What to do in Barcelona in October
A GUIDE TO OCTOBER IN BARCELONA
The tourist high season is over! And while the city is certainly not dead at all and there’s still visitors around, Barcelona isn’t busy in October. October is actually a great time to visit Barcelona! The weather is nice, there’s plenty of things going on and the nature dresses in their fall colors.
If you are able to be visiting Barcelona in October... lucky you! You are in for a great experience! October is the new September. And if you want a few trips to make your trip successful and more fun than just sightseeing all the top sites... You came to the right place!
Travel tips for a smooth trip to Barcelona in October
Weather in October in Barcelona
The average temperature in October in Barcelona is quite nice and warm enough: it goes between 21.7ºC / 71F during daytime to 14ºC / 57.5F at night. It’s still a good month to be outside to walk around, although it starts being a bit too chilly to eat outdoors, for instance. It’s a similar temperature to Los Angeles in October.
October, however, is the wettest month in Barcelona, with an average of 8 rainy days a month and 94mm / 3.7of rainfall – that is quite similar to LA… in February!
I need to say, though, that the Barcelona rain is very “respectful” and it rarely lasts more than one day in a row. Plus if the forecast says “one day of rain”, it’s usually only part of the morning or maybe just at night. So it rarely affects our daytime activities much.
What to pack for Barcelona in October
Long sleeve sweaters and a light jacket yes, but forget about anoraks or even wool jackets.
As for shoes, you’ll be cold with open sandals, but probably too hot with ankle boots. Flats and sneakers are your best friends.
Should you pack an umbrella, though? That depends. If you trust your luck, leave it at home. If it ends up raining you might be able to borrow one from your hotel (4 and 5 stars usually have some to lend), or buy a cheap foldable one to a street vendor for €5. They appear out of nowhere as soon as it starts raining!
Daylight Saving Time Change
READ THIS! Specially if you are American, because in the US the Fall daylight saving time change doens’t happen until the first Sunday of November, BUT… In Spain and most Europe, it happens on the last Sunday of October at 2AM. Ask Google to get the exact date.
The clock goes backward one hour. Which is good because you’ll have one more hour to sleep or party. But beware if you are taking a an early morning flight that day!
What to do in Barcelona in October
Barcelona beaches in October
Although you can still see neighbors of La Barceloneta that get an early morning swim every single day of the year. And German and other Nordic tourists enjoying a bath. But that’s because they are used to colder waters.
Instead, locals continue to enjoy the beach for sunbathing (even if not always getting on their suimsuits but keeping most of their clothes on). We go there for the sport facilities (fitness, voleyball, soccer, basketball…). And we definitely still love to go eat some paella by the sea (even if not always eating out on the terrace).
Local traditions and holidays
Everything starts with the Festes del Roser, the Festa Major of La Rambla. This Festival in honor of the patron saint of the street, Our Lady of the Rosary, takes place on the weekend before October 7 (unless October 7 falls on a weekend). They are organized by the Association of Friends of La Rambla.
October 12 is the Dia de la Hispanidad. It’s the day Christopher Columbus arrived to America, and it’s also the day of Our Lady of the Pillar, who is said to have inspired the evangelization of the New World. It is mostly celebrated with a military parade in Madrid and a tribute to the Spanish flag. But in Barcelona you’ll just notice it’s a holiday because the stores are closed. There might be a small political meeting of Spanish fervent patriots in the city center, too. But it is true that there’s a large part of the population that don’t like this celebration much because of its colonization origins, and they think there’s nothing to celebrate that day…
October 29th is Saint Narcissus, patron saint of Girona, and the days around it they celebrate the Fires de Sant Narcís festival. If you feel spending a day out of town, it’s a lively time to visit this city famous for its medieval and Jewish heritage.
And we can’t forget the evening of October 31st. While in the States they’ll be celebrating Halloween, here it’s All Saints Day. An evening to gather with friends and family to eat roast chestnuts and panellets marzipan treats.
All about food
Head to local food markets and enjoy all the delicious mushroom varieties sold there. Restaurants will fill their menus with mushroom specialties as well.
Food Festivals in Barcelona in October
October in Barcelona is a foodie destination!
- Veggie World Barcelona. EARLY OCTOBER. Technically celebrated in a suburb, but really easy to access by public transportation. It’s vegans’ paradise!
- Oktoberfest Barcelona. FIRST 2 WEEKS OF OCTOBER. This beer festival is a fun opportunity to taste beer from all over the world, see people in traditional Bavarian costumes and hear Bavarian music. PLEASE NOTE IT WON’T BE HAPPENING AS LONG AS THE COVID PANDEMIC LASTS.
