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September is a fantastic time to visit Barcelona. If you love sunshine and don’t love crowds, this is a great time to take advantage of the city. As students get back to school, the basic crowds thin out a little. If you enjoy beach weather and want to pack light and, September is the monty for you!
Why you should visit Barcelona in September
- Crowds are less than in September, so it’s considered the shoulder season. Personally, the ideal time to come is mid-September to the end of September. Kids will definitely be in school.
- La Merce is the most important festival in Barcelona. It celebrates our patron saint of the city, the Virgin Mary, under one of her special titles “Our Lady of Mercy”. Nowadays, it’s a secular holiday full of concerts, human castles (castellers), fire runs (correfocs), workshops, theater, and more!
- It’s a great time to hit the beach in September in Barcelona. Crowds will be thinned out, and it’s still hot enough for you to strip down to your swimsuit!
- It’s also a fantastic time to enjoy outdoor activities, like biking or sailing. Check out my post on taking a bike tour with Steel Donkeys!
Barcelona weather in September
Remember to stay hydrated and wear sunscreen if you are spending time outdoors in Barcelona in September. Additionally, it’s probably a good idea plan your activities for early in the morning or later in the afternoon, when the temperatures are cooler.
Overall, if you enjoy warm weather and sunshine, September can be a great time to visit Barcelona. Just be prepared for the heat and make sure to take necessary precautions to stay safe and comfortable.
Tips for dressing appropriate in September in Barcelona
If you are visiting Barcelona in September, it is important to dress appropriately for the hot and sunny weather. Here are some tips for what to wear:
- Wear light, breathable fabrics. Choose lightweight, breathable fabrics like cotton or linen that will keep you cool and comfortable in the heat.
- If you head to the beach, protect yourself from the strong sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
- Barcelona is a walkable city, so make sure to bring comfortable shoes that can handle the heat and the walking. Sandals, sneakers, and breathable shoes are all good options.
- Wear light layers. While it is hot during the day, the evenings can be a little cooler. Personally, I avoid wear jeans. They are too thick. But in September, you will not have to bring a sweater or jacket. It is hot all the time!
- Dress modestly. While Barcelona is a cosmopolitan and pretty liberal city, it is still respectful to dress modestly when visiting religious sites like churches or cathedrals. Bring a shawl or cover-up to wear over shorts or tank tops if needed.
Packing list for September in Barcelona
Sure, here is a packing list of what to bring to Barcelona, Spain in September as an American:
- Anti-theft purse <<– I have this one from Travelon. The zipper locks and gives me peace of mind when traveling on the bus or metro.
- Short-sleeve shirts
- Light jacket or sweater for evenings (just in case)
- Skirt or dress if that’s your thing
- If bringing pants, make sure they’re light
- Comfortable shoes or sandals
- Travel adapter: The electrical outlets in Spain are different than in the US, so make sure to bring a travel adapter so you can charge your electronics.
- Travel documents: Don’t forget to bring your passport, travel insurance, and any other important documents you may need.
Events in Barcelona in September 2023
La Diada: September 11, 2023. ‘mericans say September 11th, Catalans say National Day of Catalonia. La Diada commemorates a day in 1714 when Barcelona city fell to Spanish troops. The past few years, the significance of La Diada has intensified due to the ongoing political tension with Catalan independence. Expect to see mostly peaceful marches and lots of red-and-yellow Catalan flags. Shops and restaurants are closed.
Festa Major de La Barceloneta (La Barceloneta Festival). TBD. Also called the Festa Major de Sant Miquel, this neighborhood festival is held in the seaside neighborhood of La Barceloneta. It has gegants, a parade of cannons (that shoot candy!), decorated streets, correfocs, and dancing of sardanas.
Festa de La Mercè. Around September 24 (TBD). A citywide festival spanning a few days, this is the largest (and FREE!) festival in Barcelona. It honors the other patron saint of Barcelona, the Lady of Mercy. There are 600 activities spread throughout Plaça Sant Jaume, La Barceloneta, Plaça Catalunya, Passeig de Gracia, Park Ciutadella, and all the neighborhoods. It includes concerts (the BAM festival is included here), gegants, workshops, castellers, correfocs, theater, kids’ activities, performances, and so much more! IMHO, it’s the best time to visit Barcelona because it’s not extremely hot, there are fewer tourists. And it all ends with fireworks!
September 24, 2023: Dia de La Mercè. Shops and restaurants are closed.
What to eat in Barcelona in September
In August, locals in Barcelona typically enjoy a variety of fresh and flavorful dishes that take advantage of the season’s bounty. Here are some typical foods that locals eat in Barcelona, Spain, in August:
- Gazpacho. This is a cold soup made with tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, and bread, typically served in a bowl or glass. It’s a refreshing and light dish perfect for the summer heat. We eat it every day in my house!
- Seafood Paella. This is a classic Spanish dish that is a staple in Barcelona, made with rice, saffron, and a variety of seafood or meat. It’s typically served in a large paellera (paella pan) and is perfect for sharing with friends and family.
- Escalivada: This is a traditional Catalan dish made with grilled vegetables, including eggplant, peppers, and onions. It’s typically served as a side dish or on top of toasted bread.
- Patatas bravas: This is a popular tapa dish in Barcelona, made with fried potatoes served with a spicy tomato sauce.
Travel tips about visiting Barcelona in September
- Plan ahead. August is one of the busiest months in Barcelona, so it’s important to book your Sagrada Familia tickets and other attractions ahead of time. Also book accommodations and tours in advance to avoid disappointment.
- Stay hydrated. August can be hot and humid in Barcelona, so it’s important to drink plenty of water and carry a refillable water bottle with you.
- Take breaks. With the hot weather, it’s important to take breaks and rest in the shade to avoid heat exhaustion or sunburn.
- Be aware of pickpockets. Barcelona is known for pickpocketing, especially in tourist areas. Be aware of your surroundings and keep your valuables close to you.
- Take advantage of the beaches. Barcelona has several beautiful beaches, and it will be so hot, you’ll be dying to go there! There is definitely a nice breeze closer to the water.
- Take a day trip. Don’t be afraid to explore other areas of the city to discover hidden gems and authentic experiences, like at the nearby Sitges, a charming beach area.
That’s it! Have any questions about visiting Barcelona in September? Let me know, I read all my comments!