Barcelona in October


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Visiting Barcelona in October is a good idea. It’s still warm towards the beginning of the month, and the crowds are considerably less than in September.

Why you should visit Barcelona in October

  1. Weather: October in Barcelona is characterized by mild temperatures, cooler than the summer months, but still comfortable and pleasant for outdoor activities.
  2. Fewer crowds: October is considered low season, meaning fewer tourists and crowds, making it easier to explore the city’s popular attractions and neighborhoods without feeling overwhelmed.
  3. Lower prices: As it is low season, prices for accommodations, flights, and activities are typically lower than in peak season, making it a more budget-friendly time to visit.
  4. Festivals and events: Barcelona has several festivals and events in October, including the Barcelona International Jazz Festival and the Barcelona International Film Festival, providing an opportunity to experience the local culture and entertainment scene.
  5. Cultural experiences: October is a great time to visit Barcelona’s museums and galleries, as they often have special exhibitions and events during this time of year.
  6. Food and wine: Barcelona is known for its delicious cuisine, and October is a great time to enjoy seasonal specialties such as mushrooms and chestnuts, as well as local wines during the grape harvest season.

Overall, October is a fantastic time to visit Barcelona, offering mild weather, fewer crowds, lower prices, and plenty of cultural and culinary experiences to enjoy.

Typical weather in Barcelona in October

The average temperature in Barcelona in October is around 18°C (64°F) during the day and around 12°C (54°F) at night. However, temperatures can vary and fluctuate during the month. It’s important to note that October marks the transition from summer to fall, so while it may be warm during the day, the nights can start to feel cooler. It’s recommended to pack layers and bring a light jacket or sweater for the evenings.

Tips for dressing appropriately in Barcelona in October

Layers: As the temperature can fluctuate between day and night, it’s important to wear layers that you can easily add or remove throughout the day.
Light jacket or sweater: Bring a light jacket or sweater for the evenings when the temperature can drop, especially if you plan to spend time outdoors.
Comfortable walking shoes: Barcelona is a walking city, so be sure to pack comfortable walking shoes that can withstand a lot of walking on uneven streets and cobblestones.
Umbrella or raincoat: While it doesn’t rain a lot in October in Barcelona, it’s always good to be prepared for the occasional shower or drizzle.
Scarf and hat: A scarf and hat can help keep you warm during cooler days and nights, and can also add a stylish touch to your outfit.
Fall colors: October is a great time to wear fall colors like burgundy, olive, and rust, as well as layering pieces like cardigans and jackets.
Dress in layers: Wearing a t-shirt or short sleeve shirt under a light jacket or sweater can be a good way to stay comfortable during the day, while still being prepared for cooler evenings.

What to pack in Barcelona in October

  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Light jacket or sweater
  • Scarf and hat
  • Umbrella or raincoat
  • T-shirts or short sleeve shirts
  • Long sleeve shirts
  • Pants or jeans
  • Skirts or dresses (for warmer days)
  • Cardigans or light jackets
  • Comfortable socks
  • Underwear and bras
  • Swimwear (if you plan to visit indoor swimming pools)
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera or smartphone for photos
  • Power bank or charger for your devices
  • Adaptor plug (if needed for your electronics)
  • Travel-sized toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, etc.)
  • Medications or prescriptions
  • Travel documents (passport, visa, boarding passes, etc.)

Remember to pack light, as it’s easier to navigate Barcelona’s narrow streets and public transportation with a smaller, lighter suitcase or backpack.

What to do in Barcelona in October 2023

Sitges Film Festival. TBD. Just down south is the beautiful town of Sitges, where they also celebrate the international Sitges film festival. Films are mostly fantasy and horror films timed with the Halloween season. There are also lots of stands and activity going on around the boardwalk, including an annual Zombie Walk.

October 12, Spanish National Holiday. Most shops and restaurants are closed.

Oktoberfest Barcelona: TBD. Just like in Munich, Germany, Barcelona brings its own version of the beer festival. You’ll find Heineken, Weissbeer, Cruzcampo, and of course…German sausages! Now pass the bratwurst! It goes down at the Fira Montjuic.

Cursa de Bombers de Barcelona (Barcelona Firemen’s Race). TBD. This charity race is run by the Firemen of Barcelona. (Imagine a massive group of manly men in firemen uniform with their gear running!!) It’s open to the public and covers 10 kilometers.

Voll-Damm Barcelona Jazz Festival: October – November (TBD). Love jazz? This internationally acclaimed festival takes place in scattered venues like at the Palau de La Musica, Sala Apolo, or the Harlem Jazz Club. Past jazz artists include Diana Krall and Jimmy Cobb. Tickets are sold based on individual performances, and they go fast!

48H Open House Barcelona. TBD, end of the month usually. While Gaudí and Modernist buildings are incredible, Barcelona is busting with architectural wonders that go widely unnoticed like the Media-TIC building. You’ll get a guided tour (mostly in Catalan, but they may cater to Spanish speakers, depending on your guide). I highly recommend the Arc de Triomf, Antiga Fabrica Estrella Damm, or the Casa Vicens. Get there early because lines get long. The event is FREE!


