When’s the Best Time of Year to Visit Barcelona? (Month-by-Month Guide)

For most visitors, the best time of year to visit Barcelona is from early April through to mid-October. Throughout this period the weather is generally warm and sunny. It’s also when most of the city’s many vibrant festivals take place.

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t visit at other times of the year. In fact, if you plan to spend most of your time sightseeing, you might want to avoid July and August when temperatures and humidity are at their highest. It’s also when the city is busiest, hotel prices are highest, and budget accommodation gets booked up early.

Budget-conscious travellers can make their money go further by visiting Barcelona outside of the primary tourist season. Winter temperatures are mild, and spring arrives early in Barcelona, meaning that if you aren’t bothered about sunbathing, you can save money and avoid the queues by visiting in March and October.

Winter is also a good time for visiting Barcelona. During the festive season, the city is decorated with Christmas lights. Winter festivals like La Festa de Santa Eulalia and El Nit de Reyes see carnival-like processions in the city centre.

This post takes a month-by-month look at what’s going on in Barcelona and what the weather’s like. We’ve also included tips that will help you decide when to visit and what to do when you get here.

Panoramic view of Spain square, The National Palace and Montjuic mountain from the Arenes bullring turned shopping centre Barcelona
View of Plaça d’Espanya from the Les Arenes shopping centre

Barcelona weather (temperatures & rainfall)

Located on the Mediterranean coast, 60km south of the Costa Brava, Barcelona enjoys a mild climate year-round.

During the summer months of July and August, mid-day temperatures are often around thirty degrees centigrade (86º Fahrenheit). Although this is significantly cooler than Madrid and cities in the South of Spain, high humidity makes it hot and sticky. If visiting at this time of year, it’s best to make sure that your hotel or apartment are equipped with Air Conditioning.

September and October are the rainiest months in Barcelona. Unlike the UK, where rain falls as an interminable drizzle, rain in Barcelona usually arrives in heavy downpours that can generally be escaped by heading indoors for an hour or so. The table below shows average temperatures and the number of days of rain per month throughout the year.

April showers are also commonplace in Barcelona. If you are visiting in August, you may experience brief summer downpours that usually occur during the afternoon and are a relief from the summer heat.

Keen photographers should take note that during the summer, high humidity often means hazy skies. For panoramic photos with clear blue skies, it’s best to visit in spring, autumn or even winter.

Winter in Barcelona is mild, and temperatures seldom drop as low as freezing point. Daytime temperatures are usually between 10 and 15ºC, and it is often sunny.

During the winter months, restaurants and bars set up propane heaters on their terraces, meaning that you can still enjoy a beer or a coffee outside while making the most of the winter sun. Even during February, which is usually the coldest month in Barcelona, you can often be outside with just a light jacket at mid-day. The secret is to dress in layers and adjust accordingly.

Graph of the monthly average temperatures and rainfall in Barcelona

Music festivals, trade fairs and fiestas

Barcelona plays host to some of Europe’s best known outdoor music festivals from late spring to summer.

The festival season usually kicks off in May with Primavera Sound, which is the city’s best known and most international music festival and is regularly attended by an audience of around 200,000. Other major music festivals include Sónar, Barcelona Beach Festival, Cruïlla, Brunch in the Park, BAM (Barcelona Acció Musical), Rock Fest Barcelona, and Barcelona Guitar Festival.

In addition to music festivals, there are also many traditional neighbourhood festivals throughout the year. Every neighbourhood stages its own Festa Major, which typically includes processions, Correfocs (fire runs), human tower competitions (castells), music and food.

The best known and liveliest of the city’s fiestas include La Merce, which takes place in September, La Festa Major de Gràcia (August) and La Festa de Santa Eulalia (February). In June, La Fest de Sant Juan sees people heading to the beach to celebrate the beginning of summer with fireworks and parties, which often carry on until after daybreak.

A team building a human tower during a local festival in Barcelona
Human tower competitions are a feature of many neighbourhood festivals

Barcelona also plays host to large trade fairs, which are staged in conference centres near Plaça d’Espanya and L’Hospitalet. The largest of the trade fairs is the Mobile World Congress, which occurs at the end of February. The fair brings hundreds of thousands of people to the city, all of the city’s hotels get booked up months in advance, and prices skyrocket.

