What’s On in Barcelona This Fall

What’s On in Barcelona This Fall 

By Anne McCarthy

Fall is around the corner, and there’s never a shortage of festive fall fare to sate the adventurer’s appetite. And that is especially true in the bustling and exciting Barcelona, where autumn festivals reign supreme.

So if you find yourself between a bike tour or tapas tour and you’re looking for a bit more excitement, then check out these fall events, which are sure to bring you some fun and new experiences.

September

Festival L’Hora del Jazz

This lively jazz festival runs every Sunday in September, and it features various local jazz performers and free concerts throughout Barcelona. For the full schedule, be sure to check the listings.

Dates: Sundays in September

Diada Nacional de Catalunya

This is known as the National Day of Catalonia, and it’s an all-day festival, as well as an important day in Spanish history, which marks the fall of the city of Barcelona during the Spanish Succession in 1714. On this day, you will see the Catalan flag waving high from various perches throughout Barcelona.

Dates: September 11, 2019

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Barcelona Acció Musical (BAM)

More free music will waft through the streets during BAM, a music festival which highlights jazz and “ethnic fusion” music via free concerts. BAM’s mission is to offer people “music without borders.” It is held during the famous Festes de la Mercè,

Dates: September 20 – 23, 2019

La Mercè Festival 

This hugely popular “street party” festival has been known to draw crowds numbering the millions. La Mercè is an official holiday in Barcelona and has been such since the late 1800s. It began as a Catholic feast day, the Feast Day of Our Lady of Mercy (or, La Mare de Déu de la Mercè), and over time it has morphed into the celebratory affair that it is today, complete with parades, concerts, fireworks, street performers, dancing, food and drink, and so much more. You won’t want to miss this one.

Dates: September 20 – 24, 2019

October

Festa Major de la Barceloneta

This is another festive affair with beachside fireworks, soccer tournaments, fire-breathing dragons, and outdoor movies. The festival takes place all over Barcelona and draws an eclectic mix of locals and tourists alike.

Dates: Early October, and late September

Sitges Festival Internacional de Cinema de Catalunya

If you’re a cinema lover, keep this one at the top of your list. Near to Barcelona in Stiges, this annual film festival is praised as being one of the best-ever film festivals for horror, sci-fi, and fantasy. Cinephiles will delight in the various screenings, film-focused conferences, and celebrity appearances.

Dates: October 3 – 13, 2019

Oktoberfest Barcelona

Can’t make it to Munich for Oktoberfest? Do not fret. Barcelona has you covered. Oktoberfest Barcelona will be serving up German beers galore in the spirit of Germany’s Oktoberfest, with music, costumes, and enough festive activities to almost make you forget that it’s not the real deal.

Dates: October 3 – 13, 2019

LEM Festival

Is experimental music your jam? If so, you’ll need to make a least one visit or two to the LEM festival, which runs all through October. Open your ears and expand your horizons with the groovy elixir of sounds you’ll discover at the fest.

Dates: September 25 – October 26, 2019

La Castanyada

It’s Halloween for some, and La Castanyada for others. This Catalan holiday is in celebration of All Saint’s Day. (Spain is a historically Catholic country, which is why religious festivals factor heavily into Spain’s event calendar.) Named for the treats enjoyed during the festival, “castanyes” (roasted chestnuts), this holiday now has to contend with the popularity of Halloween as well, so October 31st is a very celebratory night in Barcelona, no matter how you slice your celebratory cake.

Dates: October 31 – November 1, 2019

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November

Barcelona Manga Fair

Manga is an ever-increasingly popular art form. (If you don’t know what Manga is, they are graphic novels and comic books from Japan, and they have very distinct artwork. Pokémon is an example of Manga.) Every year, Barcelona hosts a Manga Fair, which attracts over 100,000 Manga and Anime fans from around the world. Even if you’re not into Manga, this is a fantastic people-watching event. Manga and Anime fans are known to “cosplay” (aka dress up as their favorite characters) at events.

Dates: October 31 – November 3

Festival Internacional de Jazz de Barcelona

This long-running jazz festival keeps the spirit of music alive through the streets of Barcelona, ensuring that sweet sounds fill the city all through fall. Beginning in late October, this festival runs almost till Christmas time. It is one of the most highly respected jazz festivals in the world and attracts performers from all over the globe.

Dates: Late October – Early December

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L’Alternativa Film Festival

Another cultural draw, this film festival highlights the work of independent European cinema. With Marvel blockbusters often edging out smaller films from multiplexes these days, film festivals like this one are a wonderful way to support lesser-known filmmakers with smaller budgets, who manage to create moving and evocative stories in a beautiful way. Buy your tickets for this year’s screenings here.

Dates: November 11-17, 2019

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