A popular destination like Barcelona is BEST explored in shoulder seasons. And what if we tell you this off-season month is great in terms of weather, festivities and local events. Well, continue reading to find out why Barcelona in September is the BEST time to visit this Catalonian kingdom! We have also included some of the finest things to do in Barcelona in September.
These experiences are based on our trips to the city – both in the same month. All the prime tourist attractions are open in September, but what is special this time of the year is the amount of street parties and festivals happening all across the city, all month long!
Barcelona in September – Guide to things to do Barcelona in September
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Barcelona experiences Mediterranean climate all year around, as it is located by the sea. The city does experience 4 seasons. And fall, spring and winter months can be wet with mild temperatures. Summers are hot and dry. July is the least rainy month in Barcelona and April and October has the highest possibility of rain. Here is how the weather in Barcelona looks like all year around and the seasons –
- SPRING: March, April, May.
- SUMMER: June, July, August.
- AUTUMN: September, October, November.
- WINTER: December, January, February.
In September the likelihood of rain is moderate, about 4 days of the month. During our stay in Barcelona, it rained once (and in the evening) and it was a heavy downpour and the showers disappeared in 25 minutes!
Weather in Barcelona in September
Barcelona in September is a perfect time to visit – considering weather and temperature. In September, the summer heat have passed and locals are back at work or school, meaning less crowds on the streets. September is also when schools and universities re-open in North America, meaning affordable flights and less crowds while sight-seeing.
As you can see the weather is quite pleasant, with less likelihood of rains.
Mornings in Barcelona in the month of September are perfect to capture the city’s attractions minus crowds. The sun is up and it is bright and nice at 08:00 am. The streets are empty and cafes are still closed, so it is a great time for photos and light strolls.
Does it rain a lot in September?
Rains are common in Barcelona, but it only ranges from 1-6 days in a month. So it is not like Seattle or Vancouver. Being close to the Mediterranean, there is likelihood of rain, but the weather is also quite warm all year round.
Rain possibility is for 4 days in September and it is not constant. It lasts for 30-45 minutes, could be a heavy downpour for a bit and then it stops. If you are staying in Barcelona for the entire month, or transiting through the city in this month – carry a waterproof jacket.
Packing for Barcelona in September
Keeping the temperatures in mind, here are the items you MUST carry in September to Barcelona
- Cotton, airy clothes are best – blouses, dresses, pants, shirts.
- Add a waterproof light jacket – Buy my all time favorite jacket here
- Carry a scarf (for people who are always cold)
- MUST BRING > Comfortable walking shoes for hiking to scenic viewpoints in Barcelona or strolling on the streets of historic city centre, comfortable waling shoes are a MUST. Here are my favorite white sneakers
- MUST BRING > Anti-theft purses or cross body bags. Barcelona is notorious for bag stealing and incidences of pick-pockets, especially in tourist sites. We HIGHLY recommend using a cross body bag and keeping the bag on you, when traveling, eating at a restaurant or while traveling in public transport. We have heard friends and people we met in tours, whose backpacks were swapped or stolen while walking the city center. I traveled with my cross body purse and I had my cash, passport, small make up pouch, cellphone, keys, and sunglasses on me and didn’t get robbed. And we hang out at popular tourists places (like we frequented Las Ramblas every night) and we used public transportation. If you keep the purse close to you, its hard for anyone to snatch or take it way. Okay, enough rumbling. But > CROSS BODY BAG! OK. Check out our review on cross body bags.
Why visit Barcelona in September?
There are many reasons why one should visit Barcelona in September. Here are some of our reasons –
- Explore Barcelona’s prime attractions – with less crowds
- Still time to enjoy sun and sand in Barcelona beaches
- Off season – Easy to find accommodation
- Tons of festivals and events to participate in September
- Perfect weather – not Hot, not Cold and no sticky humidity bubble!
