12 reasons to go to Barcelona: The best reason to visit each month
By David Alonso
Barcelona is a quintessential destination: affordable, warm and full of things to do. Keep reading for 12 reasons why you should go this year.
Whether you’re looking for a quick weekend getaway or a longer holiday that won’t break the bank, Barcelona lives up to the hype. After all, it made our top 10 budget destinations for 2018 for good reason, and flights are quite affordable throughout the year.
If you haven’t added Barcelona to your bucket list yet, what are you waiting for? Here are 12 reasons that will convince you to book your flights straight away.
1. January: Kick off the New Year with a wallet-friendly holiday
While the start of the new year is technically the off season in Barcelona, don’t let that deter you from a winter holiday. After all, even during the off season daytime temperatures can reach up to 14 degrees Celsius. And travelling to Barcelona during the winter months can save you money on flights and hotels, making the mild weather and low costs the perfect combination for holidaymakers looking to travel on the cheap.
2. February: The month for tech lovers
As you can probably tell, we’re pretty into tech at KAYAK. If you’re techy too, head to Barcelona at the end of February and attend the Mobile World Congress, the largest exhibition for the mobile industry, which has been taking place in Barcelona since 2011. This event attracts people from all over the world and hotels book up quickly, so make sure to book your accommodation in advance.
3. March: Discover true architectural gems in the Modernist Route
Barcelona is also a great destination to start the spring or to spend the Easter holidays. In March, the weather is mild with highs around 17 degrees Celsius and the days start to get longer, making conditions ideal for exploring. Discover the city following the Modernisme Route, an itinerary that will take you through the places that have made Barcelona the world capital of modernism, including the famous Park Güell and the iconic Sagrada Familia.
4. April: Join the tradition of Sant Jordi
If you’re travelling to Barcelona in April, make sure to be there on 23 April, World Book Day and a popular festivity known as “Diada de Sant Jordi” (St. George’s Day). Celebrate the Catalan alternative to St. Valentine’s Day by giving your loved one a book and a rose. If you didn’t come prepared, the main streets of the city are crowded with book and flower stalls.
5. May: Enjoy life in the streets
If we had to choose just one month to visit Barcelona, it might be May: the weather is sunny and comfortable, and the city is not yet crowded with tourists. Enjoy the eclectic terraces that fill every corner of the city. Trust us, there’s nothing better than enjoying a cold beer and a plate of patatas bravas at sunset. If you want to try the best bravas, forget about the typical tourist traps around Las Ramblas and head to Casa Tomás in the neighbourhood of Sarrià. Feeling fancy? You can also enjoy a cocktail in a rooftop bar with awesome views, such as the Sky Bar at the Gran Hotel Central or The Clock at the Catalonia Plaza Catalunya.
6. June: Dance to the beats of the best music festivals
With pleasant weather most of the year, it should come as no surprise that Barcelona is home to many open air celebrations and music festivals to suit every taste. Two of the most popular take place in June. This year’s Primavera Sound takes place from 30 May to 3 June, and you’ll have the chance to see the likes of Björk, Migos, Lorde, Arctic Monkeys, and more. Two weeks later, from 14 June to 16 June, electronic music fans have a mandatory appointment at Sónar, where you’ll get the chance to dance to LCD Soundsystem, Diplo or Laurent Garnier.
7. July: Split your time between the city and the beach
Summer is peak season in Barcelona for good reason. While you may have come for the city’s culture and food, with temperatures reaching 30 degrees, you can easily turn your city break into a beach holiday. While there are a number of beaches close to the city, Barceloneta Beach is one of the city’s oldest and most popular. Or visit the coastal town of Sitges, about 30 minutes from Barcelona, which is a perfect place to enjoy a day at the beach with less crowds. At sundown, walk along the promenade, get lost in the streets of the old town, and watch the sunset from the Church of San Bartolomé.
8. August: Enjoy the street festival in Gràcia
Gràcia is a village-like neighbourhood northwest from the centre of Barcelona, which is especially appreciated by locals for its laid-back atmosphere. Every August, the streets, full of terraces and vibrant restaurants and cafes, come alive during the Festa Major de Gràcia, a unique festival that brings with it colourful displays as the neighbourhood’s streets compete to be the best decorated.
9. September: Tradition and creativity make up the Festes de la Mercé
By now you must have guessed that the true essence of Barcelona is found in the streets. If you visit the city at the end of September, don’t miss out on La Mercè, the annual celebration of the city. The official date is 24 September, but the celebrations typically last the whole week and include 600 different events (mostly free!), which means there is something for everyone: art exhibitions, theatre plays, live music and the typical castells (human towers).
10. October: Start or end the month with a film festival
Fans of the cinema should head to Barcelona in October when the city becomes host to a number of eclectic film festivals. Start the month off with the Sitges Film Festival. With a focus on fantasy, sci-fi and horror, it’s one of the country’s oldest film festivals and comes complete with a zombie walk. A late-night shuttle runs between Barcelona and Sitges during the festival. If you’re more musically inclined, end your October with In-Edit, a film festival dedicated to musical documentaries.
11. November: Soak in the culture of the city
Since the weather has cooled a bit, November is a wonderful time to enjoy the many great museums in this city. From the breathtaking MNAC in Montjuic to the Picasso Museum or the MACBA, contemporary art lovers who don’t mind wearing a light jacket should think about taking an autumn holiday.
12. December: Ring in the New Year with a Spanish tradition
Are you looking for a city to celebrate the end of the year? Look no further. Whether you’re on a family holiday or in the mood for an unforgettable party night with friends, Barcelona is a great place to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Right before midnight, head to the Magic Fountain of Montjuic, which was built for the 1929 International Exhibition, to enjoy a festival of water, music, lights, and fireworks. But wherever you ring in the New Year, don’t forget to do as the locals do and eat 12 grapes when the clock strikes midnight. This Spanish tradition symbolises good luck for the 12 months ahead.
If these 12 reasons have you convinced that Barcelona is the getaway you’ve been looking for, head to KAYAK and book your flights and accommodation at the best prices.
Note: These rates are based on the most recent data pulled from KAYAK.co.uk, the cheapest prices are always displayed first, regardless of specific dates mentioned. The prices are quoted in GBP. Flight prices are based on results for a return economy flight search. Hotel prices are for double occupancy, are per night and include taxes and fees. Prices are subject to change, may vary, or no longer be available