November barcelona: Barcelona in November – what’s it like to visit off season

Barcelona in November – what’s it like to visit off season

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Barcelona is one of the most visited cities in Europe. The combination of beautiful architecture, many of Antoni Gaudi’s masterpieces, Mediterranean sea, great weather and amazing cuisine attracts millions of tourist each year. So many, that if you visit in the summer, you need to be prepared for massive crowds everywhere. That’s why I decided to save it for an off season kind of trip and visited Barcelona in November.

Is Barcelona in November a good idea? Absolutely! The city might be overcrowded in the summer, but it’s very pleasant in November. There are significantly less people, but it’s still very much a lively city. Since it’s past high season, flights are cheaper and so are the accommodations. Weather in Barcelona in November is very pleasant and perfect for sightseeing.

No matter where you go in Barcelona, you are reminded that people there are not Spanish, but Catalan and damn proud of it. Barcelona as the capital of Catalonia, one of Spain’s autonomous communities, has its own language and culture. You’ll quickly notice that signs are both in Catalan and Spanish. Many proudly show their independence by displaying Catalan flags from their windows and balconies.

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Wondering where to stay in Barcelona? has a great selection of hotels in various neighborhoods, that fit every traveler’s budget.

Things to do in Barcelona in November

What to do in Barcelona in November, you might ask. Well, pretty much everything you’d do in the summer, but with less people around. The city is still busy and the weather is very pleasant and perfect for sightseeing. It was sunny and 60 F during most of my 4 day visit. It rained one morning, but that was short lived.

Visit Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia is one of the most visited churches in the world and Gaudi’s biggest project. He spent over 40 years working on it, until his tragic death in 1926. It’s only fitting, that it became his final resting place. Sagrada Familia has been in construction since 1882, and is not going to be completed for a few more years. The big finish is set for 2026, which will be the 100th anniversary of the architect’s death.

It’s safe to say, no Barcelona trip is complete without visiting Sagrada Familia. It absolutely does not matter what your religious beliefs are, because this magnificent church is one of the most impressive buildings and an architectural masterpiece. The entire exterior is so rich in detail, you cannot stop staring. While being inside, you immediately notice the gorgeous and colorful stained glass windows. They are especially impressive with the afternoon sunlight shining through. 

As one of the top attractions in Barcelona, visiting Sagrada Familia requires some planning ahead. I recommend reserving your tickets, as soon as you have your travel dates set. Tickets become available two months ahead and you can book them on the official Sagrada Familia website. Your tickets come with a downloadable audio guide.

If you’d prefer a more personal guided tour, that also lets you skip the line, you might want to join the small group tour of Sagrada Familia.

Here you can find The Complete Guide to Visiting Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.

In addition to visiting the basilica, you can also choose going up to one of the towers: Nativity or Passion Tower. You take an elevator to the top, but walk down around 400 steps down a narrow staircase. A visit to Nativity tower that I chose, gives you a close up look at the details up on the Basilica, as well as a fantastic view of the city.

PRO TIP: When it rains, the towers are closed. You can go to the ticket’s office and you will get a refund of the €7 is costs additionally to visit the tower. If you have an option and time to come back later ( assuming the rain stopped ), you can get your ticket exchanged.

Being the Nr 1 tourist attraction in Barcelona, it’s best to book tickets online in advance. You will pick not only the day, but also the time slot. Tickets at the ticket office are only available when not sold out, as there are only a certain amount of people allowed. When I visited in late November, there were a few time slots available, but it’s easy to assume that’s not always the case in the summer. You can also opt for a guided tour that will let you skip the line.

Visit La Boqueria Market

As you walk down La Rambla, more or less in the middle of it, you find Mercat de la Boqueria, the most popular market in Barcelona. Under one roof you find variety of food stands and even a couple of restaurants. The market dates back to 1297, when it started as a place selling meat to city residents.

It’s evident the once authentic food market, became very touristy. The location right in the middle of the most popular pedestrian street La Rambla has probably something to do with it. And yes, it has a lot of people, who go there just to snap pictures of pretty fruit stands, meat parts on display and other delicacies. I did that too. But I also ate. My advice: do not eat before you go there. There are so many delicious foods there and so many unique things you might want to try. You can find everything: fruit, fish, meat, cheese, spices, pastries, traditional Catalan dishes. I mean, where else are you going to eat a ham cone? 

