Barcelona in February - a few questions

Old Aug 23rd, 2019, 07:03 PM
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Barcelona in February - a few questions

Hi: I and a few friends in our 50's will be coming to Barcelona Feb 7 - Feb. 15, 2020.

I have read that Barcelona will not be as cold as Chicago (where I live) but was wondering if outdoor markets will be open? I see that the Magic Fountain will be closed. Do you know of anything else I should be aware of?

Also, we were thinking about renting a car for a few days to drive to the coastal towns or La Rioja. Would it be worthwhile to go to La Rioja? Or drive along the coast? Would it still be pretty in the winter?

Thanks for any advice.

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Old Aug 23rd, 2019, 08:11 PM
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I'm not sure about outdoor markets, but note that at least two of Barcelona's markets -- the famed (if IMO overrated) Boqueria and the Mercat de Santa Caterina -- are covered markets.

And sorry, but I can't speak to how either La Rioja or the coast will be in winter, but I would note that if you plan to visit any wineries in La Rioja, most require advance reservations. I'm sure you realize there's plenty to see in and around Barcelona for a visit of about a week. IMO, the Michelin Green Guide is a particularly useful resource.

If you haven't already seen it, you might get some useful information in my trip report:
Four Awesome Weeks in the North of Spain and Catalunya
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Old Aug 23rd, 2019, 09:19 PM
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Weather is a tricky subject, even more these days, I think.
I've been to Barcelona several times in winter - early January, mid/end February, and March.
The range of "normal weather" can be pretty wide. And the only thing you can say for sure is that temperatures below freezing or snow would be considered possible, but an exception. Once in January, there had been a few millimeters of snow on the beaches - and that made TV news, just to give you perspective.
OTOH, I also had mild sunny spring weather in late February with temperatures warm enough for wearing just a t-shirt during the day.
I'd consider the possibility of cooler temps and rain much more likely than really cold temperatures.

Otherwise, Barcelona is a major big city "open for business" all year long.
I think the one major attraction that may be closed or running on a reduced winter schedule could be Tibidabo amusement park.
The big water parks along the coast will be closed, obviously. Probably also many or most temporary beach establishments like the chiriguitos. Otherwise, the city parks of Barcelona are public places which stay open all the time during the day. As winter days will be shorter you may find shorter opening hours, i.e. from 8-6 instead of 7-9.
In smaller towns inland or on the coast, you could find more restaurants closed for the season. Especially in touristy beach resorts where the number of visitors varies a lot between summer and winter.
Rioja wineries which also rely on visiting tourists may be affected, too. But I think you have to check on a case-by-case basis if you plan to visit a certain place during that time.

As weather can be volatile, I'd probably not plan every day in advance but have my "must see" or "must do" list of things ready and decide each time if I need an item from my fair weather list or from the rainy weather list.
The sights you want to pre-book like Sagrada Familia or the Modernisme mansions could be spread over several days. So you won't have to spend one sunny day all indoors, and a possible rainy next day all outdoors.
Also the drive / day trip to Rioja or along the coast would be a bit of a waste on a cool and rainy day when Barcelona had lots of indoor options instead. It will be a bit more costly to get a car on the same day or reserve just one day in advance. But for just one day, it does not really matter and you can be sure that at least weatherwise you either have a pleasant day trip in the sun or not waste any money and time on that day trip if it was raining.
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Old Aug 24th, 2019, 12:13 AM
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"I have read that Barcelona will not be as cold as Chicago"

That's right. Barcelona will be not nearly as cold as Chicago. The climate is totally different. Chicago has continental climate, exposed to Arctic winds, while Barcelona has a Mediterranean climate, warmed by the sea and sheltered from northern winds by the Pyrenees.

La Rioja is very far from Barcelona and being inland Spain it can get much colder than Catalonia. I'd stick to Catalonia, where is more than enough to see you for a week and much closer to Barcelona and not only the coastal towns. Before you decide to rent a car, check the public transport options, because the public transit is quuite good in Catalonia and you could save the hassle and expense of renting a car, and the driver can also enjoy the scenery instead of concentrating on the road, not to mention it'll be no problem to drink wine for lunch.
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Old Aug 24th, 2019, 01:07 AM
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If you're needing a wine experience while you're there, why not go up to San Sadurni d'Anoia where the very best cava is made. You can visit wineries, sometimes by appointment. I'd recommend Juve y Camps. You could team this up with a visit to Montserrat.
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Old Aug 24th, 2019, 02:43 AM
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It's worth keeping in mind that February in Catalonia is in the calcotada season, a great local culinary tradition.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cal%C3%A7ot

https://spanishsabores.com/2016/12/1...al-experience/

https://theculturetrip.com/europe/sp...n-onion-craze/
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Old Aug 24th, 2019, 10:54 AM
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When my husband and I visited Barcelona in February some years back, we thought it felt like spring, while people who lived there were walking around with coats and scarves. It was a great time to visit.
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Old Aug 25th, 2019, 04:53 AM
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Thanks!

Thank you all for your replies!! They are very helpful!
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Old Aug 25th, 2019, 05:40 AM
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We've been snowed in in Barcelona, so do check the weather forecasts before you leave so you can pack appropriately.
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Old Aug 25th, 2019, 05:16 PM
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Thank you! I shall come prepared for anything!
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Old Aug 26th, 2019, 09:47 AM
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Tourists don't generally go to outdoor markets in Barcelona, not sure which one you are referring to or what kin dof market you want (food, junk, wthat?)

But yes, they are open in January. In fact, more may be open than in August when they can be pretty closed down (at least some stalls in some markets).
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Old Aug 27th, 2019, 05:44 AM
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Actually both...we are renting an apartment so would love to pick up some food and also to wander around a flea market.
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Old Sep 16th, 2019, 02:23 PM
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Following this thread as I will be part of a group of 10 friends traveling to Barcelona in mid-February 2020 as well. Last year we went to Lisbon at the same time of year and had great weather and a great time. Looking forward to both again in Barcelona!

I posted another thread about BCN in February:
Barcelona in February

dwzemens
Rochester, Michigan USA
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Old Sep 16th, 2019, 03:22 PM
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As mentioned , the weather is always a ?
I was in Barcelona in mid a March...it was sunny and pleasant without a jacket.
Another time I was in Barcelona at the end of April and it rained for 4 days non stop.
Yes, Rioja is a long way from B.
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