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

Barceloneta Beach and Barcelona city skyline

Alexander Spatari / Getty Images 

September is easily one of the best months of the year to visit Spain. Most of the country still experiences warm, summer-like weather throughout the month, made a bit more tolerable by cooler mornings and evenings. Plus there's a slew of late-summer festivities taking place around the country, including everything from the La Rioja Wine Harvest Festival and the San Sebastian Film Festival to Catalan Day in Barcelona.

Another reason to visit: while September is still considered the tail end of summer high season, there are fewer tourist crowds than in July and August, and accommodation prices tend to drop. It's a great time to experience both budget-friendly travel and fabulous weather.

Note: Some of the events may be canceled or altered in 2020; check below and event websites for updates.

Spain Weather in September

  Average High Average Low
Madrid  79 F (26 C) 60 F (16 C)
Barcelona  79 F (26 C) 69 F (21 C)
Valencia 83 F (28 C) 64 F (18 C)
Seville 90 F (32 C) 64 F (18 C)
Zaragoza 81 F (27 C) 59 F (15 C)
Málaga 83 F (28 C) 66 F (19 C)
Cordoba 88 F (31 C) 61 F (16 C)

Weather in Spain in September can vary depending on where in the country you are. As is the case throughout most of the year, the south tends to be sunny and warm, while the climate gets milder as you go further north.

Temperatures will feel chillier in coastal areas like Barcelona due to the sea breeze, and mornings and evenings tend to be cooler than in the summer as well throughout Spain. Additionally, while the probability of rain is generally low, it does increase near the end of the month, particularly in northern Spain. September typically brings higher humidity to areas in Eastern Spain like Barcelona and Valencia, as well as Cordoba and Málaga in Southern Spain.

Bird's eye view of a sunny beach in northern Spain
David Crespo / Getty Images

What to Pack

Pack light when visiting Spain in September. The warm temperatures mean that you can still get away with wearing things like shorts or cotton pants; light, breathable shirts (both formal and casual); comfortable, closed-toed shoes; and the like. Throw in a lightweight jacket and possibly an umbrella, especially if you'll be up north, but even though fall technically starts in September, you won't be experiencing sweater weather in Spain.

September Events in Spain

Compared to the summer months, there aren't as many events taking place throughout Spain in September. However, there's still plenty going on around the country. You can enjoy literary and film festivals along with regional cultural celebrations. As locals return from summer vacations and tourists start to leave, the entire country takes on a more authentic air.

  • Euskal Jaiak: The Basque Country's most emblematic festival highlights the unique culture and heritage through traditional sports, music, food, and more. Find the biggest celebrations in San Sebastian, where the event takes place from August 28 to September 6 in 2020.
  • Catalan Day: The Catalan people are known throughout Europe for their fierce independent spirit. Enjoy the region's biggest celebration, which features street demonstrations and parades, particularly in the local capital Barcelona on September 11, 2020.
  • Santa Tecla Festival: This celebration of Spanish history complete with regional dances, plays, film screenings, sporting events, and concerts, takes place September 13–24, 2020. The ancient city of Tarragona makes an especially perfect setting.
  • Festa de la Mercè: Barcelona's biggest September event honors the Roman Catholic feast of Our Lady of Mercy and celebrates the official start of fall. This decidedly Catalan event features stunts by the gravity-defying human towers known as castellers, one of the biggest draws. The tentative dates for 2020 are September 18–24.
  • La Rioja Wine Harvest Festival: September marks the start of the wine harvest season, so head to Logroño, the capital of the world-famous La Rioja wine region in northern Spain, for a bash on September 19–23, 2020. Attendees enjoy the tradition of crushing grapes by foot as well as watching concerts and plays, float parades, food, and more.
  • Hay Festival: This special literary event, hosted in Segovia and around the world, will occur on September 17–20, 2020. Audiences are inspired by novelists, historians, musicians, scientists, and politicians
  • San Sebastian Film Festival: One of the film world's most prestigious events, which brings creators from around the world to San Sebastian for several days of international movie screenings. The 68th anniversary takes place on September 18–26, 2020.
The traditional human towers known as castellers in Catalonia, Spain.
caracterdesign / Getty Images

September Travel Tips

  • Spain can get very hot, so staying hydrated is key. Keep a water bottle handy.
  • Spanish schools generally resume in mid-September. If possible, book travel for later in the month, when it's typically cheaper to get to and from the country due to fewer families vacationing. Many airlines and hotels offer great end-of-summer deals around this time.
  • September is still beach season in much of Spain, particularly Mediterranean coastal cities such as Barcelona, Valencia, and Málaga. As a bonus, many beaches will likely be much less crowded than in July and August.
  • That being said, locals don't really wear beach clothes outside of their moments of sandy fun. Be sure to pack appropriate outfits for going out and sightseeing—walking around town in a t-shirt and flip-flops will immediately draw attention to you as a tourist.
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