La Mercè


Here are five amazing things to do linked to the La Merce Festival

1.) Visit La Mercè’s church

The church is dedicated to la Mercè and is therefore one of the most important ones in Barcelona. Indeed, it celebrates the protector of the city! The architecture is remarkable and the interior is also worth paying a visit.

2.) Take part in the burning races (Correfoc)

This is the most impressive attraction of La Mercè festivities. People just gather and then start a race across the city, under fireworks. Fortunately, there is a special race for children, which is earlier and less dangerous. The races start from almost every important plaza of Barcelona.

3.) Admire the human towers (Castallers) on the Saint Juame Plaza

This attraction is also one of those that are not to be missed during La Mercè! People usually gather on the Saint Jaume Plaza and then try to make the biggest human pyramid and place a child on top of it. If you want to see it (or to take part), come early as there are thousands of people there.

4.) Follow the Giant’s parade (Gigantes)

Another important attraction of La Mercè is the giants’ parade. It consists of huge characters walking around with big costumes of king, queens and similar figures. They keep turning around while on the parade and mostly aim to entertain children.

5.) Admire the fireworks all over Barcelona

Everywhere, during La Mercè’s week, you will see beautiful and lively fireworks around the city. From the traditional and artisanal ones being shot from the big plazas to the individual ones, often homemade, you will be awestruck by the show!

Facts about La Merce

La Mercè became an official event in 1871. Actually, the real day of commemoration is September 24th but the celebrations last a whole week around this period. The commemoration comes from the fact that La Mercè is said to have saved Barcelona from an invasion of insects in 1687 and then became the saint protector of Barcelona (the saint patron being Santa Eulalia). The pope recognized La Mercè as the protector of the city in 1868 and since then (1871), all Barcelonans celebrate to thank her. A basilica is dedicated to La Mercè in the Barri Gotic.

For a whole week, they have fireworks and spectacles all around the city, regardless of the neighborhood (even if of course, some are more lively than others).

La Mercè is the most joyful week of the year for every Barcelonian! It is a week during which everybody celebrates the city and its protector, La Mercè. Fireworks, spectacles, great speeches all around the city: this event is amazing and it only gets better each year.


Insider’s tips:

  • Do not try to drive around the city during La Mercè, there is just too many people.
  • Don’t forget to bring some protection if you wish to take part in the Correfocs, otherwise you will probably get burnt.

How to get there

La Mercè is all over town. Choose the event you want to attend to, and make your way!

  • 13 million visitors a year 99%
  • Incredibly detailed 80%
  • Contains hidden mysteries 70%

Opening Hours

Night and day, depending on the event you want to join during La Mercè. The parade will mostly be during the day, fireworks during the night…

Why it’s worth experiencing

  • La Mercè is the biggest festival of the year in Barcelona!
  • You have attractions everywhere in the city so your visit to Barcelona will surely be unforgettable.
  • During this period, there’s always a big music festival and all the Catalan young people go there.