I get why you’re here.
You’re trying to get one last drop out of summer with a trip to Barcelona in September.
First of all, solid move.
There are so many events in September that there might not be a better time of year to visit. So let’s stop the chit chat and break it down a bit more.
Remember to get at me in the comments section below for any custom advice.
Barcelona in September 2017
Why Barcelona in September?
Because you get great weather for Barcelona’s beaches with significantly smaller crowds.
In September the city has also gone back to normal after its August holiday slumber. Shops resume regular hours and closures are rare. The city is in full swing for one last street party bash before autumn.
There is also a great combination of cultural events significant to the region, the return of football season, and some special nights at some of Barcelona’s top attractions.
Advice Before You Go
In Barcelona when I say smaller crowds in September it’s actually a euphemism meaning ‘slightly less chaos’.
We’re still talking about one of Europe’s biggest tourist haunts. For this reason Barcelona in September can be stressful. To avoid lining up for attractions in some pretty humid weather I advise buying your attraction tickets in advance online.
It’s also imperative you find the best area to stay for your needs.
You’ll also save yourself a lot of sweaty ticket machine trouble by getting a discount transport pass in advance.
Remember that it’s high season for pickpockets as well – take my advice on how to avoid them.
Barcelona September Weather
As mentioned the plus here is that the sweltering heat of summer is gone.
You’ll still need that swimsuit though since it’s the perfect time to take advantage of the warm temperatures at Barcelona’s best beaches or the nearby Costa Brava. Sea temperatures hit 24°C (75°F).
September in Barcelona brings temperature averages of 26°C (78°F) with lows of 17°C (62°F) – it’s still very much summer here well into October.
Expect 7.6 hours of daily sunshine and only a 19% chance or rain on any given day.
What to Pack
The weather in Barcelona in September calls for moderate suitcase versatility – pack for summer but don’t forget a pair of long pants and light jacket.
It still might be hot enough to put you off walking the city – make sure you read my Barcelona public transport guide to get around the city as comfortably as possible.
For more weather and packing information check out my article on Barcelona September weather.
La Mercè Festival 2018 (September 22-25)
Every year in late September the city is turned upside down for Barcelona’s most important festival.
La Mercè stems back to a feast created in the Middle Ages to honour the Virgin of Grace (Mare de Déu de la Mercè) – said to have cured the city from a locust plague in 1687.
Today the festival is about celebrating Catalan culture with the craziest mix of free street entertainment you could ever imagine.
Here’s the skinny of what to expect between 11 am and 4 am daily:
- A festival of festivals.
- 2 million annual visitors.
- 600+ annual events with 2000+ artists.
- Free outdoor concerts.
- Dance, circus, and street theater.
- Parades featuring mythical characters and traditional drumming.
Every year a guest city is invited to participate in the festivities and in 2017 the city of Reykjavik (Iceland) will attend.
The best days are usually weekends – Friday (22), Saturday (23), and Sunday (24). In fact you’ll find that the metro stays open all night just for the occasion.
For La Mercè event times check out the official website – some times are still TBA.
The Human Castles (Castells)
Imagine a large group of people getting together to build a tower – out of themselves.
These awe-inspiring human castle builders live with the motto ‘unity is strength’. They’re a big part of La Mercè and you’ll find them at various heights: some stack up to 10 human stories tall.
The castellers practice year-round for the opportunity to showcase their skills and force you to hold your breath when small kids climb over dozens of participants to form the top!
Time: September 25th at 12:30 pm.
Place: Plaça de Sant Jaume.
The Fire Run (Correfoc)
Imagine crowds of people dressing up as devils and lighting fireworks off of pitchforks. For hours.
The seemingly never-ending parade of teams/groups each gets to create a massive cardboard monster which sets off more firecrackers than the devils themselves. Each team also has a drum corps pounding away madly. You’ll hear them from miles away.
Crowd members are encouraged to dance amidst the chaos. But make sure you cover up and don’t wear anything flammable!
Time: September 25th at 8:30 pm.
Place: Via Laietana.
The Parade of Giants (Els Gegants)
You’ll find parades of these gigantic 3 and 4 meter tall paper maché kings, queens, and nobles marching through the streets. Each is operated by an individual shaking the giant to perform a type of dance.
The tradition dates back to 13th century Corpus Christi processions.
Make sure not to get run over!
Time: September 24th at 11:00 am.
Place: Plaça de Sant Jaume.
This classic Catalan dance won’t be as sexy as flamenco or salsa but the amount of skill needed to complete the moves in time is extraordinary.
