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Barcelona in May: A Guide to Events and Activities

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May is a beautiful time to visit Barcelona. The city undergoes a delightful transition from spring to summer, welcoming warmer temperatures and a vibrant atmosphere.

The city’s charm invites visitors to explore the plethora of exciting events that Barcelona has to offer. 

Let’s uncover the remarkable experiences you will have in Barcelona in May. 

Is May a Good Time to Visit Barcelona?

May is an excellent time to visit Barcelona, offering a blend of pleasant weather and vibrant cultural events.

During this month, the city enjoys mild temperatures, typically ranging from 12°C to 22°C (54°F to 72°F), making it ideal for exploring Barcelona’s picturesque streets, beautiful beaches, and stunning architecture without the discomfort of summer heat.

Tourists can also experience the local culture through various festivals and events. One of the highlights is the Primavera Sound Festival, a major event in the international music calendar that attracts artists and attendees from around the world. Additionally, the city observes the Festival of Sant Ponç on May 11th, where you can indulge in herbal liqueurs, honey, and artisanal sweets in a charming traditional market setting.

With fewer tourists than peak summer months, May provides a more relaxed atmosphere. Visitors can enjoy shorter queues at popular attractions like Sagrada Familia and Park Güell, and better deals on accommodations. Thus, May combines the benefits of good weather, rich cultural experiences, and relative calm, making it a prime time for visiting Barcelona.

Related read: Things to Do in Barcelona: Our Barcelona Activity Guide

Must-visit Events Happening in Barcelona in May

If you’re visiting Barcelona in May, participate in some of these fantastic events.

Public Holidays

The month kicks off with an important public holiday known as ‘Día del trabajador’, which celebrates workers’ rights in Spain. The holiday has a long and interesting history and was actually rejected during Franco’s reign. However, today, it honors the labor movement and recognizes Spain’s development. 

Another public holiday that often falls during May is ‘Whit Monday’. This celebration occurs five weeks after Easter, and is a religious celebration that marks the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus’ disciples. 

During both of these days many businesses, restaurants, and shops close for the day, allowing workers to rest and spend the day as they wish. With many establishments closed on public holidays, we recommend taking advantage of the quiet streets and exploring the city’s charm during the springtime.

International Comic Fair

The International Comic Fair was established in 1981, and now stands as one of Barcelona’s most anticipated events in May. Recognized as Europe’s largest comic show, this is an event not to be missed!

Here, comic enthusiasts can explore exhibitions, attend talks, and participate in workshops, all of which offer insight into the world of comic writing and publishing. This event is more than just a day of entertainment, it is a celebration of imagination and creativity, and guarantees a truly unforgettable experience.

International Comic Fair in Barcelona in May, Spain
Barcelona in May: A Guide to Events and Activities

Cursa El Corte Inglés 10km Run

El Corte Inglés is the biggest department store in Europe, and each May, the company organizes an iconic 10km run through Barcelona’s streets.

Attracting participants from all over the globe, the event has become a key date in Barcelona’s athletic calendar and is an event you shouldn’t miss!

Participating in the race is completely free, as organizers want to promote sports amongst Barcelona’s citizens and encourage an inclusive environment. The race begins and ends at the iconic Plaça Catalunya, providing participants with a scenic route that passes by many breathtaking buildings. Moreover, for those that don’t wish to participate in the race, you can enhance the incredible atmosphere by cheering people on from the sidelines. 

Whether you’re lacing up your running shoes to join this iconic race or simply offering unwavering support from the sidelines, the Cursa El Corte Inglés 10km Run promises an unforgettable experience filled with the incredible spirit of Barcelona.

Cursa El Corte Inglés 10km Run in Barcelona in May, Spain
Barcelona in May: A Guide to Events and Activities

Girona Flower Festival

Although this event doesn’t occur in Barcelona, it cannot be missed from the city’s calendar of events! The picturesque city of Girona lies just a 40-minute train ride away, and each May, it holds its captivating Girona Flower Festival. 

For nine days, the city is transformed into a floral paradise, where the city comes alive with the vibrant hues and fragrant scents of flowers.

The event is free, allowing visitors to thoroughly explore the city’s charming streets, all adorned with spectacular flower displays.

Whether you’re wanting an enjoyable day trip, or a week-long getaway, the Girona Flower Festival promises an unforgettable experience!

Related read: 3 Day Trips From Barcelona

Girona Flower Festival, Spain
Barcelona in May: A Guide to Events and Activities

Night of the Museums

Another highly anticipated event in May is the Night of the Museums. As the name suggests, this enchanting evening involves numerous museums opening their doors to the public, and inviting visitors to explore their exhibitions completely free of charge

Many of the city’s top museums, for instance the National Art Museum of Catalonia, the Picasso Museum, and the FC Barcelona Museum, take part in this delightful event, ensuring there’s an establishment to cater to every interest! 

Regardless of which museum you choose to visit, this event guarantees a truly enriching and memorable experience, so be sure to save the date!

Related read: The Most Unusual Museums in Barcelona

Join the Night of the Museums in Barcelona in May

Primavera Music Festival

The final event in May is perhaps one of the most well-known in Barcelona’s calendar, Primavera Music Festival.

This four-day music event is the biggest in Spain, and attracts visitors from all over Europe. 

Each year, music enthusiasts eagerly await the reveal of the festival’s lineup, which consistently surpasses everyone’s expectations. With phenomenal artists like Rosalía, Fred Again, Kendrick Lamar, and Calvin Harris having previously graced the stage, the anticipation continues to grow with each passing year. 

This festival features a range of different genres, ensuring that everybody’s music taste is catered for. So, whether you’re wanting to experience the full four-day event or attend a single day, Primavera Music Festival is an event you can’t miss!

Primavera Music Festival in Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona in May is simply perfect. With an array of events and activities taking place, you can fully immerse yourself in the city’s art, culture, and history while experiencing the first signs of summer! What are you waiting for?

Visiting Barcelona in another month? Check out these events and things to do:

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