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It’s nice to have a love celebration like Valentine’s Day in February, a dreary month in the northern hemisphere to say the least. It gives couples something to look forward to after many cold months, and it can brighten up the long winter and add a touch of romance.
However, the timing of the Catalan version of Valentine’s Day—Sant Jordi Festival—has always made a bit more sense to me. The holiday is held on the 23rd of April each year, when spring has officially sprung with love and pollen blowing in the air. What says “amor” more than beautiful Barcelona in full bloom!
Sant Jordi Festival
For Sant Jordi’s Day, either a book or a rose are given as gifts. Men, you’ll want to look for a few select red roses to give to the special women in your life. Women, you’ll need to browse the many book shops and book stands that set up on La Rambla and get a paperback for the important men in your life. These are the rules, and as someone who appreciates both flowers and reading, I like to break them!
Where to stay for an affordable romantic getaway
If you’re traveling through Barcelona in April with that special someone, look for rooms in these hotels that make the perfect escape for lovey-dovey couples.
Doubles from: $83 to $143
Privacy is key to romance, so avoid the backpacker hostels and instead go for double room at Hosteria Grau, one of the coziest hotels in the city center. The two-star rooms are cute and clean, and the staff is incredibly helpful. Furthermore, Grau is a couple blocks from La Rambla and Passeig de Gracia, where much of the Sant Jordi fun will take place.
Doubles from: $97 to $152
Ambiance is important if you’re on a romantic escape. Avoid faded rooms with questionable artwork and amateur silk flower arrangements, and instead book at Hostal Goya, a chic option in L’Eixample. Goya’s interiors are some of the best we’ve seen in Barcelona budget hotels. You’ll be wowed by not only the modern tiled floors, the abundance of natural light and the elegant attitude—but also the very affordable price!
Doubles from: $138 to $145
What’s more romantic than wandering the old city with your lover, arm in arm? Not much. So make sure to book at Hotel Banys Orientals in El Born for lots of cobblestone charm. Picture yourself sipping Spanish wine in front of Santa Maria del Mar Church, and then window shopping at the many boutiques near Banys Orientals.
Bonus tip: Not only is love in the air, but spring, and the months of April and May, are some of the best months to visit Barcelona because the weather is gorgeous, and the city is a lot less crowded than summer. Enjoy!