What to do in Barcelona in bad weather? 8 great rainy day activities
Article updated 10 May, 2017.
It can sometimes rain mid-season in Barcelona. But don't panic! Here are 8 activities that will make you love the bad weather.
Barcelona enjoys a particularly pleasant climate but the weather can be unstable mid-season. There may be sun and clear skies in the morning, and rainfall in the afternoon.
If it rains during your visit to Barcelona, do not worry. There are plenty of things to do when the weather isn’t on your side.
1. Discover the city’s museums
Barcelona is a city that is particularly pleasant for strolling around pretty streets and spending time on the beach. You might almost forget the riches enclosed in the museums!
There is something for everyone, of all ages and all budgets. Here is a little list to help you get started:
- If you like classical or modern art, then the Picasso museum, the Miró Foundation, the National Museum of Catalan Art or the CaixaForum.
- If you prefer contemporary art, take a tour of the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art or the Barcelona Centre for Contemporary Culture.
- If you have children, the CosmoCaixa (science museum) and the Barcelona Maritime Museum should appeal.
- If you enjoy history head underground to the roman ruins of the City’s History Museum.
- Love nature? The Natural Science Museum and the aquarium are two great options.
- Tight budget? Why not discover the free exhibitions at the Palau Robert and Palau de la Virreina? Check out our article on the city’s free museums.
If it happens to rain on a Sunday afternoon, you will have plenty to do, as many museums are free from 3pm. Find the list in our article on the subject.
2. Take comfort in a hot chocolate
If the rain is accompanied by cool weather, then there’s nothing like a hot chocolate to warm you up!
Barcelona is traditionally known for thick hot chocolate that’s almost like melted chocolate. It’s also called xocolata desfeta, or beaten chocolate in English. And if you are even more adventurous, ask for a suís, which comes covered in fresh cream. It’s quite an experience!
There are excellent hot chocolates to be had in the granjas, specialist purveyors of chocolate drinks. There is more info in our article on hot chocolate and churros.
You will forget about the weather amid the particularly magical charm of Caelum, a tea room located in a pretty vaulted setting in the heart of the Gothic quarter.
3. Treat yourself to a lazy morning over brunch
Did the rain start before you even got out of bed? Instead of waiting for it to pass, head out for a foodie morning in a cosy atmosphere.
Our favourite places: WePudding for its spectacular decor and its children’s corner, Alsur café for its decadent pastries and cakes, Barceló Raval for its abundant buffet, and Timeline for low prices. We also love Brunch & Cake, although it’s very popular!
4. See a show
There is nothing like seeing a show to help you forget about the grey weather. Although Catalonia is not the birthplace of flamenco, you can still see some very good performances in Barcelona. You can find all our recommendations in our article Where to see a flamenco performance in Barcelona.
And if you have a musical soul, then Spanish guitar concerts in a magical setting might just appeal to you too.
5. Relax at a spa
For great pains, great cures! If the weather is frowning at you, go relax in a spa. You might end up wishing it would rain more often…between a hammam, sauna, massages and complete relaxation, you will be like a fish in water!
For more info see our article on Barcelona’s spas.
6. Retail therapy in a shopping centre
The shopping is very good in Barcelona, particularly in terms of price. It’s important to remember that many brands are cheaper in Spain than elsewhere.
When it rains forget about the big shopping streets (Portal de l’Angel, Rambla Catalunya…) and head to Barcelona’s shopping centres. They are quite numerous and provide great shelter from bad weather.
7. Go to the cinema
Dark rooms always offer a great escape on rainy days. If you understand Spanish, a rainy day can be a great chance to discover some local cinema. If not, then the Renoir (Floridablanca street, Eixample) and Verdi (Verdi street, Gràcia) are good options.
Their films are shown in their original language with Spanish subtitles.
Finally, if you really don’t want to leave your hotel room or your apartment, you can always download a film. But not just any film! We advise you to watch one of our favourite films made in Barcelona, to help you soak up the atmosphere.
8. Some quiet reading
Prefer books? Never fear! Go and treat yourself at our favourite Barcelona bookshops, where there is something for everyone! Books for children, adults, comics, antique books, books in Spanish, Catalan, English or other languages…you’ll find something to suit your tastes.
And if you look out the window you might find the sky is starting to clear. It never rains for long in Barcelona!
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