What to do on a Rainy Day in Barcelona
A rainy day in Barcelona can ruin many great plans during your stay; but that doesn’t mean you have to stay in your apartment in Barcelona all day waiting for better weather. Postpone those plans for another day and pick up something interesting to do from the list of activities we’ve gathered in this post. You might even go see and do something you wouldn’t otherwise experience!
We recommend you to use the metro when it’s raining as it’s a quick way to travel and you’ll stay dry underground. Hop-on hop-off bus tour provides an alternative; here you will be able to go sightseeing around the city of Barcelona and still staying inside. The bus will also be driving past many of the locations mentioned later in this article; so it is probably the easiest way of going around and finding interesting things to do, especially if you haven’t been to Barcelona before.
See below the activities we recommend on a rainy day in Barcelona:
There are plenty of sights and buildings designed by Gaudí, that are considered as must-see locations around the city. Luckily, many of these sights feature a rooftop; so they make for an excellent destination for a rainy day! La Sagrada Familia is already an astonishingly beautiful view from the outside, but seeing it from the inside will make your jaw drop. All the beautiful details it features are a result of years of hard work and planning, and all this takes the big picture beyond unbelievable.
Casa Battló and La Pedrera are other famous Gaudí buildings people often see just from the outside. These masterpieces are worth spending an hour or two in to admire the work and imagination of the Barcelona’s most famous architect. The mind blowing design can make you admire every inch these buildings hold within.
Gaudí’s buildings aren’t the only breathtaking locations you can escape the rain from. Santa Maria del Mar is a perfect example of the Catalan gothic style of architecture. The church’s interior and exterior impressions differ hugely. Big windows provide lots of natural light to the massive open space; decorated with typically beautiful gothic design. The cathedral of Barcelona is one of the most impressive sights in Barcelona and won’t surely disappoint anyone visiting the choir or the rooftops either.
El Liceu Opera is one of the biggest opera halls in the world; and certainly worth a visit if there are upcoming performances. You can also take a special tour around the building even if there are no scheduled shows for the day. Palau de la Musica Catalana is another building designed in the Catalan modernist style. This concert hall seats around 2,200 people; and there are more than half a million visitors enjoying the musical performances every year. Even if there are no concerts held during your visit in Barcelona, this concert hall will leave you in awe.
There are plenty of museums in Barcelona to see; and visiting them is a typical rainy day activity for people visiting Barcelona. Out of the long list of possible destinations, Picasso Museum is easily one of the most popular museums in Barcelona and that’s certainly rightly deserved. The fascinating works of genius Picasso make you wander the exhibition rooms for long periods of time and visiting here should make for an excellent rainy day activity in our city.
MACBA holds both permanent and temporary exhibitions in the area of Ciutat Vella. Many interesting events and activities guarantee there’s almost always something new and fascinating on offer; which means it’s worth visiting even if you’ve already been there before.
If you’re located near Plaza Espanya and enjoy the good old rock ‘n’ roll; The Rock Museum is a superb destination for your rainy day. Here you can learn about the history of rock, sectioned by decades and great groups like The Beatles; and encounter stuff left behind by the greatest stars in the business, varying from Jimmy Page‘s signed guitar to Michael Jackson‘s wardrobe items. The entrance fee to the museum is almost half the price from Mondays to Wednesdays compared to the rest of the week (5€ and 9€ respectively for the normal ticket price).
Museu de Xocolata is a true dream destination for those with the graving for sweets. You can enjoy the very best chocolates while learning more about the history of this delicacy. Not surprisingly, this is probably the museum every child wants to visit; and that’s what makes for a great museum to visit for the whole family.
A little tip
With a Barcelona Card you’ll get the access to six great museums around the city, including Picasso Museum and MACBA; and pay a visit to these top attractions could be the best possible way for a museum lover to spend the day indoors.
Note: Many museums in the city are free to enter on Sundays after 3 PM; but the queues (especially in Picasso Museum) can be astonishingly long during the holiday season. This means saving the ticket price isn’t really worth it when it means you have to wait outside in the rain for long periods of time.
Shopping and markets
Shopping is probably the favorite activity of an infinite number of women around the world on a rainy day; and you shouldn’t make an exception to this rule in Barcelona either. There are many great malls in Barcelona in different neighborhoods around the city and it would take a few days going around all the great shops in these malls. Las Arenas makes for an interesting sight as well; as it is an old bull fighting arena converted into a shopping mall and leisure complex. Take a break from shopping by going to a restaurant, visiting movies and exploring all the other activities these malls can offer; spending your day in a fashionable way. Don’t forget to bring a special someone to carry all your shoppings!
Markets of Barcelona provide you a delicious way to pass time under a roof. Taste something you’ve never tried before, watch the locals live their Catalonian way of life and still stay dry! La Boqueria market is the number one in the city and a great destination if you’re interested in the local food culture. The numerous stands sell quality groceries, ingredients and also some ready-made snacks and meals.
Barcelona is full of great locations to eat out and everyone should experience the great Mediterranean cuisine when visiting the city. There are great pinchos bars and tapas restaurants all around Barcelona; and it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a place you like. You can enjoy meals or snacks with a drink and watch football, chat with the locals or just share a meal with your loved ones. There are restaurants in Barcelona suitable for every visitor and at any time of the day.
There are also a plenty of fast food restaurants in Barcelona, and not only McDonald’s and Burger King but some more exotic restaurant chains worth trying if you’re not willing to splash the cash on a restaurant dinner.
A rainy day is a perfect excuse to take a small break from your vacation to take care of yourself and enjoy the endorphin rush. There are plenty of possibilities to exercise indoors in Barcelona; when the bad weather prevents you from going outside to do sports.
There is even a possibility of going ice skating from late November until early January when the ice skating rink of Plaza Catalunya is open. You can play tennis indoors too; with some courts also featuring other facilities such as a gym and pools.
Gyms provide a massive variation of possible activities and with a single day-pass you will be allowed to go work out and try as many activities as you want. Hit the spinning or yoga classes, use treadmills, ellipticals and stationary bikes for solo cardio sessions, join the indoor football matches or go nuts in the weights section. Many gyms provide the possibility to swim; but there are also swimming halls just for this activity.
After working out you can relax in the sauna of the gym or swimming hall. If you’ve selected a top-quality location, you may be able to book special spa treatments and massages. You can also find spas in Barcelona just to relax your body and mind; with services varying from head massages to special fish treatments for your feet.
In the beauty salons of Barcelona, you can get yourself ready for the evening while waiting for the rain to stop. You can get almost any beauty service needed; be it manicures, pedicures, hairdressing or body treatments.
Aquarium is a fun place to visit for the whole family and a perfect destination for a rainy day. 35 aquariums, 450 different species, including sharks and raymoons; and a total of 11,000 creatures will most likely keep you and your children busy for a good part of the day.
For football fans, we recommend going to watch football in a bar; especially if there is a big FC Barcelona match coming and you’re not planning to go watch it in the stadium. Grab a beer, sit down and enjoy the matches with the fans on the big screens. There are also organized Camp Nou Tours; where you can go around the famous ground and study the club’s glorious history.
Out of Barcelona
You can also try your luck and head outside Barcelona in hopes of better weather. You could try your luck escaping the rainy clouds; many interesting and historic locations around Catalunya easily by train or bus. Tarragona is a popular destination to go from Barcelona for a one-day trip; while visiting Andorra would surely make for an unforgettable spontaneous adventure!