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 November 2018

Things to do in Barcelona on a rainy day in 2018? There are many fun and interesting things to do when it's raining in Barcelona. It is usually dry but of course it can rain in Spain and when it rains it usually pours. But there is plenty to do and see indoors in Barcelona when it rains.

You can visit Barcelona museums, play escape rooms, relax in spas, go shopping - or take the covered hop-on-hop-off bus tours. So put a smile on wet weather and check out our ideas for things to do when it rains in Barcelona, Spain.

The rainy season in Barcelona is generally considered to be in the spring during months March and April and then again in autumn/fall from October and November. Usually it onlys rain for 1 or 2 days, but Barcelona can also get periods of rain that can last for a few days or most of a week.

In the summer it's usually dry but sometimes in the summer the hot weather builds up and we get a day of storms and heavy rainfall.

Barcelona hourly weather forecast

The good news about bad weather in Barcelona is that you are in a city with many fun and interesting things to do on a rainy day, including many great museums. Click on the blue links in this artlcle for more information about rainy day ideas.

Remember to keep smiling and stay happy! You are in Barcelona and you are on vacation. A rainy day might change your plans, but it also can mean that you might see something that you might not have 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 useless in strong winds. If you want a slightly better quality umbrella find a  Flying Tiger stores or visit the Decathlon sports store in Barcelona.
 

Hop-on-Hop-off bus tours


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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. Both have audio guides in several languages. If you take the hop-on-hop-off bus, then you can spend time in museums and attractions along the way. This is a great option for a rainy day because you can still see the sights from the bus. The tour buses have a great view, if you can get a seat on the top deck 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 at the tour office - or on board the buses. 

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Shopping centres and malls

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Shopping is a popular choice for part of the day when it's raining in Barcelona. Barcelona has many excellent shopping malls and centers and all the design brands you could ask for. 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 malll in Barcelona's Port Vell marina 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 also 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. Be aware though that many people go to museums when it is raining, so they can be crowded on rainy days and you might be standing in line to get in. 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 lines. You can avoid the lines a bit if you pre-book skip the line Sagrada Familia tickets online although there can still be lines in the skip-the-line entrance. 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. The Picasso museum is big and interesting enough to spend many hours inside enjoying the art and also 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.

In the Raval area of Barcelona old city center, you can find a small but fun 'Gallery of Illusions' where visitors can step into optical illusions based on famous paintings and take photos. The Born area is very trendy with many restaurants, cafes and boutiques dotted around the impressive gothic Santa Maria del Marbasilica and the Born Cultural Center is free to visit with 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 Sagrada Familia church and for the Dali museum in Figueres (the latter is a day tour that need to be booked in advance usually).

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 architecture 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 & 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 centers or go for a swim at one of the public swimming pools in Barcelona.

Take a class

Barcelona has many fun and interesting classes for visitors. Check out cooking classes or learn how to make your own Gaudi mosaic gift.

Barcelona aquarium

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 mostly outdoors, so we would skip that in bad weather unless you want to see grumpy animals.


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. Find Barcelona escape rooms here 

Movies in English

Ok. It's a bit lame going to see a movie, when you are on holiday, but the option is available. Cinemas that show movies in English or other original languages are called VO cinemas. V.O. means Version Original. Find Barcelona VO cinemas. 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.

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.
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.

Ice skating rinks 

A quirky idea for a rainy day. Go ice skating in Barcelona. There are two indoor ice skating rinks in Barcelona. You can rent ice skates. Not many people have visited Barcelona and gone ice skating.

Go-karting in Barcelona

This is a great idea but you have to travel a bit. Find Indoor Go-karting at the indoor go-kart tracks near Barcelona. 

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 to the town of Figueres 2 hours north of Barcelona 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 to get in. 

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Last Updated on Thursday, 15 November 2018 12:46