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Do you really need additional motivation to come to Barcelona? Probably not. Barcelona has enough to keep you busy for weeks with Roman archeological sights, beaches, Gaudí creations, the Gothic Quarter, wine bars and creative restaurants, museums stuffed with works by Dalí and Picasso…but just in case, here are nine more excuses for stopping by.
1. Listen to music at Festival del Mil·lenni
Returning to Barcelona for its 15th edition, the Festival Mil·lenni brings you some of the best music of the year. Look for Nana Mouskouri in February, Goran Bregovic in April at the Palau de la Música, and many others. Tickets go for between €13 and €79. Their ‘Pack Flamenc’ is a bargain, offering three flamenco concerts for €50. We don’t always recommend flamenco in Barcelona, but this is one to see.
2. Eat piles of grilled green onions, a Catalan delicacy
Food festivals and traditions are always good excuses for visiting a city. Come to Barcelona (and Catalonia) this winter to eat barbecued calçots, a sort of fat green onion available until late March. Valls is the top spot to eat calçots, but you will also find them all over the city at restaurants and in vegetable markets.
3. Sip a craft brew at the Barcelona Beer Festival
Barcelona has quite the burgeoning craft beer scene, so much so that the Barcelona Beer Festival is holding its third annual event this year from April 11th-13th 2014.
4. Save big during post-holiday winter sales
Sales or ‘rebajas/rebaixes’ in Spanish/Catalan are on from January 7th until mid-March. The best deals are to be had now, while your shoe size is still in stock. If you miss these post-holiday winter sales you’ll have another chance to save big in July and August.
5. Get down with hipsters at Primavera Sound
One of the best music festivals in Barcelona, Primavera Sound never disappoints. On in the spring (hence, ‘primavera’) from May 29th-31st 2014, this one brings out the hipsters in full force. The music is always plentiful, as multiple stages are set up around the Forum, the Mediterranean Sea the festival’s stunning backdrop. Festival passes are being sold at a discounted rate until February 7th. Hurry.
6. Feast with friends at the best eatery…in the world!
You may have heard that Celler Can Roca was nominated the best eatery in the world by Restaurant Magazine. Granted, you’ll have a heck of a time getting a reservation these days, but if you manage it, Celler Can Roca is just an hour north of Barcelona in Girona.
7. Hear unique guitar sounds
8. See incredible Barcelona street photography
Joan Colom is one of the most important Spanish photographers of the second half of the 20th century. Now in his 90s, he is known for his black and white photographs of street life in Barcelona. See more than 500 photographs spanning the whole of his career at the MNAC Museum until the 25th of May 2014.
9. Participate in annual city traditions
Apart from these events, there is a seemingly endless list of holidays and traditional festivals held in Barcelona and all over Catalonia every year. Some of the most entertaining are: Sant Jordi’s Day on April 23rd, Sant Joan on June 23rd and 24th, and La Mercè at the end of September.
Plan your jaunt to Barcelona at the same time as one of these functions for an even richer experience. For more tips on exploring the city for less, check out EuroCheapo’s Barcelona city guide.