Fall in Barcelona is much welcomed, providing a perfect break from the blistering summer heat. The huge droves of tourists dissipate, well not entirely, but enough that the locals come out and enjoy the city. It’s the time of year when the weather cools, leaves turn red and the smokey smell from stalls selling roasted chesnuts cloud the streets. Don’t be fooled though, despite the changing seasons there is still plenty of stuff happening in Barcelona, with October set to be an absolutely awesome month. Here are our top picks for What’s Happening in Barcelona this October, reccomended by our locals, for you to enjoy.
Dinner with Stars
Every year from June till October, the Fabra Observatory of the Royal Academy of Sciences is the setting for a magnificent dining experience. Here you can sit back, enjoy amazing food and drink of the highest quality, under the starry sky, with a breathtaking view over Barcelona. Alongside the dinner, you’ll also be shown around the inside of the observatory, and even given a chance to peak at distant lands through a powerful telescope. So if you fancy a unique experience, then look no further than dinner with the stars. There are only three dates left this year, with 2020 already booking up, so move fast and make a reservation to avoid disappointment.
When: 1st, 2nd 3rd and 6th October Where: Observatori Fabra
Sitges Film Festival
Located 35km southwest of Barcelona is Sitges, a small picturesque beach town which has been central to Catalonia’s creative arts scene, since the counterculture spring of the sixties. During this period, the town was fertile ground for creativity, with people experimenting with new ways to express themselves. A by-product of this is the SITGES Film Festival, one of the Europes leading cinematic showcases celebrating the best underground horror and fantasy flicks. Now it’s 52nd year, the festival brings thousands of people from across the world into town. From fanatic film buffs to leading actors and directors, all for the purpose of championing underground cinema. During this time, Sitges is always buzzing with events and activities around the festival. From premiers, red carpets and screenings, to after-parties and much much more. So if you’re film fanatic in Catalonia, make sure you get the Sitges Film Festival added to the calendar.
When: Thursday 3rd – Sunday 13th October Where: Sitges
Barcelona is a burgeoning bohemian behemoth, with a fledgeling alternative, artistic and urban culture. In celebration of its unique cultural identity, every October the Catalan capital hosts BAUM Fest. This annual event brings together the best of Barcelona’s urban culture, for three days of festivities and fun. There will be the whole host of activities for you to enjoy. From live underground hip hop, B-Boy breakdancing, BMX tricks, art exhibitions, food trucks and much more. The best thing is that all of these amazing events will be taking place under one roof, at the same time as the Barcelona International Tattoo Expo. So if you’re looking for a real raw and alternative cultural experience of urban Barcelona, look no further than BAUM. Oh, and if you’re feeling brave, why not get some ink to commemorate this moment.
When: Friday 4th – Sunday 6th October Where: Fira de Barcelona
The arrival of October signals the start of Oktoberfest, the German folk festival famed for being a bonanza of beer-guzzling, gastronomy and all things Bavarian culture. Although it began in Munich, Oktoberfest is celebrated across the globe, with each city hosting its own spin on this iconic event. In Barcelona, the Oktoberfest celebrations are pretty spectacular, with a 6000 square foot tent packed full of partygoers looking for a good time. The festivities begin with the first barrel opening on day one, after which the party don’t stop for another 10 days. The best thing is that the event is free to attend, so grab yourself a stein and frankfurter, and join in the fun. However, if you want to get a decent seat, make a table reservation.
When: Thursday 3rd – Wednesday 13th October Where: Fira de Barcelona
48H Open House
When talking about cities with great buildings and architecture, it would criminal to leave Barcelona out of the conversation. The Catalan capital is packed full of inimitable buildings that are bold, brash, unique and colourful. Most people have heard of Antonio Gaudi, the maverick architect who pioneered the Modernista style, and is behind iconic buildings such as La Sagrada Familia and Casa Milà. However, beyond Gaudi, Barcelona has some real talented architects both past and present, whose works deserve recognition. If seeing them from the outside wasn’t pleasing enough, you’ll be able to step inside over 150+ of Barcelona’s most beautiful building as part of the 48h Open House. This annual event involves tours, talks and presentations to help people see, get informed and educated on all the architecture of the buildings of Barcelona, and the people behind them.
When: Wednesday 26th – Thursday 27th October Where: Various Locations
Mercats de Mercats
Barcelona is a favourite destination for foodies, and if you happen to be visiting this October, then boy are you in for a treat. Why? Well, it’s the return of the Mercats de Mercats, or as it’s known in English, the Markets of Markets, the much-awaited annual festival of gastronomy. Now in its 10th year, this festival will see the Avinguda de la Catedral transformed into a sanctuary of Spanish bites and sips. Over 3 days, you’ll have the chance to try the very best traditional food, from escalivada, esqueixada to paella and the most delicious Bombas (croquette). Washed down with a glass of sangria, cava or vermuth. Not only will you be able to sample the amazing food and drink, but there will also be live cooking and showcases to help you learn about the process behind the plate. So if you’re not in the mood to go restaurant hopping, but want to try as much local cuisine as you can but are short on time. The Mercats de Mercats is an ideal event for you.
When: Friday 18th – Sunday 20th October | Where: Av. de la Catedral
Barcelona Gallery Weekend
Barcelona is one of those places that evokes creativity and inspires free thinking, which is why it has an eclectic and rich arts scene. From street art, sculptures, Gaudi and contemporary galleries. You’ll be able to discover the very best of art in Barcelona, at this years Barcelona Gallery Weekend. Organised by Art Barcelona, this 4-day event will see venues across the city opening their doors to educate and get people involved in the arts. There will be exhibitions, lectures, talks as well as a host of other awesome events, championing the art galleries and artists who make up the city’s creative community.
When: Thursday 10th – Sunday 13th October Where: Various Locations
Veggie World Barcelona
The first weekend of October 2019 see’s the return of Veggie World Barcelona, the green lifestyle expo which will welcome thousands of people to experience the best of vegan culture and sustainable living. There will be vendors selling all kinds of weird and wonderful food, clothing, beauty products and more. However, the event will also see presentations from industry leaders, thought-provoking discussions as well as live cooking with chefs. It’s quite an event that will certainly shatter any pre-conceived notions, help you understand and experience the world of veganism.
When: Saturday 5th – Sunday 6th October Where: La Farga
Cursa de Bombers de Barcelona
Runners will be taking over the streets of Barcelona on the 27th October, as the Cursa de Bombers road race returns. First held in 1999, the race started as a protest against the Barcelona city council’s refusal to listen to the firefighter’s complaints regarding poor working conditions. However, since the first edition, the event has grown and massively with tens and thousands of people taking part, as well as a seperate race for elite athletes. So pop down and cheer on the people taking part, oh and if your feeling brave why not get involved yourself.
When: Sunday 27th October Where: Various Locations
After seeing this list, I think you’ll agree that October in Barcelona is looking lively. So if you’re in town, be sure to check out some of these events and let us know how you found them. Oh, and it doesn’t end in October, November in Barcelona is set to be an absolute belter, so stay tuned for our guide to What’s happening in Barcelona in November. In the meanwhile, you can start exploring Barcelona off the beaten path with the Like Locals App. Stay tuned, there are some exciting updates coming very soon. Download now for free, available on both iOS and Android devices.