line L3 which are station Fontana and station Diagonal green L3 or take metro yellow line L4 - to station Joanic. Open Barcelona metro map

Map location Festa Major de Gracia

21 streets and squares in Gracia are decorated during the Gracia festival in 2018. The decoration are hand-made by the residents who  spend hours and hours transforming their street into hand crafted fantasy worlds with charming carnival style decorations and themes. The decorations change theme each year and the streets competes for the prized award ot best decorated street or square of the Gracia festival. We remind you kindly to enjoy the decorations, but to be very careful not to damage them, so that they can be enjoyed all through the festival period.

All the decorated streets are worth seeing, but it can take a while to get to all of them, and remember that it can take a while to visit the streets that are most famous for their decorations like Carrer de Joan Blanques and Carrer de Verdi. Verdi was the first street to make their own decorations and programme of street events back in 1862. On the first night of the Gracia festival, it is usually very crowded; the streets are narrow so be patient.

Top things to do Gracia festival

Don't miss the 21 decorated streets and plazas at the Gracia Fesival. You can find them on the Gracia Festival map of decorated streets. It is best to visit streets in the first days of the Gracia festival. The prizes for best decorated streets are always announced on 16/8 and after the prize giving the decorations start show some wear and tear. There is also a competition for the best decorated balconies in the Gracia area. 

Date: Wed 15th August 2018
Event: Cercavila de Cultura Popular - Opening Parade
What is it:  Biggest parade of the Gracia Festival. This is a festive early evening parade featuring all groups of the festa major including the gegants (giants of Gracia including two sun and moon giants called 'la Gresca i el Torradet')  caps grossos (big heads) dracs (dragons), castellers (human castle groups) bastoners (stick dancers) grallers (pipers) and many more. Worth seeing! 

Time: 18.00 - 6.pm 
Start:  Junction streets Carrer de Santa Àgata / Gran de Gracia 

Fullscreen map: Google MAP parade route   
Finish: Plaça de la Vila de Gràcia


Thu 16th August 2018

Event: Parade - Cercavila de Sant Roc
What is it: Parade with l'Àliga de Gràcia (Gracia Eagle(,  gegants (giants), castellers (tower builders), trabucaires (bandits) and bastoners (pipers). Finishes with homage to Sant Roc. (see also Sant Roc Festival in gothic area of Barcelona)
Time: 10:30 to 11:00
Start: Plaça de la Vila de Gràcia 
Finish: junction streets Libertat/Fraternitat


Thursday 16th August 2018
Event: Assaig a Plaça dels Castellers de la Vila de Gràcia
What is it: Human towers practise display. Castellers de la Vila de Gràcia usually make human towers on Plaça de la Vila de Gràcia. 
Assaig means 'rehearsal' or 'attempt'. These sessions are warm ups before the main castellars events 
Time: 19:00 - 7pm
Place: Plaça de la Vila de Gràcia

Friday 17th August 2018
Event: Diada castellera de Vigilies
What is it: Human tower building event
Time: 20:00 - 8pm
Place: Plaça de la Vila de Gràcia

Saturday 18th August 2018
Event: Diada Castellera de Festa Major
What is it:  Human tower building. Biggest castellers event of Gracia festival by 'Castellers de la Vila de Gràcia' and other invited human tower groups.
Time: 18:00 - 6pm
Place: Plaça de la Vila de Gràcia

Monday 20th August 2018

Event: Baixada del Pilar Caminat (the walking column) 
What is it: Castellers de la Vila de Gràcia form a human castle in a single column and move it from Plaça del Sol to Plaça de la Vila de Gràcia town hall.
Time: 20:00 - 8pm
Place: from Plaça del Sol to Plaça de la Vila de Gràcia


Tue 21st August 2018
Event: Firerun - Correfoc infantil
What is it: Correfoc firerun in a smaller format for children
Time: 22:00
Start:  Plaça del Diamant
Route:  Plaça del Diamant, Astúries, plaça Virreina, Astúries, Torrent d’en Vidalet, Terol, Torrent de l’Olla, Diluvi
Finish:  Plaça de la Vila de Gràcia
Map:  Route Map correfoc infantil

Tue 21st August 2018
Event: Drum parade - Tabalada Infernal 
What is it: drum parade with drummers from the 'colles de foc' fireworks groups.
Time: 20.30
Start: Plaça de la Vila de Gràcia
Finish: Plaça Trilla

Tue 21st August 2018
Event: Firerun - Correfoc
Time: 22:45
Start:  Plaça Trilla 
Route:  Plaça Trilla, Gran de Gràcia, Maurici Serrahima, Torrent de l'Olla, Bellver, Plaça del Nord, Robí, Torrent d'en Vidalet, Terol, Torrent de l'Olla, Diluvi
Finish at:  Plaça de la Vila de Gràcia
Correfoc is the traditional 'firerun' in which the spectators are chased by 'devil' groups brandished sparkling fireworks. Very dramatic and festive. Read correfoc safety guidelines


Festa Major de Gracia parades

The 'cercavila' parades are fun and wonderful for the children. These are parades that open the Festa de Gracia and are on the first day. They feature all the groups of the Festa Major de Gracia including the huge colourful papier-mache giant dolls called gegants that can be up to 4 metres high. There is usually always a King and Queen giant and a string of other characters in attendance. There are also often papier-mache capgrossos which means 'big heads'.

