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Travel to Barcelona: When Is the Best Time for Good Weather, Festivals, Sightseeing, and Shopping

by Christian Petzold - updated September 13, 2021

Barcelona is one of those European cities that is overflowing with beauty all year round. Every month of the year is a good time to visit Barcelona, whether for business or leisure – there’s something for everyone.

Travel to Barcelona

However, certain months are better than others if you’re looking for certain activities (i.e., Spring is great for walking about town, catching up on your reading, and visiting museums). So take a look at which months make the best sense for your travel plans. Then, explore what’s happening every month of the year with this guide to Barcelona.

When Is the Best Time to Travel to Barcelona?

Locales knows that even if you’re in the city for a relatively short time, certain times are better than others. Here are some suggestions for visiting Barcelona:

When Is the Best Time for Hotels in Barcelona?

Travelers love Barcelona. The city is a magnet for tourists, boasting thousands and thousands of hotel rooms, making it one of the most-booked cities in Spain. Suppose you want to snag an affordable deal on one of Barcelona’s best hotels. In that case, you will have to act quickly as prices can fluctuate greatly depending on demand and seasonal factors such as the World Cup or other major sporting events…

Travel to Barcelona: Hotels In Barcelona

Given how popular is to travel to Barcelona in summer, getting a room in Barcelona’s top hotels—particularly for families—is a big challenge, especially during the high season. It would be best to reserve your room three months ahead of your arrival, if possible.

When Is the Best Time to Visit Barcelona for Sightseeing?

The queues for the city’s most famous attractions like the Sagrada Familia Basilica in Barcelona are peak during Summertime and Christian holidays. 

The weather is generally pleasant throughout the year, so it is advisable to avoid traveling during the summer months and major holidays. 

March, May, September, October is arguably the best time for sightseeing. Tourist attractions have thinner crowds, and the temperature is not too cold, and it rains less with a higher chance of nice weather. 

When Is the Best Time to Visit Barcelona for Shopping?

The best time to travel to Barcelona for shopping is after the Christmas holiday season and the summer sale. There are plenty of things to buy, ranging from toys, clothing, art, antiques, to a lot more. To find huge discounts (up to 70% off), the winter sale begins in the second week of January (Festival of the Kings).

This bonanza runs until the end of February, although this is not guaranteed because there are no official sale dates. The summer sales would also be a good option for shopping. It starts on the first week of July until the end of August.

When Is the Best Time to Travel to Barcelona for Beaches?

Summers in Barcelona are typically hot and humid, making it a great time to spend at the beach, but not the greatest time exploring the city on foot or by bike. But, of course, this also means that everyone else is going to the beaches, which can become quite busy – and, while the water is clear and the sand is pristine in the morning, both can become littered by the end of the day.

Travel to Barcelona: Barcelona In Summer

So for a more pleasant time at the beach with fewer crowds and good water temperature, your best bet is to visit around the end of May to late September.

When Is the Best Time to Visit Barcelona for Festivals?

The most popular time for festivals in Barcelona is during the summer months, which last from June to August. The Festival de la Mercè usually takes place in September and is a very large festival that observes the Feast of Our Lady of Mercy or Our Lady of La Mercè. 

During this particular festival, there’s a lot of concerts going on, and some are free while others have entrance fee. In addition, many fairs go on during this specific time throughout the city, such as Funambules-Festival Internacional de Circo y Maravillas.

Suppose you want to attend one of the city’s major festivals. In that case, you should travel between late Spring and early autumn, as this is when the majority of the city’s larger festivals happen, including the world’s largest indie and alternative music festival, Primavera Sound, which happens in late May or early June.

Barcelona Travel Seasons 

High Season in Barcelona

Travel to Barcelona: High Season In Barcelona

Peak season offers the hottest weather, the most crowded streets, and the most expensive accommodations in Barcelona. July and August are the peak season in Barcelona, which tends to be very hot. Tourists fill up every hotel, restaurant, and attraction along with long queues just about everywhere.

There are several advantages to going during this season, including delightfully long days with the sun shining until approximately 9:30 pm, and the certainty that all of the attractions will be open due to the large number of tourists coming in.