Exploring Barcelona’s main sites with relatively less crowds
Barcelona is a very popular destination in Spain. In their top attractions like Sagrada Familia, Park Guell and Casa Batllo – is it very common to see a line up, even in September. But….it is relatively less crowded inside. Because for one, many people don’t like (or want to visit) the interiors – which we think you should.
Take the Sagrada Familia for example, we bought tickets online, we did have a queue for security reasons but the inside was not crowded. You can stay inside as long as you want, pray, take pictures without being pushed or feeling suffocated. Same deal for Park Guell’s Gaudi museum and the protected monument.
Still time to soak in the sun at Barcelona beaches minus the crowds
Barcelona in September is a shoulder month, but the good news about the weather is that – it is still sunny and warm. When we visited for a week in September, other then 25 minutes there was no rain. So this was perfect for beach outings for the day. Or if you prefer stroll or go on a cruise from Port Vell whilst admiring the Mediterranean Sea.
Barcelona in September is off season – Finding accommodation and flights is easy
In September, schools and universities re-open in North America, meaning affordable flights and less crowds sight-seeing.
As an off season in Barcelona, in September finding a nice hotel near tourist attractions will be relatively easy. When we visited Barcelona in the early days of September, hotels near the center were expensive, averaging $200 USD for a 3+ star hotel. On that trip, we ended up staying 30 minutes away from city center (in Mundet). Hotel: Hotel Alimara Barcelona
But later, when we re-visited Barcelona after the 20th of the month, we were able to snag a great hotel deal, just steps away from La Ramblas. Hotel: Hotel Grabi Millenni Barcelona
Of course at the city center or near it, makes it so easy to explore touristic attractions and/or take day tours.
Tons things to do in Barcelona in September, including festivals
Barcelona in September is HOME to tons of festivals and events. For one, La Mercè – Europe’s biggest street party happens every year on September 24, and celebrations start ahead of time (like a day or two before the 24th). There are music festivals like BAM and many local “festa major” are held.
There are tons of street food festivals happening in the city during September.
National Day of Catalunya is celebrated on September 11, and Barcelona being the capital of the region is filled with events and demonstrations.
Perfect weather – not too hot not too cold!
The weather in September is PERFECT, for those who want to enjoy the outdoors (without being covered in sweat or humidity bubble). Summer heat and the peak tourist season is gone, making the weather (and temperature) amazing for outdoor activities.
For travelers who enjoy temperatures of high and low 20’s – Barcelona in September brings in that perfect weather!
Things to do in Barcelona in September
Barcelona in September is a great month to visit for the variety of activities and events that the city showcases.
Festa Major del Poblenou – Street festival/party
In September, you are entering into a paradise of FREE events and festivals in the Barcelona city. And this is not limited to the city center, as it engulfs most of the residential neighborhoods too. Located only 45 minutes outside of city center is the Poblenou festival and attracts a lot of tourists every year.
Festa Major del Poblenou transforms this residential area in to a street part of sorts. The bars, restaurants and cafés are bustling with activities and free concerts and music shows are held across the neighborhood. This is a great festival to try out local made street food.
This is a 10 day event and it takes place on September 6th and coincides with the National Catalan day (September 11). This is a fantastic time to see authentic Catalan traditions like human towers, correfocs or fireruns, folk dancing, parades and giant maché dolls.
Learn about National day of Catalunya – La Diada
September 11 is National Catalan Day or La Diada. This day is associated with the fall of Barcelona and commemorating the sacrifices of the soldiers during the War of the Spanish Succession in 1714. This event was historical as it led to the subsequent loss of Catalan institutions and laws.
This event is highly regionalized and politicized today. But in essence, this festival is an occasion where the people of Barcelona participate to show their pride and camaraderie as being part of Catalunya. You will witness all of the famous Catalan traditions like the human towers or parades of Giants, Catalan flags and music in the streets.
In September 2019, Barcelona celebrated 127 years of rich history and traditions.
