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May in Catalonia: What to do + Weather and packing guide

Catalonia gets ready for summer! May means terrace season begins, together with picnics at the beach and dinners al fresco. In the mountains, ski season is over and gives way to hiking and camping time! There are plenty of hours of light (15!) to explore, and the air is tinged with the scent of summer.

You won’t get bored as there’s a lot taking place in the country this month, from admiring local street art in a rural village to shopping in a Gaudí building!

Are you coming to Catalonia in May? Our guide with local plans to do in the country in May might come in handy!

* Post written for the first time in May 2022 and updated in April 2024.

The weather in Catalonia in May

Catalonia enjoys balmy weather in May. Spring temperatures are pleasant, sunshine is the norm, and the hours of light are plenty for exploring around!

🌡 Temperatures

The temperatures vary a lot depending on the area of Catalonia you’re visiting.

Temperatures get warmer and warmer, and on the coast, there might be a few days of bikini-worthy beach weather. There, the average high in May is approx. 23ºC (73ºF), while the lower is around 16ºC (60ºF). It’s warm for T-shirts at midday, but it’s good to have a spring jacket at hand in the evenings.

Day temperatures are similar in the centre of Catalonia and the region of Lleida, although they get a bit lower at nighttime.

In the mountains, temperatures are a bit lower, and it especially gets cold at night when they reach around 8ºC (46ºF).

You can watch the weather on your phone’s app (we usually use Google Weather) or Accuweather.

🌦 Weather

Don’t expect a lot of grey days like in Norway or London. We’re lucky sunshine is the norm in most parts of Catalonia in May!

☔️ Rain and snow

There are, on average, five rainy days in May in central and western Catalonia, and the coast.

In the mountains, the average gets up to 8 days.

What does this mean? With a bit of luck, you won’t get wet during your visit. But we highly recommend you pack a jacket that is also waterproof, or a small, easily-portable umbrella, so you can keep exploring without getting soaked!

☀️ Hours of light

There are between 14 and 15 hours of light a day in Catalonia in May. That’s plenty of sunshine for outdoor activities and for exploring around!

Sunrise happens around 6:45 am at the beginning of the month and at 6:18 am at the end. So, for those staying at the coast and wanting to catch a beautiful sunrise over the sea, you better set your alarm early!

Sunset, on the other hand, happens after 9 pm. Yes, it’s that wonderful time of the year when you can enjoy dinners outside, and it’s still bright.

What to pack for a trip to Catalonia in May

🧣 Clothing

What about the clothes to pack? You’ll need a bit of everything this time of year. Garb some full-length trousers and a spring jacket, but also shorts, T-shirts and, if you’re feeling optimistic, your swimmers too! If you’re going to the mountains, don’t forget a coat and some warm jumpers.

🥾 Footwear

Regarding shoes, sneakers are a great option. A pair of hiking boots will do if you plan to go to the mountains. Always remember to bring comfy shoes!

What’s on in Catalonia in May

Taste delicious vermouths at Vermut & Soul (3rd-5th May)

Vermut is a weekend ritual for many Catalans. Before lunch, we meet with friends, family, or mates, head to the bar terrace, and enjoy vermouth and some olives, chips, or/and cockles under the sun.

The Vermut & Soul festival is a great way to introduce yourself to this local tradition. It’s a festival dedicated exclusively to vermut held in Barcelona’s Olympic port from the 3rd to the 5th of May. Think food, drinks, live music, and various activities, such as a catamaran trip with a vermouth taste and a live concert onboard.

A glass of vermouth

Admire local street art at Gargar Festival (3rd-5th May)

Do the words art, music, craft beer, expositions, and food trucks sound appealing to you?

Then head to Penelles on May 3rd, 4th and 5th to enjoy the Gargar Festival. During the festival, more than 900 m2 of walls are painted by local artists in this small village in Western Catalonia. This is some of last year’s artwork.

Enjoy a concert surrounded by vineyards (3rd-5th May)

Ressons is a festival that takes place on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th of May in various locations across the Penedès wine region. During the festival, you can enjoy more than 30 concerts in cellars and emblematic locations across the regions, listening to famous Catalan artists while sipping local wine.

Party under the sun with Brunch in the city

Who said you must spend the whole night out to enjoy great parties? For those who like more to party in the sunshine, be in bed at 11 pm, and wake up fresh the next day, allow us to introduce you to Brunch in the city!

