After the huge influx of tourists who visit during the summer months, the city feels so much calmer in October, and anyone who chooses to come to Barcelona during this month will benefit from the tranquillity of even the most touristic sights. Throughout October you can also enjoy a few festivals and events that take place. We’ll tell you about them all so that you can make the most of your stay in the city.
Celebrations, events and activities that take place in October
Festes del Roser
These fiestas, which translate into English as ‘the Rosary Festival’, take place on La Rambla and in its surrounding area, because ‘La Mare de Déu del Roser’ (Our Lady of the Rosary) is the patron saint of the street, and it’s her saint’s day on 7th October. Over the period of several days all sorts of activities are organised, many of which involve free visits, and sometimes guided tours, of the museums and buildings of interest in the area, such as the Erotic Museum, the Wax Museum, the Teatre del Liceu and the Palau Güell.
La Rambla Barcelona.
€ The activities are free of charge.
Día de la Hispanidad (Spanish National Day)
On 12th October Spanish National Day is celebrated throughout the whole of Spain. In Barcelona, just as in the rest of Catalunya, it’s not a particular highlight of the calendar so special events aren’t organised to mark the occasion. It is, however, a public holiday so you’ll need to bear this in mind when you are planning your visits to museums, buildings and other places of interest, as their opening hours may be affected. Normally this is one of the few public holidays on which it’s permitted to open shops and businesses, so if you’re walking through the most central areas of the city it’s very likely that you’ll find most of the shops open.
There aren’t any official celebrations.
Festival International de Cinema Fantàstic de Catalunya (The Sitges Film Festival)
Although it takes place in the lovely coastal town of Sitges rather than in Barcelona, if you’re fans of fantasy and horror films we recommend taking a trip out to enjoy one of the showings during the International Fantasy Film Festival, which really is one of the leading festivals of its genre and is also known as the Sitges Film Festival. It usually takes place over the second and third weeks of October, and one of the high points is the Sitges Zombie Walk, where fans parade through the streets of Sitges dressed as various zombies and monsters. If you see them, don’t be afraid!
Various theatres and cinemas in Sitges..
€ €7.50 / €12.
48H Open House BCN
48H Open House BCN is Barcelona’s Festival of Architecture, and since the first edition took place in 2010 it has done nothing but grow in size and profile, and it’s now one of the most anticipated events of the year for Barcelona’s locals. During the weekend on which it is celebrated (the last or penultimate weekend of October) various architects organize free guided tours of many unique and historical buildings in the city.
Various historical buildings throughout the city.
€ Free of charge (there’s also a VIP pass: €35 / €50).
Mercat de Mercats
The gastronomic fair ‘Mercat de Mercats’ (in English ‘Market of Markets’) usually takes place over the third weekend of October on the Avinguda de la Catedral. Organised by the Institut dels Mercats del’Ajuntament de Barcelona, several of Catalunya’s markets take part, so you’ll be able to find many stalls where you can buy all sorts of products and eat things there that have already been prepared. Gastronomic activities are also organised, such as wine tastings, cocktail-making workshops and cookery classes, some of which are with some of the best chefs.
Avinguda de la Catedral (opposite the Cathedral).
€ Almost all of the activities are free of charge.
Halloween doesn’t of course have anything to do with Barcelona or Catalunya’s traditions, but in spite of this, and thanks to globalization and the influence of various American series and films, it’s becoming more and more common to see children dressed up as all sorts of terrifying figures. Halloween is celebrated on a more personal level as well as in nightclubs and in other places such as the PortAventura theme park, who take advantage of this festival to organise a special evening.
Special events in various bars and nightclubs.
Hotels and other accommodation in October
Transport and tourist cards
Weather and temperature in October
In spite of the fact that the temperatures in Barcelona in October are still very pleasant, and often quite warm, it’s statistically the wettest month of the year. This is often thanks to the typical afternoon / evening storms, but you might be unlucky enough to end up with a day on which it really doesn’t stop raining. We therefore recommend that you come prepared and have plans up your sleeves for things to do if it rains.
Climate statistics for OctoberAverage maximum temperature: 21ºC.
Average minimum temperature: 13.5ºC.
Average overall temperature: 17.2ºC.
Average rainfall: 91mm.
Sunrise: 07:48 (1st October) – 07:22 (31st October).
Sunset: 19:33 (1st October) – 17:48 (31st October).
Advantages and drawbacks
The fact that the number of visitors to Barcelona reduces considerably compared to the previous months of the year, as well as the pleasant temperatures in the city, which can even be quite warm at the beginning of the month, make it one of the best times of year to visit Barcelona.
Gastronomy: the arrival of the autumn brings with it one of the most anticipated foods for lovers of gastronomy – mushrooms. There are a huge variety of excellent mushrooms in Catalunya, all of which are full of flavour, so we recommend going to one of the restaurants that specialize in traditional Catalan cuisine in order to sample any of the gorgeous meals that they will prepare using mushrooms in season.
Paella on the beach: One of the most popular things to do is to go to any of the restaurants in La Barceloneta and along the promenade to try a delicious Spanish paella, ideally whilst sitting outside. During the summer months the outdoor terraces can be absolutely full of people and you might not get a good table in the best restaurants, or because of the crowded nature you may not be able to enjoy such a good view of the scenery. Fortunately, this won’t happen in October and thanks to the good climate, it will still be possible to eat outside without getting cold.
Not able to swim in the sea?: Unfortunately the beach season generally only lasts until the end of September, because the sea temperature drops considerably in October. In spite of this, you’ll still see plenty of people on the beach on the sunniest and warmest days of the month, although most of them will just be there to sunbathe rather than to swim in the sea. Are you brave enough to get into the water?!
The rain: As October is statistically the month with the most rainfall, the risk of your visit coinciding with a few rainy days is higher than at other times of the year.