Barcelona is a city that has something to offer every kind of traveller. There’s art and design around every corner, incredible scenery wherever you look to the horizon, a world-famous sports team, brilliant cuisine and over five kilometres of beaches to enjoy.
Whilst many people think of Barcelona as a summer holiday destination, October is actually a brilliant month to visit the city and enjoy its food and cultural offering in particular. Not only will there be fewer tourists, providing better access to popular sightseeing spots and attractions, but it will also be cheaper to travel to and stay in the city.
If you’re planning a trip to Barcelona in October, or the surrounding area of Catalonia, here’s our guide to what you should see and do during your stay.
Barcelona Weather in October
The weather in Barcelona in October begins to move from summer to autumn, with the days getting shorter and the temperature starting to fall, especially towards the end of the month. You shouldn’t expect searing hot temperatures, but the weather most days will still be quite mild and pleasant.
The highest average temperature in Barcelona in October is around 23°C, whilst the average low temperature is around 15°C. You can expect it to feel warmest when the sun is out, but many days in October are overcast so you’ll definitely need to pack a jacket for your trip.
October is known as the wettest month of the year in Barcelona, but this doesn’t mean that you should anticipate rain every day. In fact, there is only an average of six days of rain a month in October, with 87mm falling over 31 days.
October in Barcelona isn’t really a month for spending time at the beach, unless there’s an unexpected rise in the temperature. The average sea temperature is only 22°C, which isn’t excessively cold but won’t be very pleasant if the air is also quite cool as well.
If you’re wondering what to wear in Barcelona in October, the best approach is to pack multiple light layers of clothing that can be worn on top of each other to cope with the potential range of weather conditions. You’ll want to bring a waterproof jacket or umbrella to prepare for the rain, but also potentially sunglasses for days when the clouds part and the last dregs of summer shine through.
Festivals and Events in Barcelona and Catalonia in October
If you visit Barcelona in October, you’ll likely time your trip with at least one of the festivals and events that are taking place either in the city or the surrounding regions of Catalonia. Here’s a guide to what’s taking place during the month.
Sitges Film Festival
The International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia is held in Sitges, a city just along the coast from Barcelona. It’s the number one film festival for the fantasy genre in the world and has been held since 1968, now attracting a huge audience each year as well as acclaimed actors and directors.
There is a wide range of different categories involved in the festival, but it’s a particular treat for those that enjoy horror or fantasy movies. Sitges is alive with events during the festival, so it’s a great time to visit if you’d like to get involved.
Festa Major de Sarrià
Like many of the neighbourhoods in Barcelona, Sarrià holds a celebration every year where local residents and other attendees from elsewhere in the city can come together to celebrate the area and its culture. Held in the first half of October, the Festa Major de Sarrià is marked in a classic Catalan style with parades, human towers, live music and fireworks.
Festa Major de la Rambla
The Festa Major de la Rambla is held in honour of Mare de Déu del Roser, the patron saint of the Rambla neighbourhood in Barcelona. As one of the largest and best-known areas in the city, this festival is quite extensive and celebrates the people and traders that make this area so iconic. The festival is usually held at the start of October and often involves pop-up exhibitions and installations, as well as floral decorations of the nearby buildings.
The Barcelona Jazz Festival
The Barcelona International Jazz Festival is one of the biggest music events that the city holds every year, often taking place towards the start of October. It showcases the work of both Spanish and international jazz musicians with concerts, workshops, talks, tutorials and free performances around the city.
Festa Major de Les Corts
The Festa Major de Les Corts is another celebration of a specific neighbourhood in Barcelona, often on the second weekend in October. The festival is linked to the Fiesta de la Virgen de los Remedios and a highlight of the event is a traditional Fire Run, where locals dress up as Diables (devils) and chase other locals through the streets, throwing sparks.
12th October – National Day of Spain
The National Day of Spain, or Fiesta Nacional, is a national holiday in the country that takes place on the 12th of October. It’s a holiday with controversy surrounding it, as the date marks the day that the explorer Christopher Columbus led a Spanish expedition to ‘discover’ America, which many people now associate with genocide and colonisation. In Catalonia, some locals refuse to celebrate the day in their pursuit of independence from the rest of the country, but there may be events held around the region to mark the occasion.
The Best Places to Visit in Barcelona in October
When you visit Barcelona in October, the lack of crowds means that you have your pick of where to go in the city. Here are three of the best places to explore during the month.
Park Güell is one of Barcelona’s most popular tourist attractions, which makes October a great time to visit. Whilst it’s still likely to be fairly busy, you won’t be sharing the unique space with lots of other tourists, which is ideal for bagging as many photo opportunities as possible.
