This post covers some of the best things to do in Barcelona in May including a variety of family-friendly, nighttime, and free activities and events, updated for 2023.
For even more suggestions of things to do this month, make sure to read some of the following posts:
Disclosure: While our recommendations are always unbiased, we may receive a small share of sales through some of the links below at no cost to you. See the full text.
TOP 12 EVENTS AND THINGS TO DO
This section provides several different popular activities you can enjoy in Barcelona this month, including special events, festivals, and other fun activities you may want to consider.
1) Go to a Concert
Some fantastic bands and performers will be playing in Barcelona this May. Stubhub has a calendar of shows.
Below we list some of the best concerts taking place this month:
- Alfred García | May 4th
- El Kanka | May 5th
- Elton John | May 22nd, 23rd
- Coldplay | May 24th, 25th
- Marlon | May 26th
In addition to these options, you might have a chance to see a Spanish Guitar concert at the Basilica of Santa Maria del Pi.
For even more great shows to attend, check this list of concerts in Barcelona on StubHub.
2) Attend a Sporting Event
This month you can see a football and basketball game, and car-racing! You can get tickets for May sporting events in Barcelona on Stubhub.
Futbol Club Barcelona, one of the best and most popular football teams in the world, plays out of the famous Camp Nou football stadium.
If you are traveling with kids, you can take a tour of Camp Nou, which is a very family-friendly activity.
- FC Barcelona - May 3rd, 14th, 21st, 28th
Check Stubhub to see a list of sporting events in Barcelona this month.
3) Festival Ciutat Flamenco
Note: 2023 dates are not yet announced as of March 2023
Every year in May, the Festival Ciutat Flamenco (Flamenco City), celebrates Flamenco music and dance in different venues across the city.
For just over a week, you can see both some well-known Flamenco stars and also up-and-coming performers.
An alternative to one of the festival’s events is to go to a Flamenco show. Some of these shows include an option for dinner or tapas, while some are a shorter and less expensive show.
Check here for a listing of Flamenco experiences.
4) La Nit dels Museus (Night of the Museums)
Note: Dates for 2023 season are yet to be announced.
Like many European cities, Barcelona holds an annual Night of the Museums.
Many museums throughout the city stay open late and offer free admission! There are also special events planned like music and dancing.
This is a fantastic way to spend an evening out in Barcelona. See what other museums have late hours all year round.
Our post on things to do at night in Barcelona has many more ideas on what to do after dark.
5) Dia Internacional dels Museus (Day of the Museums)
May 18th, 2023, is International Museum Day in Barcelona. Like Night of the Museums above, this event is held in dozens of cities in Europe in mid-may.
Many museums in Barcelona will offer free admission from 9:00 to 21:00 (9 pm).
If you are not in Barcelona on May 18th, you can still visit some museums for free.
Certain museums never charge for admission. Others have occasional free days. Some are included for free with a tourist attraction pass.
6) See More of Barcelona for Less
Explore as much of Barcelona as possible for less when you purchase a discount pass.
These passes bundle admission tickets to give you savings of up to 50% on regular retail pricing.
Just some of the attractions included in various passes:
- Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Tours
- L’Aquarium Barcelona
- Picasso Museum
- Park Guell’s Monumental Zone
- Montserrat Morning Tour
- Sagrada Familia
- Dali Museum
- Barcelona Zoo
- and more.
See our post comparing Barcelona tourist passes to see if a pass is right for you.
7) Take a Walking Tour
May weather is lovely to be outside and it is an excellent time to take a free walking tour.
On a tour, you'll gain insight into the city from an experienced tour guide without busting our budget.
Barcelona city tours typically include the Old Town, historic port, Gothic District, and the Barcelona Cathedral, among other landmarks.
For more details, read our post covering Barcelona walking tours.
8) Sant Ponç Fair
In an era when homeopathic remedies are increasingly popular, the centuries-old Sant Ponc Fair on May 11, 2023, will be of interest to some people.
This fair dates back to the Middle Ages when natural remedies were being explored and used to treat illness.
It's free to attend! For more free events, read our post on free things to do in Barcelona
The Sant Ponç Fair has been held in Carrer de l’Hospital since 1817. It is quite popular since more and more people are looking for natural products.
You can find lots of products like essential oils, fresh herbs, homemade honey, jam, preserved fruit, and syrup. Read more here.
9) Take a Food Tour
Barcelona is famous for its cuisine. If trying the local food isn't already on your list of things to do, you might want to add it.
If you don't know where to start, we suggest you consider taking a Secret Food Tour.
On a food tour, you'll taste tapas, paella, Iberian ham, Spanish cheeses, Catalonian pastry, and more.
Spanish wines rival the city's incredible food. On a Secret Wine Tour, you'll be tasting some of the best varietals, paired with food that complements the wine.
10) Guitar BCN Festival
This annual prestigious guitar-based festival runs from March to November, 2023. This May there are multiple concerts you can attend.
Performers are top notch and come from all around the world. You’ll hear styles of all kinds from pop/rock, flamenco, classical and more.
Concerts are held at various venues and ticket prices vary. Some concerts are free to attend, depending on who is playing.
See the Guitar BCN Festival for the schedule and to buy tickets.
11) Attend a Film Festival
Cinema lovers will be happy to know that there are two film festivals this month, and almost every night throughout the month, you can see interesting movies.
In 2023, the annual D’A—Festival Internacional de Cinema d’Autor de Barcelona takes place from Mar 23rd - Apr 2nd.
This is a great chance to see a wide variety of contemporary world cinema that you won’t find in mainstream theaters.
For 10 days from Mar 23rd - Apr 2nd, 2023, you can see documentaries from around the world at the DocsBarcelona International Documentary Film Festival.
This annual festival has a big turnout and is quite popular among cinephiles. Check out their website for the schedule.
12) Festa Major de Nou Barris
Held annually in the district of Nou Barris, this week-long festival offers some fantastic cultural happenings.
The festival is free, making this an excellent budget-friendly activity.
There are lots more ways to save money in the city. Read our post on free things to do in Barcelona for more ideas.
The Festa Major de Nou Barris takes place during the second fortnight of May. This is a great festival to bring the whole family.
For more family-friendly activities see our post on things to do with kids in Barcelona.
UNCONFIRMED: Primera Persona ('First Person')
Every May, this festival invites international artists of all disciplines to tell their personal stories in any manner.
The dates for Primera Persona 2023 have not been announced but it is usually on or around the 10th of May.
Through monologue, song, art, and one-on-one interviews, popular international artists and musicians speak to audiences in the 'first-person'.
Don't worry if you don't speak Catalan or Spanish as there are many events in English. Read more about the Primera Persona here.