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Things to do: May in Barcelona

Things to do in May in Barcelona

The first real days at the beach, picnics in the park and trips to the small beaches on the coast are all part of the great month of May. It is guaranteed to be a lovely month with how many festivals and events are taking place. Make sure to check out everything that’s going on in May, to make sure that you don’t miss out on anything!

Things to do: May in Barcelona

Bank holidays

Labour Day

The month of May begins with Labour Day; an international holiday that is most commonly associated with the achievements of the labour movement. Most businesses close their doors, with the exception of those inside the Maremagnum shopping centre, the Gothic Quarter and El Born. There may also be protests and demonstrations going on throughout the city centre. Some Catalans go out to protest on this day, others spend their day with a family activity.

Mother's Day - Dia de la Madre

The first Sunday of May is Mother’s Day, also known as ‘Dia de la Madre’. It is the perfect moment to celebrate the motherly figure in your life. This holiday has been celebrated in Spain, since 1944 and emphasizes the importance of mothers in our world. It wasn’t until 1965 that Mother’s Day was celebrated in May. The celebration was moved to May, seeing as May is the month of Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus. It is said that carnations are the official flowers for Mother’s Day, however, there are many things one can give on this special day. And ultimately, it is the thought that counts.

Day trip: All about Cava!

May is the perfect month to go to the wine region ‘Penedes’ for the day and learn all about the well-known Spanish sparkling wine; Cava. There are many vineyards where you can go for creative workshops and tastings. There are very specific protocols that the wineries have to uphold for creating the Cava. Cava owes its name to the Spanish word cava, which means ‘cave’ or ‘cellar’. This is because, at the beginning of cava production, the cava was stored in caves to preserve and age the wine. In 1970, Spanish winemakers officially introduced the name to differentiate their product from French champagne. You can get a glass of cava at any bar or restaurant in the city. Therefore, locals do not only drink Cava on celebratory occasions but also just on a random Tuesday.


The Penedès region is easily accessible by public transport. Cordoniu and Freixenet are the two most famous Cava producers. They both offer tours of the wineries. But there are also some other really nice wineries around. We’ve listed 10 of our favourites:

Every May there’s one evening when Barcelona’s museums open up their doors to the public, free of charge. This night provides a unique way to experience the current permanent and temporary exhibitions, as well as the opportunity to participate in various activities such as family workshops, live performances, and guided tours. Whether you’re looking for the perfect date or a fun evening activity with friends, this is a night not to miss out on!

The comic convention, known as Saló del Còmic takes place in Fira de Barcelona. It is one of the most popular conventions in Spain amongst comic book lovers. For those who enjoy playing video games and/or reading comic books, this is the perfect event to attend. The convention is held annually since 1981 and is known internationally. We’d recommend getting tickets beforehand since there are many people who will be attending.

International Roses Contest

Every year on the first (or second) weekend in May, the Parc de Cervantes hosts an international rose competition that draws a large number of visitors. Breeders and growers from all over the world of new rose species get to show off their roses. The titles of the prizes that can be won vary from which rose the best miniature one is to the best climbing rose. If you’re a nature lover, this will, without a doubt, be the right event to attend for you. It’s unlikely that you’ll ever see roses this beautiful.

Marathon of Barcelona - Zurich Marató de Barcelona

The yearly marathon, also known as Zurich Marató de Barcelona has been taking place ever since 1978. It is an incredibly popular marathon, with thousands of participants. The marathon starts at 8.30 at Avinguda Reina Maria Cristina. If you’re a fan of running, this is an incredible marathon to participate in, seeing as the participants run past all of Barcelona’s highlights. Whether you are interested in running or not, it is a fun moment to head into the city, with food stands, live music and a diverse range of activities taking place.

Formula 1

Sunday the 22th of May, Formula 1 is returning to Barcelona for the Spanish Grand Prix. Practice rounds start on the 20th, with qualifications taking place on the 21st. All around the city, fans of the sport are celebrating the race. Every year, in honour of the race, Martini presents their exclusive and chic terrace in Port Vell, known as ‘Terrazza Martini’. There are also many nice sports bars around the city to have a drink and watch the race with other Formula 1 fans. 

The Hat parade - Passejada amb barret

To celebrate the beginning of springtime, participants of passejada amb barret put on their best hats to join the parade through the streets of Barcelona. The parade is an initiative of Nina Pawlowlsky and Cristina de Prada, who are both hatmakers in Barcelona. It’s becoming increasingly popular amongst the Catalan people. The parade starts at Rambla de Catalunya, so put on your most extravagant hat and join the parade!


International Documentary Film Festival - DocsBarcelona

The International Documentary Film Festival is an amazing global initiative that includes a professional market, distribution brand, exhibition network, a festival and courses for documentary filmmakers. There are multiple movie theatres in the city that are participating. It is the perfect opportunity to delve into the world of filmmaking.

Flamenco Festival - Ciutat Flamenco

Ciutat Flamenco is a festival dedicated to the invention, experimentation, and exhibition of classical and heterodox, transgressive, and multidisciplinary flamenco concepts. This is the event to attend if you want to see more of the international flamenco scene in Barcelona. Flamenco Ciutat Vella was founded in 1993, and in 2012, it changed its format and, as a result, its name.

For fans of the genre in Barcelona, the festival has become an unmissable event. It brings together experienced artists with up-and-comers to promote the integration of different musical languages and artistic disciplines of flamenco.

Girona's Flower Festival - 'Temps de Flor'

Though the festival is not going to be taking place in Barcelona, it is definitely one to consider visiting. Girona is a medieval town, just 85 kilometres outside of Barcelona. What better way to celebrate the springtime than to visit this beautiful town during the Flower Festival also known as ‘Temps de Flor. It takes place from the 7th to the 15th of May. This is the perfect time to visit the town if you haven’t yet since its beauty will be even more apparent when covered in flowers.

Things to do

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