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May in Barcelona

Activities and events 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.


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 Flors'

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 Flors. It takes place from the 13th to the 21st 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.

Whit Monday

Whit Monday is a deeply-rooted religious festival on May 29th. With many names (Cinquagesma, Pentecostès, Pasqua de Pentecosta, Segona Pasqua, Pasqua Granada, etc.) and many different forms of celebration in Catalunya, Whit Monday honors the Holy Ghost’s apparition before the disciples on the 50th day following Christ’s Resurrection. The festival begins on Saturday morning with a musical parade or a ‘cercavila,’ and lasts until Monday night. Throughout Whit Weekend, retired choir groups sing through the streets in decorative clothing, jewelry, sunglasses, and hats. Reflecting the cultural origins of sea trade in Barceloneta, the groups also carry wooden objects like oars, tridents, and harpoons.

Festa Major del Poblenou

Just like most other neighbourhoods in Barcelona, the people of Poblenou also organise different festivities for the whole neighbourhood. There are many different activities one can participate in. As well as cultural events and concerts to attend. Poblenou is known for its history of artisans and its own special atmosphere, so do not miss out on this beautiful neighbourhood’s festivities.


Cursa El Corte Inglés

The Cursa El Corte Inglés  10 km run is Barcelona’s most popular running event and one of the biggest running events in Europe. The all time record number of runners in this race, which is also a Guinness World Record, was when the 1994 Cursa Corte Ingles registered a grand total of 109,457 runners.

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.

Night at the Museums

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!


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:

Brunch in the city

If you’re looking for a place to dance, brunch and enjoy the outdoors, the music festival Brunch in the City is the place to be. The festival starts in March and takes place until the beginning of June. This year the festival won’t only take place at Plaza Mayor, but also at Parc del Fòrum and TNC Come. The festival’s purpose is to bring together those who have a big appreciation for electronic music. At the event you will find that there are both Catalan and International artists performing, creating an amazing atmosphere for locals and expats. 


This festival, unlike many others, is family-friendly. For the kids, there is a petit-brunch. This is a great way for children to make new friends. They will also be able to enjoy the outdoors through multiple entertaining activities and workshops. This festival is really beloved in Barcelona, so it is recommended to get your tickets  on time.


Things to do

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