Gracia festival plazas

Many plazas in the Gracia festival have concert stages and stalls with food, drink and handicraft items. The main festival squares like Plaça del Sol, Plaça del Diamant, Plaça de la Revolució, Plaça de les Dones del 36 and Plaza de Torrente Manuel have individual themes.  Plaça de les Dones del 36 hosts family shows, Plaça de la Revolució has a theme of solidarity and social inclusion with daytime activities including book exchange, storytelling, games, responsibility workshops and more. Plaça del Diamant is the plaza for swing music and dance, Plaça del Sol hosts a programme of folk concerts. Plaça de la Virreina hosts craft fairs.


Catalan festival traditions

The Festa Major de Gràcia features, like all Catalan festivals, a rich presence of all the traditional cultural Catalan traditions including the 'Diada Castellera de Festa Major.' This features colles castelleres which are groups that build up to 7 or 8 storey high human towers or castles, which is an amazing thing to see live. During the festa major there are many opportunties to see the local castellers group - called 'Castellers de la Vila de Gracia' - build these amazing towers. On one of the festival nights they build a tower and move it between two plazas, which is called the "Baixada del Pilar Caminat." See the times for castellers above or in the events calendar.

The correfoc and tabalada infernal are also among the most popular and festive traditions of all festivals in Catalunya. Correfoc means 'firerun' in Catalan and consists of 'colles de diables' - 'groups of devils' chasing and dancing to the beating of drums and spraying out sparks from fireworks on forked sticks. The drummers of the Correfoc have their own parade called the 'tabalada Infernal.' There will be also be traditional Catalan sardanas folk dancing and other traditions like bastoners stick dancing, trabucaires shooting 'bandits' and grallers pipers. 

About typical Catalan festival traditions

Concurs de Balcons i Portalades

For the 20th year Gracia residents can enter the contest to find the best decorated balcony or doorway during the Gracia Festival


Respect the local residents please!

In recent years the Festa de Gracia has scheduled more daytime events and fewer night-time activities to respect the neighbours and reduce the potential of disturbances in the early hours of the morning. And we ask that all visitors to the Festa de Gracia do their bit to keep noise levels down and keep the area as clean as possible. Be careful when walking through the decorated streets. A lot of time and effort has gone into making them and many others will want to see them after you.

Related Festa de Gracia pages:

Festa Major de Gracia website (Catalan)
Website Gracia barrio (neighbourhood)
Website Castellers de la Vila de Gracia 

Festa Major de Gracia practical information
Saturday 15th August 2018 is Asunción - Assumption day, which is a Spanish public holiday

Metro times Festa de Gracia
During the Fiesta de Gracia the Barcelona Metro has extended operating hours on certain days. 

Festa de Gracia night bus
There is usually special bus service from corner of streets Còrsega and Roger de Llúria to Plaza Catalunya. This bus service runs on nights of 15 to 20 August from 23.00 until 05.00 every 10 minutes. From Plaza Catalunya you can catch NitBus night buses

Charity wristbands 
The Festa de Gracia ask that visitors to the festival support the Spanish Catholic church charity Caritas by buying a €2 wristband on sale during the Gracia Festival. The wristband slogan is  'Festa amb cor' - party with your heart. 


About Gràcia district /barrio

Gràcia is a district of the city of Barcelona above Eixample to the south and sandwhiched between Sarrià-Sant Gervasi to the west and Horta-Guinardó to the east. The district contains the neighborhoods barris of of Vallcarca, Penitents, El Coll, La Salut and Camp d'en Grassot. Gràcia is bordered by the districts of Eixample to the south, Around 120,000 people live in Gracia district and 55,000 in the oldest part call Vila de Gracia.

The name Gràcia originates from a Carmelite convent founded on17th January 1626 called 'Nostra Senyora de Gràcia' (Our Lady of Grace). Until 1897 Vila de Gràcia was a separate village and municipality from Barcelona city. To get through the fields from Barcelona to Gracia you traveled on the road called Passeig de Gracia, the passage to Gràcia. This road still has the same name to this day and has become Barcelona's most exclusive shopping street. 

Hotels near Gracia

In 1897 Gracia village was annexed to Barcelona and as the city expanded Gracia was surrounded, but teh village atmosphere remained largely intact, which explains why the oldest barrio called Vila de Gràcia - Gracia village - still has plenty of old world charm despite being in a modern city like Barcelona. It’s this special atmosphere of Gracia that makes it a popular bohemian residential area for locals and laid back foreigners. About 50.000 people live in the quaint old narrow streets of Vila de Gracia. 

Gracia has an strong feeling of local identity and local charm. There are no big tourist attractions in Gracia, which means that tourist buses, street artists and fast food chains have not claimed the shops and the streets of Gracia. This has left space for the residents to weave a neighbourhood tapestry of bohemian and artistic shops, cafes and restaurants.  

The most popular street in Gracia to is Carrer de Verdi, which is sort of a Gràcia 'rambla' It has many charming shops and restaurants. Apart from young travellers and students Gracia is relatively free from mainstream tourist. The only time when tourists visit Gracia is during the annual Festa Major de Gracia street festival. 

The Gracia festival is centred around the Vila de Gracia area - the village of Gracia. Usually around 55.000 people live in the Gracia area, but during Gracia festival week over half a million visitors drop in to the neighbourhood for a drink and a stroll around the decorated street. The  Festa Major de Gracia has grown to be the most popular and largest neighbourhood festival in Barcelona, only surpassed in size and visitor numbers by the Barcelona Merce festival, which is in September every year. 


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Federació Festa Major de Gràcia
Carrer de l'Alzina, 9, 08024 Barcelona
Office hours: Monday to Friday from 17:00 t 21:00
Tel. +34 934593080
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Last Updated on Friday, 17 August 2018 13:53