Summer Vacation in Barcelona
Barcelona is a city situated on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, which makes it an ideal place for a summer holiday. Moreover, there are many attractions and activities that can be enjoyed mainly during this season. Therefore, it is not surprising that Barcelona is visited by a great number of tourists in every summer. Nevertheless, you need to be aware of several things before you plan a summer vacation in the city.
Due to the numerous tourists who visit Barcelona in this period, the prices of flights increase significantly during summer months. Therefore it is advisable to purchase your tickets in advance, as soon as possible.
Moreover, it is recommended to book your hotel and tickets to the most popular attractions in advance in order to get accommodation and to avoid long queues (for additional information – Hotels in Barcelona, Main Landmarks in Barcelona and Attractions and Tours in Barcelona).
Accommodation in Barcelona During the Summer
Due to the popularity of the city, hotels and apartments are usually overcrowded during summer. This is especially true in well-known areas such as the Gothic Quarter (Barri Gotic), the southern part of Eixample, the southern side of Passeig de Gràcia, El Born, El Raval, Plaça de Catalunya, Avinguda del Paral-lel, Port Vell and La Barceloneta. The last two areas are especially overcrowded during the summer months because they are situated next to the sea shore (for additional information – Beach Vacation Hotels in Barcelona, Hotels near the Gothic Quarter, Hotels near Port Vell and Hotels near La Barceloneta).
Therefore, it is strongly suggested to book accommodation in these areas in advance and as soon as possible. Of course, this means higher prices and ability to plan your holiday months before your travel.
Moreover, several areas are extremely noisy during this period of the year. For those who wish to spend their holiday in peace and quiet – it is better to avoid accommodation near La Rambla, the Gothic Quarter, El Raval, Eixample, the southern part of Passeig de Gràcia, Port Vell and La Barceloneta (for additional information – Hotel near La Rambla, Hotels near Eixample, Hotels near Passeig de Gràcia and Hotels near El Raval).
Staying in Queues
Besides hotels and apartments, the main landmarks of the city are also visited by a great number of tourists. The most crowded attractions are: Sagrada Familia, Camp Nou / FC Barcelona Museum, Montjuic Cable Car, Casa Batlló and La Pedrera – Casa Milà.
Because of this, it is not easy to avoid the long queues at the entrance of these landmarks. That is why, inspite of higher prices, it is recommended to purchase your tickets for these attractions in advance (for additional information – Sagrada Familia Tickets, Camp Nou Tickets, Casa Batlló Tickets, Casa Milà Tickets). Another suggestion is to visit these attractions early in the morning, before the crowd arrives there.
Recommended Landmarks and Attractions for a Summer Vacation
Though most of Barcelona’s residents take a holiday during the summer months and numerous businesses and also several restaurants are closed in this period, the main attractions of the city are open during the whole summer.
You can choose between many attractions and activities in Barcelona and each one of them is interesting and enjoyable, but not all of them are available throughout the year. In the following paragraphs we will present the most recommended landmarks and attractions for a summer vacation.
As an example we can mention the movie nights, concerts and performances organized in the area of Montjuic. It is quite a nice experience to enjoy a good film or a music event in the open air in a pleasant summer evening (for additional information – Visit Montjuïc Castle at Night). Besides this, you can enjoy many summer festivals, live performances, shows, exhibitions, fairs and other street events on the famous La Rambla Boulevard, in El Born quarter and in Parc de la Ciutadella (The Citadel Park). Also the fountain on Plaça de Catalunya works only during the summer.
If you like sports, you can visit Parc d’Atraccions Tibidabo (Tibidabo Amusement Park) where during the summer months you can rent a bicycle and take a tour in the amazing neighborhood of the amusement park.
Nevertheless, the greatest and most popular summer activities are organized in the beach area of the city, in Port Vell and La Barceloneta. Of course, these areas are extremely crowded and active during the summer. Tourists can enjoy a great variety of beach and sea sport events, like volleyball and tennis matches, cruises, sailing tours or surfing activities (for additional information – Sport in Barcelona). Furthermore, they can just relax on the beach and enjoy the pleasant summer sun or if it becomes too hot they can cool themselves by swimming in the sea.
Escape the Sun
Besides the above mentioned typical summertime events, there many activities and attractions that are available throughout the year. Nonetheless, because of the extreme weather conditions of the Mediterranean summer, we suggest to include them in your summer vacation plans.
First of all, you need to be aware that beginning with the middle of June the weather in Barcelona becomes very hot and humid (for additional information – Weather in Barcelona). Therefore, we recommend not to schedule your vacation to this season. Early summer would be a much better period because then the temperature is very pleasant and usually it does not become too extreme.
If it is necessary to visit Barcelona in the middle of summer or you want to take your holiday in that period, it is recommended to be prepared and choose activities that do not take place outside or are organized in early morning or beginning with late afternoon.
