Barcelona in September is just a delight. If I were to recommend a time to visit here it would definitely be this month. Firstly, the hot Summer temperatures are starting to go down. Say goodbye to sweaty days and humid nights and welcome T-shirt and shorts for a very balmy sightseeing weather. Another bonus is that the main festival of Barcelona takes place at the end of the month. Keep reading and find out the best things to do in Barcelona in September.
- Events and Festivals in Barcelona in September 2018
- Barcelona Weather in September
- Accommodation and queues
Events and Festivals in Barcelona in September 2018
La Mercè Festival (21st to 24th September)
The festival to top all of Barcelona’s festivals takes place at the end of September. If you happen to be visiting Barcelona, you can’t miss it as there are events happening in every corner of the city. This is a fantastic opportunity to see in action the worldwide famous Catalan traditions such as the human towers or parades of Giants.
What are we celebrating? The feast day of Our Lady of the Mercy (La Mercè), who became patron saint of Barcelona in the 17th century. I don’t want you to miss out on anything so, check out our dedicated post on La Mercè Festival 2018. Here you will find out the essential wheres and whens of the main traditional activities and a link to the whole programme. It is very complete and with something for everyone. All activities are free so relax, enjoy and celebrate with us!
If you are not in Barcelona during La Mercè, don’t despair, there are neighbourhood festivals all over the city. On a smaller scale but definitely as much fun.
Festa Major del Poblenou (7th to 16th September)
This is probably the best neighbourhood in Barcelona. OK, I might be a bit bias here because it is where I live but you will definitely love the atmosphere of Poblenou. There is not one but two festivals over the year. The spring one in May and the main one in September.
Poblenou was called “the Catalan Manchester” due to the huge number of factories in the area at the end of the 19th century. Only a few chimneys remain as a memory to this period. Nowadays, a lot of those old industrial structures have been converted into artists and designers studios. They open their doors to the general public for this special week. A great opportunity to check the creativity and new talents in Barcelona.
During the festival expect parades, correfoc, human towers, music and dance ’til the wee hours of the morning. The highlight is the castell de focs, a spectacular fireworks display by the beach at 10pm on Sunday, 16th.
Festa Major de la Barceloneta (28th September to 7th October)
Celebrating their patron Saint, Archangel Saint Michael, Barceloneta’s Festival takes place every year around the 29th of September. This traditional fishermen’s neighbourhood is famous for its seafood restaurants by the sea and it has a character of its own.
As well as the usual Catalan traditions, you can attend a concert of Habaneras. These are the songs that returned immigrants from Cuba brought back to Catalonia. An unmissable part of this concerts is enjoying the music with a glass of ron cremat. This is a special mixed drink made with rum, sugar, coffee beans, cinnamon and species that is burned for a few minutes and served warm.
Children will surely enjoy the cercavila del canó. On the Saturday of the festival a Napoleonic French general walks the streets of Barceloneta shooting a cannon on wheels. This tradition started over 100 years ago and it is still going. The cannon is certainly noisy but there is a surprise with each bang: it also shoots candy for the kids!
BAM – Barcelona Acció Musical (21st to 24th September)
Linked to the activities of La Mercè, the BAM (Barcelona Acció Musical) will bring more than 40 bands to play live in the city. The concerts take place in public spaces of El Raval neighbourhood and in the old Damm Beer factory and they are free of charge.
Each year a different city is invited to the Barcelona’s festival and this time it Lisbon’s turn. This is a fantastic opportunity to listen to great bands from the neighbourghing country, like Surma, Bruno Pernadas or Capicua. But there are lots of others playing so we really recommend to check the full BAM 2018 programme.
Catalonia’s National Day: La Diada (11th September)
This is more of a political event and you will definitely come across it if you are visiting in Barcelona on September 11th. Catalonia’s National Day, also simply knows at La Diada, mourns the loss of the medieval Catalan institutions on this day in 1714. Obviously, not a celebration but a commemoration.
La Diada actually starts the night before with a procession of people carrying torches and a flower offering at Fossar de les Moreres. The next day more flower offerings take place at the statue of Rafael Casanova, the commander-in-chief during the final 18th century battle. But the main even is the demonstration in the early evening that starts at the symbolic time of 17:14h.
In later years, this demonstration has been quite creative and spectacular. It has included a huge human chain of 400 km joining the region from North to South or a massive Catalan flag made by people through Barcelona’s main avenue. This year, the demonstration will take place at Avinguda Diagonal. If you are planning to cross that area, bear in mind that it will be completely blocked so plan ahead.
Barcelona Weather in September
This is the end of Summer and the beginning of Autumn. Although Summer temperatures can carry on for the first few days of September, in general we have a very pleasant weather in Barcelona in September. Shorts and sandals are more than adequate clothing to enjoy the blue and sunny skies during the day!
Accommodation and queues
September is still high season in Barcelona so all the advice about pre-booking your tickets to avoid the long lines still apply. For the same reason, accommodation will be cheaper if you book in advance. Bear in mind that prices for accommodation might go up slightly during La Mercè Festival.
I hope this was helpful for your planning. If you are here a few days before September arrives, don’t forget to check our post of things to do in Barcelona in August. Also, during the festivals our walking tours keep running and we might be lucky enough to stumble across some of the celebrations.
Main photograph: Piromusical at La Mercè Festival by Somewhere in the world today