15 thrilling things to do in Barcelona in May (2024)

things to do in barcelona in may

Embark on a vibrant journey through the Catalan capital with my curated list of things to do in Barcelona in May.

This month presents a golden opportunity to experience the city in full bloom – both culturally and literally – as Barcelona awakens with lively festivals, open-air markets, and an array of artistic events under the gentle embrace of spring.

May in Barcelona is a time of perfect balance. The weather is warm enough to stroll through the historic streets comfortably, yet cool enough to avoid the peak summer crowds. The city’s parks are lush and lively, and the Mediterranean Sea beckons with its sparkling allure.

May marks the beginning of the tourist season in Barcelona, so expect higher accommodation prices and longer lines at popular attractions.

To make the most of your visit:

Planning ahead will help you avoid the crowds and enjoy your trip without the hassle!

Whether you’re a culture enthusiast eager to explore historic landmarks, a foodie looking to indulge in Catalan culinary delights, or an adventurer ready to discover hidden gems, Barcelona in May has something for everyone…

Admire La Pedrera (Casa Milà)

La Pedrera, or Casa Milà, is one of Barcelona’s most famous landmarks. Designed by Antoni Gaudí between 1906 and 1912, this iconic building stands out for its organic forms inspired by nature, resembling waves and sea elements.

Recognized as a World Heritage Site in 1984, it features a unique façade with stone balconies and wrought-iron railings. Book a complete a guided tour to avoid long likes with skip-the-line access and explore the whale attic, the neighbors’ apartment, and the warriors’ rooftop for stunning views.

La Pedrera offers a glimpse into early 20th-century bourgeois life and Gaudí’s architectural genius. It’s an essential visit when you’re in Barcelona in May, blending historical significance with artistic beauty.

Experience the Gran Premi MotoGP first hand

Experience the thrill of MotoGP in Catalonia!

Join the passionate crowds from May 24-26, 2024, at the Circuit de Catalunya in Montmeló, just 20 minutes from Barcelona. This iconic track, a staple in Spanish motorsports since 1991, challenges riders with 16 curves, including its signature long-drawn-out bends taken at high speeds.

Best of all, you can grab your tickets in advance without any hassle. Don’t miss out on the high-speed excitement and cheer on your favorite stars!

Museu d’Art de Catalunya

Dive into art history at Barcelona’s National Museum of Art of Catalunya. Discover the largest collection of Romanesque mural paintings in the world, along with medieval Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque art.

Don’t miss modern masterpieces in five sections, highlighting everything from Modernisme to Post-War Avant-garde. Enjoy masterworks by Gaudí, Velázquez, and other famous artists across diverse mediums like sculptures, photography, and even film.

Apart from a skip-the-line ticket access, you can visit all the temporary exhibitions and the rooftop for gorgeous views. And your visit is enhanced with the Second Canvas Museu Nacional app for an interactive audio tour in 9 languages. It’s a perfect deal!

Spend a sunny afternoon at Parc de la Ciutadella

Parc de la Ciutadella is a vibrant spot in Barcelona, ideal for outdoor enthusiasts and families. It’s packed with activities: playgrounds for kids, a beautiful fountain, and a small lake for boating.

Located near the Born neighborhood, it’s perfect for a picnic, especially with the numerous street performers like acro-yogis, musicians, and entertainers throughout.

Whether you’re relaxing in the sun or enjoying the lively atmosphere, this park offers a delightful retreat. Plus, there’s a zoo nearby, making it a fantastic option if you’re with young children.

Marvel at the imposing Sagrada Familia

Skip the long lines at Sagrada Familia with a priority access tour of Barcelona’s iconic cathedral.

This guided experience takes you straight inside, where you’ll learn about its history and the genius behind it, Antoni Gaudí. Admire breathtaking ceilings and vibrant stained-glass windows.

The tour also includes a visit to the onsite museum, where you can view Gaudí’s original sketches and plaster models. Choose a start time that fits your schedule and enjoy a more intimate look at this UNESCO World Heritage site without the wait.

Rock’ out at Primavera Sound festival

Primavera Sound in Barcelona is a vibrant music festival showcasing a mix of massive names and emerging artists. The 2024 lineup features stars like Lana del Rey, Pulp, Sza, Disclosure, FKA Twigs, Justice, Mitski, The National, Phoenix, and PJ Harvey. So book your tickets now and don’t miss anything out!

The festival typically spans several days (May 29th to June 2nd, 2024), starting with free concerts leading up to a powerhouse main event. It celebrates diversity, with previous editions highlighting female artists prominently.