This festival takes place on several Sundays during May. You’ll only need to book your ticket in advance, and love electronic music! Then, you’re ready to have a great time.

And the location? It’s always in Barcelona, but the exact place changes every time! It can be in the famous Poble Espanyol, a park in Les Corts, or an old beer factory.

There’s also something really cool about this festival that party mums and dads will love: little party animals are welcome! The festival has an area exclusively designed for kids and parents. Also, there are activities programmed, so the young enjoy it as much as the old!

Go shopping in a Gaudí building (10th-12th May)

Fancy a day of shopping in the capital? Forget about Zara, H&M, or Stradivarius, and get ready for a unique shopping experience. Think market stalls with local clothing, cosmetic, and jewellery brands located in a Gaudí building. Yup, that’s what the Bcn en las Alturas market is.

The market takes place in one of Gaudí’s lesser-known masterpieces, the beautiful medieval-style Torre Bellesguard, on May 10th, 11th, and 12th.

Besides shopping, there will also be concerts and gastronomy stalls selling delicious street food and drinks. Oh, and we almost forgot to mention the views! Well, you’ll see it for yourself when you go there!

Facade of the Torre Bellesguard

Discover the most colourful side of Girona at Temps de flors (11th to 19th May)

Once a year, during the spring season, the city of Girona transforms into a spectacular floral display. For nine days in May, Girona celebrates its acclaimed Temps de Flors, a festival that dresses the city with beautiful flowers, striking colours, and penetrating aromas.

Girona’s city centre’s monuments, courtyards and urban locations turn into floral creations and ornamental gardens. All flower shows are free of charge, and it’s a unique opportunity to access monuments or buildings usually not opened to the public.

Also, you’ll love the festive atmosphere of the city. During all week, concerts and events are organised throughout the city. Everything revolves around this festival: shopkeepers decorate shop windows, associations prepare the exhibitions, and restaurants offer floral menus.

The floral designs are renewed every edition, so you can visit them every year! Each Temps de Flors festival is unrepeatable and unique.

👌🏼 Our tip

If you decide to visit Temps de Flors without staying overnight, we highly recommend you travel by public transport. It isn’t easy to park in Girona during theTemps de Flors festival, and even less during the weekends. Also, the train station is only 20 min walk from the historic centre, where you’ll find the festival and the best things to do in Girona.

A person standing in front of a floral display at the Temps de Flors Festival

Visit more than 75 museums for free (18th May)

The much-awaited and loved Nit dels Museus (Museum Night) is is back in the city on the 18th of May, when 75 buildings in Barcelona and its surroundings are open to the general public free of charge. Some of the buildings on the list are the Sant Antoni market, the Montjuïc castle, the FC Barcelona museum, and the Palau Güell.

Besides enjoying the museums for longer, you’ll also have the opportunity to join several organised activities, such as guided tours, live performances, or activities for the little ones.

👌🏼 Our tip

As this event happens only once each year, expect big queues in some of the most famous buildings (especially the ones in Barcelona’s city centre). Our recommendation? Check out the schedule, choose which museums you’d like to visit and design your route in advance.

Other cool plans to do in Catalonia in May

Looking for more ideas for your spring trip? Here you have some suggestions:

  • Hike the Camí de Ronda: The Camí de Ronda is a beautiful hiking trail that follows the coast of Catalonia. Pick a section of the track and enjoy stunning views of the Mediterranean sea, charming villages, and pine forests.
  • Cycle the Olive Oil route in Tarragona: Jump on a bike and immerse yourself in a landscape strongly dominated by the cultivation of olive trees. Along the way, learn about olive oil, its history, and its production.
  • Discover Barcelona alternatively: Why not enjoy the spring weather by exploring the city’s best sights by bike, inline skates, or SUP? 
  • Adventure into the impressive gorge of Mont-Rebei: Spend a weekend hiking and kayaking in Mont-Rebei, a wall of rock crossed through by a river of emerald blue water.

And if you’re spending some days in Barcelona, no matter the season, don’t miss out on our list of original things to do at any time of the year.

Have you ever visited Catalonia in May? If so, we would love to hear about your experience!

Prepare for your trip


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Itinerary review

Map guide

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