Get a glimpse of everyday Spanish life in this unassuming little market town.
Granollers is a quiet Catalan town on the outskirts of Barcelona, home to a centuries-old market and traditional festivals. Use the town as a base for exploring the nearby Montseny Natural Park, escaping the crowds and experiencing Spain’s simpler charms.
Check out La Porxada (The Porch), a former grain storehouse that serves as the setting for the town’s regular Thursday market, which has been held since the 11th century. Pick up artichokes, red peppers, potatoes, strawberries, tomatoes and numerous other vegetables and fruits at this busy market.
Look for small flower plaques placed on the streets throughout the city, marking the areas where bombs were dropped during the Spanish Civil War. One particularly devastating attack on May 31, 1938 killed hundreds of local citizens. May 31 continues to be a day of mourning and remembrance for the city.
The Spanish Civil War is further remembered at the town’s Centre de Cultura per la Pau (Center for a Culture of Peace). Look for two trees symbolically located outside the center. One is an oak that survived the civil war bombings in Spain’s Basque region and the other is a ginkgo tree from the nuclear attack on Hiroshima, Japan.
Be sure to see the Granollers Museum of Natural Sciences, housing a small but interesting collection of zoology and geology exhibits. Just outside the museum, explore the botanical garden which highlights typical plants species found throughout the surrounding Vallès Oriental.
From the city, travel to Montseny Natural Park, a UNESCO-designated biosphere. Explore lush meadows, refreshing creeks and towering mountains. Unlike typical national parks, this area encourages cooperation between humans and environment, with farms and orchards integrated with the park’s natural vegetation.
One of the best times of year to visit Granollers is in late August, when the town celebrates Festa Major. This weeklong celebration includes a variety of lively performances, games, music and plenty of local food.
Granollers is located 21 miles (35 kilometers) from Barcelona. There are regular bus connections between the two cities.