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Summer in Barcelona – Tips From A Local

Barcelona is one of Europes star attractions drawing visitors from all over the world to see this beautiful Spanish city. It’s a popular blend of beach and city break, old and new architecture and of course, there are the tasty tapas and sangria to indulge in…

Summer in Barcelona is a popular time to visit as tourists flock to the beach in the Mediterranean summer weather. But there are also plenty of gorgeous parks and summer festivals making Barcelona possibly the perfect European summer city break.

Summer in barcelona modern architecture

So today I’ve asked Justine, who lives in Barcelona with her husband and 3 children to tell us what summer in Barcelona is like. She’s given us heaps of tips for visiting Barcelona in the summer months from where to stay, where to eat and which festivals are worth visiting for.

If you enjoy this article, make sure you check out the other Interviews with Locals on this website covering everywhere from Paris to Dubai to New York City!

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Visiting Barcelona in summer? Find out everything you need to know to plan a Barcelona city break. From the best festivals to the best things to do in Barcelona. Europe city breaks #barcelona

Summer in Barcelona – An Interview with a Local

Justine writes a destination blog all about Barcelona after relocating from California in 2008 after marrying her husband. They have 3 children and so she focusses on practical travel tips and family activities in Barcelona, the city which she now calls home. Whilst you’ll find heaps of advice for visiting Barcelona, you’ll also find articles about Catalonia and other cities in Spain.

Why should we visit Barcelona in summer? 

Summer is an exciting time to come because Barcelona has a constant stream of events! Barcelona also has its own local festivals like Sant Joan, when the city explodes with fireworks the night before.

During summer in Barceloa neighbourhoods also have their own festivals like the Festa de Gracia, where streets are decorated for a competition in August.

The summer also ends with La Mercè, a city-wide festival in September, which is the BEST time to come to Barcelona as it has citywide events, concerts, and workshops. You also get to see a lot of beloved Catalan traditions like the Castellers (human castles) or see the Gegants (papier mache giants) parading the streets.

La Gegants barcelona in summer festival

Is there any district of Barcelona where you recommend basing yourself? 

To save time, the best place to stay is in the Ciutat Vella district. I recommend the Gothic Quarter or Born neighborhoods.

They have the highest concentration of attractions and nightlife, so you don’t have to take any public transportation if you stay here. You can walk to your hotel and have a siesta in the afternoon, then go back out in the evening!

Read More | Where to stay in Barcelona

What do you love most about summer in Barcelona? 

Summer in Barcelona feels like freedom! The days are usually clear and sunny. The sun rises early, so you feel inspired to step outside at 9 am. You can also take advantage of a long day – it doesn’t get very dark until 9:30 pm. Also, the events in Barcelona are endless!

summer in barcelona beach and city scape

What is the weather like in summer in Barcelona?

The end of June is when it starts to get warm – the weather is about 27ºC / 80ºF on average. July gets even warmer, and it’s also quite humid.

August is the hottest month of the year – it often reaches 29ºC / 85ºF . But if you combine that with the humidity, it feels like more. Honestly, you’re constantly sweating in the summer! So locals try to do their food shopping in the early morning and stay inside in the afternoon until about 5pm again. 

summer in barcelona Arc de triomf by Latitude41

Can you suggest some things to do during Summer in Barcelona?

Visiting the beach is a no brainer. Barcelona is blessed with 4 kilometers of beach, so you can get your suntan on at any of the seven beaches. It’s also fun to walk along Port Olimpic or the promenade.

Also, Barcelona is full of public squares which lots of tables for outdoor terrace seating. The best squares are in Gracia, Gothic Quarter, Born, or Poblenou.

But if you’re visiting for the first time, the most essential things to do in Barcelona include seeing the Sagrada Familia and other modernist sights. 

barcelona in summer Sagrada Familia by Latitude41

Are there any parks where you recommend having a summer picnic in Barcelona?

Ciutadella Park is the largest city park in Barcelona, so this is the best place to relax and people watch.

Collserola is on the outskirts, but it’s a fantastic park to get away from the urban sprawl. 

Summer in barcelona Ciutadella Park by Latitude41

Anywhere you suggest going to cool down in Barcelona in hot weather?

La Barceloneta is a wildly popular beach, but it’s too crowded and hectic. The further you go out of Barcelona, the less crowded.

You can easily take the train and land at beautiful beaches like Casteldefells, Ocata, Badalona, or even Sitges. For families with small children, a pool with a miniature artificial beach is the Jardin de la Torre de Les Aigues.

Also, the Parc de la Creueta de Coll is a bit further out of the city, but it has a shallow wading area, volleyball area, and picnic area.

Are there any cafes, pubs , restaurants or bars with outdoor areas which you recommend?

There are so many! Martinez is always great for a panoramic view from Montjuic. Barcelona Raval Hotel has a bar with a 360º rooftop view.

Café del Sol is in Plaça del Sol, and it’s in a quaint neighbourhood square where you can see kids kicking balls and grandmas passing through with their shopping trolleys.

L’Escamarlà gives you beach views while you enjoy paella, fideua, or seafood.

Are there any Exciting events or festivals in the summer in Barcelona? 

The big ones are the Sónar festival, which is a music festival featuring electronic and experimental music. It always has an incredible lineup and runs over three days.

Also, there’s the Festival de Pedralbes and Musics al Parcs, which are outdoor concerts at the park. You can also see lots of outdoor films at Montjuic Castle and at Sant Sebastia beach.

Any Interesting Facts about Barcelona you can share with us? Anything else we should know? 

Barcelona in summer Park_Guell_Latitude41

Expect huge crowds in the summer. It’s worth getting up early and hitting the most popular attractions first thing in the morning, namely the Sagrada Familia and Park Guell.

Also, be sure to buy your tickets ahead of time. For the Sagrada Familia, check a few days, if not a few weeks ahead of time just in case.

Also, please watch your wallet! Pickpockets also pick up “business” around this time, so be extra vigilant about your belongings.

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With thanks to Justine for this great insight into summer in Barcelona. I love the sound of all those festivals – Barcelona in summer sounds like a lot of fun!

Have you visited Barcelona in the summer? Do you have any tips to share with us? If so, please do so within the comments.

In the meantime, here are some pretty pins for your Pinterest Board…

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