This fest is a great chance to experience thrilling live music and discover new favorites in the beautiful setting of Barcelona – a perfect blend of enjoyment and exploration if you happen to be a music lover.

Go on a day trip to Montserrat

Embark on a memorable journey to the Montserrat Monastery with either a small group or a private tour from Barcelona. Choose the tour style that best suits your travel party for a personalized experience.

This tour includes a visit to the iconic ‘Black Madonna’ in the Basilica, a walk through the mystical peaks of Montserrat, and options to ride the Funicular de Sant Joan or the Aeri de Montserrat cable car for stunning views.

Explore the Montserrat Museum’s extensive art collection, featuring works by El Greco, Caravaggio, Picasso, and Dalí. With hotel pickup and drop-off included, your day at this ancient site is both convenient and captivating.

Hunt for bargains at Els Encants

Barcelona’s Els Encants is not just any flea market – it’s a treasure trove of history and hidden gems. With over 500 stalls under a stunning mirrored roof, you can find anything from vintage arcade games to 10€ leather jackets.

Open Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and especially Saturday, it offers both permanent shops and a chaotic mix of trestle tables loaded with everything imaginable.

Whether you’re hunting for unique antiques, crafts or just browsing through piles of quirky finds, Els Encants is a paradise for bargain hunters and collectors alike. Remember to check opening times and enjoy your hunt!

Admire the beauties of Park Güell

Skip the lines at Barcelona’s Park Güell with a fast-pass guided tour and experience the beauty and creativity of one of Gaudí’s most significant creations.

Explore the UNESCO-listed site with a certified Gaudí expert and marvel at the garden complex, modernist architecture, and colorful mosaics. Discover how Gaudí’s vision evolved into this public park, complete with breathtaking city views.

With your knowledgeable guide, you’ll gain direct access to all the grand areas and have extra time to roam freely after the tour. This allows you to spend more time admiring Gaudí’s work, including bridges, stairways, and brilliant ceramic tiles.

Explore Barcelona on a bike tour

Join a half-day bike tour to explore the architectural wonders of Barcelona!

Meet your expert guide in the city center, grab your bike, and get ready for a leisurely ride through iconic sites like La Sagrada Familia, Plaça Sant Jaume, and the Arc de Triomf.

Enjoy stops at major attractions, including the breathtaking Cathedral and Basílica de Santa María del Mal, to snap photos and learn about Barcelona’s rich history. You’ll also ride through the relaxing Parc de la Ciutadella and around the charming streets of El Born – the commercial center of Barcelona in the middle ages.

The small group’s relaxed pace and short distances between stops mean you won’t get tired.

Enjoy the best flamenco show

Step into the vibrant world of flamenco at Tablao Flamenco Cordobés, the top flamenco venue in Barcelona.

Nestled in the lively La Rambla and boasting over 50 years of history, this intimate spot dazzles with its Alhambra-inspired decor. Enjoy an unforgettable evening with a choice of world-class performances featuring the best of flamenco talent.

Opt for a show-only experience or enhance your visit with a traditional Spanish meal, complete with unlimited drinks. With monthly changing casts, every performance is unique, ensuring a fresh and thrilling showcase of passion and artistry each time you visit.

Admire the best views of Barcelona

Barcelona is brimming with must-see views from various vantage points that capture its urban charm and natural beauty.

I recommend visiting iconic spots like Park Güell for Gaudí’s colorful mosaics and stunning city views. Montjuïc Castle offers panoramic sights from its fortress. For a unique experience, the Carmel Bunkers at sunset are perfect, providing a sweeping view as the city lights come to life.

Don’t miss Tibidabo for amusement rides and fantastic vistas, or the breathtaking perspectives from the Sagrada Familia‘s towers. There is another great view of Barcelona from the bell tower of the Basilica of Santa Maria del Pi. The Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, (MNAC) has two spectacular rooftop terraces that offer spectacular views as well.

Each spot offers a distinct, unforgettable view of Barcelona’s landscape.

Book a Gothic Quarter walking tour

Join a 2-hour walking tour of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter and immerse yourself in the charm of its narrow streets, historical architecture, and vibrant local culture. It’s a perfect introduction to one of Barcelona’s most famous districts, ensuring a memorable experience.

Starting at Plaça Sant Jaume, the tour explores notable sites like the medieval Plaça del Rei, the Palatine chapel of Santa Ágata, and the ancient Temple d’August. Learn about the neighborhood’s rich history and see remnants of Roman Barcelona. Along the way you’ll also have the chance to learn about the area’s numerous famous buildings.

Live the thrill of a football game

Going to a soccer match in Barcelona is an unforgettable experience! It’s more than just a game; it’s a deep part of Spanish culture, affecting society, economy, and identity.

