What to do in Barcelona in Spring – Best things to do in March, April and May

By Matthew Wears


Few places are as exciting and energetic as the Spanish city of Barcelona, a city that has long been a top European destination for weekend breaks, party holidays as well as having a strong arts and cultural scene. The best time to visit Barcelona is debatable, although spring time holds a massive claim as the city begins to explode into action after a quiet winter period. Spring offers the best of both worlds, as activities that are often synonymous with the city such as sitting out with tapas or lounging by the beach become possible due to the improving weather, but the main tourist season hasn’t yet begun so many of the main attractions in Barcelona will be far quieter! if you’re trying to find some cool things to do in Barcelona, Spain, upcoming events will also be discussed, as well as giving you some much needed information about what you can expect from the weather in Barcelona in March, April and May. Spring is certainly a very exciting time to be in the city, so if you’re wondering whether it’s the best time to visit Barcelona for you, hopefully this can persuade you!

March


Barcelona in March is maybe not as warm as you would expect to be, with average temperatures standing around the ten degrees Celsius mark. Make sure you don’t pack a suitcase full of shorts and T-shirts, because you’ll be shivering the entire time! This means it isn’t the best time to visit Barcelona beaches as the water will be the coldest it is all year, although if you’re brave enough to go for a dip then why not? One very positive thing about the city is that it is usually quite dry all year round due to its situation on the east coast of the country, as many Atlantic storms have already rid themselves of moisture over inland Spain. If you can handle the slightly colder weather though, you’ll be blessed with a city mostly free from tourists, so if you don’t do queuing then this would be the best time to visit Barcelona for you!

It might feel like winter still hasn’t left yet, but Barcelona in March can still be a great time to visit the city for many reasons! One major draw is the small number of tourists at this time, so make the most of it and visit all of the must see major attractions in Barcelona such as Sagrada Família or La Rambla, free from the stress of trying to navigate through crowds of people. Or, explore the Laberint d’Horta, the oldest park anywhere in the city which features a huge hedged maze as well as many other attractions. March is the perfect time to visit here as you can literally feel like you’re the only one in the maze, so don’t get too lost! The park also features sculptures, woodlands, flowerbeds and even a waterfall, so it’s not difficult to imagine spending an entire mild March day uncovering all of the park’s secrets.

Barcelona has not yet got into the swing of its busy summer calendar of events, but there are still some things worth checking out. One of the biggest attractions in Barcelona at this time is the Barcelona Marathon, a gruelling twenty-six-mile race held on the 10th of March that sees athletes from all over the world compete. If you’re brave enough (or mad enough), you can register for it yourself, but be warned, once you apply you won’t be able to back out! Even if you’re not participating, it’s still a great to go and cheer on the runners who need all the support they can get. If the crowds are a bit much for you, why not escape the city and visit one of the most unique attractions in Barcelona; the Bunkers del Carmel. These were once anti-aircraft bunkers during the Spanish Civil War, but now they act as the city's best viewing platform, although they still remain a bit of an undiscovered gem!

April


If you’re hoping for some slightly warmer Barcelona weather, April is when you will see it begin to change for the better. Summer is not in full flow just yet so cold days can still occur, but there can also be highs of around nineteen degrees which is definitely heading in the right direction! Again, rainfall is fairly low but not impossible, and you’ll be getting a healthy average of eight hours of sunlight a day, more than enough time to fit all of the top attractions in Barcelona into even the shortest of trips. This also marks a transitional period in terms of tourism to, as you’ll start to see far more non-Spanish faces around the city, especially towards the end of the month. Other than over winter time, March or April is also the cheapest time to visit Barcelona and you can get great deals on flights and accommodation before the crazy high season prices.

With the ever-improving Barcelona weather, April is the perfect month to really start exploring all of the great outdoor attractions. It’s no secret that the city boasts some of the most unique and iconic architecture in the world, courtesy of Antoni Guadí of course, so why not visit some of his greatest pieces of work. There is much more than just the Sagrada Família, and the Park Güell is particularly beautiful at this time of year as the sunlight bounces of the colourful and vibrant ceramic tiles. Why not make your own tour of all the best Gaudí attractions in Barcelona, you could even rent a bike from one of many rental services and enjoy the city that way! Or, if architecture isn’t your thing, cycle around some of city’s best street art locations, you can find maps highlighting the main ones with just a quick google search.

As the evenings get warmer, you can start to enjoy sitting out long into the night for either tapas or drinks. One of the most popular areas (and for good reason) is The Gothic Quarter, a part of the city that has earned itself the title of having the best nightlife in the city, so if you’re looking for things to do in Barcelona at night, then bar hopping around this area has to be at the top of your list! Although touristy, you can still find some fantastic authentic tapas bars, especially down the side streets where you’ll find restaurants serving local favourites. As well as this, if you’re searching for where to stay in Barcelona, it really doesn’t get much better than the Gothic Quarter as it is central and has a wide selection of accommodation options. The Gracia neighbourhood is also worth exploring if you more of an authentic Catalonian tapas experience!

May


Here it is, the start of summer! Well, almost. The weather in Barcelona in May is some of the most comfortable of the entire year as the humidity of summer has not yet arrived, but the coolness of winter is slowly leaving. Average temperatures are around twenty degrees Celsius and evenings are beginning to get warm enough to sit out and enjoy a glass of wine on a terazza. It is also now hot enough to swim in the sea, so make sure you bring a towel, so you can spend an entire day lying on a beach without a care on the world. There can be a little bit more rain during this month, but still not as much as many other European destinations. May is often regarded as the best time to visit Barcelona, as the improving weather combined with the relatively low number of tourists in the city makes it feel like you’ve discovered the perfect sweet spot between the seasons.

As the weather in Barcelona in May gets better, the city begins to ready itself for the up and coming Summertime. This is the time where the city really starts to come into its own, where festivals, celebrations and socialising begin to become a part of day to day life. The 19th of May marks the date of ‘Night of the Museums’, a one night only event where some of the biggest galleries and museums in the city open up late into the night for free. Popular galleries such as the CaixaForum and the CCCB are all present, but be aware that these will be the busiest, so don’t be afraid to go to the smaller venues that take part! One the main attractions in Barcelona in May is the World-Famous Primavera Sound Festival, an event that has risen up to become one of the best loved music festivals around the globe. It takes place on the 30th of May and lasts for three days ending in June.

May is without doubt the best time to visit Barcelona for beaches during spring as the Mediterranean has now warmed to a fairly comfortable temperature. You won’t be fighting for a space as you would be during peak summer, which is obviously a bonus! If you’re not a fan of saltwater and sand, why not spend a day lounging in Parc de la Ciutadella, an iconic green space with lakes, trees and even a zoo! Spending some time in the El Born district is a popular choice for those looking for things to do in Barcelona at night, as it offers a slightly less touristy feel than the neighbouring Gothic Quarter. As the weather in Barcelona in May improves, the areas main square, Pesseig del Born, begins to fill with tourists and locals alike! Choose to discover it on your own, or join a like minded local who can show you all of the best secret bars and restaurants.

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