When is the Best Time to Go to Barcelona?
Let’s get one thing straight: YES, you should visit Barcelona — no matter what! But if you’re flexible with your travel dates, there are some important factors you’ll want to consider.
When is the best time to visit Barcelona? The best time to visit Barcelona depends on what you want from your trip. Are you planning to stay inside and just visit all the museums and eateries? Do you want to go skiing in the nearby Pirineus mountains? Or are you planning on lounging around at the beach all day? For each of these options, there is a good time to visit Barcelona and a not-so-good time.
Lucky for you, this handy guide contains everything you need to know to find the best time to go to Barcelona for you!
Best Time to Travel to Barcelona: the Quick Answer
The best times to visit Barcelona are during the shoulder seasons: from March to May and from September to November. These months offer the best combination of good weather, manageable crowds, and tons of fun things to do.
When to Visit Barcelona: Things to Consider
1. Find the Best Weather to Visit Barcelona
Average Temperatures (min and max in Celsius) in Barcelona by month
Average Rainfall (%) in Barcelona by month
2. Tourist Seasons in Barcelona
High Season in Barcelona
For most destinations, the high season is summer. Barcelona is no exception; the city will be swamped with tourists in May, June, July, August, and September.
Of course, there are reasons why this is the high season: the weather is fantastic, the sea feels tropically warm, and there are a variety of famous festivals, including the notorious Festa Major de Gràcia.
However, it’s important to note that nearly all prices (flights, accommodations, and attractions) will be high during this time.
Low Season in Barcelona
November, December, January, and February are the quietest months in Barcelona. The weather is just slightly too cold for a T-shirt, and beach days aren’t the most enjoyable.
That said, the low season always means fewer tourists — so if you visit Barcelona during this time, you and the locals will have the city *almost* all to yourselves.
Additionally, you can expect the best deals on airfare, hotels, and tourist attractions during this time.
It’s important to note that there’s a period from December to January when Christmas celebrations are in full swing. For this period, the term “low season” doesn’t remain exactly accurate, if you catch our drift.
Shoulder Seasons in Barcelona
After looking at the high and low seasons in Barcelona, what months are left? March, April, and October; so these months make up the shoulder seasons.
The temperatures are a little on the colder side, but not like the low season. These months also see a good amount of Barcelona’s rainy days. However, shoulder season is an excellent time to visit if you want a blend of decent weather, sparse crowds, and reasonable prices.
TIP: If you visit Barcelona around 23 April (Sant Jordi, the saint patron of Catalonia), you will be immersed in one of the country’s most beautiful festivals: the Day of the Book and the Roses.
Best Season to Visit Barcelona
Each season lends a special, unique vibe to Barcelona. But in which one you should visit depends on what exactly you want out of your trip. Check out our Barcelona guides by season below to find the best season to visit Barcelona for you.
- Spring in Barcelona
- Summer in Barcelona
- Fall in Barcelona
- Winter in Barcelona
Although the weather in Barcelona in the wintertime is not ideal, people from Northern Europe find Barcelona an incredible destination to visit during the coldest months, their perfect winter break (from their even colder winters), and not too far from home.
Best Month to Travel to Barcelona
If you want to browse your options for visiting Barcelona by the month instead of by the season, scroll through our Barcelona guides by month below:
- Barcelona in January
- Barcelona in February
- Barcelona in March
- Barcelona in April
- Barcelona in May
- Barcelona in June
- Barcelona in July
- Barcelona in August
- Barcelona in September
- Barcelona in October
- Barcelona in November
- Barcelona in December
Personally, I love Barcelona in May and October: the city is not too crowded, and you have good weather for exploring. Some years, you could also go to the beach!
I find August the worst time to visit Barcelona. The weather is super humid and it’s incredibly crowded, so I always try to leave the city in August.
Best Day to Visit Barcelona
Generally speaking, regardless of whether you visit Barcelona during the high, low, or shoulder season, weekends (from Friday to Sunday) will have the biggest crowds for obvious reasons.