Multiple dancers form a circle and hold hands with raised arms. It’s here that they follow the meticulous instructions of the leader. Just one tiny hiccup by one of the members throws the whole group out of sync.
The dance was actually banned during Franco’s Spain as it was seen as an affront to national unity.
Location: Avenida de La Catedral
It wouldn’t be La Mercè without a massive explosion of fireworks.
The biggest spectacles are held on the 23rd and 24th at 10:00 pm in the Barceloneta beach neighbourhood. You’ll get the best views from the Espigon de Gas, a mini peninsula in the area. Get there early.
On Monday the 25th there’s the super cool Piromusical de la Mercé. This 30 minute firework show is generally considered the finale of the festival. It goes at 10:00 pm at Avenida Maria Cristina (Plaça d’Espanya).
Barcelona September Concerts
Music is the beating heart of La Mercè and the free concerts and performances organised through Barcelona Acciò Musical (BAM) are plentiful.
The 2017 selection features music from Iceland.
You’ll find concerts for all tastes including electronic music, classical, folk, jazz, pop, and even an Iceland female hip hop group called Reykjavikurdaetur.
And it’s all free!
The main stages for the shows are in Moll de la Fusta (Barceloneta), Plaça de la Mercé, Plaça Angel, the Estrella Damm factory (Carrer Rosselló 515) and the legendary Parque del Forum.
If you’re looking for a dance check the minimal techno group Kiasmos.
Venues and times TBA but check here for the list of free concerts through BAM.
Being a major city there are naturally a ton of concerts in Barcelona in September like:
- Interpol. September 8th. Razzmatazz. The New York rock group celebrates 15 years of their debut album ‘Turn on the Bright Lights’ by performing all its songs. Tickets: €40.00.
- Band of Horses. September 8th. Sala Apolo. The American indie rock group tours in support of their latest album ‘Why Are You OK’. Tickets: €36.00+.
- Lady Gaga. September 21st and 22nd. Palau Sant Jordi. The American star that needs no introductions stops in Barcelona to tour her latest disc ‘Joanne’. Tickets: €52.00+.
- The Rolling Stones. September 27th. Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys. The immortal British band with a list of classic rock hits that could fill a blog. €87.00+.
BARÇA FOOTBALL MATCHES
Yes, as summer winds down football season fires up and naturally (don’t hate me) the best team in the world has two matches at home in September:
Come see Messi in his natural habitat on:
- September 10th (time TBA): Barcelona – RCD Espanyol
- September 20th (time TBA): Barcelona – Eibar
If you’re a die-hard football fan don’t miss the chance to tour the world-famous Camp Nou – the sheer amount hardware in the trophy case is worth the price of admission.
Other Barcelona September Events 2018
Casa Mila Origins
With mild evening weather it’s the perfect time for the truly luxury experience of having a glass of wine and watching a mind-blowing audiovisual presentation on the rooftop of Barcelona’s most impressive mansion.
Get the full after hours English tour of the building in small groups of 10-20.
Learn all about the madness of wonder-architect Antoni Gaudi. Summer weather also means jazz music concerts.
Tickets: Adults €34.00, children €17.00, under 6 free.
September times: Monday to Sunday 8:40 pm and 10:00 pm.
Brunch in the Park
The Sunday afternoon outdoor dance party keeps rolling well into September.
A great option for people looking to party but with an early flight out Monday morning. You’ll be in bed by 11! Dance to international electronic music artists or have a family picnic. Or both.
Hours: 1:00 pm to 10:00 pm.
September 2017 dates: the 3rd (Edu Imbernon), 10th (Paco Osuna), and 17th (Hot Since).
David Bowie Is
This fantastic audiovisual exhibition experience held at the Museu del Disseny de Barcelona (Barcelona Design Museum) runs until September 23rd. You can be one of the 1.5 million people to see it on its world tour.
An amazing retrospective of an amazing artist.
Tickets: €14.90 (weekday) and €17.90 (weekend).
Hours: Monday 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm, Tuesday to Thursday and Sunday 10:00 am to 8:00 pm, Saturday 10:00 am to 9:00 pm.
Get more information on the exhibition at the Barcelona Ajuntament homepage.
Harass Me Relentlessly in the Comments
Like always I’m here to serve.
If your Barcelona September plans aren’t all you’ve dreamed of then drop me a line and we’ll tailor something just for you. Also, any comments on the blog would be greatly appreciated as I’m always trying to make improvements.
Happy travels 🙂