When summer comes around, Barcelona becomes an even more fantastic city to be in. The endless sunshine and warm weather certainly help the good times roll!
Between traditional celebrations, fun city life, and an infectious laid-back way of life, there are countless reasons why summer in Barcelona is always a good idea.
To make the most of every moment, here are our top 9 recommendations on the best summer activities to do in Barcelona.
Take a dip in the Montjuïc pool
Opened back in 1929, the Montjuïc pool has been renovated several times to host various water sport competitions. The pool should be instantly recognisable to anyone who followed the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, where this pool hosted the diving events. But not to fear, you don’t need to be an Olympic standard athlete to enjoy this pool, as it is open to the public during the summer months.
The best part about this pool is undoubtedly the breathtaking views. Thanks to its location on the side of Montjuïc, its elevated position allows for a full panoramic scope of Barcelona. Some of the best pictures of the Olympic Games are of divers with the Sagrada Familia in the background!
Have a picnic in the Ciutadella Park
Situated over an impressive 18 hectares, Parc de la Ciutadella is Barcelona’s answer to New York’s Central Park. It is a green oasis located in the heart of the city, with ample green space to sit in the sun and have a picnic with friends under the palm trees.
There’s so much to see and do in the Parc de la Ciutadella, such as the Barcelona Zoo, the Catalan Parliament, and a beautiful lake where you can row a boat! If the weather’s too hot, however, there’s no shame in grabbing an ice cream and basking in the sunshine!
Dance away at the Festa Major de Gràcia
The middle of August marks the beginning of the biggest neighbourhood festival in Barcelona. The annual Festa Major de Gràcia takes place in the picturesque Gràcia area, to celebrate the neighbourhoods itself. The town is best known as the home of Gaudí’s Park Güell, but it is a hip area with a laid-back bohemian feel, lesser-known by tourists than elsewhere in the city.
The main attraction of the Festa Major de Gràcia is a contest for the best decorated street. Participants take the competition very seriously, expect to see a theme of colourful works of art suspended from the buildings. The 15th of august is a public holiday, and one of the biggest days of partying. From typical festive dances and music to the Correfoc (fire run), where people dress as devils and dance to the beating of drums while fireworks shoot from their pitchforks, there are plenty of unique traditions to look out for!
Take a trip to the beach
Barcelona is famous for being a city with a beach, and over 5 km of sandy beaches at that! There are over 10 different beaches in Barcelona, each with their own distinct vibe to suit each visitor. In the summer heat, there’s nothing better than taking a trip down to the beach for the day to sunbathe and swim in the warm Mediterranean waters.
Read our blog on the best beaches in Barcelona to discover the perfect beach spot for you in summer.
Explore Montjuïc gardens
If you want some peace and quiet away from the city, there’s nothing quite like the gardens on Montjuïc. It is home to several tranquil gardens, such as the Grec Garden, Laribel Garden and the Mossen Cinto Verdaguer Gardens. Each has its own beautiful foliage, cascading water features, and tiled benches to sit and admire the scenery on a warm summer’s evening.
Read our blog to learn more about Montjuïc’s gardens, as well as the other best green spaces of the city.
Dine on a rooftop terrace
If there’s anything that locals love to do in Barcelona when the weather is good, it’s eating al fresco! What better way to enjoy a summer evening than to sit and admire the scenery from the skies, all while wining and dining to your heart’s content? There are plenty of restaurants that have outdoor seating, but make sure that you get down early for the most popular terraces in town, as they fill up quickly.
These are our top recommendations for rooftop terraces in Barcelona.
Marvel at the magic fountain
The incredible show put on by the Magic Fountain at the foot of Montjuïc hill is an event not to be missed during your stay in Barcelona! A feast for the eyes, this incredible spectacle of colour, light and water makes for a seriously impressive performance for all ages.
Head to the Plaça Espanya and walk up towards the Palau Nacional building to be able to admire this fantastic fountain. Make sure to check individual times for the day you would like to go, as the times can vary per season.
Rock out at a festival
Barcelona is home to some of the world’s best loved music festivals. In the summer months, thousands descend on the city to watch some of the most famous performers in the world put on a show in the Catalan capital.
First up on the calendar is the iconic Primavera Sound festival, a five-day fiesta of pop, rock and underground music normally taking place on the first weekend of June. Next up is the uber-cool Sónar Festival, which has been welcoming festival goers since 1994 with electronic and experimental music. The festivals don’t stop there, and in July there is the other popular Cruïlla Festival, with a wide range of music on offer from every nation, genre, and era.
Have dinner under the stars
The Fabra Observatory sits high up on the Collserola mountains overlooking Barcelona. It’s a great place to come at any time of year for the spectacular views, but in the summer months they also have a ‘dinner with stars’. The night invites the visitor to dine at dusk on the observatory’s terrace, enjoying a delicious set menu that caters to your specific tastes.
You can also visit the interior of the Observatory, including the museum, the noucentista (early 20th century) hall, and most excitingly the meridian telescope. From here you can observe celestial bodies in faraway constellations, stars, and most of the Solar System through the telescope. It was built in 1904, making it one of the largest and oldest telescopes still in use in Europe.