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

An autumn day in Retiro Park in Madrid, Spain

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All things considered, October is one of the best months of the year to visit Spain. Temperatures are mild and tolerable throughout much of the country, a welcome relief to the scorching summer much of Spain experiences. Additionally, relatively low numbers of tourists and plenty of fun events mean that it's easier than ever to immerse yourself in the local culture, no matter where you may be. Prices are usually lower during this time of year as well.

From unique local events such as the Barcelona Jazz Festival and Architecture Week in Madrid to fabulous weather, you really can't go wrong with any destination in this beautifully diverse country in October.

Spain Weather in October

Keep in mind that the weather in Spain in October can vary greatly depending on where in the country you are. In general, though, the average high temperature throughout the month is between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 21 degrees Celsius), and the average lows come in at around 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 15 degrees Celsius).

Northern Spain temperatures are lower than anywhere else in the country during October (though not unpleasantly so), and cloudy, rainy days are not uncommon. Despite being located hundreds of miles apart, Barcelona in the country's northeast and the central capital of Madrid enjoy quite similar weather in October. Highs in both cities are just above 70 degrees Fahrenheit (about 21 degrees Celsius), and rain is generally rare. The further south you move, the better the weather gets. Southern cities such as Seville, Cordoba, and Malaga have warm, sunny days, temperatures in the mid-to-high 70s, and a slim-to-none chance of rain.

Car driving over a stone bridge surrounded by fall foliage
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What to Pack

Overall, packing for Spain in October is relatively easy. Think in terms of clothing that can easily be layered—although temperatures are generally pleasant throughout the day, you may still need a jacket or a sweater in the mornings and evenings. Invest in a sturdy pair of shoes, such as comfortable ankle boots, especially if you'll be doing a lot of walking. Bring an umbrella with you if your itinerary includes a stop or two in northern Spain, but if you'll be down south, don't worry about it. If it does rain, you can easily purchase one.

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

October Events in Spain

October sees everything from major national events to small, local celebrations taking place all over Spain. Visitors can learn about Spanish wines, see famous jazz musicians, explore local architecture, and more this month.

  • Architecture Week: In September and October 2020 (dates to be confirmed), learn about some of the Spanish capital's most iconic buildings during this fascinating and fun-filled week in Madrid.
  • Cavatast: Celebrate cava, Spain's signature sparkling wine, at this weekend full of wine and food in Catalonia on from October 2 to 4, 2020.
  • Spanish National Day (Hispanic Day): Spanish heritage is commemorated with solemn military parades and awe-inspiring aviation flyovers in Madrid for this public holiday on October 12, 2020.
  • Barcelona Jazz Festival: Household names and up-and-coming stars of the genre convene in the Catalan capital, performing at various venues around town. The event runs from October 28 through mid-December of 2020.
  • EDP Bilbao Night Marathon: This event will be held virtually from October 24 to November 1, 2020, with runners recording their times from anywhere in the world. Typically it takes place with runners moving through the streets of one of the Basque Country's most iconic cities after dark.
  • Horror & Fantasy Film Festival: San Sebastian's main International Film Festival takes place in September, but the city also plays host to its delightfully terrifying counterpart just in time for Halloween. In 2020, look for the 31st annual event from October 30–November 6.
  • Feria de Fuengirola: On October 7, 2020, this Malaga event features music, food, flamenco, horseback riding exhibitions, and fun activities.

October Travel Tips

  • Since October is not the peak season, accommodations and flights are often cheaper; take advantage and plan your travel in advance for the best deals.
  • Dress for the season, rather than the weather. Throughout Spain, locals will start to don fall clothes in September, despite the weather still being typically warm. To blend in more, consider doing the same. Things like short-sleeved shirts are generally okay, but you won't see anyone wearing flip-flops, for example.
  • On major national and local holidays, such as Spanish National Day on October 12, many businesses such as family-owned stores will close for the day and public transport schedules are limited. Keep this in mind when shopping or running errands.

If you are wondering whether visiting in October is a good choice, check out our complete guide to the best time of year to visit Spain for a full month by month breakdown of what to expect throughout the year.