And because most shopping malls and stores are open on both the weekdays and the weekends, we recommend that you shop and explore midweek, if you can.
As far as tourist attractions go, opening hours really depend on the specific attraction you’re visiting. However, as a general rule, museums close on Mondays.
Best Time to Visit Barcelona on a Budget
You might automatically think the low season is the cheapest time to go to Barcelona. Right, but there are a few exceptions.
Barcelona doesn’t get cold cold, and even though it never snows, Christmas is a big deal. For all of December and even the beginning of January, the city is decked out with lights and abuzz with tourists crowding the Christmas markets. So December and the beginning of January, even though they’re part of the low season, are still expensive — it’s simple supply and demand!
That means February, March, April, October, and November are the best months to visit Barcelona on a budget.
Best Time to Visit Barcelona to Avoid Crowds
If you want to have the most authentic experience of local life, you’ll want to visit Barcelona during the low and shoulder seasons. But don’t forget to leave out December and the beginning of January because Christmas always brings in more tourists.
The period from February to mid-April is the best time to visit Barcelona to avoid crowds.
October and November are also good months to visit Barcelona. However, try to avoid the days around the 12 October (National Day in Spain, good for a long weekend), the All Saints holiday in Europe (1 November), and the 11 November (holiday in France, and we all know that the French like visiting Barcelona a lot).
Keep in mind that February and November will have the worst weather but the smallest crowds, whereas March, April, and October will have a blend of better weather and slightly larger crowds.
Best Time to Visit Barcelona’s Attractions
As mentioned earlier, pretty much every attraction will be open during the high season. So, if you’re looking to maximize sheer availability, May, June, July, August, and September will be your best options.
Here’s a pro tip, though: visit during the shoulder season or only at the bookends of the high season.
In particular, April, May, September, and October are ideal. This is because nearly every attraction will remain open (since it’s not the low season), but you’ll have fewer crowds to contend with. That means less time spent waiting in line and more time spent enjoying the city!
If you visit Barcelona during the high season, be sure to book tickets to the top tourist attractions online well in advance: tickets to the Sagrada Familia, for example, sell out very fast!
Best Time of the Year to Visit Barcelona for Shopping
If money’s not an object, go shopping in Barcelona during the low season, when crowds are minimal. You’ll be able to shop hassle-free at unbelievable malls like El Corte Inglès (this place is insane!).
If you’re a budget-savvy shopper, you’ll want to shop in July or January. Why? These are the months for Barcelona’s huge summer and winter sales. You’ll be able to find gigantic selections of clothes, technology, home décor, and more for astoundingly low prices. Hone in on the first three weeks of July and the few weeks after January 7th.
Best Months to Visit Barcelona to Enjoy Local Festivals
Without a doubt, Barcelona’s most popular cultural festivals are the Festa Major de Gràcia (15 to 21 August) and the Festes de la Mercè, the Saint Patron of Barcelona (the days around 24 September).
Honorable mentions include the Festa Major de Sants (the week after the Festes de Gràcia) and the Diada de Sant Jordi (23 April).
Most of these traditional celebrations take place out on the streets, and we can promise you won’t be bored!
GOOD TO KNOW: Did you know that during the Festes de la Mercè, it always rains in Barcelona? The legend says it’s because Santa Eulàlia (Barcelona’s former saint-patron) is crying because she is not the saint-patron of the city anymore.
If you’re looking for modern music and dance festivals, check out the Sonar Festival (15 to 17 June) and the Primavera Sound (29 May to 4 June).
Finally, Christmas and New Year’s celebrations take place on 25 and 31 December, respectively. Barcelona also celebrates the arrival of the Wise Men on 6 January. The street parades on 5 January, with the Wise Men throwing sweets to kids and adults, are a fun show not to miss!
In short, June, August, and September are the best months to visit Barcelona for cultural and music festivals. For traditional holidays like Christmas and New Year’s, the best month to visit Barcelona is December.
So there you have it, our best tips on the best time to go to Barcelona, with everything you need to decide when to visit Barcelona and start planning your dream trip.