Barcelona is known for its seasonal traditions and events. The autumnal season is one of our favorites - you can feel the city starting to buzz with cozy traditions and activities geared towards the cooler weather.

Castanya street vendor in Barcelona.
Castanya street vendor in Barcelona, photo via NacióDigital

La Castanyada: the Catalan “Halloween”

The only thing in common between Halloween and La Castanyada is that they both happen at the end of October. The Castanyada celebrates that summer is over and that colder weather is on its way. This public holiday is celebrated with family, friends and in schools. It is often accompanied by roasted chestnuts and panellets (traditional marzipan cookies) served with sweet dessert wine. Around the time of this celebration, street vendors take to the streets to sell their hot freshly-roasted chestnuts and sweet potatoes.

Sitges Film Festival, photo via Sitges Convention Bureau.
Sitges Film Festival, photo via Sitges Convention Bureau

Sitges Film Festival

The Sitges Film Festival, in Catalan: Festival Internacional de Cinema Fantàstic de Catalunya, is one of the world’s most important international film festivals specializing in fantasy and horror films. The festival established in 1968 takes place every year in early October, this year it will take place from the 7-17th of October in our favorite coastal town of Sitges. Sitges is only a short (and affordable) 30-minute train ride away from Barcelona.

Barcelona marathon by the Sagrada familia.
Barcelona marathon, photo via Zurich Marato Barcelona

Autumn Road Races in Barcelona

For those who enjoy the crisp fall weather to lace up their running shoes and train for a race, there are plenty of road races to take part of in the city. The Cursa dels Bombers takes place on October 24, 2021 and is a very popular run in Spain with around 15.000 runners and around 400 firemen from Catalonia, Andorra and other parts of Spain taking part. Traditionally, four firemen from the “Bomberos de Barcelona” form a relay team, and each member of the team runs 2.5k of the 10k course in full fire-fighting gear. The 10k run is the perfect race for professional or amateur runners. On November 7, 2021 we have the Barcelona Marathon. This race has been drawing runners from all over the world for over 30 years. The Jean Bouin race takes place on November 28, 2021 and is named after the legendary French athlete. You can choose between a 5k or 10k race depending on your fitness level and goals.

Manga Barcelona 2018.
Manga Barcelona 2018, photo via El periódico

Manga Barcelona

Every October, cosplay fans, admirers of Japanese culture, manga readers and anime fans meet at Barcelona’s quintessential Manga event. This year, the 27th edition of Manga Barcelona returns to the city after a hiatus during the pandemic. From October 29th to November 1st, Barcelona’s Fira Montjuïc will be filled with manga lovers enjoying editorial and cinematographic news, conferences and meetings with well-known authors. There will also be martial arts exhibitions and cooking shows by Japanese chefs and, not to mention, an epic ramen eating contest.

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