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What to Do When It Rains in Barcelona

Although Barcelona is known for its warm summers and mild winters, it can also rain quite heavily at times. But this shouldn’t dampen the fun of your trip! On the contrary, rain gives a special atmosphere to the busy streets of Barcelona. Moreover, there’s plenty to do in Barcelona, even when the weather is less than ideal: visit a museum, go shopping in an indoor mall, explore markets, or just venture into the center with an umbrella.

10 Tips for a Rainy Day in Barcelona

Especially for Barcelona with Marta, I’ve gathered my tips and favorite places to spend a rainy day in Barcelona. So, grab your umbrella and discover why Barcelona is worth the visit, even in the rain!

1. Visiting Museums

It might be obvious, but if you’re in Barcelona and rain is expected, the best thing to do is to plan a visit to one of its many museums.

Explore the underground ruins of Roman Barcino at the Museu d’Història de Barcelona or learn about the history of Catalonia at the Museu d’Història de Catalunya. For art lovers, the collections at MNAC and MACBA are highly recommended. For science enthusiasts, CosmoCaixa Museu de la Ciència is a must.

You can spend hours in these museums, enjoying their collections and exhibitions, dry and sheltered from the rain.

Besides museums, you can also visit free exhibitions, such as at Galería Marlborough and Galería Trama, where you can discover the work of emerging artists from Barcelona and other parts of Spain. At the Palau de la Virreina (on the Ramblas) and the Arxiu Fotogràfic, you can always see interesting photography exhibitions for free!

👉 Read more about the museums in Barcelona here.

CosmoCaixa Museum Barcelona
CosmoCaixa Museum Barcelona

2. Exploring the City

You might not expect it, but Barcelona can be beautiful even in the rain. It has something special. Plus, the busy streets in the historic center become nice and quiet, allowing you to walk and take photos at ease.

Parks such as La Ciutadella and Park Güell are also extra quiet, but you should wear shoes that can handle the mud.

Tips for a Rainy Day in Barcelona
Tips for a Rainy Day in Barcelona

3. Visiting the Aquarium

Children and animal lovers have a fun option on a rainy day. A visit to the Barcelona Aquarium is very enjoyable and educational. You can see all kinds of sea creatures, including sharks! The highlight is the underwater tunnel where you seem to swim alongside various animals. After your visit, you can grab a bite to eat at the nearby covered shopping center, Maremagnum.

Aquarium Barcelona
Aquarium Barcelona

4. Ordering Chocolate con Churros

The perfect snack to comfort yourself during rainy weather in Barcelona and a true delicacy: chocolate con churros! Order this golden combination at one of the many granjas on Carrer Petritxol and enjoy the syrupy warm chocolate with fried dough strips, the churros. If you want to make your chocolate even tastier, order a suizo, which comes with a dollop of whipped cream.

On rainy days, you’ll naturally drink a lot of tea. Tea lovers can take shelter from the rain at Barcelona’s tea mecca, Artte (Carrer de Muntaner, 83), La Marquise Decadente (Carrer de Casanova, 191), or Usagui (Carrer dels Santjoanistes, 28), where you can enjoy Japanese tea and delicacies.

Chocolate con churros
Chocolate con churros

5. Attending Theater or Dance Performances

This is also the time to catch a theater, music, or dance performance in Barcelona. From flamenco to opera, you can experience it all in Barcelona!

My tip is to try to get tickets for the most beautiful and emblematic venues, such as the Teatre Liceu and the Palau de la Música Catalana. ‘Last minute’ tickets (often with significant discounts) can be purchased at the Ramblas, at the Palau de la Virreina (Las Ramblas, 99).

Opera at Teatre Liceu Barcelona
Opera at Teatre Liceu Barcelona

6. Reading a Book from the Library

Reading a book while sheltering from the rain, or enjoying the architecture of centuries-old libraries? Barcelona has many libraries where you can spend your time, read or borrow a book.

My favorites are the old library at the Universitat de Barcelona, the Biblioteca Nacional, and the reformed libraries in Horta, Nou Barris, and Pompeu Fabra (Campus de la Ciutadella). Beautiful and pleasant places to spend a good reading hour!

Also nice are the book cafes like Laie and La Central. The concept is simple: a bookstore with a cafe where you can retreat and enjoy a good book with a cup of coffee and something sweet.

Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Studeren in Barcelona
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

7. Going to the Movies

On a rainy evening, you can also choose to go to the cinema. If you don’t speak Spanish and want to watch the original version of the movie, head to Cines Verdi, Icària Yelmo, or Renoir-Floridablanca to avoid surprises (in Spanish cinemas, films are usually dubbed, but fortunately, there are some exceptions).

8. Going to the Market

Rain is also a great time to visit one of the many covered markets in Barcelona. Not just for grocery shopping, but also to immerse yourself in the local atmosphere and wander among the fresh vegetables, meat, and fish stalls.

A personal recommendation besides the famous Mercat de la Boqueria is the Mercat de Santa Caterina, which also has excellent restaurants and eateries. Additionally, you can see the underground ruins of an old monastery at Santa Caterina.

Charcutería in Mercat de Santa Caterina Barcelona
Charcutería in Mercat de Santa Caterina

9. Shopping at an Indoor Mall

Shopaholics can, of course, continue shopping in the rain. It’s best to shop at an indoor mall such as Las Arenas, Gran Via 2, Diagonal Mar, L’Illa Diagonal, and Maremagnum.

If you’re in the center, you can shop at El Corte Inglés, and enjoy the view of Plaça de Catalunya from the top floor.

Shopping at Diagonal Mar
Shopping at Diagonal Mar

10. Taking a Workshop

On a rainy day, you can also choose to sign up for a workshop or language course. This is your chance to brush up on your forgotten Spanish, improve your cooking skills in Spanish cuisine, learn flamenco steps, or do a wine tasting.

Good to Know

  • The most chance of rain in Barcelona is in the spring and autumn.
  • In Barcelona, rain showers are usually short, although they can be heavier in the summer. It mainly rains in the evenings and at night in Barcelona, often accompanied by thunderstorms and strong gusts of wind. How often have I woken up at night due to thunder and lightning in Barcelona!
  • If you don’t have an umbrella, you can ask for one at your hotel reception or buy one in a bazaar or ‘todo a 100‘ shop. At tourist attractions, there are always street vendors who offer umbrellas in bad weather.
  • Many tourists choose to visit the Sagrada Família in the rain, assuming it’s an indoor building. On the contrary: a large part of the visit actually takes place outdoors, and in bad weather, the towers themselves may be closed to visitors. Given the crowds and poor conditions in the rain, I would advise against visiting the Sagrada Família in bad weather, as well as other outdoor attractions such as the Tibidabo amusement park, Poble Espanyol, and the Barcelona Zoo.
  • Attractions you visit for the beautiful view, such as the Torre de Collserola or the Bunkers del Carmel, I would advise against in the rain.
  • Also, the Golondrinas sightseeing boats and the cable car vehicles will not operate in bad weather.

And you, have you experienced rain in Barcelona and have tips to share with the rest? Leave a comment below!

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Photo of author
Hello! My name is Marta, and I am a born and raised Barcelonian. I love introducing people to Barcelona, especially the Barcelona known to locals. In Barcelona, I am always looking for fun places and tips that I can then share with you, with the goal of helping you experience Barcelona like a local.

Marta Rubio

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