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Leisure and Culture

What happens in Barcelona when it rains

Written by Paula

One of the things that attract foreigners to Barcelona is the city’s amazing weather. Those who have been living here for a while know that they will encounter mostly sunny days, even during the winter. So when it starts to rain in Barcelona, the city’s inhabitants “malfunction” and things sometimes get a little weird.

Here is what happens in Barcelona when it rains.

Umbrellas pop up everywhere

umbrellaWhen it starts to rain in Barcelona, “umbrella entrepreneurs” start appearing in the streets, as if they had suddenly sprouted from the concrete. Released after a good watering, men and women start appearing in every corner, shoving umbrellas in your face. These salespeople are usually not from Spain, which means you may hear words like “palala” instead of “paragua” when approached.

The middle of the street is obviously not the best place to buy an umbrella, but if you are caught by surprise under heavy rain, “street umbrellas” can be a gift sent from heaven.

The subway becomes a sardine can

umbrella barcelonaPeople don’t mind walking long distances in Barcelona, the problem is walking outside when the sky seems to have become incontinent. So be prepared to have to squeeze yourself into a subway car and to have people shove you so that the last desperate souls can get in. Pretend all these people have come to see you and try to feel happy you get to spend some quality face-to-face (or face-to-armpit) time with them.

Don’t forget to pay attention to the stops because when yours comes, you will have to battle your way out!

Monuments close

umbrella barcelonaPerhaps one of the most baffling things that happen in Barcelona when it rains is that there are certain monuments – or at least, parts of them – that close. One of the best examples of this is Gaudi’s La Pedrera. Why? Because when it rains, the roof – the most interesting part of the house – is off limits. Make sure you check the weather forecast online before booking your visit. Otherwise, you may end up having to fall down on your knees and ripping your shirt open as you let out a rage-filled yell after being told you paid 20€ to see only 50% of the house.

The march of the penguins begins

umbrella barcelonaWalking on certain crowded streets filled with people with open umbrellas can be so difficult that, sometimes, you are forced to “penguin walk”: not with your feet facing forward but facing sideways, taking tiny penguin-like steps. The process can be slow and quite frustrating, but you will eventually manage to reach your destination.

What about you? Do you adopt any strange habits when it rains?

About the author


Paula is an experienced content writer, translator and editor.

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