Whether you’re a football fan or just curious, experiencing the excitement of a live Spanish match is a must. You’ll see top players in action and feel a strong sense of pride and unity among the fans.

It’s a great way to connect with the local vibe and maybe even snap a photo with some of the world’s best players. If you go and attend an FC Barcelona match, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how friendly the atmosphere is there. So it’s the perfect plan to go with your kids. Don’t miss out on this thrilling adventure!

Spend the day at the zoo

Experience the wonders of Barcelona Zoo, a sprawling 32-acre haven right in the city’s heart, home to over 5,500 animals across 400 species.

Explore diverse habitats, from the Komodo dragon enclosure and vibrant aviary to a kid-friendly farmyard featuring a rare Catalan donkey. With your ticket, enjoy live shows and learn about the zoo’s crucial conservation and breeding efforts. It’s not just a fun outing for kids but a delightful adventure for adults too, offering a perfect break from urban life.

Come meet everything from giraffes to gorillas and discover the magic of Barcelona Zoo!

Barcelona weather in May

May is a wonderful time to visit Barcelona. The weather during this month is usually pleasant, with mild temperatures and a lower chance of rain compared to earlier in the year.

Keep in mind that while May is generally a good time to visit, weather conditions can vary, so it’s always a good idea to check the forecast closer to your travel dates.

Temperatures in May in Barcelona

May in Barcelona brings warmer, more pleasant weather that’s perfect for exploring:

  • The average temperature in Barcelona in May ranges from 14°C at night to 21°C during the day.
  • There’s a 15% chance of rain on an average day. Rainfall drops to just 27mm over about 10 days, making it drier than April.
  • With 14.5 hours of daylight and an average of 11.1 hours of sunshine daily, there’s plenty of time to enjoy the city’s blooming flowers and numerous outdoor activities.
  • In May, Barcelona is moderately humid with an average amount of 68% (relative humidity), which could be described as humid but cool. The wind blows at an average speed of 16.2 kph (10.1 mph).
  • You can check the forecast for your trip on your mobile weather app or on my favorite website/app – Windy.

What to wear in May in Barcelona

Barcelona in May is mostly warm and pleasant. Days are typically sunny, but it can get a bit cooler in the evening, especially if you’re near the sea.

  • Pack smart with light layers: Pack a mix of comfy T-shirts, shorts, and a couple of light sweaters or a jacket for the evenings. Don’t forget a stylish scarf – it’s not just chic but practical too!
  • Comfort is key: You’ll want to explore everything on foot, trust me. So, good walking shoes are a must – think comfy sneakers or supportive sandals. And, if you plan to stroll along the beach or chill at your hotel pool, pack your swimwear and flip-flops.
  • Be ready for anything: Even though it’s usually dry, a sudden shower can surprise you, so tuck a compact umbrella or a light rain jacket in your bag.
  • Protect yourself from the sun: The sun can be quite strong, so pack your sunglasses, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunscreen to keep safe and enjoy the city without worries.

Accommodation in Barcelona in May

When you are looking for a hotel in Barcelona for May, you’ll see that the high season trend that started in April continues. So prices will continue to rise compared to previous months.

For obvious reasons, it’s best to book as far in advance as you can.

Is May a good month to visit Barcelona?

There’s no doubt about it: the best time to visit Barcelona is May. Here’s why:

  • Enjoy mild temperatures in the low-to-mid 20s ºC (70s ºF) – perfect for exploring.
  • Experience fewer rainy days and just the right amount of sun for beach outings.
  • Catch lively festivals like the famous Primavera Sound, attracting music lovers globally.
  • Although it’s a popular time with higher prices and crowds, the vibrant atmosphere is worth it.
  • The city bursts with lush greenery and blooming flowers, adding to its charm.

Plan your trip during these months for an unforgettable Barcelona experience without the summer’s extreme heat and humidity!

Are you wondering about the best time to visit Barcelona? Don’t worry, I’ve got your back. I’ve put together a simple guide for each month, so you can see what’s happening throughout the year. Let’s plan your amazing trip to this cool city!

1. Start the year right with January activities in Barcelona
2. Check out what Barcelona has to offer in February
3. Dive into March with cool things to do in Barcelona
4. April brings springtime fun in Barcelona
5. May in Barcelona is packed with top experiences
6. What to do in Barcelona in June
7. Visiting Barcelona in July
8. Best tips for enjoying Barcelona in August
9. September offers lots to do in Barcelona
10. October is the time to be in Barcelona
11. Things to do in Barcelona in November
12. Spend the best holidays in Barcelona in December

Scroll to Top