Weather Averages for Barcelona in May
Averages for Barcelona in May
May to July is the most ideal weather for a holiday in Barcelona as it is summertime.
Tourists tend to flock to the city during this month as the weather is beautiful, without being as humid as it can get in the later summer months, such as August.
In May, Barcelona experiences hot, warm days with sunny, clear skies.
The average daytime temperatures are around 20°C (that is about 68°F) where as the average minimum temperatures drop down to 12°C (that is about 53°F). At this time of year the maximum temperature can even exceed a hot 25°C (about 77°F) one day in ten.
May is an ideal time to visit if you like sunbathing as there in an average of eight hours of sunshine per day. However, be sure to protect yourself with a decent sun cream, as the sun's rays can be strong and there is a risk of sunburn. Also make sure you stay healthy by keeping yourself hydrated and drinking plenty of fluids through the day.
Over the course of a typical May, the length of day is gradually starting to increase. On average, from the start to the end of the month, the length of day increases by approximately 57 minutes. Furthermore, the shortest day of the month is May 1st with 14:00 hours of daylight, while the longest day is May 31st with 14:57 hours of daylight.
During May the median cloud cover is a partly cloudy 43% and does not vary substantially over the course of the month. On May 16th, a representative day, the sky is clear or mostly clear 46% of the time while it is only partly cloudy 29% of the time. So during May you are pretty much guaranteed clear weather.
On average, May experiences around 60mm of rainfall spread across a total of nine days, compared to July which sees on average 20mm of rainfall spread across just four days. During May the probability that precipitation will occur varies throughout the month. Precipitation is most likely around May 2nd at 36%, while precipitation is least likely around May 31st at 31%. Throughout the month, the most common forms of rainfall are moderate rain, thunderstorms, light rain and drizzle.
Across May the relative humidity fluctuates between a mildly humid 56% and a very humid 92%, rarely dropping below a comfortable 40% or reaching as high as 100%. On average, the air is driest around May 1st, at which time the humidity levels can drop below 66% three days out of four. On the other hand, the air is most humid around May 8th, where the relative humidity levels can rise above a very humid 89% three days out of four.
During May, the typical wind speeds vary from 0 m/s to 7 m/s, which is considered as a calm to moderate breeze, rarely exceeding 10 m/s. The highest average wind speed of 3 m/s usually occurs around May 1st, at which time the average daily maximum wind speed is a moderate 7 m/s. At this time of year the wind is most often coming from the north, followed closely by the south.
Moreover, the sea is perfect for swimming or getting involved in water sports as the average temperature is a warm 18°C – that's only 3°C cooler than June, where sea temperatures can reach a warm 21°C.
- Park Guell, Barcelona
Dates for the diary
If you want to do more in Barcelona than lying on the beach all day or frolicking in the sea, there is a lot more that you can get involved in. Barcelona is the cultural capital of Spain and there lot of events and festivities you can enjoy in the month of May.
You could spend some time exploring the city and taking advantage of the tourist sights and cultural attractions Barcelona is famous for.
For festivals and events during this month, Corpus Christi is celebrated in the month of May. Flowers are laid down to make a flower carpet and the celebrations include various traditional dances as well as a "dancing egg" which is balanced on the fountain in the cathedral.
In May, you can also experience the celebrations of the Day of Sant Ponc in the honour of the Saint Ponc, patron saint of Herbalist's. On this day you can peruse and buy some of the best fresh herbs, flowers, cakes, sweets and aromatic oils.
On May 1st Labour Day (aka May Day), is celebrated in Barcelona as a national holiday to honor workers and laborers, so you may find some businesses and shops closed.
May 11th sees the beginning of the Spanish Grand Prix. Twenty of the best drivers in the world will compete at this racing event, considered one of the most important of the year. There are 17 giant screens in the stands so everyone can see what is happening.
On May 15th and May 20th The Guitar Festival BCN continues at Sant Jordi Club and Razzmatazz in Barcelona. The year 2014 marks the 25th year this festival has been in existence. There will be performances by both local and international musicians. The musical genres range from traditional to rock. The fifth part of this concert series features the UK's Crystal Fighters and closes with Argentine Andrés Calamaro.
In May 2014 Primavera Sound 2014 will take place from May 26th to June 1st at various locations throughout Barcelona. This is an incredible music event lasting one entire week, with dozens and dozens of international musical acts lined up to perform.
