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Things to do in Barcelona when it's raining. Ideas for rainy days

Things to do when it rains Barcelona

Things to do in Barcelona when it rains

Updated February 2018

Things to do in Barcelona on a rainy day and in wet weather in 2018? There are many things to do when it's raining in Barcelona. The most popular ideas are to visit Barcelona museums, play escape rooms, relax in spas, visit shopping malls - or just get your umbrella and cruise through Barcelona on the double-decker Barcelona hop-on-hop-off bus tours, which are covered when it rains. Wet weather ideas for what to do when it rains in Barcelona.

Rain is rare in Barcelona, but you might be unlucky and experience a day of rain. The rainy season in Barcelona is mostly in the spring during March and April and then again in autumn/fall from October onwards. Generally it onlys rain for 1 or 2 days, but Barcelona can get periods of rain that can last for a few days. Sometimes in the summer the hot weather builds up and we get a day of storms and heavy rainfall.

Check Barcelona hourly weather forecast

The silver lining of bad weather in Barcelona is that Barcelona is a city with many fun and interesting things to do on a rainy day including many great museums. Click on the blue links in the text below for more information. Remember to keep smiling! You are still in Barcelona and you are still on vacation. A rainy day might change your plans but it also can mean that you might see something interesting or fun that you had not planned at all. A rainy day can still be a great day!

A good idea to do is buy an umbrella ‘paraguas’ or a rain poncho ‘poncho de lluvia’. You can usually buy cheap ( but not very good quality) umbrellas and poncho from street vendors at around €10. Be aware that the small cheap umbrellas are only good for light rain and are not much use in strong winds. If you want a better umbrella go to Flying Tiger stores or Decathlon sports stores in Barcelona.

Hop-on-Hop-off bus tours

Barcelona has two tour companies that offer hop-on-hop-off bus tours. Both have double decker buses with a covered top deck when it rains, so you can still enjoy a bus tour of Barcelona on a rainy day. If you take the hop-on-hop-off bus, then you can spend time in museums and attractions along the way. This is a good option for a rainy day because you can still see the sights from the bus and only get off if the weather improves. The tour buses have a great view, if you can get a seat on top and you get interesting commentary in the free audioguides. Hop-on-hop-off bus tickets are valid all day and there are several different lines, so on a rainy day, you could see the entire city. You might have to wait in line sometimes to get back on the bus, so an umbrella or rain poncho is still a good idea. Ask your hotel where the nearest hop-on-hop-off stop is. Buy tickets using the blue links Barcelona Bus Turistica and Barcelona City Tours. You can pick up your tickets on board the buses. 

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Shopping centres and malls


Shopping is a popular choice for part of the day when it's raining in Barcelona. Barcelona has many excellent shopping malls and centres. A fun shopping centre in Barcelona is Las Arenas on Plaza Espanya, which is lccated in a former bull fighting ring. Las Arenas has top brand name shops and many restaurants. There are two big shopping malls at each end of the long avenue in Barcelona called Avenida Diagonal. At the top end you can find L’illa Diagonal shopping mall which is perhaps the most exclusive mall in Barcelona and the Diagonal Mar shopping centre a little off centre down at the other end of Avenida Diagonal near the sea in the Diagonal Mar area of Barcelona. 

The only shopping mall that is open all year on Sundays in the city is the Maremagnum mall in Barcelona's port area (Las Arenas mall opens on Sundays in the summer). Maremagnum is a good choice for rainy days with quite a good selection of shops (not all Maremagnum shops are open on public holidays though) and nice restaurants on the top floor. Maremagnum is near the Barcelona aquarium which is a fun rainy day destination. For designer brand shopping you will need to brave the rain as most designer shops are on elegant streets Passeig de Gracia or Avenida Diagonal 

For exclusive outlet brand shopping on a rainy day take the La Roca shuttle bus to popular luxury shopping outlet village La Roca located about 45 minutes north of the city, but please be aware that La Roca is an outdoor village, not a covered mall, so again remember your umbrella. A visit to La Roca is a day trip from the centre of Barcelona.  The La Roca shuttle buses leave from central square Plaza Catalunya.  Barcelona has a second outlet shopping mall called Viladecans The Style Outlets which is 30 minutes south of Barcelona and you can get there by shuttle bus from the city center. This is not covered either though.

Activities for rainy days

Barcelona has many interesting museums to visit in wet weather. Find the top Barcelona museums here. Be aware though that many people go to museums when it is raining, so they can be crowded on rainy days. Why not visit Barcelona's most famous attraction unfinished church Sagrada Familia when it's raining in Barcelona, but remember your umbrella - even on a rainy day there might still be queues. You can avoid the queues altogether if you pre-book skip the line Sagrada Familia tickets online. There is plenty to see inside the Sagrada Familia including the museum in the crypt of the church which has a wonderful collection of photos, models and explanations about the construction of this unique monument by Antoni Gaudi.

One of the most popular Barcelona museums is the Picasso Museum which is a perfect museum for a rainy day in Barcelona. It is big and interesting enough to spend many hours inside enjoying the art and the palatial museum buildings in the Born area of medieval Barcelona's old city. The Born area also has many fun small boutiques, restaurants and cafes, so you could spend some time shop-hopping there.

