Best Time to Visit Barcelona: Month-by-Month Guide (+Photos)

Renowned for its gorgeous old Gothic Quarter, great football team, and Gaudi’s masterpiece la Sagrada Familia, Barcelona is one of the most popular places to visit in Europe. Both the capital and largest city of Catalonia, it sees millions of people arrive each year to enjoy its tasty tapas and experience its buzzing nightlife.

While it is blessed with year-round good weather, the vast majority of people visit between April and October. This is when the days are longest, temperatures are highest and its skies are sunny and blue. In the summer months, you can also lounge on its beaches and swim in the sea.

To help you plan your trip, let’s take a look at what Barcelona’s climate and crowds are like each month. We’ll also cover its main cultural events and which periods are cheaper or more expensive to visit.

In this post, we’ll cover:

What’s the Weather Like in Barcelona?

Set right in the northeast of Spain, Barcelona enjoys a very pleasant Mediterranean climate with mild winters and warm to hot summers. In July and August – the most popular months to visit – average temperatures soar to 27°C (80°F) with its days being hot, sunny, and dry.

While both spring and autumn are a bit rainier, the warm weather is perhaps even better for walking around in. The sea is still too cool to swim in though earlier in the year. Sunbathing is also only really possible from mid-May onwards.

Although the days are shorter and there is less sunshine, averages of 13 or 14°C (55-57°F) mean the winter months really aren’t that bad in Barcelona. Many Europeans escaping their colder climes head here for city trips or to celebrate Christmas and the New Year.

Best months to visit Barcelona


As people have holidays and the weather is hottest, the summer months are the busiest in Barcelona. While this is the best time to sunbathe and swim, huge crowds throng about the Old Town and the hotel prices are extortionate. There is an infectious energy about the city, however, with numerous exciting events also taking place.

If you want to avoid the worst of the heat and crowds, both April to June and September or October are better bets. The weather is still warm and sunny but not too hot for sightseeing. Depending on the month, you can also lounge on its beaches or take scenic day trips along the Costa Brava.

While winter is much quieter and cooler, it can still be a nice time to visit as prices are much cheaper and there are no queues at any of its attractions.

Barcelona in January

barcelona January

After Christmas and New Year’s are over, January in Barcelona is usually very quiet. Parades are held though for Three Kings’ Day and the Festa dels Tres Tombs. The latter honors Sant Antoni and features priests blessing peoples’ pets! Many shops have sales with airfares and accommodation being much cheaper as it is the least popular month to visit.

While it rains a little bit for around 13 days on average, 5 hours of sunshine and 10 hours of daylight per day mean you should have ample time to explore its historic center. Its narrow streets and tourist sights will be blissfully crowd free but the city won’t have the same lively atmosphere to it.

Barcelona in February

Barcelona february

February is also the off-season as the temperature and weather remain roughly the same as in January. It is one of the driest months though so you’re unlikely to get wet when strolling along La Rambla or around Montjuic. Make sure to layer up as sunny days can suddenly turn overcast and averages of 14°C (57°F) are not all that warm.

Hotels and flights are very affordable with its cozy tapas bars and Gothic Quarter not being very crowded. While carnival in Barcelona is not such a big deal, Sitges down the coast puts on loads of fun festivities. In contrast, the Festival of Santa Eulalia has numerous concerts, puppet shows and workshops held all around town for children to enjoy.

Barcelona in March

Sant Medir Festival

Although it is only slightly warmer and sunnier, March already sees way more tourists return to the city. With 12 hours of daylight per day, it’s a great month to explore Barcelona before everywhere gets overwhelmed during Semana Santa and Easter. Prices are still pretty cheap and no queues are yet forming outside of its main attractions and museums.

Aside from celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day in one of its pubs, there is the Sant Medir Festival going on in Gracia. The hip, historic neighborhood has parades of horses, floats and lorries with the public being showered in sweets and toffees. The Barcelona Marathon takes place with Holy Week sometimes also falling in March.

Barcelona in April

Barcelona Spring

Tourist numbers increase steadily in April, particularly around the Easter holidays. While the religious celebrations for Semana Santa are not as big as in Seville or Malaga, you’ll still see various processions, concerts, and cultural events around town. As many locals leave for the nearby countryside, the center isn’t as busy as in the summer months.

Hotel prices do rise around this time as do flights, especially during the holiday period. With all its plants and trees beginning to bloom, it’s a lovely time to visit Parc Guell or Montserrat for its Feast of Our Lady celebrations. Averages of 17°C (62°F) are very comfortable though there is a bit more rain than earlier in the year.

Barcelona in May


With temperatures heating up still further, May is arguably one of the most pleasant months weatherwise in Barcelona. Spring is in full swing with all its parks looking very picturesque. Towards the end of the month, it’s warm enough to sunbathe and swim with the Primavera Sound music festival also taking place. Its exhilarating Formula 1 races and solemn Corpus Christi celebrations also attract people to the city.

