Best Time to Visit Spain (in 2023)
The best time to visit Spain is either in the late spring from April to May or early fall from September to November. As they’re considered the shoulder seasons, you’ll find pleasant weather, fewer crowds, and affordable accommodations in Spain during these times.
I traveled around Spain during both the high season and the shoulder season and found that each season has its own advantages and drawbacks. It’s all a matter of priorities. In this article, I’ve broken down all the factors that will help you decide when to visit.
Before diving in, bookmark our guide to finding travel insurance for Spain. It’ll put you on the right foot for all the best Spain adventures!
Table of Contents
- When is the Best Time to Visit Spain?
- Spain Travel Seasons (Month by Month)
- Spain Weather and Climate by Region
- Tips for Visiting Spain
- FAQs About the Best Time to Visit Spain
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When is the Best Time to Visit Spain?
If you want to have your cake and eat it too, visit Spain from September to November or April to May. These months provide visitors with warm weather, fewer crowds, and reduced prices.
With that being said, there are a lot of tempting reasons to visit Spain during the low season or peak season. It all depends on what you’re looking for on your Spain trip, and where you go in Spain. Let’s explore some of your options:
When to Go to Spain for Good Weather
Is your top priority ensuring 12 hours a day of pure sunshine on your trip to Spain? If so, the best time to visit Spain is from July to September. It’s hot and sunny every day. Perfect for outdoor activities and soaking up some Vitamin D (just be sure your packing list for Spain includes lots of beachwear and sunscreen!).
Just keep in mind that this is in the middle of the high season. Crowds will be plentiful and prices will be higher. But, there’s good reason for the hype. Spain is beautiful around this time.
When to Go to Spain for Cheap Prices
For budget travelers, the cheapest time to visit Spain is the winter months from January to March. This period lands in the middle of the winter season. There will be cooler temperatures and more unpredictable weather. However, there are way fewer tourists around this time and you’re guaranteed a good deal on a trip.
When to Go to Spain for Sunny Beach Days
Spain is home to some of Europe’s most enticing, pristine beaches. The best time to visit Spain for discovering the beautiful beaches in Spain is in the summer months. Any time between June and August is prime time for soaking up the sun on the beach and wading in the refreshing waves.
👉 Pro Tip: Don’t forget that the summer is the peak season for most regions in Spain, and it will definitely be busier than the rest of the year. The best way to get a good price during this season is by booking Spain accommodations in advance. They sell out fast and it drives the prices up as the season nears.
When to Go to Spain for Families and Kids
The best time to visit Spain for families is during the shoulder seasons. Most of Spain gets stifling hot in the summertime, not to mention this season attracts a lot of party types. To have the most comfortable Spain visit with your family, choose a season where the weather is comfortable and you don’t have to dodge rowdy parties.
For example, Barcelona becomes a party magnet during the summer. Of course, it’s still possible for a family to enjoy Barcelona during this time, by visiting the many attractions or taking the many incredible day trips from Barcelona.
When to Go to Spain for Festivals & Parties
The summertime from June to August is the best time to visit Spain for parties, music festivals, and other events like these. There are lots of different activities happening across Spain during this season and many of them involve a healthy dose of partying.
However, this season is up there as the most expensive time to visit Spain.
When to Go to Spain for the Pamplona Bull Run
The annual bull run in Pamplona, Spain is one of the country’s most famous events. It’s an exhilarating event, to say the least. If you want to bear witness to this once-in-a-lifetime event, you have to visit Spain in the middle of the summer from July 6 to July 14.
Spain Travel Seasons (Month by Month)
🐣 Spring (March – June)
Spring is one of the best seasons for Spain travel with an average temperature of around 80 to 83 degrees (depending on the region). This is when the weather takes a turn for the warm and the country really blooms again. Plus, it’s not overrun with tourists yet coming in for the summer.
However, Spring is also one of the most eventful. There are lots of holidays and famous festivals that happen around this time.
🌞 Summer (June – September)
The summer season from June to September is the most popular time to visit Spain. Spain is a relatively sunny country in general, but there is near-constant nice weather in the summer particularly. Summer has an average temperature of around 86 degrees Fahrenheit.
This is also by far the busiest season in Spain – so be sure to plain your Spain itinerary in advance. There are lots of people visiting the country around this time and it’s more difficult to find affordable accommodations. That’s why it’s very important to plan ahead if you plan on traveling to Spain during the summer.
☔ Autumn / Rainy Season (September – December)
September to December is Spain’s rainy season with average temperatures around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. During this time, the country gets varying levels of scattered rain storms.
The degree and intensity of these storms depend on the region, but the northern parts of the country tend to get more rain.
☃️ Winter (December – March)
Winters in Spain bring in a gust of cool weather, but temperatures still hover between 55 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. In certain regions of Spain, you can enjoy winter sports and snow activities. However, most of the country remains reasonably warm. This is an excellent season for budget travelers to visit because prices go down in the respite of winter.
Spain Weather and Climate by Region
Northern Spain is one of the more humid regions of Spain due to its proximity to the coast.
