It’s finally here.
Barcelona’s famed La Mercé will begin in less than two weeks. Locals and visitors alike will get a dizzying, beautiful crash-course in all things Catalan at a festival known for it’s art, tradition, parades and ‘how-the-heck-do-they-do-that!?’ human towers.
Your La Mercé Guide: 3 Must-Sees & 1 Insider Tip Per Day
Deciding what to do during La Mercé is an immensely complex process. We’ve decided to take a look at the festival schedule and create a day-by-day account of fun things to see at La Mercé 2014. You´ll get event recommendations & a ‘La Mercé Like a Local’ tip for each day of the festival. We’ve also included maps of the two important event locations. Enjoy!
***DON’T FORGET: Sagrada Familia will be free from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m Sept. 19, 20, and 21. You must sign up for the free tickets on the official Sagrada Familia website, http://www.sagradafamilia.cat/ . Tickets will go fast, so be ready on Sept. 8!
|Gigantes at La Mercé (photo courtesy of 10best.com)|
You can get a little history about the event through our recent post about why La Mercé started.
Friday at La Mercé 2014: Kicking off the Party Catalán Style
- Sardaña, 7 p.m.: The inaugural performance of the sardaña, Catalunya’s cultural dance, will take place in front of the Barcelona Cathedral on Av. de la Catedral at 7:00 p.m.
- Opening Speech, 7 p.m.: Meanwhile, Catalán activist and politician Núria Gespert will deliver the 2014 La Mercé opening ceremonies speech (in Catalán) at Placa Sant Jaume at 19h.
- Mercé Animation, 9:15 p.m.: Stop by Placa Sant Jaume at 9:15 p.m. to watch the awe-inspiring animation projected on the face of Placa Sant Jaume’s Catalán government building. The animation also plays at 9:45, 10:15 and 11:00. See the map above for directions.
- La Mercé Like a Local: After the animation at Sant Jaume, do the five-minute walk to Ginger for a drink.
Saturday at La Mercé 2014: Life is a Circus
- Various circus troupes, 11 a.m. – 8:45 p.m., Montjuic Castle: Check out a wide variety of circus acts atop Montjuic. Entertaining acts and beautiful are worth the trip to Barcelona’s verdant lookout point.
- Catalán bands, 6:30 p.m 2:00 a.m., Placa Espanya: At night head to Plaza Espanya where you can hear bands from across Catalunya performing against the backdrop of the beautiful Catalunya National Art Museum. Bands begin playing at 6:30 p.m. and conclude in the early hours of Sunday morning.
- The dragons and beasts parade, 9 p.m., Placa Sant Jaume: Watch the ghoulish goings-on of La Mercé’s fiery leviathans. The parade begins and ends at Placa Sant Jaume.
- La Mercé Like a Local: Head to Lolita for tapas and enjoy G&T’s at Xixbar. Both places are locate just a short walk from Placa Espanya.
Sunday at La Mercé 2014: Running With Fire
- Falcon show, 11 a.m., Placa Sant Jaume: Watch winged acrobats take to the skies during this traditional aviary show.
|Correfoc at La Mercé (photo courtesy of Hotel Actual)|
- Drum chorus, 6 p.m., Placa del Rei: Enjoy a raucous Barcelona drum corps beginning in the very square where legend says Ferdinand and Isabella welcomed Columbus back from the explorer’s journey to America.
- Correfoc, 8:15 p.m., Via Laietana: Get a taste of the fire and fun of Correfoc. Don’t forget to bring earplugs if you want to join in the fun. Cameras and video are a must.
- La Mercé Like a Local: After Correfoc, head to the W Barcelona to mix it up with the young elite at the hotel´s famous WET Deck Summer Series. Great music, great drinks and plenty of mingling await.
Monday at La Mercé 2014: A Little Break
- Concert, 8 p.m., Av. de la Catedral: Listen to the symphonic sweetness of the Barcelona Symphonic Orchestra. Monday is a slow day for La Mercé.
- La Merce Like a Local: Once the music fades in Placa del Rei, head to Hotel Neri for drinks and dinner: Make reservations, though. Their restaurant is as exclusive as it is pricey.
Tuesday at La Mercé 2014: Music ‘Til the Morning
- Parade of the gigantes, 9 p.m., Maritime Museum: Get a close up look at the magnificent gigantes the night before the big celebration.
- Isaac Ulam and José Domingo, 11:30 p.m., Placa Sant Jaume: Enjoy the folk-rock melodies of this thoroughly Catalán duo from Girona.
- Delafé y las flores azules, 2 a.m., The Forum: Party deep into the madrugada with this Catalonian indie-pop band.
|The official La Mercé 2014 poster|
Wednesday at La Mercé 2014: The Big Day
- Go to Placa Sant Jaume around 10 a.m. and plan on staying until about 12:30 or 1 p.m. The square will be insanely crowded, but you´ll see and feel all the energy and regionalism that is Catalunya’s La Mercé.
- La Mercé parade, 6 p.m., Carrer Montalegre and Carrer Pelai: See the gigantes strut their stuff at the premier La Mercé parade.
- Closing ceremonies, 9 p.m., Placa del Rei: The closing festivities will begin here and end with a gigantes dance at Palau de la Virreina.
- La Mercé Like a Local: Be in Placa Sant Jaume for the midday festivities. You’ll see plenty of Catalán pride and general Mercé revelry. There’s a good chance it will be a memory you carry with you for the rest of your life.
Everything Else You Need To Know About La Mercé 2014
- Where La Mercé will take place in Barcelona
- Download the official app for La Mercé 2014 (click on the blue ‘este enlace’ link)
- Download the basic list of events at La Mercé 2014 (in English)
- Download the complete list of events at La Mercé 2014 (in Catalán)