Beyond the opportunity to take academic classes at a local university, complete an internship in a diverse global city with a rich history and explore through My Global City events, our local team shares five reasons to consider fall for your semester abroad in Barcelona.
The application deadline is June, so there's still time to apply!
1. IT’S A SEASON OF CELEBRATION. Catalan National Day brings processions to the city in September. Barcelona’s biggest street festival, Festes de la Mercé in honour of the patron saint of the city, Our Lady of Mercy comes next. Prepare for a week of fireworks, decorations, music, a fire run, costumes and parades. Then, a beach festival in Barceloneta. Changing pace, there’s Halloween and All Saints’ Day - together known as the Castanyada. On November 1, people head to cemeteries to pay respect to the dead, sprinkle holy water on graves, leave flowers and pray. If you study abroad in Spain in the fall, you’ll also experience the festivities leading up to the Christmas season.
Photo: La Mercè Festival in Barcelona by Azchael
2. IT’S A SEASON FOR SOCCER. Fall means soccer is back in session and the world-famous FC Barcelona are preparing for a new season. Fixtures and ticket prices are confirmed around mid-July, so keep an eye on their website to book a seat for at least one game while you’re abroad. Even if you’re not a soccer fan, the atmosphere at a home match of one of the most popular teams in the world and the opportunity to see their nearly 100,000-seater stadium Camp Nou bubbling full of excitement is an experience in itself. Look up “Barça chants” on YouTube before you go to familiarize yourself with some of the lyrics. You may feel inspired to join in and cheer on the players.
Photo: F.C. Barcelona flag
3. IT’S A SEASON FOR FOODIES. Walk through the streets of Barcelona in the fall and it won’t be long before you come across the familiar scent of castañas (chestnuts) and boniatos (sweet potatoes) roasting on a fire. This is a traditional treat this time of year along with panellets (Catalan almond biscuits covered in pine nuts). You’ll also be just in time for Mercat de Mercats (literally “Market of Markets”), a huge food festival where you can sample plenty of delicious tapas-style dishes including treats by some of the city’s top chefs. Other Autumn foodie highlights: Eat Street Barcelona - a street food festival, an annual mushroom foraging excursion, and a fresh round of delicious produce.
Photo: Roasted chestnuts
4. IT’S A SEASON OF IDEAL CONDITIONS. City streets settle back into normality as the rush of summer break tourists finishes and locals return from summer getaways. The fall weather in Barcelona is ideal for long walks exploring the city, around 65-78F. Having been warmed by the hot summer sun for months, the September and October sea temperatures are at their warmest, around 72F - excellent for a paddle in the beautiful Mediterranean, and with fewer crowds clogging up the beaches too. And, more great news for the foodies out there: taking the intensity and humidity out of the heat in the air means that it’s now the perfect season to indulge in hot chocolate with your churros!
Photo: A beach in Barcelona
5. IT’S A SEASON OF CULTURE. Culture vultures will love Autumn in Barcelona. Gracia hosts LEM Festival - a multimedia art and experimental music celebration with lots of free concerts and more music can be heard at Festival Internacional de Jazz de Barcelona. Art lovers will enjoy Swab Barcelona International Contemporary Art Fair, which features around 80 local and international galleries showcasing emerging talent. Always interesting, especially for interiors and architecture enthusiasts, is Open House Barcelona when over 200 buildings open usually closed doors for the public to explore. Also, nearby beach town Sitges puts on a fantasy and horror film festival nearly in its 50th year.
Photo: Nearby beach town Sitges in Spain by Jef Nickerson
Find out how you can study abroad with CAPA in Barcelona!