Visiting La Boqueria is also one of the best things things to do in Barcelona on a rainy day.

Subway : Liceu ( green line L3 )

Explore Park Güell

The most famous park in Barcelona, Park Güell is actually a failed residential project. The plan was to build 60 houses in a gated community away from the noise of the city, but the project failed to attract investors. In the end only two buildings were built, and the entire project was abandoned. In 1926 the entire area became a public park.

Gaudi moved into one of the houses with his ailing father and niece. It was the perfect place for them, away from the bustle of the big city. It also gave him a chance to oversee the building process of the park, as well as Sagrada Familia, that he could see from the hill. The house he lived in, is now a museum. There is a charge of €5.50 to visit. 

This is a unique park, just like you’d expect from Gaudi. The inspiration he drew from nature is very much present here. Columns resembling tree trunks, animal accents with the very famous Salamander fountain at the foot of the staircase in the Monumental Zone. It’s where the famous serpentine mosaic tile bench is, and ultimately the best spot to capture the fairy tale like surroundings. 

Even though most of the park is free, you do have to pay to get into the Monumental Zone. It costs €10 to get in and the admission is timed to control the number of people visiting. However, once you get in, there is no limit how long you can stay. I bought my ticket on the spot and got a visit 30 minutes later, but I imagine it had a lot to do with the fact that I was in Barcelona in November. It probably wouldn’t happen in the summer, that’s why many people pre-book tickets to make sure they can get in.

If you like to plan ahead and don’t want to waste any of your time waiting in line, you can get your skip the line Park Güell tickets here.


Park Güell is located in the north part of Barcelona, and you need to use some sort of transport to get there. If using subway, there are two stops you can use: Lesseps and Vallcarca, both on the green L3 line. From both you need to walk for about 15-20 minutes to get to the entrance. There are a lot of steps involved, but they did install some escalators coming from Lesseps to help the climb.

Which subway stop to use will depend on where you want to enter the park. Lesseps is located on the side where the ticket office is, and the entrance to Monumental Zone. To later explore the park, it will be a walk uphill.  From Vallcarca you will end up at the entrance on the hilly part of the park, so the rest will be heading down. That’s the one I used and would recommend it. You can start with going all the way to the top to the viewpoint where the crosses are, for incredible views of the city. At 10 am there was absolutely no one there. You see the whole city spreading in front of you, with Sagrada Familia below and Tibidabo up on another hill.

Visit Casa Batllo

Casa Batllo is one of the most recognizable of Gaudi’s buildings, and my personal favorite. The facade of the building is simply beautiful. Trencadis, using broken pieces of ceramics, was one of Gaudi’s signature styles. It can be seen in a lot of his work, one of them being the front of Casa Batllo. The once simple house, was transformed by Gaudi into a stunning and colorful building, that eventually became a UNESCO heritage site, along with 6 other properties ( Works of Gaudi ).

After exploring the interior by heading up the spiral staircase, you end up on the Casa Batllo roof, which of course is not just an ordinary rooftop. It’s shaped like a dragon’s back, has an open terrace, and even functional things like chimneys are extraordinary.  

Tickets for Casa Batllo are on the expensive side, €35 booked online, €4 more at the door.

Subway : Passeig de Gracia ( yellow line L4, purple line L2, green line L3)

Barceloneta beach

While you won’t be sunbathing on the beach in Barcelona in November, you shouldn’t skip visiting one of the most popular ones in the city: Barceloneta beach. Take a walk down the empty beach and feel the Mediterranean sea breeze. Most beaches in Spain get really crowded in the summer, so this will be very refreshing and quite a treat.

Subway: Barceloneta ( yellow line, L4 )

Parc de la Ciutadella

One of the biggest parks in the city, and also home to Barcelona Zoo. My favorite part about the park was without a doubt Cascada with the big fountain. Inspired by the Trevi fountain in Rome and created by Josep Fontsere with young Antoni Gaudi as an assistant .

