We will be in Spain over May 1, 2015. Realistically, what is the extent of shutdowns/closures to be expected? We will be in Barcelona the few days before and have the option of staying there over May 1 or heading to Sevilla on the 30th. A Spanish friend suggested the 1st could be a travel day - so the trains are running? Limited schedule? Any advice appreciated.
It's Labor Day as in the rest of Europe. Actually spent Labor Day in Barcelona a few years back.
It works like any Holiday.
Shops and department stores are generally closed, but some souvenir shops may be open in the more touristy areas.
Restaurants and bars should be largely open, at least in the touristy areas.
Museums and exhibits should be closed.
Trains are running on holiday schedule (which for AVE trains is not really reduced at all). Using that day for travel to Sevilla is not a bad idea. However May 1 is on Friday, therefore lots of Spaniards might use that long weekend for travel too. Book your trains and hotels pronto.
While Roberto is largely correct, I must point out that if you happen to be in Barcelona on May 1st you should know most of the main attractions are open, namely La Sagrada Família, Casa Batlló, Park Güell, Recinte Modernista Sant Pau, Torre Bellesguard, FC Barcelona's Camp Nou Experience, Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, MACBA, etc. Note though as Roberto rightly pointed that being a bank holiday interior tourism (as well as foreign tourism from Europe) will swamp many of those places and many more.