Regardless of the season, the city of Barcelona has no shortage of activities to enjoy. However, the Mediterranean sun during the summer months seems to amplify these possibilities, offering visitors an almost overwhelming array of places to visit and tours to take. For this reason, we’ve taken the time to highlight what we believe to be some of the most memorable things to do in the Catalan capital during the warmest season of the year. From picnics to nightlife and everything in between, here is your guide to the 5 best things to do in Barcelona during summer:
Hit the beach
When the city is at its hottest, one of the best ways to embrace the sun is by heading to the nearest beach. Luckily for visitors of Barcelona, the “nearest beach” is actually a 4.5 km stretch of pristine coastline which is home to more than 7 different beaches.
For those adventure seekers looking for a lively experience, check out Barceloneta Beach, the city’s most popular and active ‘playa’. During the day, Barceloneta is a prime area for visitors looking to participate in beach sports like volleyball and there’s plenty of space to relax in the sun.
Existing in the centre of Barcelona’s nightlife strip, Barceloneta is also just a short walk away from many famous bars and clubs which during the day are transformed into relaxing spots to enjoy a drink – beachside. What’s more, there are plenty of typical “chiringuitos” (beach bars) situated right on the sand like Princesa 23, perfect for a cooling cocktail or two.
If you prefer a more relaxing and tranquil beach setting, we suggest heading to Nova Mar Bella Beach. Here you’ll be among a calmer crowd, likely to be lounging and possibly catching a quick siesta on the sand. When all the beach activity sparks your hunger, we recommend you stop by one of the many beachside restaurants, prime spots that offer all the ingredients of an exceptional dining experience: fresh seafood, paella, a cool beverage and an incredible view of the Mediterranean Sea.
Summer nights in Barcelona
When it comes to Barcelona, it’s only possible to experience half of the city’s amazing activities unless you are willing to postpone bedtime a bit. Well known for its wild nightlife, Barcelona is the place to be for some hot summer tunes and a fun evening on the town.
A night out in Barcelona would not be complete without stopping at Port Olímpic. This short strip sits just steps off the beach and is home to some of the most popular “discotecas” in Barcelona, such as Opium Mar and Shôko. Be sure to bring some comfortable dancing shoes, however, because at these clubs the party doesn’t stop until the wee hours of the morning.
For a more culturally diverse night scene, why not check out some of Barcelona’s traditional bar spots? Although more difficult to pick out than the more rowdy bars and clubs, local bars in Barcelona are the ideal place to get a taste of authentic Spanish tapas, quality cocktails, and friendly culture. Why not try a blast from the past experience at Smoll (Comtessa de Sobradiel 9). This well-hidden, vintage spot offers its guests some exceptional cocktails at affordable prices.
Tasty treats to beat the heat
When you’re feeling peckish during your summer stay in Barcelona and you’ve had your fill of traditional paella and tapas, there’s really only one decision that needs to be made: cup or cone.
Wander down any street of the greater Barcelona area and it won’t be long until you stumble across one of the city’s numerous “gelaterías” like the Italian “Amorino” which has many ice cream parlours dotted around the city centre, or the quirky “Eyescream and Friends”, located by the beach on Passeig de Joan de Borbó. This freezing cold, sweet treat is the ideal snack for any Barcelona-goer looking to cool down.
Picnic in the Park
In order to scratch two things off your list at once, we suggest a quaint picnic with friends and family while looking out at the magnificent view of Barcelona from the beautiful Park Güell. This architectural masterpiece designed by Barcelona’s most prominent artistic mind, Antonio Gaudí, is one of the city’s must-see attractions. Park Güell embodies Gaudì’s love for color, as walls, fountains and even benches are covered with vibrant tiles. Plus, his use of unusual shapes and unorthodox designs are sure to inspire the kid in us all. So take a couple hours out of your day to venture out to this beautiful area and enjoy lunch while overlooking the city.
Festivals and Celebrations
Known widely for its cultural pride and appreciation, Barcelona comes together several times throughout the year to celebrate different holidays, both religious and otherwise. Those visiting in the summer months, however, are lucky enough to experience the city during the period in the year where some of the best and most exciting festivals take place.
One of the biggest and most popular Barcelona town festivals is the Festa Major de Gràcia. This massive street party takes place in the district of Gràcia for the entire week of August 15th. During this week, daily parades and traditional festivities take centre stage while human towers known as Castellers shock and awe the crowds. The main attraction of this fiesta is the competition of the “best decorated street” where the “calles” of this trendy neighbourhood are adorned with vibrant and colourful homemade decorations.
Although there are other widely known Barcelona summer festivals such as the Sònar music festival and the fiery Nit de Sant Joan, the Festa Major de Gràcia is one of the best examples of local Barcelonans and global visitors alike, coming together for friendly celebrations.
Staying in Barcelona During Summer
Barcelona is an incredible city, home to some amazing summer activities, and one of the best ways to make the most of your sun-filled days in the city is to rent one of the many holiday apartments in Barcelona. From beach apartments to those situated right in the city centre, you’ll never be far away from a fantastic activity, attraction or even ice-cream parlour! Plus, with many apartments accommodating large groups of people, you can enjoy a great stay in the city with family and friends. Here you can wake up every morning to the crashing of the Mediterranean and have access to all the wonderful sites and scenes that the city has to offer.