While it still rains a little for around 11 days on average, there is also much more sunshine and 15 hours of daylight to walk around in. Queues do begin to form at its main attractions though so make sure to book tickets to la Sagrada Familia in advance. Before they also get too busy, it’s worth taking day trips to places like Sitges, Tarragona, and Girona.

Barcelona in June

Barcelona June

Before the summer crowds arrive, June’s long, hot, sunny days are ideal for ambling around the center or sunbathing and swimming in the sea. Coupled with the dry weather, averages of 24°C (75°F) couldn’t be better for sightseeing and outdoor activities. You’ll want to wear light clothes, apply sun cream, and take breaks in the shade from time to time.

Although prices are higher, they are a bit more affordable than in July and August. Massive crowds do clog its narrow streets though and both La Rambla and La Boqueria Market start to feel very full. A lively ambience reigns everywhere with the Sonar music festival and Pride going on. Countless concerts, dances, and theatre performances are also put on for El Grec, continuing the whole summer into August. Bonfires and firework displays also light up the skies for the Nit de Sant Joan.

Barcelona in July

Barcelona Summer

The city’s absolute peak season arrives in July when all its hotels are booked up and endless queues form at its attractions. Parc Guell, La Sagrada Familia, and Barceloneta’s beaches and boardwalk are all packed with people. Expect too to wait for a table at its tapas bars. If you don’t book tickets in advance, you might miss out on some of its main attractions.

While the hot temperatures are great for sunbathing, the 10 hours of strong sunshine each day can make sightseeing quite tiring, particularly with the crowds in the Gothic Quarter. On the plus side, tons of fun events take place. These include Rock Fest and the Festa Major del Raval when traditional Catalan parades, concerts, and dances are held. Classic films are also screened outdoors at Montjuic.

Barcelona in August

Barcelona August

While August is also the height of the tourist season in Barcelona, the city is a bit calmer as many locals head off on holiday for the whole month. Averages of 27°C (80°F) can get a bit much for sightseeing though there is some light rain to cool you down. Both hotel prices and airfares remain expensive with its main sights and museums still very busy.

Apart from swimming in the sea, there are still screenings to catch at Montjuic and El Grec’s packed schedule of events to attend. Both the Gracia and Sant Roc neighborhoods host fun concerts, parties, and parades for their festas. Circuit – one of the largest LGBTQIA+ events in the world – also takes place in the first half of August.

Barcelona in September

Barcelona September

Once the summer holidays are over and the kids are back at school, the crowds, queues, and prices in Barcelona are much more manageable. Temperatures remain a very pleasant 25°C (77°F) though there is more rain and fewer hours of sunshine and daylight. 12 hours should still be more than enough time, however, for exploring the city, sunbathing, and swimming!

Without the huge crowds and high heat and humidity, sightseeing is more enjoyable though rain clouds sometimes suddenly form overhead. As the football season has started up again, you can watch FC Barcelona play at the Camp Nou. All the festivities for the National Day of Catalonia are also a big deal as are the celebrations for its Festes de la Merce, honoring the city’s patron saint.

Barcelona in October

Barcelona Restaurant

Although October is the rainiest month of the year in Barcelona, its historic center still hums with life with its hotels and restaurants all very busy. Averages of 21°C (so 70°F) mean it is still warm enough to swim in the sea and sunbathe if you fancy it. As nearby towns are a bit quieter now, it’s a good time to take day trips along the Costa Brava.

The days are a bit shorter now with ‘just’ 6 hours of sunshine but its main sights and Ciutat Vella are thankfully less crowded. You may see some demonstrations around the city though on the National Day of Spain. Otherwise, its International Jazz Festival kicks off, running into December, with the Barcelona Boat Show taking place too. Besides admiring all its sparkling yachts, you can try your hand at surfing, kayaking, and paddle boarding.

Barcelona in November

Barcelona Rain

The number of tourists visiting Barcelona drops dramatically in November as the weather is a bit cooler and no big events take place. You can sample some of its tasty autumn produce at La Boqueria though! While temperatures hover around 17°C (62°F) during the days, the evenings get a bit nippy so make sure to take a light jacket with you.

Hotel prices finally fall and you’ll find almost no queues or crowds at its many museums and historic sights. Aside from various events happening for All Saints’ Day, a relaxed calm falls over the city. This is a great time to visit if you want peace and quiet with there still being 5 hours of sunshine per day.

Barcelona in December

Barcelona Christmas

December is also relatively quiet though the crowds and prices rise a bit around the holidays as people fleeing the cold of winter head here to enjoy its mild climate. Colorful lights and decorations are strung up with Christmas markets popping up around both its cathedral and Placa de Catalunya.

The city also sees a bit of rain – 12 days on average – though the 9 hours of daylight per day mean there’s more than enough time to explore the Gothic Quarter and other areas. Lots of festivities also take place around Barcelona to welcome in the New Year. At Montjuic’s Magic Fountain there are spectacular lights, music, and water shows with fireworks also popping off.

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