Sun, sea and fiestas! There’s no better time to see the Catalan capital than during the height of summer. Barcelona becomes a hive of activity with cultural events, music festivals and street parties popping up right across the city. Fear not, summer is most definitely not over…there’s literally something for everyone over the next couple of months. Here’s our local guide to the best events this August and September.
When: until 2nd August
Where: Montjuïc Castle
For those of us escaping the inclement climates of northern Europe the idea of an outdoor cinema might sound crazy. That being said in recent years this trend has become a popular phenomenon and a great way to make the most of warm summer evenings here in Barcelona. Whether you fancy a blockbuster or independent movie. Sala Montjuïc has a great line up of screenings throughout the summer. Arrive early and make sure you don’t miss the live music and food trucks found in the grounds of the beautiful Montjuïc castle. Not your average cinema backdrop…
For tickets, film titles and schedule find out more here: http://salamontjuic.org/en/
When : 23rd to 25th of August
Where: Parc del Fòrum
Taking place at the incredible Parc del Fòrum, with the city skyline and mountains as the backdrop, DGTL is one of Barcelona’s top summer festivals. Bringing a taste of the Netherlands to the shores of the Mediterranean, here you will catch some of Europe’s biggest names in electronic music. The likes of Barnt & Roman Flügel, Marco Carola, Paco Osuna, and Ross From Friends [live], have all announced their appearance. Not only does the festival boast a great line up and location but also incredible special effects from visuals to lighting and even considerable efforts in supporting sustainability and awareness of the impact of festivals on the environmental and social landscape.
Find out more about the line-up and festival details here: https://bcn.dgtl.nl/en
Brunch in the park
When: every Sunday until 15th September
Where: Jardins de Joan Brossa, Montjuïc
Brunch has a very different meaning in Barcelona. It’s a far cry from the culinary masterpieces of eggs Benedict or avocado on toast that most of you will be familiar with. If you like electronic music, then brunch in the park is an absolute must. Each week you can expect an impressive line-up of some of the hottest DJs around. Situated in the heart of one of Montjuïc’s beautiful gardens with panoramas of the sunset over the city, Brunch is guaranteed not to disappoint. With boutique jewellery stalls, play areas for kids and street food trucks serving delectable treats, there really is something for everyone. The outdoor event takes place every Sunday afternoon, finishing around 10pm…so you can even make it to Monday morning still feeling spritely!
For information on the line-ups and tickets check out their official website here: http://barcelona.brunch-in.com/en/
Festa Major de Gràcia
When: 15th – 21st August
Each year the neighbourhood of Gràcia hosts to the city’s largest street festival. For a whole week from 15th August (a national bank holiday), its
narrow streets will be transformed into an explosion of a colour and an abundance of shows to celebrate the neighbourhood and its inhabitants. What’s more, all this excitement and fun is completely free! Everything from live bands to amazing handcrafted floats will be gracing the neighbourhood for an entire week. Amazingly all of the decorations are made and funded by the locals. If you want to experience the true essence of local life in Barcelona, then this is the place to head!
Find out more about the festival here: Festa Major de Gràcia
La Festa Catalana
When: Every Saturday until September
Where: Avinguda de la Catedral
La Festa Catalana is a weekly occurrence, designed so that visitors to Barcelona don’t miss out on the Catalan traditions that the locals know so well, usually only shown at local festivals. The performances are as impressive as they come, showcasing ‘sardanes’ (folk dancing), ‘gegants’ (guants) and the famous ‘castells’ (human towers). Taking place on the Avinguda de la Catedral, in front of Barcelona Cathedral at 11.30am on Saturdays from May until the end of September, this a fantastic way to get a glimpse of true Catalan culture…and of course, it’s totally free to attend!
When: 20th to 24th September
Where: Ciutat Vella
One of the most highly anticipated events in Barcelona’s cultural calendar, La
Mercè is a citywide festival that celebrates the end of summer. They really save the best until last! The Gothic Quarter and Plaça Jaume I are at the centre of the festivities and hold host to everything from Castellers (human towers) to homemade giants. Although it’s a 4 day affair, the main events take place over the weekend and culminate in a spectacular firework display. This is a true celebration of Mediterranean culture. Expect street art, parades, concerts and traditional dances. As part of the celebrations of La Mercè festival, BAM (Barcelona Acció Musical) will be hosting a horde of artists from Beirut, this year’s guest city, showcasing the best of Arabian culture to the locals and visitors in Barcelona. Don’t miss out!
You can find the full programme of this year’s events here: http://lameva.barcelona.cat/merce/en/