Even though the closest subway station is Jaume, I highly recommend taking the L 1 line to Arc de Triomf stop. It’s a really nice walk starting at the triumphal arch down Passeig de Lluis Companys, that eventually brings you to the gate to the park.

Subway : Jaume I ( yellow line, L4 ) or Arc de Triumf ( red line, L1 )

Plaça d’Espanya

One of the biggest squares in the city with one of the best views of Barcelona not far from it. Head down the big avenue ( Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina ), past the two Venetian towers towards Palau National ( National Museum ). The view from right in front of the museum is spectacular.

Sitting right below the National museum is The Magic Fountain of Montjuic. Famous for its spectacular shows on selected nights in the summer, it attracts crowds of people who gather to witness it. The shows still happen in November, but they are reduced to just 3 nights a week ( Thursday, Saturday and Sunday ).  

Subway: Pl Espanya ( red line L1 and  green line L3)

How to get from Barcelona Airport to the city center

The easiest way to get from El Prat Airport to the city center is to take the Aerobus. It takes about 35 minutes and the bus makes just a few stops in the city: Pl Universität, Plaça d’Espanya and Plaça de Catalunya. You can catch the bus on the ground level of the airport. Once you collect your luggage, head down the escalator and you will see a couple of buses lined up ( along with a line of people ).

One way ticket costs €7,90 or you can get a round trip for €13.20. You can pre-book your Aerobus tickets online or buy them on the spot ( either cash or credit card ). Tickets are valid for up to one year from the purchase date.

To catch the bus back to the airport, head back to the closest Aerobus stop. The two stops, that are most likely going to be the most convenient are Plaça de Catalunya and Plaça d’Espanya.

IMPORTANT: Aerobus has 2 buses heading to El Prat Airport: Bus T1 and T2, with the numbers indicating the Terminal. It’s important to check which terminal your flight is leaving from, as they are 4 km away. There is a shuttle connecting both Terminals if you mess up, but if you short on time, you most likely don’t need the extra hassle.

How to get around Barcelona

Unlike Granada or Sevilla, Barcelona is a big city. Yes, you will be able to walk plenty, but no matter where you stay, some attractions will be further away. You will most likely need to use Uber or public transportation. As it happens, Barcelona’s Metro is very well built and really easy to use. If you have limited time in Barcelona, and want to see as much as possible, getting around by Metro is my number 1 advice. It’s easy to use, cheap and reliable.

If you are in Barcelona for a few days, the best deal is to get the T-Casual subway card. The card was introduced in 2020 and replaces the T10 card. Just like the old card, T-Casual is valid for 10 journeys up to 75 minutes. However, unlike T10, you cannot share T-Casual card with other people.

T-Casual card costs €11.35 and is valid for 10 rides from 1-6 zones ( up to 75 minutes per journey ). A single ride ticket costs €2.40, so you get it for half the price with the card. 10 rides might seem like a lot, but I used mine up during my 4 days in Barcelona.

Weather in Barcelona in November

Barcelona in November is very pleasant weather wise. While it’s no longer beach weather, the temperatures are nice and actually perfect for sight seeing. During my 4 days in the city it was sunny and 60 F most of the time. It rained briefly one morning, but it cleared up by noon. It does get chilly once the sun goes down, so dressing in layers is key. Speaking of sundown, it starts getting dark early, around 6 pm. So keep that in mind, especially if you are used to the long, bright days in Europe during the summer.

Safety and pickpocketers

A lot is being said about the pickpocketing problem in Barcelona. I read about it in almost every other article or trip report prior to my visit. So now that I’ve spent 4 days in the city… Not to down play a problem, that I’m sure exists, but I wouldn’t get paranoid. I’m sure it happens, just like it happens in any big city, especially in very crowded places.

And that’s the key. That’s asking for it. It doesn’t make it right, but that’s asking for it. If you are a guy and don’t do that, and if you are a woman, who doesn’t walk around with an open purse swinging around walking down busy places like La Rambla or around La Boqueria Market, you will be fine. Keep your belongings close to you, and pay attention to your surroundings. Same in Barcelona as anywhere else.


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