THE BEST RAINY DAY ACTIVITIES IN BARCELONA
The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain… But what if it catches you in Barcelona during your holidays? You don’t want to stay in your hotel playing games and wasting your precious time here. So what should you do? Don’t worry: today I have plenty of ideas for a rainy day.
Barcelona isn’t a very rainy town: when it’s raining in Barcelona, it usually doesn’t last long. Plus most of the time it rains at night, not really affecting your day activities. But eventually we might get longer and more intense storms (and locals are usually surprised at them and ask themselves what’s wrong with the weather, then, LOL).
A few top hotels in town provide umbrellas to their customers or rent them for a small fee (ask the concierge). Otherwise, don’t worry: with the first drop street-vendors show up selling cheap ones. And now that you are well equipped, let’s see what the options are…
These are great ideas for what to do what to do on rainy day in Barcelona:
I know… When brainstorming for ideas for a rainy day, of course that’s everyone’s first thought. But be wiser than them: if you are planning to go to the Picasso museum buy your tickets online before leaving your hotel unless you want to wait in line under the rain (no fun!). Otherwise, choose a less crowded option: the Roman ruins of the Museum of History of the City are a great choice. BTW, many people would think that the Sagrada Familia church is a good choice in the rain (after all, it’s a church), but I don’t recommend it as it gets as crowded as the Picasso Museum (again buy tickets online or get a private tourguide to skip the line if it’s raining in Barcelona) and it’s hard to appreciate the beauty of the sculptures in the façade with the raindrops falling into your eyes when you look up… And don’t go to La Pedrera either, as the rooftop is closed when it rains.
Another of the most popular ideas for a rainy day, BUT. Take it as an opportunity to go off the beaten path, and grab a cab (when it’s raining in Barcelona I love the feel of being on a cab watching the city life bustle despite the storm) to take you to to the uptown shopping mall called L’Illa Diagonal, with its classy but not haughty feel. High end designers mix nicely with affordable brands that carefully chose the articles they’ll be selling there.
A stroll under the gargoyles
Looking for free rainy day activities? If you aren’t scared that it’s raining in Barcelona, the Gothic Quarter has a mysterious and romantic feel under the rain. No crowds, and water pouring off the gargoyles. My favorite streets are those around the Cathedral and in Plaça del Rei, down Lledó street and over to the Born district to explore the alleys around Santa Maria del Mar.
And now a little reward for having survived a rainy day: a comforting cup of thick hot chocolate! (TIP: that’s the must-do of all the rainy day activities for families!). Spanish hot chocolate is really thick, you can’t really “drink” it: eat it with a little spoon or dip some delicious churros on it. The best chocolate places in Barcelona are in Petritxol street. So head there and enjoy! And for an extra sweet touch, order a “suís” (pronounced as Swiss) and they’ll top it with whipped cream. Yummy!
Go to the movies
Although most movie theaters in Spain feature dubbed films, there are a few of them that program movies in their original version: a cozy choice for an afternoon if it’s raining in Barcelona! Look for the Verdi, Icària and Renoir.
AND BONUS! Where not to go:
Manypeople will consider La Pedrera as a rainy day option, since most of the visit takes places inside the building: mainly the museum at the attic and the modernist apartment. However, it’s important to take into account that the rooftop closes as soon as the first drops start to fall, and to me it’s one of the best parts of the visit, so missing it after paying a quite expensive entrance would be a shame.
Also, don’t head to Park Guell, Sagrada Familia or Palau de la Música unless you already have purchased their timed tickets in advance, or you’ll be left outside!
What do you like doing on a rainy day?
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