Barcelona has become one of the top tourist destinations of Spain, most likely because of its cultural heritage and mild Mediterranean climate.
The best time to visit Barcelona depends on a visitor’s preferences and priorities. However, it’s wise to keep in mind several factors like weather, crowds, events and festivals. That’s why we have decided to give you our tips for what is happening and when in Barcelona; one of the world’s most vibrant cities!
Barcelona in February: Join the Carnival
Who said that Barcelona is not fun in wintertime? Join one of the biggest and most popular carnival, celebrated this year between the 4th and the 10th of February. The end of the carnival is actually the beginning of the 40 day period of abstinence before Easter. Apart from the events in Barcelona you can also visit Sitges. This charming sea town is warming up during the Carnival days and has become a world reference for parties and parades!
Barcelona in March: Easter Holiday Week
The number of tourists is quite low which allows you to enjoy the sightseeing without having to wait in line too long. This year at the end of March we will celebrate Easter or like locals call it Semana Santa. You can enjoy numerous events and processions in Barcelona. Make certain to try the delicious pastry found in all the bakeries and chocolate shops, called La Mona de Pascua, during this time.
Barcelona in April: Sant Jordi Day, The Catalonian Valentine’s Day
This time of the year the weather in Barcelona is already nice with temperature reaching around 20ºC. If you are planning to visit Barcelona, then don’t miss the holiday of Saint George Day which is celebrated on 23th of April. Sant Jordi (the Catalan name for Saint George) is the patron saint of Catalonia and is one of the most important festive days for the locals. Related with the legend of the saint, it is originally celebrated with giving red roses and books to loved ones. That’s the reason you can feel the romantic atmosphere everywhere in Catalonia and have a very special day during your vacation!
Barcelona in May and June: Music Festivals and La Nit del Sant Joan
The city begins to warm up. It’s definitely a good time to travel to Barcelona. June is popular with its music festivals: Primavera Sound, SONAR (electronic music) when thousands of tourists visit Barcelona to enjoy the sun and dance till dawn during the music festivals. In May you can attend Formula 1 at Montmeló circuit, which is near the city of Barcelona. Another event is La Nit dels Museus (The Night of the Museums) which is a fantastic opportunity to visit one of the fabulous museums in Barcelona for free! Our special recommendation for this time of the year is La Nit de Sant Joan on the night of 23th of June. This festival is related with the summer solstice. The beaches and streets are full of people burning fire and lighting fireworks till sunrise!
Barcelona in July and August: Sun and Beach
The hottest months of the year. Time for sunbathing and dips in the water. The obstacle you’ll face is finding a spot to lay your beach towel. For those who prefer exploring the city, we recommend you stay in the Gothic Quarter during the hottest hours to protect yourself from the sun and heat. If you enjoy festivals, then visit one of the many summer beach festivals like Cruïlla. August is also the local people’s time for holidays and you can attend one of the many neighborhoods’ fiestas. The most famous one is the Festa Major de Gràcia, happening in the lively district of Gracia, during which streets are transformed into a stage for this colorful festival.
Barcelona in September: Catalonia’s National Day and La Mercè Festival
Perfect time to travel to Barcelona. The city experiences a nice Indian summer. The sea is still warm from the hot summer. The number of tourists is significantly reduced and locals return to Barcelona. Many festivals and celebrations occur during September! On the 11th of September the city celebrates Catalonia’s National Day called La Diada. A week later the city’s biggest festival begins called La Festa de la Mercè. It is dedicated to the patron saint of Barcelona and celebrated every year on the 24th of September. For nearly a week there is a daily program filled with a multitude of various activities including live concerts, running fire devils, human castles, firework displays on the beach and a spectacular pyromusical finale.
Barcelona in October and November: Autumn mood
A smooth entry into autumn and winter. The temperature still reaches 15-20º C which is quite convenient for going out during the day or night. There are plenty of events such as the gastronomic fair for the food lovers or the 48H Open House Bcn for the lovers of architecture during which you can visit interesting and unique buildings in Barcelona for free. While Halloween is now celebrated in almost every country, Catalonia has La Castanyada on the 1st of November. This tradition is mostly related to food – people eat chestnuts, sweet potatoes and panellets, small sweets covered with pine nuts.
Barcelona in December: Christmas market
Christmas lights are illuminated throughout the city! Barcelona welcomes visitors to go shopping and enjoy one of the best times of the year! A must-visit is the Christmas market of Barcelona Santa Llúcia. It is one of the oldest Christmas markets in Europe. One can find elaborate nativity scenes created by local craftsmen. One may discover a smiling tree trunk with a Christmas hat. We won’t tell you the story about the Caga Tio – come to Barcelona and learn more in person!