Barcelona is blessed with a benign Mediterranean climate. Early summer and fall are ideal times to visit, especially May to June and September to October. Even in the winter, days are crisp to cold (due to its proximity to the mountains) but often sunny. Snow is rare and never lasts more than a day or two.
Most of the rainfall occurs in April, but some quite spectacular storms, as is typical of the Mediterranean, can occur all year round. July and August are hot and humid, even at night, as the temperature often only drops minimally. The surrounding sea is warm enough to swim in from the end of June to early October. Inland, the temperatures drop slightly, as does the humidity. North on the Costa Brava, a strong wind known as the tramontana often blows, refreshing in summer, chill in winter.
August is the major vacation month in Europe. The traffic to Spain from France, the Netherlands, and Germany becomes a veritable migration, and low-cost hotels along the coastal areas are virtually impossible to find unless booked well in advance. To compound the problem, many restaurants and shops also decide it's time for a vacation, thereby limiting the visitors' selections for both dining and shopping.
That said, Barcelonans also head out of town for cooler climes, leaving tourists to enjoy the city for themselves. Barcelona is also a major international trade fair and conference destination. These happen throughout the year, so if you plan to stay in a mid- to high-range hotel book ahead of time. In fact, Barcelona is officially Spain's most popular destination, so tourism is pretty much all year round.
Catalan & National Holidays
Holidays observed are January 1 (New Year's Day), January 6 (Feast of the Epiphany), March/April (Good Friday and Easter Monday), May 1 (May Day), May/June (Whit Monday), June 24 (Feast of St. John), August 15 (Feast of the Assumption), September 11 (National Day of Catalonia), September 24 (Feast of Our Lady of Mercy), October 12 (Spain's National Day), November 1 (All Saints' Day), December 6 (Constitution Day), December 8 (Feast of the Immaculate Conception), December 25 (Christmas), and December 26 (Feast of St. Stephen).
If a holiday falls on a Thursday or Tuesday, many people also take off the weekday in between, creating an extra-long weekend. While this only really affects those doing business in the city, you should book hotels well ahead of time on these popular puentes (bridges).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.