Chris’ Perfect Rainy Day in Barcelona

photo of rainy streets in Barcelona

Rainy streets in Barcelona’s old town

“Blessed with a generally bright and sunny disposition, Barcelona is cursed with an excess of fair-weather friends with no appreciation for precipitation. Read: the doom and gloom of backlit cumulonimbus are not welcome here. While no one enjoys a drought (heaven forbid someone can’t fill their swimming pool), grousing about even mildly inclement weather is par for the course, said inclement weather including an overcast sky, and even the lightest of rains. Guiris and Catalans alike seem to prefer ultraviolet heat and sand in uncomfortable places to a spot of rain. But after seven years here, I can claim my perfect day in Barcelona as “pasado por lluvias”.

Because for me, there’s nothing better than the big shining drops of wet that send locals and tourists scurrying to the nearest bar and leave me to my own on the glistening city streets. Best of all, the rain puts a temporary stop to Barcelona’s seemingly endless construction noise.

A Rainy Day in Barcelona

On wet days I can have Barcelona’s outdoor spaces to myself. In Parc Güell, I pet Gaudi’s dragon and scope out my favorite Barcelona buildings from a mosaicked bench in the park’s viewing area. Thunder echoes and lightning streaks across the sky, drawing my eye to the towering spires of the Sagrada Família in the distance. Unlike Barcelona’s more modern structures (the sail-shaped W Hotel, the phallic Agbar Tower), Gaudi’s temple is well suited to the dramatic backdrop of clouds in turmoil.

In Plaça Catalunya, I can see myself and the green letters of Corte Inglés department store reflected in the slick pavement, for once empty of its perennial pack of flying rats (palomas), tourists, and street vendors.

The Parc de la Ciutadella becomes sloppy with any level of moisture, but watching mama duck and company frolic in the fountain more than makes up for muddy boots.

I wander among lush greenery and statues of Greek Gods in the Parc del Laberint d’Horta. Between wet feet and creepy flashbacks from the movie “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer” (filmed here), I can’t help but shiver.

But in the end, I don’t mind the chill, because it’s the perfect excuse to stop at one of the churrerias scattered throughout the city, proffering fried dough and hot chocolate the consistency of custard.  After all, there’s nothing like empty calories to warm a girl up. Of course, another option is a café con leche and a chocolate croissant, savored while sitting under a parasol on a terrace, listening to the soothing, rhythmic sounds of water on concrete.”

photo of churros

Churros & Chocolate

Chris left behind the stormy weather of the American midwest almost seven years ago to embrace year-round sunscreen and palm trees in Barcelona. She is a writer, translator and artist and blogs at and

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  • Chris, I think your rainy perfect day is my favourite yet. I have to admit as someone from the north of England I have developed a shameful hatred of rainy, grey days after being spoilt by all the Barcelona sunlight. You have made me think about those rainy days in a different light.

    • Great isn’t it Claire. I have a healthy appreciation of the rain too. Or is it just an appreciation of a snug café while it’s raining outside. I’m not sure which.

  • Aw, thanks! I love rain. Don’t worry too much about shameful hatred of weather….I have days where I simply cannot face more Barcelona sunlight and stomp around town in my darkest sunglasses, keeping my fingers crossed for an increase in cloud cover.

  • Chris, I love the melancholia of this piece. Made me think of my high school English teacher’s comments on pathetic fallacy – can just see the spires of the Sagrada Familia against the moody sky. Although I have to admit that as a Scot, I could cheerfully never see rain again! Julie

  • Thanks Julie! One thing I love about Barcelona I is a moody sky behind dramatic architecture, the dramatic architecture being harder to find in my hometown in the American Midwest.

  • That chocolate looks incredible! Great post!

  • Thanks for the feedback, Brandon!


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