Barcelona is bustling with life all year round, and different seasons have different attractions, from spring music festivals to Christmas markets. This city knows how to have a good time and there’s always something intriguing going on for you to join in on.
In terms of weather, Barcelona’s mild Mediterranean climate assures sunshine most of the year and makes freezing temperatures rare even in the depths of winter. Spring and autumn are the most agreeable seasons for visiting, when the temperatures are comfortably warm. Midsummer can be hot and humid at times, as you’d expect, while August sees many shops, bars and restaurants close as the locals head out of the city in droves.
It’s worth considering a winter break, as long as you don’t mind the prospect of occasional rain. It’s generally still warm enough to sit outside at a café, for example, even in December or January.
Carnaval/Carnestoltes (week before Lent, February or March)
Costumed parades and other carnival events across every city neighbourhood. Sitges, down the coast, has the most outrageous celebrations.
Dia de Sant Jordi (April 23)
St George’s Day celebrates Catalunya’s patron saint, with hundreds of book and flower stalls down the Ramblas and elsewhere.
Primavera Sound (late May)
The city’s hottest music festival attracts top names in the rock, indie and electronica world.
Europe’s biggest, most cutting-edge electronic music, multimedia and urban art festival presents three days of brilliant noise and spectacle.
Verbena/Dia de Sant Joan (June 23/24)
The “eve” and “day” of St John herald a “night of fire”, involving bonfires and fireworks (particularly on Montjuïc) and watching the sun come up on the beach.
Festival de Barcelona Grec (end June to August)
This is the city’s main performing arts festival, with many events staged at Montjuïc’s Teatre Grec.
Festes de la Mercè (end September)
The city’s main festival is celebrated for a week around September 24, with costumed giants, firework displays and human tower competitions.
Festival Internacional de Jazz (October/November)
The annual jazz festival attracts big-name artists to the clubs, as well as smaller-scale street concerts.
Santa Llùcia Fair (1–23 December)
Santa Llùcia Fair selling Nativity figurines, art, crafts and Christmas trees in front of the cathedral.
Festes de Santa Eulàlia (mid-February)
Winter festival around February 12 in honour of the young Barcelona girl who suffered a beastly martyrdom at the hands of the Romans. There are parades, concerts, fireworks and sardana dancing.