October is a great time to visit Barcelona for so many reasons. The throngs of tourists that line the streets throughout the summer have reduced dramatically, which is appealing to those who prefer a more tranquil time on their vacation. The weather is still lovely: long, warm afternoons with crisp, fresh mornings and evenings and, best of all, the humidity of the summer months has passed. Depending on when you visit, shorts and t-shirts can still be sufficient, although you made need a light jacket on top.
You also won’t be short on things to do in the month of October. Just because the autumn has arrived doesn’t mean that Barcelona slows down. The city is still buzzing with activity and there are so many great options to keep you busy.
We at BarcelonaTours have selected what we think are three key categories, and it’s as easy as your ABCs: Art, Beer and Concerts. Read on to discover what fun and engaging events are on in the city should you choose to visit us in October…
Barcelona is known as an incredibly creative city, and many famous artists have passed through here over the years. With so many fabulous art museums, including the Picasso Museum and the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (National Art Museum of Catalonia), you can easily while away the hours inside these buildings, Barcelona has so much more to offer in October. We are, of course, using “Art” as an umbrella term, covering not just paintings but performance art, art installations and festivals that include artistic elements.
- When? October 5th – 7th
- Where? La Fira Barcelona (Location map)
- Price? Tickets from 14€, under 12s go free (website link)
Arguably the event that best encapsulates Barcelona as a city, the Barcelona Art and Urban Movement festival is a dizzying display of art, dance, sports and so much more that takes place the first weekend in October. From body painting and tattoos to break dancing and BMX competitions, this festival shows the strength of Barcelona’s alternative scene and brings together people from all over to display their talents. There is also a car and motorbike show for all those wannabe gearheads (or maybe you’ve just watched a lot of Sons of Anarchy, we’re not here to judge!). Amongst all of this, there will be plenty of food and drink to go around with a food truck area too.
- When? October 2nd – 7th
- Where? La Modelo (map link)
- Price? Free (website link)
The 5th and final edition of the Ús Barcelona festival is all about art and reclaiming public spaces to create art. There are few locations more dramatic than an old prison, and that is where this year’s festival is being held. La Modelo closed down in 2017 and was an active prison for over 100 years; a long and sometimes bloody history lives within its walls. Since its closure, it has been used as museum and event space, and will now host the Ús festival.
This week-long event has awesome and thought-provoking art installations, including 12 murals by 12 different artists, live music, award-winning flower arrangements and much more. And best of all, entry is free! If you’re in Barcelona in the first week of October, it’s a must-see.
- When? October 24th 2018 – March 31st 2019
- Where? Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (map link)
- Price? From 6€.
One of the most iconic and diverse directors in a generation, Stanley Kubrick’s unique way of looking at the world lead to some incredible films. Beautiful yet disturbing, violent yet moving, Kubrick’s films touched on everything from the very real and brutal Vietnam war in “Full Metal Jacket” to the very outer edges of space in “2001: A Space Odyssey”, and many other subjects that make his films both difficult to watch and a masterclass in direction. Actors and actresses have openly said they were nearly driven to madness trying to achieve Kubrick’s visions (just look up how Shelley Duvall feels about her time filming “The Shining”). This exhibition follows Stanley Kubrick’s career from beginning to end, using amazing parts of his archive, including film props, research documents, and even his unfinished works. This exhibition promises to focus the lens not just at his work, but at the man himself.
Now, just as “Art” was an umbrella term, we’re going to use “Beer” in a similar way. “Beer” will cover the food and drink section of this blog, as October also plays host to many great markets and opportunities for sampling the local cuisine. But, let’s start with the beer, shall we?
- When? October 4th – 14th
- Where? La Fira Barcelona (Location map)
- Price? Free entry, but the beer isn’t free sadly! (Reserve a table)
Yes, you did read that correctly, there’s no mistake! Barcelona does have its own Oktoberfest, paying homage to the German beer festival that takes place every year. There will be competitions for the best traditional Bavarian dress, so ladies bring your “Dirndl” and gentleman bring your “Lederhosen” because there’s a VIP table to be won. If you’re not lucky enough to win the prize, you can still book yourselves a table free of charge and come along with friends to dance to “oompah” bands, eat sausages and, of course, drink plenty of beer.
- When? October 6th – October 8th
- Where? Centro Comercial Las Arenas (map link)
- Price? 10€ (buy online or at the door)
For real foodies and those passionate about trying local products when they travel, the “Fira Àpat”, or “Food Fair”, is the place for you. This three day fair takes place in the Centro Comercial Las Arenas, which is shopping centre built in an old bullring (Catalonia outlawed bullfighting in 2010). Local businesses will come to show off their products and offer up the chance to try amazing Catalan produce and buy some tasty souvenirs. While the fair is mainly held to help local producers join up with businesses like hotels, restaurants, and other hospitality providers, it’s also open to the public and will show just what this small corner of Spain has to offer to the world of gastronomy.
- When? October 7th
- Where? Mas Salagros EcoResort (map link)
- Price? Free entry.
If you have the time and fancy a day trip out of the city, then the Slow Market is for you. A celebration of all things organic and eco-friendly, the Slow Market is taking place an hour away by train from Plaza Catalunya (Barcelona’s central square) at the Mas Salagros EcoResort.A great choice for families with children or those looking for a chilled afternoon away from the city, there will be music, workshops and delicious food for everyone.
Almost all the activities we have mentioned so far involve live music in some way or another, so even if you don’t make it to one of these three concerts listed below, you’re sure to come across some great live music in October in Barcelona. Barcelona is the host to multiple music festivals throughout the summer and there’s no slowing down for this city in the autumn.
- When? October 3rd
- Where? Sala Apolo (map link)
- Price? from 20€ (sold out; check Facebook event page for sales).
Every year they come and every year they sell out: Toots and the Maytals are back for another concert in Barcelona, this time playing at the Sala Apolo. It’s true; the tickets have now sold out. If you don’t have yours, ask around, there’s a chance you might find someone selling one and have a chance to see one of the best reggae groups in the history of the music.
- When? October 24th
- Where? Sala BARTS (map link)
- Price? from 28€ (ticket link)
While not everyone will recognise her name, everyone will recognise her songs. Martha Reeves, with her backing group The Vandellas, recorded some of the biggest Motown hits in history, including “Dancing in the Streets”, “Nowhere to Run” and “I Say A Little Prayer”. For an amazing night of dancing and reminiscing about the old days, grab tickets for what is sure to be a spectacular night of Motown hits.
- When? October 14th – November 1st
- Where? Poble Espanyol (map link)
- Price? from 32,50€.
Cruilla is a festival that takes place every July in Barcelona, but they also organise cool concerts in the autumn, under the title “Cruilla de Tardor”. Over two weeks in October, amazing groups such as MGMT and Cat Power will perform in different iconic venues around the city. For a full list of the concerts, visit their website and grab yourself tickets to what are sure to be a great way to spend an evening in Barcelona.
And there you have it, the ABC of what to do in Barcelona in October. We hope this blog has given you an idea of what’s on in our vibrant city this month.
Visiting Barcelona for one of these events and need help organising accommodation, activities or dinners for your group? Get in touch with BarcelonaTours and we can help put together a personalised itinerary. Visit our home page and activities pages for more information.
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