Northern cities tend to get more extreme weather during the colder months, with more rainfall during the fall and winter seasons. There are also opportunities for winter sports and ski resorts in this area.
Southern Spain includes places like Costa del Sol, Andalusia, Seville, Malaga, and more. Southern Spain has a dry climate throughout most of the year and some of the mildest winters in the country. Even in the middle of the winter, temperatures in this Spanish region rarely drop below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
With that being said, there are still some opportunities for winter activities, like skiing up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
🛎️ Need a Hotel? The southern region has so many hotels equal parts stunning and welcoming. But, one of my favorites is Joya del Casco Boutique Hotel in Seville’s Old Town. Their grounds are immaculate and the outdoor pool has the perfect view of the Cathedral.
Eastern Spain has dry summers with temperatures of 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Located along the Mediterranean Coast, this region has a history of getting heat waves.
In the winter, eastern Spain gets rainy and temperatures drop to 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Sometimes it also snows in the more mountainous spots of this region. It’s one of those in-between places in Spain where the weather never gets too crazy.
Northwestern Spain includes the regions of Galicia, Asturias, and Cantaria over on the Atlantic Coast. Here, there are clear, hot days in the summer with average temperatures at a scorching 95 degrees Fahrenheit. In the winter, this area gets more rain than anywhere else in the country as the northernmost Spanish region.
When it comes to weather, Northwestern Spain is one of the more extreme regions.
Central Spain has some of the hottest summers and coldest winters in the country. Throughout the year this region gets very little rainfall.
Inland cities like Madrid are known for their intense heat waves during the summer, so be sure to book a place to stay in Madrid with air conditioning. Temperatures can rise all the way up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit. In the winter, central cities get pretty cold. Temperatures can get all the way down to 40 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter.
Spain’s Canary Islands have an incredible climate all year round with temperatures ranging from 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The Canary Islands is fairly dry and rarely gets any rain. During the winter, visitors can still enjoy comfortable temperatures and blue skies.
Tips for Visiting Spain
Many Stores Close for Siesta (2-5 PM)
Siesta (nap) time is taken seriously across much of Spain. Most people don’t necessarily sleep during this daily event, but most businesses close from 2 to 5 pm. It’s important to remember this when you’re making plans in Spain.
Try the Regional Specialty Dishes
Spain is known globally for its delicious food and, throughout the country, the dishes vary drastically.
In Costa del Sol, seafood dishes like sardine skewers are a delicacy. In Northern Spain, you’ll find a bunch of tortillas de patatas and croquettes. If you visit the Canary Islands, you must try the Puchero Canario stew.
Look up the specialties of the region you’re visiting to discover some hidden culinary gems.
Consider Spain Travel Insurance
Even though Spain is a safe country in general, you still need to be prepared and protect yourself. You may consider if travel insurance for Spain is right for you (though only you can decide that!).
Book Tickets and Reservations in Advance
I was surprised to find out how often you need to book things in advance when visiting Spain. Even during the low season, many places require you to book tickets and reservations in advance.
When you’re visiting somewhere super popular in Spain, remember to make plans ahead of time.
Be Aware of Local Holidays and Events
There are lots of holidays and events celebrated across the whole country of Spain.
Visiting the country during the holiday season can completely change your experience. Holidays like Easter Holy Week (La Semana Santa in Spanish) or the Spring Fair have a totally different vibe. It’s best to be aware of when things like Semana Santa are happening and plan for it or around it.
Ask For the Check at Restaurants
If you don’t directly ask for the check at restaurants in Spain, you’ll end up sitting around for hours waiting. Waiters in Spain won’t really return to your table after the food is brought out. So, you have to make an effort to get their attention and tell them you’re finished eating.
Spain’s gorgeous, sunny weather is one of my favorite things about the country. But, you need to be prepared to be soaking up that much pure sunlight. Always wear sunscreen when you’re wandering around Spain. Especially during the summer when the heat is at an all-time high.
🏝️ Read Next: Best Things to Do in Palma de Mallorca, Spain
FAQs About the Best Time to Visit Spain
What is the cheapest time to go to Spain?
Mid-January through March is the cheapest time to visit Spain. These months occur in the middle of winter. During this winter season (especially after Christmas and New Year), there’s a peaceful lull around Spain and the prices go down drastically.
What is the rainy season in Spain?
The rainy season in Spain happens from September to December. There are sporadic rains throughout this period, with the highest rates of rainfall occurring in the month of November. The rainfall levels can vary across the country.
How many days are enough for Spain?
Visitors should plan to spend a week minimum in Spain. Ideally, two weeks is a more ample amount of time to explore all the different cities and sites that the country has to offer. Spain is a fairly large country and it takes time to get around it.
What is the best month to visit Barcelona?
September is the best time to visit Barcelona. There are way fewer crowds wandering around during September, and you’re more likely to find space at Barcelona’s top attractions. However, the atmosphere is still warm and sunny almost every single day before the weather starts turning for the winter.
Thanks for reading my guide on the best time to visit Spain! Continue planning with my guide to what to do in Spain.
Have fun in Spain!
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