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Blaze Forsby

Photographer, writer, and tour guide

Holiday Shopping in Barcelona: Sant Jordi

Where to buy presents for the Day of Saint George

About this guide

Diada de Sant Jordi, or the Day of Saint George, is celebrated on the 23rd of April. Also called the Day of Books and Roses, it is Catalonia's unique answer to Saint Valentine's Day and is far more popular here than its world-famous equivalent. This holiday with so much character is not only about love – but also legends, princesses, magic folios, and dragons (of course!). In this guide, you will discover more about Catalonian unique Sant Jordi traditions and some of the best places where you can buy presents for this special day.

April 23 — Sant Jordi — St George’s Day

Sant Jordi is associated, in the first place, with three things: dragons, books, and roses. How it all came together is still unclear, and there are several different versions: for example, dragons and roses perhaps came from the centuries-old legend of Sant Jordi, a patron Saint of Catalonia, who killed a dragon and saved a princess. Books were probably added later as a tribute to Shakespeare and Cervantes, who both died on this very day, April 23rd.

Whatever the case, books are now a big part of the celebration, as every bookstore proudly showcases their material on the street. And the beautiful floristerias and flower stalls all over the city are the best place to get your other half red roses.

Although roses were historically gifted to women and books to men, nowadays, these rigid rules are actively re-imagined, so it’s totally acceptable to switch things around! Just don’t forget to attach the obligatory Catalan striped ribbon to your gift — this rule still stands the test of time!

Livrarias (Book stores)

Llibreria Sant Jordi

📜 Artsy bookstore
Blaze Forsby

Blaze Forsby

This charming little bookshop is named after Catalonia’s patron saint. It specializes in books on art, photography, design, and illustration. The store has a nice community around it, being a meeting space for all artistic souls. It often organizes various workshops and book presentations. It’s also a real treat for the eyes with its antique 19th-century décor and all the cute little nooks and crannies of a cozy old bookstore.

Mercat del Llibre Dominical de Sant Antoni

📚 The largest second-hand book market in Barcelona
Blaze Forsby

Blaze Forsby

This book market in Barcelona is set up around the actual Mercat de Sant Antoni, the basilica of vintage things. It is open every Sunday since 1936. However, its origins can be traced several centuries back, making it one of the oldest flea markets in Europe. It’s very popular with the locals and especially crowded on Sant Jordi – and no wonder, you can find some true gems there!

Floristerias (Flower stores)

Floristeria Navarro

💐 Artistic bouquets
Blaze Forsby

Blaze Forsby

As they proudly claim, they don’t just sell flowers, but offer unique experiences. Every florist here is an artist, and it’s truly mesmerizing to see them at work! This floristeria also has workshops and a huge selection of plants for any occasion.

Blaze Forsby

Blaze Forsby

Marea Verde. Laboratori Botànic is a beautiful turn-of-a-century pharmacy transformed into a flower shop. It’s a truly authentic place to get a glimpse of old Barcelona and marvel at the intricate Catalan modernist architecture.

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