Shoulder Season in Barcelona

Travel to Barcelona: Shoulder Season In Barcelona

It’s possible to have the best of both worlds during the shoulder season since several festivals are hosted in both the Spring and late summer/early autumn months, and crowds tend to be a little thinner at this time as well.

Also, prices are cheaper in the spring season and begin to drop more coming September when children are back in school and tourist crowds diminish.

Low Season

Travel to Barcelona: Low Season Barcelona

The low season begins in November and lasts until early March. Temperatures are gradually dropping, and you will want thick jackets to stay warm. Unfortunately, the beach is off-limits, which means you’re missing out on some of the world’s most gorgeous beaches!

However, you benefit from discounted airfares and shopping bargains, as well as you get to enjoy Christmas celebrations and art and music events. 

It’s also the perfect excuse to travel to Barcelona at a more leisurely pace, occasionally dropping into a nice café for a Leche or churros with hot chocolate, rather than racing from attraction to attraction.

Barcelona Monthly Breakdown

The dates of some festivals in Barcelona may vary depending on the celebration of Easter, and festivals might shift between months. Nevertheless, here’s an overview of what to anticipate throughout the year in Barcelona. 

January

Barcelonans travel to the Pyrenees for some skiing fun. School vacations go until about January 8.

Top events: Reis (Reyes), Festes dels Tres Tombs

February

The city is a bit quieter in February, with most visitors heading back home after their New Year’s vacation. February is often the coldest month in Barcelona.

Top events: Festes de Santa Eulàlia, Llum BCN, Carnestoltes (Carnaval). 

March

The days are longer and sunnier, but the nights are still chilly (light-jacket weather). You will discover that there are fewer visitors in the area and discounted hotel rates.

Top events: Barcelona Marathon, Festa de San Medir

April

It is a month of celebrations, bars, and beer. In April, many people travel to Barcelona to celebrate Easter with their family and friends. It may rain from time to time, so it’s a good opportunity to share an umbrella and cozy up to the one you love.

Top events: Sant Jordi’s Day

May

The warm, bright, and clear months of May might be the best time to travel to Barcelona. Beach bars open, gearing up for the long days of summer.

Top events: Primavera Sound, The Night of the Museums

June

The number of visitors rises as Barcelona gets ready for the summer in full swing.  Live music festivals and open-air activities give the month a joyful atmosphere. 

Top events: Pride Barcelona, LGTBI Museums, Festival Cruïlla XXS

July

Summer is here, and families and visitors travel to Barcelona to spend their vacations in the city. The beach season begins. Hotels sell out quickly during this month. Many attractions are also open throughout July, but there is a higher likelihood of seeing rain at night and in the day compared with other months of the year.

Top events: Mozart Summer Nights Festivals, Balenciaga, The elegance of the hat

August

The heat index increases; Barcelona residents flee in droves for summer vacations as a flood of tourists arrives.

Top events: Trofeu Joan Gamper, Gràcia Festival

September

Those who traveled outside of Barcelona in August return to the city. Temperatures remain pleasant, making for good beach days.

Top events: Paolo Gasparini, Sant Fèlix Day in Vilafranca, Mercat de Música Viva de Vic

October

While the rest of Europe is shivering, Barcelona is enjoying warm October temperatures and sunny days. With the summer crowds gone and hotel costs reduced, October is an ideal month to visit.

Top events: Mercat de Música Viva de Vic, IRONMAN Barcelona, Saló Nàutic Internacional de Barcelona

November

Here come the cooler days and nights accompanied by occasional rain and cloudy skies. It’s low season, but gray weather is still a great time to travel to Barcelona. 

Top events: DrapArt Festival, Alanis Morissette, Loop Fair & Festival

December

Winter returns, and locales gear up for the festive period. The city bestows colorful decorations. However, fewer visitors travel to Barcelona at Christmas,

Top events: Christmas in Barcelona 

Barcelona is a place you need to visit at least once in your lifetime. It is a great destination for a family vacation, a group trip with friends, and a romantic getaway. The weather is moderate and the food is delicious. Barcelona also has a lot to offer in terms of culture and entertainment.

The destination and the best time to visit in this article are excellent ideas for your next getaway. Travel guides don’t end here! Here are some travel guides you’ll enjoy as well. 

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