Sant Jordi, the festival of books and flowers


Ever heard of Sant Jordi's Day? This typical Catalan festival is celebrated on 23 April and you simply cannot miss it. So, let's go! It's time to find out more about Sant Jordi!

What is Sant Jordi all about

Sant Jordi is a very important saint in Catalan culture, famous for having killed a dragon that was terrorising people. Legend has it that from the blood of the dragon, a rose grew, which Sant Jordi then gave to the princess as a symbol of his love. This is why on Sant Jordi's day, it is traditional to give roses and books as gifts.

Sant Jordi's Day is not just a religious holiday, it is also Book Day in Catalonia. Yes, that's right! To mark the occasion, the region's streets are filled with book stalls selling all types of books, from novels to comics and essays. If you are a book lovers, this is the perfect day for you to buy new books and discover new stories.

To commemorate Sant Jordi's Day, which falls on World Book Day, it is customary to give a rose and a book as a present, with stalls selling books and roses across Catalonia. This tradition dates back to the fifteenth century, when Catalan culture flourished and people went to book and rose fairs to get their hands on copies of the latest publications.

However, the party doesn't have to end here. All day, the streets of towns and cities across the region are filled with people taking in the festive atmosphere. There is live music, performances, children's activities and many more other surprises. Parades are also organised to celebrate the feast of Sant Jordi and keep the legend alive.

What to do on Sant Jordi's Day?

  • Stroll along Las Ramblas in Barcelona: Las Ramblas is one of the most famous streets Barcelona and on Sant Jordi's Day, it is filled with book stalls and roses. Going for a walk here is a unique experience, as you will find all kinds of books and flowers and be able to enjoy the festive atmosphere.
  • Visit Casa Batlló: This iconic work by Gaudí is located in the heart of Barcelona and on Sant Jordi's Day it is converted into a magical place. The façade of the building is adorned with a giant rose and inside, special activities are organised in relation to the festival.
  • Take a stroll in Barcelona's Gothic Quarter: The Gothic Quarter is one of the most emblematic places in the city and on Sant Jordi's Day, it comes to life. Take a stroll through its cobbled streets and discover small bookstores and flower shops, as well as enjoying the mediaeval architecture typical of the area.
  • Visit Montjuïc Castle: This castle is located on a hilltop overlooking Barcelona, offering stunning views of the city. On Sant Jordi's Day activities and shows are organised at the castle in relation to the festivities.
  • Take a trip to Girona: Girona is a city bursting with history and charm, located approximately 100 kilometres from Barcelona. On Sant Jordi's Day, the city is flooded with of book stalls and flower stalls, with activities organised for the whole family.
  • Sample Catalan cuisine: On Sant Jordi's Day, many restaurants organise special menus to celebrate the festivities. Sample typical Catalan dishes, such as escalivada, butifarra, coca de San Juan or tomato rubbed bread.

How to travel to Barcelona by train with Renfe

At Renfe, we make travelling easy, which is why we organise multiple AVE (high-speed), Avlo and Larga Distancia (long distance) trains so you can enjoy one of Catalonia's most popular festivities. Convinced? Buy your tickets now!

If you want to visit Barcelona on Sant Jordi's Day, don't think twice about it. With Renfe, enjoy a fast, comfortable, sustainable trip that takes you to the heart of the city. Discover our main routes to Barcelona and hop aboard with us. What are you waiting for? What are you waiting for?