La CastanyadaOctober 31 – November 1, 2023. More of a tradition and not an event, La Castanyada celebrates the welcoming of fall. Catalans eat roasted chestnuts and sweet potatoes, then top it off with some muscatel. La Castanyada celebrations are normally in homes or at schools. But you’ll see some of the few stalls selling chestnuts throughout Barcelona. Halloween has been creeping into Catalan culture, more each year.

What to eat in Barcelona in October

  1. Panellets are a traditional dessert in Catalonia, a region in northeast Spain. They are small, round cakes made from marzipan, which is a paste made from ground almonds, sugar, and egg. They are typically eaten during the autumn season, particularly on All Saints’ Day (November 1st) and All Souls’ Day (November 2nd), which are important holidays in Catalonia. They are often accompanied by sweet wine or moscatell, a type of fortified wine.There are many different varieties of panellets, and they can be flavored with a variety of ingredients, such as pine nuts, cocoa powder, coconut, and coffee. Some variations also include candied fruit, such as lemon or orange peel, or are coated in chocolate or powdered sugar. Panellets are typically prepared at home or purchased from bakeries and pastry shops during the autumn season.
  2. Boniato – Catalan people eat sweet potatoes in the fall because they are in season during that time of year and are often used as an ingredient in traditional Catalan dishes and desserts. Sweet potatoes, also known as boniato in Catalan, are a root vegetable that are similar to regular potatoes but have a sweeter taste and a softer texture. In Catalonia, sweet potatoes are particularly popular during the autumn season and are often used in a traditional dessert called “neules i castanyes” (snowflakes and chestnuts), which is typically eaten during the Christmas season. Sweet potatoes are also commonly roasted and served as a side can even find them in a pastry shop!
  3. Mushrooms – many restaurants in Catalonia offer special “mushroom menus” during the fall season, featuring a variety of dishes that showcase the local mushroom harvest.

In Catalonia, there are several varieties of mushrooms that are popular to eat in the fall, especially during the months of October. Mushrooms in Catalonia are typically prepared by sautéing them with garlic, parsley, and olive oil, or adding them to stews, soups, and rice dishes. Some of the most popular mushrooms in Catalonia include:

  • “Rossinyol” (chanterelle): This is a bright yellow-orange mushroom with a meaty texture and a slightly nutty flavor. It is often sautéed with garlic and parsley and served as a side dish or used as a topping for pizzas and pastas.
  • “Ceps” (porcini): This is a large, meaty mushroom with a nutty, earthy flavor. It is often used in stews, soups, and risottos, or simply sautéed with garlic and olive oil and served as a side dish.
  • “Llengua de bou” (beef tongue mushroom): This is a thin, elongated mushroom with a meaty texture and a slightly sweet, nutty flavor. It is often sautéed with garlic and parsley and served as a side dish or used as a filling for omelettes or empanadas.
  • “Fredolic” (wood blewit): This is a purple-brown mushroom with a delicate flavor and a velvety texture. It is often used in stews and soups, or simply sautéed with garlic and parsley and served as a side dish.

Extra travel tips for going to Barcelona in October

  1. Watch your valuables. Like any city, Barcelona has its share of pickpockets and petty theft, especially in crowded tourist areas like Las Ramblas. Be sure to keep your valuables (wallet, phone, passport) in a secure place, and keep an eye on your belongings when in crowded areas. Additionally, be aware of your surroundings and avoid walking alone at night in less well-lit areas.
  2. October is a popular time to visit Barcelona, so it’s recommended to book accommodations in advance to ensure availability and to get a better price. Consider staying in a central location near public transportation, such as the Gothic Quarter or Eixample, for easy access to the city’s main attractions.
  3. Museums and attractions: October can be a great time to visit museums and attractions in Barcelona, as the crowds are generally smaller than in peak season. Consider purchasing tickets in advance to avoid long lines and ensure admission to popular attractions like La Sagrada Familia and Park Guell.
  4. Day trips: October can be a great time to take a day trip from Barcelona to nearby destinations like Montserrat or Sitges, which can be less crowded than during the peak summer season.
  5. Festivals and events: Barcelona hosts several festivals and events in October, including the Barcelona International Jazz Festival and the Barcelona International Boat Show. Check local listings for events happening during your visit.

Overall, Barcelona is a relatively safe city, but it’s important to take precautions to protect yourself and your belongings. When it comes to accommodations, book in advance and consider staying in a central location near public transportation. Take advantage of the cooler weather and smaller crowds to explore museums, attractions, and try local cuisine. Finally, be sure to check local listings for festivals and events happening during your visit.

By Justine Ancheta

California native, churro aficionado, and mom of 3, Justine Ancheta writes fervently about Barcelona and Spain. Since 2008, she's been eating burnt onions (calçots) and tripping on cobblestones in the Gothic Quarter. She shares tips on popular attractions, exposes offbeat non-touristy spots, and gives insight on exploring Barcelona with kids. Her next Catalan culture challenge: top level of a human castle (castellers).

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