- Guitar Festival, Barcelona
Things to do
Parc de la Ciutadella (Citadel Park) is a large 74-acre public park, located next to the historic center of Barcelona. There’s so much to do here from discovering the various fountains and sculptures dotted around the park to hiring out a rowing boat for an hour or visiting several museums and even a zoo.
La Ramblas is one of the most famous streets in Barcelona, at nearly 1.2km long it is almost inevitable that you will walk along it at some point without maybe realizing! There’s plenty to see and do here such as the famous La Boqueria market and the Palau de la Virreina, a Baroque palace, that hosts museum exhibitions and cultural events throughout the year.
The Sagrada Familia is arguably one of the most spectacular and breathtaking Roman Catholic Churches in the world. Designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi, this Catholic Church is still under construction after 100 years! Even though the building work is unfinished, this place of worship attracts more than 2.8 million visitors a year. During May it is probably likely it will be very busy, so it may be better to visit the Sagrada Familia in the early morning or late evening.
Casa Batlló was built between 1904 and 1906 in the heart of Barcelona and is one of the most symbolic works by world famous Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi. This intriguing building is designed in a unique wavy shape, which is plastered with lime mortar and covered with a mosaic of ceramic discs and coloured glass.
- La Rambla
What to eat & drink
If you’re looking for a chic and sophisticated restaurant, you should definitely try Abac. This one-star Michelin restaurant is considered to be one of the city’s finest restaurants. This eatery boasts an intimate setting as they only have a total capacity for 56 diners.
However, if you want somewhere which serves mouthwatering seafood you must head to Els Pescadors, which is Catalan for ‘the fishermen.’ This restaurant is located in a less touristy area of Barcelona and is renowned for serving delicious fresh cod.
Café de L’Opera is situated down La Ramblas. This bar used to be a meeting spot for architects, designers, painters and writers and musos even meet here today for public debates. They offer a wide selection of bottled bears and an extensive range of spirits.
If you enjoy tango dancing you should definitely try Tinta Roja. This popular bar boasts an over-the-top take on a 1940s inspired Buenos Aires dance hall. On certain nights of the year there are many live tango and trapeze performances at this place. They also serve a wide variety of delicious cocktails and if you’re peckish they offer tuna, meat and vegetable empanadas.
Hit the beach
Sant Sebastia is a popular beach situated right next to the city center. Given its handy location, it is extremely popular with both tourists and locals so can get very crowded when the weather is warm. However, there are plenty of things to do here that make up for it such as water sports and swimming.
If you want more of a tranquil and peaceful setting you should definitely try Bogatell. This stunning beach is close to the Port Olympic and there are a number of great restaurants and a promenade along the beach.
Furthermore, Mar Bella was constructed during the redevelopment of the city’s coastline for the 1992 Olympic Games. There are a number of lush gardens and benches for picnicking along the backdrop of this beach, there is even a nudist area too.
For a great atmosphere head to Barceloneta, which is arguably one of the most popular beaches in the city. This beach is also one of the oldest in the area and there are plenty of activities available in the area such as water sports and a bike rental center.
- Barceloneta Beach
Where to stay
Apartamentos Barcelona Nextdoor offers a number of fully equipped apartments in Barcelona’s Gothic, Born and Ciutat Vella districts. Each apartment comes with a spacious living area, complete with a comfortable sofa bed, flat screen TV and kitchen. Some even come with an outdoor hot tub!
If you’re staying in Barcelona for the weekend or are here on business you may want to stay at the Holiday Inn Express Barcelona City 22@, situated in Sant Marti. This hotel offers guests a free continental buffet breakfast, and all rooms come with a satellite TV. The hotel is situated just 300 metres from Llacuna Metro Station is within close proximity to many of Barcelona’s top tourist attractions.
On the other hand, set in an attractive Spanish building, the four-star Sunotel Central is a comfortable and elegant hotel situated in L’Eixample. This hotel offers a rooftop swimming pool and luxurious hot tub, with views out onto the rest of Barcelona. The hotel also offers superb transport links into the city centre, such as the Universitat Metro Station which is just 200m away from the hotel.
If you’re planning to go to Barcelona on a honeymoon or a romantic getaway you must stay at Hotel 1898 in Ciutat Vella. This restored 19th century building boasts an elegant heated rooftop pool, indoor spa area, Mediterranean restaurant and all rooms come with free Wi-Fi and a marble bathroom.