Insider’s tip:
When planning a trip to Barcelona, you should always check hotel prices and availability before purchasing flights.

Trade fairs like the MWC and other events and festivals can push the price of accommodation up. If you aren’t attending the event in question, you can save money and avoid crowds by booking a different date.

I prefer to use Booking.com, which offers a wide choice of hotels and other accommodation in Barcelona, many of which offer free cancellation until the day before arrival.

Check hotel prices and availability on Booking.com >>

Barcelona Travel Seasons

High season

Barcelona’s high season runs from April to September and is when you can expect to pay most for accommodation. Public holidays such as Christmas, New Years and Easter are also high season but, as mentioned above, prices may also be driven up by other events which take place in the city.

Shoulder season

The months of March, October and November are mid-season, aka the shoulder season. Hotel prices are slightly lower, and the weather is still pretty good. You may not be sunbathing or swimming in the sea, but the weather is still pleasant for visiting the city.

If you plan to visit as many of Barcelona’s attractions as possible and aren’t bothered about going to the beach, this is an excellent time to visit. Flights and accommodation will be cheaper, and you don’t usually need to book attractions in advance at this time of year. The only exceptions are the Sagrada Familia and the Picasso museum, which you should always book in advance, whatever time of year you visit.

Low season

January, February and early December are low season in Barcelona and are also an excellent time to visit. Even though this is the low season and hotel prices are cheaper, Barcelona is still open for business, and there’s plenty to see and do.

Temperatures are cooler, and you won’t be swimming in the sea, but Barcelona’s weather during winter is way better than in the UK or Northern Europe. It’s also warmer than other popular Spanish cities, including Madrid, Toledo and Bilbao. The winter is an ideal time for experiencing Barcelona without the crowds of tourists and for enjoying the city like a local.

If you are looking for snow and winter sunshine, the Pyrenees Mountains are less than two hours from Barcelona and can easily be visited as a day trip. There are buses and even trains to nearby ski resorts, including La Molina, La Masella and Andorra.

Insider’s tip:

If hotel prices are higher than expected, try checking one week before or after your intended dates.

The traditional Nose Man Parade through the narrow streets of Barcelona's Gothic Quarter
Traditional festivals and celebrations take place throughout the year

Barcelona month-by-month guide

Festivals and events take place in Barcelona throughout the year. The list below includes most of the city’s best-known music festivals, local neighbourhood festivals and other significant events and holidays.

Please note that the dates of many of the events vary from year to year, and I strongly advise you to check this year’s dates before making plans or booking flights.

If you’ve any questions or think I’ve missed anything, please tell me about it in the comments section below. I enjoy reading all your questions and try to answer as quickly as possible.

Festivals and events in Barcelona during January

EventDescription
New Year’s dayPublic holiday – shops closed
Fira de ReisMarket selling presents
Three Kings ParadeParades throughout the city
EpiphanyPublic holiday – shops closed
Winter SalesStarts Jan 7th
Festa Major de Sant AntoniNeighbourhood fair (Sant Antoni)
Tres Tombs ParadeHorse parade

Festivals and events in Barcelona during February

EventDescription
Winter SalesSome stores continue sales during Feb.
Fira de la CandeleraGastranomic fair (Molins de Rei)
Festa de Santa EulàliaNeighbourhood festival (City wide)
Llum BarcelonaLight festival
CarnivalStreet parades and music
BarnasantsMusic and poetry festival
Mobile World CongressTrade fair

Festivals and events in Barcelona during March

EventDescription
Festa de Sant MedirNeighbourhood festival (Gràcia)
Barcelona MarathonMarathon
Barcelona Beer FestivalBeer Festival (L’Hospitalet)
Sitges – Barcelona Vintage Car RallyVintage car rally
Festes de Sant Josep OriolNeighbourhood festival (Gothic quater)

Festivals and events in Barcelona during April

EventDescription
EasterPublic holiday (dates vary)
Comic BarcelonaComic fair
Cursa dels BombersCharity fireman’s race
Feria de AbrilAndalusian style April fair
Día de Sant Jordi (St Georges Day)Catalan version of Valentines day
Feast of Our Lady of MontserratReligious celebration (Montserrat)

