It’s almost Halloween time and you’re finding yourself far from your traditional trick-or-treating grounds. This is foreign territory – fun territory – but you are informed by the distinct lack of pumpkin spice in the air that this isn’t Kansas. Heck, it isn’t even Canberra, but Catalunya, and with All Hallows just around the corner we figured it’d be best to inform you of the best things to do in Barcelona this Halloween.
This year Halloween falls on a Wednesday, and the Thursday is a public holiday. Many locals will take the Friday off work and enjoy a four-day weekend, while the rest will use the Thursday as a hungover day before returning to work on Friday.
Tourists, students and committed party monsters will pay little to no attention to the party falling mid-week, and get ghoulish until the wee hours of the morning – we can confirm that.
So what are we doing in Barcelona this Halloween?
Spanish and Catalan Halloween traditions
Halloween’s roots are in pre-Christian pagan rituals, and there are plenty of local traditions. The big day for Spaniards and Catalans is the 1st of November, Dia de todos los santos, or All Saints Day. Locals spend the day honouring the dead, visiting cemeteries, lighting candles and laying wreaths. There are some cool graveyards around Barcelona, in particular the south-facing hillside of Montjuic.
Also on this day locals will eat roasted chestnuts and eat pan de muerto. If they’re feeling frisky they might even have a mulled wine. If you’re a bit of a culture vulture, come and pick the flesh out of this article devoted to Spanish Halloween traditions.
The 2nd of November is El dia de los muertos, which is a Mexican tradition, but you’ll find plenty of people celebrating it in Barcelona, particularly in the city’s better taco and burrito joints. Check out Azul Frida, an underground favourite with spectacular food and mescal cocktails.
Halloween Parties In Barcelona
The night before All Saints Day is El dia de las brujas, witches day, which takes more of a Halloween-as-a-party form. On this night we’ll see the streets fill up with people in costume and bars and nightclubs offering special themed parties. The beach clubs will have special events, where the spookiest things are the drink prices, and it will all seem a bit forced, because this isn’t a traditional way to celebrate Halloween here in Barcelona.
But Barcelona is an unbelievably spooky city. Can you even begin to imagine how many people have died in the city over its 1000s of years in existence? And how many of those deaths were horrific? And how many of those terribly killed individuals still inhabit the city’s buildings and boulevards, unhappy that they can’t take place in the fun that goes down here every goddamn day?
If you believe in that kind of stuff.
Ghost Hunt Halloween Barcelona
But no matter your position on the existence of ghosts, Barcelona has some truly horrific stories, which you can read about here, or you can learn about on the night of the 31st of October, with Stoke Travel’s Halloween Barcelona Ghost Hunt. This interactive party is part self-guided tour part treasure hunt, that will see you solving clues and running around the city from spooky spot to spooky spot, discovering the city’s scary secrets and being entertained by the party-hungry Stoke Travel crew.
The evening begins with a pre-party so we can channel the ghost realm via shots of spirits, and there are also big prizes on offer for the team that completes all the tasks and solves all the mysteries first. Once it’s all done all ghost hunters head to the biggest and best Halloween party in Barcelona.
The only thing is that if you want to play you have to dress up. Luckily we’ve got all the Barcelona costume shop information you need.
The Barcelona Halloween Ghost Hunt is a popular yearly event, so if you’re looking for a plan this Halloween, make sure you lock your spot in. Your plans for Halloween in Barcelona are spookily sorted.