The famous modernist architect Antoni Gaudí designed the park after developing a close, professional relationship with the entrepreneur Eusebi Güell. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984 and remains one of the most unique spots in the city that is ideal for exploring on a mild autumn day.
Parc de la Ciutadella is one of the most popular parks in Barcelona, located in the Ciutat Vella district of the city. It’s the largest green space in the middle of Barcelona and a great place to visit to admire the changing colours of autumn, especially on days when the weather is sunny.
The park was originally built for King Philip V in 1715, whose army used the park’s citadel as a fort in the fight against the queens of House Bourbon. It was also used as the site of the International World’s Fair in 1888, so has plenty of history to uncover as well as being home to lovely scenery.
If you’re looking for day trip recommendations when you visit Barcelona in October, the city of Tarragona in the northeast of Catalonia is a brilliant historical destination. The port city still has plenty of traces of preserved Roman civilisation, with the ruins of an amphitheatre being a real highlight for visitors.
Visiting Tarragona is one of the best things to do in Barcelona in October because the mild autumn weather is perfect for sightseeing. As well as the famous Roman ruins, you can also visit El Poblet Monastery, the National Archaeological Museum of Tarragona and the Circ Roma, which was originally used to host chariot races.
The Best Things to Do in Barcelona in October
Whilst it might not have the same buzz as during the summer months, there are still plenty of options to choose from when it comes down to what to do in Barcelona in October. Here are some of our top picks to add to your holiday itinerary.
Cycle the City
Barcelona is a very large city, and if you’re only visiting for a couple of days then you’ll likely want to try and see as much of it as possible. Whilst you can take the Metro and catch the train around the city, a great option that will let you experience more of Barcelona is to cycle around instead.
Cycling in Barcelona is very popular with locals and with tourists, with plenty of established routes that are great for either general sightseeing or connecting one area of the city with another in an efficient way. The October weather will mean you don’t overheat as you cycle around, and you can enjoy being able to stop wherever you like to explore the streets and visit sites and attractions.
Watch a Game at Nou Camp
Whether you’re a die-hard football fan or just enjoy watching the sport in your downtime, watching a game at the Nou Camp stadium is a fantastic thing to do in Barcelona in October. La Liga, the Spanish football championship, runs from August to the following May, so there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to see a match if you’re visiting the city in the middle of autumn.
Even if you can’t get tickets to watch a game, the legendary Camp Nou stadium is open all year round and has regular tours every day that let you explore the stadium and visit its museum.
Sample the Products of Mushroom Season
Catalonia is known as a region that loves its mushrooms. October is right in the middle of the mushroom season, so we strongly recommend that you take the time to find a restaurant in Barcelona or the surrounding region that makes the most out of this fresh ingredient.
You can also learn more about the tradition of mushroom hunting by taking part in a guided tour searching for edible varieties, which is one of the popular things to do in Barcelona in October for foodies in particular. Travel outside of the city and learn from an experienced guide as you walk through the region’s woodland and countryside.
Barcelona in October FAQs
Is October a good time to visit Barcelona?
October is a brilliant time to visit Barcelona if you’re looking for a European city break that is filled with culture and accompanied by decent weather. Although the city doesn’t see the high temperatures and sunshine of the previous months in October, it’s a great time of year to enjoy many of Barcelona’s indoor attractions or participate in walking tours without overheating, with the added bonus that there won’t be too many other tourists around.
What is the weather like in Barcelona in October?
The weather in Barcelona in October is comfortably warm, with most days seeing some sunshine and a reasonable chance of rain. Whilst temperatures average around 19°C during the day, it’s the wettest month of the year in the city, so you’ll want to have both your sunglasses and your umbrella on hand during your visit.
Is Barcelona hot in October?
The average high temperature in Barcelona in October is around 23°C, which will feel warm but isn’t anywhere near as hot as the mid-thirties temperatures that the city sees in the summer. At the start of the month it may feel hot out in the sunshine on days when it isn’t cloudy, but October’s weather is generally mild and overcast, so won’t feel overly warm.
Not only are there a range of brilliant options for what to do in Barcelona in October, but the weather during the month is also still quite mild, so you won’t be deterred from getting out and about during your trip. It might not be the best month to plan a beach holiday, but the city has a wealth of other offerings for visitors to enjoy, so you’re bound to have a brilliant experience.
If you’d like to plan an unforgettable trip to Barcelona in October, Barcelona Inside and Out is a specialist tour company that offers unique and local experiences to help travellers see an authentic side of the country. Take a look at our Barcelona city breaks or get in touch to find out more about what we offer.