Summer is sun and flip-flops, late nights and short shorts. Summer is Holidays!!
You probably form part of the 90% of people that plan well in advance their holidays. But if you are still in the preparation phase or part of that 10% that, like me, leave all your planning for the last minute, here are 7 things that we recommend you to do in Barcelona’s long summer.
1. Head to a Beach
There’s no discussion, Barcelona can really get hot in Summer. The beach is the perfect place to be for those long summer days.
Barceloneta is great for hanging out, people watching and dipping your toes in, but if you really want to go for a swim, the waters tend to be cleaner further down the coast.
If you have enough time, better take a train and in 30 minutes you will be at San Sebastian Beach in Sitges. I promise you it is worth the time.
If still need tips on how to keep cool in Barcelona’s summer, read Clara’s fantastic post on the topic.
2. Check Barcelona’s Rooftops
Barcelona is filled with stunning rooftops scattered around the city – a great way to get good views while letting time go by in those balmy summer evenings. Though most of these rooftops can be found atop the city’s hotels, the good thing is you don’t need to be a guest to access them! Check on some of my favorites:
>> Mirablau: On the slopes of Tibidabo Mountain, you will find the “Place To Be” of Barcelona. One of the terraces with the most coveted views of the city. At night, the view of Barcelona is awesome and can leave you breathless. Mirablau is not only a viewpoint but also a bar-restaurant and nightclub.
>> Miramar: Comfortably seated at the terrace of this 1920’s building – transformed in a very chic 5 stars hotel – you can view Barcelona from the gardens of Montjuic Hill. At your feet the Rambla and the blue Mediterranean Sea.
>> La Isabela: Indulge yourself with a nice glass of white wine or a gin tonic in one of the most beautiful buildings at the top of the Rambla. The 1898 Hotel rooftop is a place where conversations can linger until sunset and make the perfect start for a night out in Barcelona.
>> The Dragon Roof Terrace: Opened this year, it’s the perfect combination of summer indulgence and a sophisticated atmosphere in the very center of the city. And all this while you are enjoying one of Gaudí’s architectonic masterpieces: Casa Batllo. Can it get any better?
3. Enjoy the Magic Fountains
Built in 1929 for the 2nd International Exhibition, The Magic Fountain is the main attraction of a collection of waterfalls and ponds that go from Plaza España to the National Catalan Museum (MNAC). It is wonderful during daylight but it is at sunset when you can really call it Magic.
From March to October, and starting at 21:00, a graceful demonstration of moving water jets synchronized with light and music, offer a magic ballet that bursts forth before your eyes.
4. Consume Gallons of Horchata
3 basic steps to enjoy this refreshing and healthy soft drink.
1. First of all, rehearse pronunciation: orr-cha-tuh, so you can order your drinks like a true local! 🙂
2. Second find the correct place, that ice-cream parlor that still does the “real” thing (only chufas – tiger nuts -, sugar, cinnamon and water), like for example Sirvent or El Tio Ché.
3. Third, try to stop drinking after the first glass. No way!
5. Find a Swimming Pool
You might not see them but there are many swimming pools scattered around the city of Barcelona. Many of the best hotel rooftops have swimming pools, and the majority are open to the public as well. But our recommendation is to check out some of the municipal swimming pools that, for a small fare, will allow you to cool off in Barcelona. These are some of my favorite:
- Montjuic swimming pool: Built for the 1992 Summer Olympics, this is an enormous swimming pool with some great views.
- Parc de la Ciutadella: This quiet swimming pool sits atop the city park sports center, and is the perfect spot to relax, cool off and disconnect from the city below.
- Torre de les Aigües: known as “the beach of the Eixample“, this swimming pool is a total hidden gem. It’s great for kids and is tucked away one of the Eixample district’s many enormous inner patios.
- El Llac de la Creueta del Coll: Close to Park Güell you will find this lake-converted-swimming pool. Situated in the northern part of Barcelona’s Gracia district, the pool is worth the 15 minute hike up on the metro.
6. Drink “Tinto de Verano” and “Claras”
For sure you know Sangría, but I bet you never heard about “Tinto de Verano” (summer red wine)! It’s simple, refreshing and with the right point of alcohol to make summer much bearable. Simply mix – in a big glass – lots of ice, one part of red wine (maybe a good Penedés or Priorat) and fill the rest of the glass with Seven-Up.
You can ask for a Clara (shandy) all year long of course, but this half-and-half combination of beer and lemonade is a must during the long Barcelona summer days.
7. Listen to the Summer Sounds of Music
June, July and August are the biggest months for live music and festivals in Spain. Barcelona’s agenda is packed with different outdoor music events for every taste, budget and style.
The Festival Jardins Pedralbes is an evening concert series spanning throughout the summer and featuring many local artists as well as names big as Bob Dylan.
You can also combine music and art noveau with other evening concert series at some of Gaudí’s masterpieces, like the Nits Gaudi at Torre Bellesguard, or Nits d’Estiu a la Pedrera at Casa Milà.
Looking for a festival? You’ve also got plenty where to choose on. Sons del Mon in the Empordà region, Festival del Castell de Perelada at the Costa Brava, Sonar, or the Primavera Sound.
Have more plans for Summer in Barcelona? Please tell us about them! We’ll be pleased to write another post with your ideas!
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