Note: Catalonia is a region in Spain (northern part), with Barcelona being the capital and the most populous city. If you are visiting Barcelona on September 11, then watch out for parade and demonstrations happening in the city. This is a one day event only.
Festa Major de la Barceloneta
Festa Major de la Barceloneta is celebrated every year in September. This is the best time to venture into the neighborhoods and learn about Barcelona city culture, people and festivals. Most commonly associated with music and patron saint of Barceloneta, the Festa Major is celebrated from September 25 to 29.
Join in the celebrations in honour of Sant Miquel and enjoy the fireworks, tons of food and admire the decorated streets.
Take a day trip for capturing autumn leaves
Autumn means crisp morning, and golden hues. In September Barcelona may or may not show up all its stunning colors, but places near Barcelona will. So get out of the city, go on day trips and capture those fall leaves and go on hikes.
Most popular places to head to, from Barcelona include Montserrat, Girona and the Pyrenees. Check out this MOST popular day tour to Montserrat with tapas and wine tour
Join in Europe’s biggest street party – La Mercè Festival
When we returned to Barcelona for a second time in September, the city was bustling with activities and music shows until the sun was up. And when we asked the locals, about the event, they said, “its our national festival”.
We thought is there another Catalunya festival that we didn’t of? Turned out, it was the BIGGEST street party in town – La Merce – that the locals were referring to.
It is celebrated every year on September 24 and people are out in the streets, just rejoicing and having a good time.
The weekend and a day or two before La Merce festival, people were out and about celebrating into the early morning hours and many entertainment shows and concerts were held near the Plaza de Catalunya and Las Ramblas area. And those were for free!
Always remember to stay safe during events of this kind. Only travel with the necessary items and enjoy, but be aware of your surroundings!
Note: If you are visiting Barcelona on or a few days prior to September 24, then watch out for free entertainment and events happening in the city.
Go on a sunset cruise in Barcelona
Okay. Barcelona is located by the Mediterranean Sea and their sunsets and cotton-orange-y-balmy skies are oh-so-beautiful. I hope you get the gist. Sunset cruise (of 2 hours+ duration) is an amazing way to enjoy the sea and sunny views.
Eat your heart out at Food Festivals in Barcelona
In September Barcelona is a gastronomic heaven, where you will find tons of street food vendors and festivals showcasing Spanish cuisines. Two stand-alone food festivals in the city include –
- Barcelona Taste Food Tour- The Poble-Sec neighbourhood is great for a night out and the food fest is the perfect excuse to head there with TONS of local cuisines to feast on. Date: September 4 & 12 2020
- Barcelona Taste Food Tour – This food fest is held in the Diagonal neighbourhood of Barcelona. Date: September 14 2020
Hike to scenic viewpoints in Barcelona
Because the temperature in September is quite pleasant, this is the BEST occasion to ditch the bus or metro and hike to reach many scenic viewpoints in the city. Many of these viewing places can be accessed for free, but hiking or climbing is required.
We are not major hikers (hiking through city lanes is our jam), but because the weather is breezy and Barcelona so picturesque we gave it a try. Take frequent stops along your hiking trail and enjoy the jaw dropping views after! Read our post on scenic viewpoints in Barcelona for more information.
Join a walking tour as the weather is warm and nice
Don’t wish to hike, we get it. Join a walking tour to learn about Barcelona history and the Spanish culture. Foodie lover like us? Join a food or wine tour. Barcelona weather in September makes it so pleasant to stay outdoors and enjoy the cultural nuances.
Being off-season, your walking tours will be comfortable and more enjoyable (than in peak – crowded months).
Here are some of our favorite walking and guided food tours:
- Cooking Class and Boqueria Market Tour
- Food tour, with 10 samples – GREAT VALUE!
- Tapas Experience Tour
- Old Town and Gothic Quarter Walking tour
A cool thing to do in Barcelona in September is also to take bike tours. There is a Steel Donkey Bike Tour that we learnt about (after our trip) and heard awesome reviews of. So this is a tour where you bike over 200 km of paths in Barcelona covering a variety of barrios or neighborhoods. Learn about Steel Donkey Bike Tours Barcelona here. If you have done this tour, let us know in comments below.