According to our opinion, a shopping tour in one of the numerous malls and shopping centers of the city would be ideal on a hot summer day (for additional information – Shopping in Barcelona). You can visit also landmarks that are covered, such as Gran Teatre del Liceu (Opera House Liceu) or places where you can eat or drink something cool. For instance, in La Boqueria food market you can taste different freshly squeezed natural fruit juices that are chilled on ice. Actually, in most of the restaurants situated in the city you can get a delicious ice cream or a cool Agua fresca (for additional information – Bars and Restaurants in Barcelona).
Another possibility is to visit the beach area or one of the water parks of the city. As we mentioned above, the beaches of Barcelona are very active during the summer and the water of the sea offers a good opportunity to cool yourself down.
Places You Should Avoid in a Hot Summer Day
Due to the extremity of the weather, there are also numerous attractions and landmarks which should be avoided in the hot summer days.
If you plan to visit open areas such as Montjuic or Poble Espanyol (The Spanish Village), make sure you take enough water, sunscreen or even a hat. Walking during the hottest period of the day is especially dangerous for small children, so parents need to do everything to provide protection for their kids (for additional information – Kids and Families in Barcelona).
In fact, we suggest that if it is possible, avoid these places in hot days because despite the above-mentioned protection solutions, the heat will makes your trip unenjoyable. A visit in the early morning or at sunset would be much more pleasant.
In addition to these, be prepared that during the summer you cannot participate in football matches since there is a recess period in the Spanish league (for additional information – Sport and Events in Barcelona).
What do you pack?
The Mediterranean climate of Barcelona affects not only your trip plans but also the equipment and clothing you need to bring with you. In order not to suffer by the hot summer sun, it is advisable to wear light and bright sweat-resistant clothing. Sunglasses, fans, parasols and hats would be extremely useful too. Needless to say, do not leave your hotel without a bottle of cold water!
Furthermore, it is recommended to have a swimsuit and any other tools for swimming and sun-bathing (sunscreen, towel, beach ball, beach mattress, slippers, etc.). We suggest to pack these even if you do not plan to go out to the beach. Maybe, the hot weather will stimulate you to spend some hours near the sea.
If besides comfort, fashion is also important for you, read this blog, to find out what is the clothing trend in Barcelona.
Trips Outside Barcelona in Summer
Summer is ideal not only to spend several days in Barcelona but also to go for an unforgettable road trip in the surroundings. You can visit numerous breathtaking areas in Catalonia (for example Costa Brava), in northern Spain (including among other things the amazing Pyrenees), in Andorra and in the Basque region.
Nonetheless, you need to take into consideration that because of the high demand, renting a car is much more expensive in summer than in other seasons (for additional information – Car Rental in Barcelona and Car Rental in Spain).
Tips and Recommendations
- If you want to travel to Barcelona in summer, book your flight tickets in advance, as soon as possible, in order to avoid the extremely high prices offered in the high season.
- Hotels and apartments in the central areas of the city are very crowded during the summer, so if you plan a summer vacation in Barcelona, book your accommodation online in advance, even if it means a higher price (for additional information – Hotels in Barcelona).
- The main landmarks of the city are visited by a great number of tourists during the summer months. The most crowded attractions are: Sagrada Familia, Camp Nou / FC Barcelona Museum, Montjuic Cable Car, Casa Batlló and La Pedrera – Casa Milà. That is why, in spite of higher prices, it is recommended to purchase your tickets for these attractions in advance (for additional information – Sagrada Familia Tickets, Camp Nou Tickets, Casa Batlló Tickets and Casa Milà Tickets).
- Several parts of Barcelona can be very noisy and crowded during the summer months. Those who would like to spend their summer vacation in peace and quiet, should avoid accommodation in these districts.
- Since most of the attractions have a different timetable during the summer and during the winter, we strongly recommend to check the opening hours in the website of the landmark which you want to tour, prior to your visit.
- Because of the extremely hot Mediterranean summer, we recommend not to plan your vacation in Barcelona for the middle of summer. If you still want to visit the city in this period, it is advisable to spend the noon and the early afternoon in covered areas, for example in shopping malls (for additional information – Shopping in Barcelona), next the beach or in a water park (for additional information – PortAventura Caribe Aquatic Park and Illa Fantasia).
- If you plan to visit open areas such as the Montjuic or Poble Espanyol (The Spanish Village) on a hot summer day, be prepared and do not arrive there without water, a hat and a sunscreen.
- Walking during the hottest period of the day is especially dangerous for small children. Parents need to do everything to provide protection for their kids (for additional information – Kids and Families in Barcelona).
- During the summer you cannot participate in football matches since there is a recess period in the Spanish league (for additional information – Sport and Events in Barcelona).
- It is advisable to wear light and bright clothing. A bottle of cold water, sunglasses, fans, parasols and hats would be extremely useful too.
- During summer renting a car is much more expensive due to high demand. Therefore, it is recommended to order your car in advance (for additional information – Car Rental in Barcelona and Car Rental in Spain).