A fun activities on a rainy day is Barcelona’s first VR arcade called VR Playground. They offer amazing 360 degree Virtual Reality games and experiences. In the Raval area there is a Barcelona Gallery of Illusions where visitors can step into optical illusions based on famous paintings and take photos. The Born Cultural Centre is free and has impressive excavations which give a fascinating insight into Barcelona's past in the early part of the 18th century.

TIP: Museums is the first choice for many tourists on a rainy day in Barcelona, so the lines might be long especially in the summer. Imagine everyone on the beach suddenly queuing at a museum! Bring an umbrella or raincoat in case you have to queue outside - and a good tip is to book skip-the-line tickets if possible. You can get skip the line tickets for the Picasso museum, for the Dali museum in Figueres (this is a day tour that need to be booked in advance usually) and for the Sagrada Familia church. 

Other popular museums in Barcelona which are excellent for a rainy day in Barcelona, include the Barcelona History Museum where you can see remnants of the Barcelona's Roman past when it was called Barcino. If you are a modernist architecture fan, then don't miss the Gaudí Experiencia center near Park Guell, but bring an umbrella and good shoes, if you visit Park Guell on a rainy day. There can be big puddles. Of interest to modernist fans might be the small and fascinating Modernist museum MMCAT in Barcelona's Eixample area. The Miro museum on Monjtuic hill and the MNAC Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya also on Montjuic are also both exciting to visit for a few hours. There are often interesting and often free exhibitions at various cultural centers in Barcelona like the CaixaForum and the CCCB which are both housed in interesting historic buildings.

For sports fans there is an small Olympic museum on Montjuic, which is interesting, but the star attraction of the city's sports museums is the famous FC Barcelona Camp Nou experience (take a cab or the metro) which includes seeing the famous soccer stadium, the FC Barcelona museum and a huge NIKE store of merchandise.

Spas & wellness centres Barcelona

Near the Picasso museum you can find Barcelona's only Arab spa and bathes where you can even enjoy a 'wine bath'. Relaxing in a spa for a few hours is a great way to spend some time on a rainy day. Check out a full list of wellness centres or go for a swim at one of the public swimming pools in Barcelona 

Barcelona aquarium or zoo

The Barcelona Aquarium is one of Spain's biggest aquariums and very popular with children. It can be crowded on rainy days. Barcelona zoo is also an option but it is mostly outdoors, so we would skip that in bad weather unless you want to see a grumpy lion.

Barcelona Escape rooms

Escape rooms are a great activity for rainy days and Barcelona has many of them. Escape rooms are a popular new physical adventure game now in most major cities including Barcelona. An escape room is a adventure game in a 'locked' room. The concept is that you bring a team of friends – usually 2 to 6 persons – to a company that has permanent escape rooms set up - each with a different mystery and adventure puzzle and theme. Your group is ‘locked’ in the escape room with a countdown usually of 1 hour. During that hour, as the clock counts down, your group has to complete the adventure objective by solving a number of clues, hints and using strategy in the room. Barcelona's biggest escape room is G.point at Port Forum near Cafe del Mar beach club. Find Barcelona escape rooms here 

Movies in English

It's a bit lame going to see a movie, when you are on holiday, but the option is there for English speakers. Cinemas that show movies in English or other original languages are called VO cinemas. V.O. means Version Original. Find the Barcelona VO cinemas here. The best VO cinema in Barcelona is Balmes Multicines (in our opinion) Others in the center of Barcelona are the Renoir on street Floridablanca and Verdi cinemas in Gracia area and also the Yelmo Icaria in Vila Olimpica, which is 10 minutes by metro from the city centre in the Port Olimpic area.

Ice skating rinks 

Go ice skating in Barcelona. There are two indoor ice skating rinks in Barcelona. You can rent ice skates.

Go-karting in Barcelona

Go-karting at the indoor go-kart tracks near Barcelona. 

Food and restaurants

Eat your way through a rainy day. Long lunches, a siesta and then dinner. Try the modernist food court El Nacional on Passeig de Gracia street in an renovated modernist factory, or the charming foot court Mercat Princesa in the Born area of Barcelona in a 14th century palace near the Picasso museum. La Fabrica Moritz is a popular microbrewery and bar in Eixample area of Barcelona and there are many more wonderful restaurants in Barcelona. Find more top Barcelona restaurants

Barcelona exhibitions & events

Barcelona often has internationals exhibitions which are open to the general public so check the events calendar for exhibitions in Barcelona. You might be lucky and find a food fair, a ski show or a boat show that you can visit for a few hours. To see all events in Barcelona visit our Barcelona Events Calendar http://events.barcelonayellow.com

Despite the rain we hope you have a great day and enjoy your stay in Barcelona. If you have any suggestions or would like to tell us how you spent your rainy day in Barcelona, please write to us at BarcelonaYellow.com. We would like to hear from you.

Visit sights outside Barcelona

It might not be raining everywhere in Catalonia. Sometime the rain is local to Barcelona and it's sunny in the Pyrenees mountains of Andorra. Sometimes thought it rains all over the region. But you never know - the rain might might have stopped by the time you get off the bus or train when you book a day trip to a destination outside Barcelona. For example, you could take a day trip by train to the town of Figueres to see the Dali Museum which is amazing even on a rainy day. Bring your umbrella though in case you have to stand in line ourside. 


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Last Updated on Sunday, 04 February 2018 22:10