Take photos of quiet, no crowd lanes or selfies infront of prime attractions
You guys, September mornings are PURRFECT to capture Barcelona’s iconic landmarks (before anyone else!). We got to the Sagrada Familia at 08:30 am and the MOST coveted Instagrammable spots were empty! The cathedral opens at 09:30 am, so there were no line ups either.
You will also fine residential lanes to be quiet and empty. So if you are a photographer who loves capturing cities – this is a great month to visit. For those who love to pose, this is a great time too (Look at me LOL, well I love taking photos as well.)
But if you only like to pose then take a photo shoot tour. BOOK: Photoshoot tour in Barcelona neighbourhood
Take in city views from any of Gaudi’s creations Sagrada Familia or Casa Mila
Because September in Barcelona is not overly crowded, you can actually relax and enjoy Gaudi’s creations. Peak seasons are notorious for long line-ups, heat and for being overly crowded.
Visit Gaudi’s Casa Mila or Sagrada Familia and take a guided tour to learn about its history.
- Sagrada Familia – The famed unfinished Sagrada Familia church was Gaudi’s only project when he died. This is one of the MOST visited attractions in Barcelona (plus security at the gates means waiting in line for while). September is a perfect time to visit and admire the interiors and the creative genius work. Book this skip the line access to Sagrada Familia
- Casa Mila – Casa Mila or La Pedrera (‘The Quarry’) was the last project of Gaudi before taking on the Sagrada Familia. Although built as a residence the famous mansion is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the mansion for its art displays or head straight to the rooftop for some stunning views of the city. Get Casa Mila Skip the line tickets here
Watch a football match at Camp Nou
Football lovers and non football lovers know that Barcelona and soccer is used synonymously. Home to FC Barcelona, if you are visiting Barcelona in September head to Camp Nou for a game of soccer. Camp Nou match schedules are here
Stay outdoors – see you at the beach
September is a still warm for beach time activities. The sun is bearable, as I say – not too hot nor cold. Use the time to build sand castles and soak in the sun, before the city starts getting cooler by day.
We hope you found this post helpful in preparing your trip to Barcelona in September. We had an amazing time in Barcelona Spain and we wouldn’t change our plans. These festive and free things to do in Barcelona in September is perfect to enjoy local culture and keep vacation costs low.
Hope you enjoy your visit to Spain as much as we did.
Read more Europe and Barcelona Travel Tips
Planning your trip to Europe – If this is your first ever trip to Europe, consider reading our Europe 101 guide.
Schengen Visa – If you require a visa to travel to Europe, most likely it is the Schengen Visa (for those belonging to the Euro Zone or EU, doesn’t include the UK). Read our guide to applying for Schengen Visa.
Travel Insurance – Don’t forget to insure your trip. Get Travel Insurance quotes from World’s Nomads here.
Europe Itinerary Samples – Read our itineraries from Europe
- Europe: Get our 27 Europe in one week itinerary samples
- Spain: Best of Spain in 7 days
- Spain: Get 2 day itinerary to Seville. And a list of things to do plus food guide to Seville
- Spain: Beautiful places to add to your Spain bucketlist
- Switzerland: One week in Switzerland trip
- Central Europe in 2 weeks – Visit Munich, Budapest, Prague and Vienna in 14 days
- Germany: Munich in 5- 7 days
- Iceland – Explore in 3 days
Europe in winter and other seasons – Here are seasonal Europe resources that might interest you
- Winter Destinations – Get the TOP destinations to visit in Europe winter for Christmas markets, skiing or winter sun
- Prague : What to expect in Prague in March
- Iceland: Explore Iceland in the month of October
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click one of them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you
Barcelona in September : Guide to things to do Barcelona in September