One of Barcelona's most uproarious parties, the Gràcia festival reaches dizzy new heights of hedonism during its week-long celebration. Expect dazzlingly decorated streets, loads of live music and an anything-goes attitude.
Where: Barcelona's Gràcia district.
Dates: August 15-21
Tickets: Free of charge.
Gràcia Festival, Barcelona
Throughout the year, residents of Gràcia work together to produce the outrageous decorations on show during their festival, one of the city's most raucous.
Gràcia Festival Decorations
Each street has its own theme, decided upon and put into expression by a council formed by residents of the street itself. Think a medieval pageant hung with swords, banners and shields. A fairy-tale forest overhung by eerily lit branches. Or a prehistoric world with pterodactyls and flying reptiles.
Gràcia Festival: What To Expect
In one street you might stumble on couples waltzing, and in the next discover a wild local rock band or jazz ensemble. This is what makes Gràcia so fun. Each street is completely different to the last one.
Meanwhile fire-breathers send flames into the night sky, stalls hawk everything from jewellery to cocktails and dance troupes beat their drums fiercely into the small hours of the moorning. And all of this for an entire week.
Gràcia Festival Tip
Although there's a lot of fun to be had in the big squares, such as Diamant, Plaça de Sol and La Virreina, which are ram-packed with hordes of people sprawling on the floor, you'll really get a sense of what the festival is all about if you head for the jumble of narrow streets right in the heart of the barrio, between Torrent de la Olla and Escorial.
Here, you'll find the enchanting maze of micro-worlds which make the Gràcia experience so unlike anything else and which will have your senses in uproar as you turn each corner.
Getting to Barcelona: You can fly to Barcelona's El Prat airport or take high-speed AVE trains from Spain's major cities.
Getting Around: Gràcia is served by Metro Lines 3 (Fontana station) and 4 (Joanic). Or, if you're staying in the centre and don't mind the exercise, walk up Passeig de Gràcia from Plaça Catalunya. At the top of the avenue, Gràcia begins.