Festivals and events in Barcelona during May

EventDescription
May DayPublic holiday – shops closed
Fira de Sant PonçHerbal medicine fair
Spanish Grand PrixFormula 1 (Montmeló)
Barcelona Modernist FairArt Nouveau fair
International New Rose FestivalFlower festival
International Museums DaySome museums stay open at night
Ciutat FlamencoMusic festival (Flamenco)
Primavera SoundMusic festival (Pop & Indie)

Festivals and events in Barcelona during June

EventDescription
Summer salesSummer sales
Brunch in the ParkMusic festival (House & Techno)
Music in the ParksMusic festival (Jazz and Classical)
Holi Festival BarcelonaFestival of colours
Festival Jardins de PedralbesMusic festival (Varied styles)
Tast a La RamblaFood festival (La Rambla)
International Classic Bus RallyVintage bus rally
Music in the ParksMusic festival (Jazz and Classical)
SónarMusic festival (Electronic)
Gay PrideGay Pride
Festa de Sant Pere, Santa Caterina i la RiberaNeighbourhood festival (El Born)
l’Ou Com BallaDancing Eggs (Corpus Christi)
Sant Joan’s EveBeach party
A summer music festival in Barcelona
Barcelona’s most popular music festivals take place from May to July

Festivals and events in Barcelona during July

EventDescription
Summer salesSummer sales
Rock Fest BarcelonaMusic festival (Hard Rock & Heavy Metal)
Brunch in the ParkMusic festival (House & Techno)
Festival GrecInternational performing arts
Sala MontjuïcOpen air cinema the Montjuïc castle
Cinema Lliure a la PlatjaOpen air cinema at the beach
Music in the ParksMusic festival (Jazz and Classical)
Cruïlla – Barcelona Summer FestivalMusic festival (Varied styles)
Music in the ParksMusic festival (Jazz and Classical)
Barcelona Beach FestivalMusic festival (Dance & House)
Festa Major de Poble SecNeighbourhood festival (Poble Sec)
Festa Major del RavalNeighbourhood festival (El Raval)

Festivals and events in Barcelona during August

EventDescription
Brunch in the ParkMusic festival (House & Techno)
Circuit FestivalGay festival
Cinema Lliure a la PlatjaOpen air cinema on the beach
Music in the ParksMusic festival (Jazz and Classical)
Festes de GràciaNeighbourhood festival (Gràcia)
Festa de Sant RocNeighbourhood festival (Gothic quarter)
Festa Major de SantsNeighbourhood festival (Sants)

Festivals and events in Barcelona during September

EventDescription
Brunch in the ParkMusic festival (House & Techno)
Festa Major de PoblenouNeighbourhood festival (Poblenou)
La Diada (Catalonia’s National Day)Comemorative & political activities
Festa Major de La RiberaNeighbourhood festival (La Ribera)
La Mercè FestivalNeighbourhood festival (City wide)
Barcelona Ació MusicalMusic festival (Varied styles)
Festa Major de la BarcelonetaNeighbourhood festival (La Barceloneta)

Festivals and events in Barcelona during October

EventDescription
Oktoberfest BarcelonaBeer festival (Montjuïc)
Saló NàuticBoat Show
Ironman BarcelonaTriathlon (Calella)
Festa Major del RoserNeighbourhood fair (La Rambla)
Dia de la HispanitatPublic holiday – shops closed
Sitges Film FestivalFilm festival (Horror)
48H Open House BarcelonaBuildings open to the public
Mercat de MercatsGastronomic Market

Festivals and events in Barcelona during November

EventDescription
La Castanyada / Tots SantsPublic holiday – shops closed
Voll Dam International Jazz FestivalMusic festival (Jazz)
Saló del MangaManga and Japanese culture
Carrera de la MujerWomen’s race

Festivals and events in Barcelona during December

EventDescription
Fira de Santa LluciaChristmas market
Fira de la Sagrada FamiliaChristmas market
Vic Medieval MarketMedieval fayre
Ciutat dels SomnisChristmas activities for children
Fira de ReisMarket selling presents
Christmas DayPublic holiday – shops closed
L’Home dels NassosParade
New Years EveFireworks display and celebrations

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