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Things to do in Barcelona when it's raining E-mail

Things to do when it rains Barcelona

Things to do in Barcelona when it rains

Updated October 2016

What to do in Barcelona on a rainy day in wet weather? We recommend visit Barcelona museums near your hotel, or visit covered shopping malls and that you consider taking the double-decker Barcelona hop-on-hop-off bus tours which are covered. Here are some exciting and interesting wet weather ideas for what to do when it rains in Barcelona.

Rain is quite rare in Barcelona, but you might be unlucky and experience a day of rain showers. 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 a day, but Barcelona does get periods of rain that can last for a few days or days with many showers. 

Check Barcelona hourly weather forecast.

The silver lining about bad weather in Barcelona is that Barcelona has many fun and interesting things to do on a rainy day including world class museums. Here are some suggestions and ideas for what do in Barcelona in wet weather and where you can find some fun dry-time! Click on the blue links in the text below.

First keep smiling! You are still in Barcelona and still on vacation. Often a rainy day means your plans might be changed by the weather which means that you might see something interesting or fun that you had not planned on seeing. So in our experience a rainy day can still be a great day!

A good idea to do is buy an umbrella called "paraguas" in Spanish or a rain poncho. You can usually cheap ( but not very good quality) umbrellas from street vendors at around 10 euros or cheaper. You can buy cheap umbrellas to be found at Flying Tiger stores Barcelona or in Barcelona department stores and Barcelona shopping malls.

Hop-on-Hop-off bus tours

There are two companies that offer hop-on-hop-off bus tours and both have double decker buses with covered top decks, so you can still enjoy a bus tour of Barcelona and then spend time in museums and sights along the way. This is really a good option for a rainy day because you can still see things and only get off when you perhaps think the weather is getting better. You get a great view from the tours buses, if you can get a seat on top and you get commentary in the free headphones. Tickets are valid all day and on the different lines that each of the 2 hop-on-hop-off buses offer, so you can see a lot. You might have to wait in line sometimes to get back on the bus, so an umbrella or rain poncho is a good idea. Ask your hotel where the nearest stop is. There are two companies that offer hop-on-hop-off. Buy tickets using the blue links Barcelona Bus Turistica and Barcelona City Tours. You can pick up your tickets on board the buses. 

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. The newest shopping centre in Barcelona is Las Arenas on Plaza Espanya, which is 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. They are L’illa Diagonal shopping center which is also perhaps the most exclusive mall in Barcelona at the top end of Avenida Diagonal - and the Diagonal Mar shopping centre which is a little off centre down at the other end of Av Diagonal near the sea in the Diagonal Mar area of Barcelona near Port Forum. 

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

For designers brands outlet shopping on a rainy day take the shuttle bus to the 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.

Museums and exhibitions for rainy days

Barcelona has many interesting museums to choose from. Find top Barcelona museums here. Be aware though that many people seek museums when it is raining, so they can be crowded on rainy days. One of the most popular Barcelona museums is the
Picasso Museum This is a perfect museum for a rainy day in Barcelona. It is big and interesting enough to spend several hours inside the palatial museum buildings in the Born part 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.

Try the new Spanish ham Jamón Experience at the Barcelona Ham Museum on Las Ramblas street in the gothic quarter.  A fun little museum for kids is the Barcelona mammoth museum which is on the same street as the Picasso museum and in the Raval area there is a new Barcelona Gallery of Illusions where visitors can step into optical illusions based on famous paintings and take photos.

Check out the new, popular and free
Born Cultural Centre which has impressive excavations which give a fascinating insight into Barcelona's past in the early part of the 18th century.

IMPORTANT TIP: Museums is the first choice for many tourists on a rainy day in Barcelona, so the queues can be very long. 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, are the Barcelona History Museum where you can see ruins from the original Roman city of Barcino. If you are a modernist fan, then don't miss the Gaudí Experiencia centre near Park Guell, but bring an umbrella if you visit Park Guell itself on a rainy day.

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 both exciting to visit for a few hours.  For sports fans there is an small Olympic museum on Montjuic and of course the very popular FC Barcelona experience (take cab or the metro) is a great place for a couple of hours of dry-time. There are often interesting exhibitions at various cultural centres in Barcelona like theCaixaForum and theCCCB

Spas, gyms and wellness centres Barcelona

Near the Picasso museum you can find the only
Arab spa and bathes in Barcelona. Relaxing in a spa for a few hours is a great way to spend some time on a rainy day. A new spa treatment in Barcelona is to have your feet nibbled by Doctor Fish at the one of the city'sfish spas or to have a relaxingmassage. Check out a full list of wellness centres and spas in Barcelona or go for a swim at one of thepublic swimming pools in Barcelona

Indoor sights for a rainy day in Barcelona.

Why not visit Barcelona's most famous attraction unfinished church of Sagrada Familia when it's raining in Barcelona, but remember your umbrella - even on a rainy day there might still be queues. When it rains
the queues are much shorter and you can avoid the queues altogether if you pre-book 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.

Barcelona Aquarium

The Barcelona Aquarium is one of 
Spain's biggest aquariums. It can be crowded on rainy days.

Movies in English

It's a bit lame going to see a movie when you are on holiday, but the option is there. Cinemas that show movies in English or other original languages are called VO cinemas. V.O. means Version Original. Find the 
VO cinemas in Barcelona 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 theYelmo Icaria in Vila Olimpica, which is 10 minutes by metro from the city centre in the Port Olimpic area.

Go on a day trip

It might not be raining everywhere in Catalonia. Sometime the rain is local to Barcelona. Sometimes it is raining all over the region. But you never know - the rain might might have stopped by the time you get off the bus or train if 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

Ice skating in Barcelona

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 new 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 top restaurants in Barcelona.

Exhibitions and events what's on in Barcelona

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
to see what's on today in BCN.

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 We would like to hear from you.

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