- Mercat de Mercats. LATE OCTOBER. Organized by the network of Barcelona Public Food Markets, it is a food fair with stands of the most representative local market stalls. And the best part is the food tasting!
Art & Cultural Events in Barcelona in October
- Fantastic Film Festival in Sitges. MID OCTOBER. A world-class festival around terror and fantasy movies. You can reach the area by train, and take the opportunity to explore the village. Here are some things to do.
- In-Edit. EARLY OCTOBER. The most visited film festival in Barcelona city, it specializes in music documentaries.
- A Cop De Rock Fest. MID-OCTOBER. A hard rock and metal festival specializing in Spanish bands. Unfortunately it’s been cancelled as long as the Covid pandemic lasts, but we hope it’ll be back soon.
- Voll Damm Jazz Festival. END OF OCTOBER. The most famous Jazz Fest in Barcelona, with local and international performers.
More art, design and culture events taking place in October
- Baum Fest. EARLY OCTOBER. An underground festival of urban culture, tattoos and extreme sports.
- SWAB contemporary art fair. MID-OCTOBER. A fair reuniting over 80 art galleries from all over the world, hand-picking emerging talents worth following.
- 48 Hour Open House. LATE OCTOBER. Taking place simultaneously in many cities around the world, this architecture festival allows you to access remarkable buildings and facilities that are usually not open to the public, and approach them from their architects point of view.
- 080. LATE OCTOBER. The Barcelona fashion show, with catwalks presenting the latest designs for the season.
Day Trip destinations great in October
These are great day trips outside Barcelona in October
- Montserrat mountain and monastery. Reachable by train or by joining one of our tours, as long as it isn’t raining Montserrat is a great Fall destination. It won’t be as hot as it is in the Summer, so hiking in Montserrat becomes really pleasant. The Escolania Choir is back to school and performing every day. And the winter fogs aren’t there yet.
- Wine Country. The harvest is about to finish, but the yellow vine leaves haven’t fallen yet – vineyard foliage! And the cellars are busy receiving the grapes and pressing them. A fun time to visit the wineries!
- Tarragona. Being only one hour South of Barcelona, its weather stays noticeably warmer. The Summer crowds are gone, but its Roman ruins remain open so you can explore them and feel like in Pompei without the crowds.
The Spanish League is in full swing, and the FC Barcelona plays at home every two weeks. Maybe you can catch one of the Barcelona games in October? Cheering for the FC Barcelona surrounded by happy fans will be a memorable time! And if you can’t hit a match, you can always at least visit their Camp Nou stadium if you love soccer. See the changing rooms, press boots, grass level, VIP balcony and the trophy museum.
Alternatively, there’s a second soccer team playing in La Liga – the RCD Español, with their stadium in the suburbs reachable by subway.
OK, but fall is about Foliage! Can I see it in October in Barcelona?
Where to see the foliage fall colors
Here is where locals go for foliage:
- Collserola range. If you aren’t willing to rent a car and drive, this will be your best bet for a day out in nature. Take any of the S1 or S2 FCG trains departing from Plaça Catalunya and stop at Baixador de Vallvidrera. From there start many easy hikes through the woods. And while a lot of them are evergreen species, you’ll also see oaks and maples that stain the landscape with yellow and reds. Bonus point: the strawberry trees (arbutus unedo) are in season and you can pick and eat off their fruit as you stroll.
- Beech forests. Driving is a must if you are looking for truly yellow forests. The most famous is the Fageda de’n Jorda beechwood. And there are some smaller ones in the Montseny mountains.
- Chestnut forests. Chestnuts are not just spectacular for the shape of their leaves and their fiery autumn colors. But they also produce chestnuts! Even if most of the ones in the wild arent’ edible, kids love picking them up! The best chestnut forest is Espinzella in the Montseny mountains. You’ll need a car to get there.
- What about Barcelona parks? Sure, you can see the occasional reds and yellows in the largest Barcelona parks such as Ciutadella or Park Guell. Unfortunately most of our parks include sustainable local species – what means evergreens . Or trees that lose their leaves so fast you can’t really catch their color change. But let me share a hidden Autumn gem with you: the gardens of the Residencia Salesiana Marti Codolar (L3, Montbau station). It’s a little known historical garden with several beech trees as well as a couple of chestnut trees.
Will you be in October in Barcelona?
Marta is the founder of ForeverBarcelona. She is a passionate tour guide that loves Barcelona and loves writing too. She is the main author of our Blog, and is committed to sharing her knowledge about Barcelona and her best tips with our readers.
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