September is one of the best times to visit Barcelona, Spain. After a summer of relentless heat, sticky humidity, and tourists galore, the Catalan capital begins cooling down and emptying out as soon as school resumes. The locals reclaim their favorite seats at the neighborhood tapas bars and reconnect on Catalan National Day, September 11. With fewer people lining up outside of Barcelona's main attractions and quieter hotels, you're guaranteed a more peaceful vacation in September, and a cheaper one to boot.
Barcelona's weather is fairly predictable in September. It's usually warm without getting too hot, with temperatures dropping slightly overnight. Rain is rare, but possible. Barcelona's streets, parks, and patios maintain their liveliness even as summer gives way to autumn.
Barcelona Weather in September
September in Barcelona embodies what many would call "perfect weather." Daily sunshine and warm temperatures warrant T-shirts and shorts and overnight lows are still usually mild enough to sleep with a window open.
- Average high: 79 degrees Fahrenheit (26 degrees Celsius)
- Average low: 69 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius)
- Average sea temperature: 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius)
- Days of rain: 4
The still-bearable sea temperature allows for ample beach time, even at the beginning of fall. The temperatures get chillier as the days go on, so if warm weather is a priority, try to plan your vacation toward the beginning of the month.
What to Pack
September weather in Barcelona is neither hot nor cool, so your suitcase should be a blend of long sleeves and short sleeves, pants, and shorts. Cotton sweaters and lightweight jackets make perfect evening layers and, as with any European city, you'll want to bring your most comfortable walking shoes. In this weather, they can be Birkenstocks, boat shoes, or sneakers—so long as they're lightweight and breathable. Bring a swimsuit, beach topper, sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat if you plan to visit the beach. Barcelona has a big nightlife scene, so if you're keen to stay out late, pack the appropriate attire: sports jackets, casual pants, nice tops, and sandals will do.
September Events in Barcelona
September's mild weather makes it an ideal time for outdoor events and festivals in Barcelona. You'll find free jazz concerts in public squares, an accessible art fair, a wine and cava fest that features local labels, Catalan's National Day celebration, and the granddaddy of all September happenings, the Festes de la Merce, which goes on for an entire week.
- Festival L’Hora del Jazz: This showcase of local jazz acts (not to be confused with the Voll-Damm International Jazz Festival, which also takes place in the fall) spans three weekends in September and features free daytime concerts in public squares.
- Catalan National Day: September 11 marks the day Barcelona lost to the Bourbon Army during the War of Spanish Succession in 1714. You'll see marches throughout the city rallying for Catalan independence on this day.
- Festes de la Merce: This week-long celebration honoring the patron saint of Barcelona comprises hundreds of events such as fireworks displays, free concerts, street theater performances, kids' activities, and the largest street party in the city. It takes place around the time of the Roman Catholic feast day of Our Lady of Mercy, September 24.
- Mostra de Vins i Caves de Catalunya: This alfresco wine and cava festival is part of the Festes de la Merce and showcases more than 400 wines from around the Catalan region.
- SWAB Barcelona International Contemporary Art Fair: Emerging artists and galleries are the focus of this art fair, whose primary goal is to make art accessible to everyone. 2020's SWAB event will take place virtually.
September Travel Tips
- You might find some restaurants, bars, stores, and museums closed on September 11 in observance of the National Day of Catalonia.
- The U.S. Department of State declared a Level 2 Travel Advisory on Spain in 2019 due to terrorism. The advisory cites Barcelona, specifically, as the epicenter of civil unrest, stating that tourists should avoid big crowds and demonstrations and pay special attention to their surroundings when visiting.
- Barcelona is also a magnet for pickpockets, especially in the city center where tourists frequent. The streets are crowded in September, and it is a peak time for petty thieves.
- Unlike some other Europeans, Spaniards eat lunch at around 2:30 p.m. and dinner no earlier than 9 p.m. Nightlife goes on well after midnight.
- Barcelona is an in-demand destination, which can often mean long lines at museums and restaurants. Consider making reservations and buying tickets well in advance.
Want to learn more about the best time to visit Barcelona or Spain, in general? Have a look at this guide.