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visiting during La Merce

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posts: 1
visiting during La Merce

We are thinking of visiting Spain in September 2013. And noticed the La Merce festival takes place during that time in Barcelona. We are planning on traveling with our 8 year old son. Does La Merce 'take over' Barcelona at that time where you can not enjoy other sites? Is La Merce so crowded it would be hard to enjoy with a young boy? This would also be our first time in Europe.

Any advice is appreciated.

posts: 1,273
reviews: 1
1. Re: visiting during La Merce

hi Christine,

If you are during la MErcè in Barcelona , dont' worry about the main touristic attrations : they are open and runs as other days...in fact on 24th most of them are free entrance if I remembed correctly

At the other hand, there are lots of activities thinking for children and it's completely normal take children to the others...

For instance there are the gigants parade that is mainly for children, there is the children's correfoc, the piromusical it's late on evening but there are lots of children who go to see them, etc....

Destination Expert
for Barcelona
posts: 8,377
reviews: 17
2. Re: visiting during La Merce

Absolutely you should go during La Merce with an eight year old. Don't worry about carrying on with 'normal' Barcelona tourism but be aware that there will be much in the festival that will be attractive and fascinating to him, not least the Children's Correfoc mentioned above and the castellers events, when he will see children of his age and younger performing feats of skill and bravery that will amaze him.

Have a look at the Top Question on La Merce on the right and work out what you might want to keep him up late for (Piromusical would be my choice for a late night treat). Much of it happens in the day time, though. I suspect that he at least will find the monsters in the Ajuntament (start here ...


and keep clicking 'next' for a while), or the giants and bests in the Palau de la Virreina (start here ...


) to be at least as interesting as many of the city's wonderful and all-year round attractions and you might well also be fascinated and be grateful for some respite on your pocket, because so much of La Merce is free.

La Merce is mainly very child-friendly and will also provide no end of great stories to tell when he gets back to school.

posts: 1,407
reviews: 43
3. Re: visiting during La Merce

Yes, go when it i on.

This year will be my fourth (all in a row) and i'm a 41 year old child.

posts: 1,273
reviews: 1
4. Re: visiting during La Merce


about crowded places... I think the trick to avoid the crowds...for instance: during the Giants parade on 24th at evening it's better don't stay at Sant Jaume square...on via Laietana are less people always and you can move around the streett easy.. if you are interested to see "castellers" it's better stay in Ferran street or Jaume I street..you see them a little far for my taste but if the kid became bored or impatient you can go away easy...about the correfoc, if you go to the children's correfoc there aren't problems about crowns! etc.

About piromusical in Espanya square the same...if you are not very close to the main fountain, it's less crowded and you can go away if it's necessary , etc....

In the others acts in Ciutadella Park, Montjuich castle, plaça del rei, etc I think there isn't problems with crowds...

Destination Expert
for Barcelona
posts: 8,377
reviews: 17
5. Re: visiting during La Merce

5de8 provides helpful hints as ever. For castellers I would add that Placa de Sant Jaume does get very crowded and precautions like sunhats, sunscreen and plenty of drinking water are a good idea, but it is always a friendly crowd with many enthusiasts for the sport. I would suggest trying to get into the square before start time (especially if there are Falcons on the same date, which might also appeal because the majority of the participants are youngsters) and perhaps try to get somewhere reasonably close to the stage and to the exit to Carrer de Ferran. That way if it became too oppresive or simply if your feet get tired it it not too far to an exit. People do manage to get through the crowd with buggies and last year we were quite close to someone in a wheelchair so it is possible to move around. I think you need to try to get close to appreciate the skill, strength and courage of the castellers of all ages and I would think an 8-year old boy would be amazed to see what some children even younger than himself get up to.

Search on Youtube for "res es impossible" to get an idea of the emotion and the spectacular nature of the event. Els Verds (the Castellers de Vilafranca) who feature in the short film will almost certainly be taking part on one of the two castellers days.

Regarding Via Laietana, it's a wide street so ideal for watching parades etc. without feeling too boxed in, but for the children's correfoc, find somewhere central (perhaps level with Placa del Rei, because the area around the Gates of Hell, where the children's correfoc usually finishes and the adult correfoc starts gets absolutely packed well before the children's parade finishes.

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6. Re: visiting during La Merce

Hi everyone,

We would be in bcn fr 21st to 30th sept. I would like to enjoy the La merce festival and would jus arrange sightsee in bcn (sagrada familia, park guell, baltto, casa Mila) in 1st few days rather than taking day trips to Montserrat or Dali museum.

I read that it would be idea to arrange a trip to tarrangona on 23rd for castellens?

Has the programmer list out yet for Yr 2013 La merce? The programmer list currently on the website is of yr 2012? Or has been updated to yr 2013?

Thanks fr helping out.

7. Re: visiting during La Merce

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