Barcelona in October: Weather, What to Pack, and What to See

an illustration of Barcelona in October with tips from the article

TripSavvy / Julie Bang

October is a great time to take a trip to Barcelona. Despite being a favorite summertime destination of northern Europeans, by the time October rolls around, the beaches, restaurants, and clubs are a lot less crowded. That means you can meander around with fewer people around, as well as enjoy shorter lines at tourist attractions.

Then, there's the mild and sunny weather, which means that alfresco dining, roaming around the Gothic Quarter, and beach days are on the agenda. Movies and music dominate the events calendar, giving you even more options for things to do in this exciting Spanish city on the Mediterranean.

Barcelona Weather in October

October is a month of major temperature change from the beginning of the month, when the warmth of September still lingers, to the end when the cool temperatures of autumn set in. Additionally, it gets dark earlier and earlier in the evening as the month goes on, culminating with the end of daylight saving time on the last Sunday in October in Spain.

  • Average high: 73 degrees Fahrenheit (23 degrees Celsius)
  • Average low: 58 degrees Fahrenheit (14 degrees Celsius)

October is historically the wettest month of the year in Barcelona, a city that is famously sunny and dry, with about three inches of rain expected. Historical averages predict only about six days of rain in October, so even though it's relatively wet, you very well might have all sunny days on your trip.

If you're visiting Barcelona toward the end of October, you can expect temperatures to be noticeably lower than the monthly average. It's still possible to go to the beach and dip your toes into the Mediterranean in October, though, especially if it's early in the month. The sea temperature runs about 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius) in October on the shores of Barcelona.

A tourist wheeling a suitcase through a street in Barcelona
 martin-dm / Getty Images

What to Pack

Barcelona is an upbeat, stylish, artistic city, but locals dress conservatively in the fall. It's always best to emulate the locals so you don't look like a tourist. This kind of weather calls for layers. Take jeans or other cotton pants as well as short- or long-sleeved shirts and tops—or a mix of both, depending on whether your trip will be early or late in the month. A lightweight pullover or cardigan cotton sweater or two will come in handy. If you plan on visiting one of Barcelona's churches, bear in mind that modest clothing is a must and you will be asked to cover up if too much skin is showing.

As far as outerwear goes, throw in a lightweight jacket like denim or a cotton blazer for a top layer. Women might also find a large scarf useful. October is a time of transition in the fashion world, so darker fall and winter colors are appropriate. Since you want to be able to layer as needed, keep your colors neutral and in one scheme so all the pieces harmonize.

Comfortable and broken-in walking shoes are a must because you'll want to explore the city on foot and perhaps take in a festival in one of the outlying villages. You may encounter cobblestones in the towns and grass or dirt footpaths on the outskirts. Ankle boots are a good choice, and they look sharp with anything you put on. If you plan on checking out Barcelona's more upscale restaurants and nightclubs, pack some pieces that you can use to dress up your outfit, like a nice blouse or blazer, heels, and jewelry. If it does look like it might rain, you can pack a collapsible umbrella or take a risk and buy one in town if you really need it.

Girls taking pictures at Montjuic Castle in Barcelona
martin-dm / Getty Images

October Events in Barcelona

Barcelona has appeal no matter what time of year you go, with its Gothic Quarter, beaches, clubs, restaurant scene, and museums. However, if you go in October, you'll also have a chance to catch great films and hear some renowned jazz. In 2020, many events have been canceled or postponed, so be sure to check the official website for the latest updates.

  • In-Edit BarcelonaThis international film documentary festival tells the story of famous music groups via the big screen. In 2020, the festival moved to a video-on-demand format online.
  • Sitges International Fantasy Film Festival of Catalonia: This film fest focuses on the science-fiction, horror, and fantasy genre, drawing A-list stars. It's located in the beach town of Sitges, which is a 45-minute train ride away from Barcelona. In 2020, the festival runs from October 8 to 18 with limited capacity and social distancing in place.
  • Voll-Damm Barcelona International Jazz Festival: This world-class jazz fest with renowned and up-and-coming musicians alike runs throughout the fall with performances taking place at many venues around Barcelona.
  • Fires de Sant Narcis: This festival is held in honor of the feast day of Saint Narcis, the patron saint of Girona, and lasts for several days. You'll find rock, pop, and jazz concerts; activities for children; and fireworks across many venues across Girona, which is a 40-minute train ride away from Barcelona. This festival draws locals from all over Catalonia and is a great place to see the traditional Catalonian spectacle of castells, or human towers.

October Travel Tips

  • No matter when you go to Barcelona, it is smart to remember that it is a large city and attracts many pickpockets who prey on tourists. Bring an under-the-clothing pouch or crossbody bag for your passport and money. Don't put your wallet or phone in your back pocket and always keep an eye on your bag when eating at a cafe or restaurant. It's wise to leave some money and cards in a hotel safe while you are out and about in Barcelona.
  • Make your reservations in advance. Barcelona is a top destination all year-round, so book your hotel well in advance and make restaurant reservations for trendy dining spots or places you especially want to experience.
  • Check the forecast when you arrive and plan your itinerary around when it's expected to rain. Those days are perfect for shopping like a local and visits to Barcelona's many top museums.
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