Planning a trip to the Catalan capital this Summer? We’ve prepared a list of things to do so you know exactly what to add to your Barcelona itinerary. From relaxing on the beach, to eating the best tapas, to seeing insane views of the city high up, we’ve wound up 11 best things to do in Barcelona this summer.
Start your day well at Brunch & Cake
A big brunch is one of the best ways to fill yourself up for the day so that you don’t have to eat again until dinner. Our favourite place to brunch in the city is Brunch & Cake By the Sea, an Aussie-inspired joint that’s highly Instagrammable – but the food is even better. Enjoy a smoothie, massive brekkie burrito, or an avo on toast, and then head out to start your day. This modern little beach shack is our favourite spot to eat breakfast or brunch! There are sometimes queues coming out of the door with keen brunchers waiting to get a table so make sure to get here fairly early (around 11am) for minimum wait time.
Sun, sea, and sand. One of the best things about Barcelona is the combination of beach vibes and city vibes, a pairing that not all cities are lucky enough to have. Barceloneta Beach is the main beachfront in Barcelona where you can find a nice spot in the shade or under the sun, drink some beers, and sunbathe. The palm trees that line the beach make the city feel like a real summer holiday – and the beach parties that take place at night make it an amazing place to soak up the Barcelona party atmosphere.
There are plenty of summer bars that overlook the beach so you can walk straight out onto the sand after lunch. While these bars can get quite pricey at lunch and dinner time, you can walk towards Port Olimpic and you’ll find some more affordable bars and restaurants that boast sea and marina views. We recommend Coconut Club for affordable drinks!
On the beach, you can play beach volleyball. There’s a volleyball net set up outside the Agua bar for anyone to use. Sometimes the beach can get busy during the summer, but there are other quieter stretches you can visit if you’re looking for some peace and quiet. For reference, here are the 8 Best Beaches in and around Barcelona.
Get the views at Bunkers Del Carmel
For one of the best views in Barcelona that won’t cost a euro, head to the Carmel Bunkers, where you can get panoramic views of the city by sitting on a wall. The wall was used in the1937 Spanish Civil War as lookout points, but now you can sit on the wall and enjoy the view with a couple of beers. To get there, it’s easiest (and cheapest) by bus. Just get the metro to Vallcarca and from there catch the 22 bus up to El Carmel. From there, you can walk your way up.
Once you get to the top of the Carmel Bunkers, you’ll be amazed by how beautiful Barcelona looks from the top.
Cable car to Montjuic
Another fun thing to do in Barcelona on a clear, sunny day is get the cable car up to Montjuic. During the cable car ride, you’ll see some incredible 360 degree views of the city. Once you get off the cable car in Montjuic, there’s plenty to do. Once you get to the top, you can see the Montjuic Castle, the National Art Museum of Catalonia, the Olympic Park, and Poble Espanyol. A return cable car ticket is €12.70.
You can climb aboard the cable car from Parc de Montjuic so if you’re travelling on the metro, just get off there. Find out more here.
If you’re a foodie, we couldn’t recommend La Boqueria Market more. Located on Las Ramblas, this market is always super busy. However, the hustle and bustle is all part of the atmosphere. If you get to La Boqueria nice and early, go to El Quim for lunch. This little bar stand provides a really cool Spanish experience where you sit on bar stools watching your food being prepared. The tapas and sangria are really tasty here. Just keep an eye out for pickpockets around this area and make sure your bag zips up.
Walk around Port Vell
After a long day exploring the inner city and Gothic Quarter, head waterside and get a feel for Barcelona’s Port Vell. You can walk around the harbour, see the boats and yachts, and have a drink at one of the harbourside bars.
Tapas, tapas and more tapas
When in Barcelona, make sure to eat at the best tapas spots in the city. We recommend El Xampanyet in the Gothic Quarter for amazing tapas, amazing atmosphere and amazing service. This quaint little tapas bar is full of charm. We recommend ordering the pork belly, padron peppers, clams, prawns and the spinach chickpea dish. It opens at 7pm for dinner but we recommend getting there at 6.50pm to guarantee yourself a table otherwise you’ll be standing around to wait.
Another gem in the Gothic Quarter is La Bodega Vasconia and we also recommend trying Canete near Las Ramblas which are both highly rated and serve up delicious tapas.
Have a Barcelona Beer at El Bosc de Les Fades
And for a quirky place to drink, you can’t get any more unique than El Busc de Les Fades near the Gothic Quarter. This little hidden bar is hard to find because it lies on a little Spanish alley but once you get there you’ll love it. The space has been decorated to resemble a dark forest with indoor trees and leaves, with wooden tables to sit on. The perfect place to take a break from the sun and cool down indoors with a local beer. While it’s dark inside, the beer is top notch serving up the local Barcelona bottled beer, ales, great cava and more.
A perfect way to fill your evening before you head off for dinner, the Montjuic Magic Fountain show is an amazing experience. Not only is it free, but the show is also spectacular with the fountain water dripping and splashing in bright colours. Located near Placa Espanya, the water, light, and music show usually takes place at 9pm from Wednesday to Sunday throughout June and September. How they do it, nobody knows. But it is definitely worth a watch.
Looking for fun rooftop bars in the city? Barcelona has its fair few of sunny spaces to relax with a drink in the summer. Try the Isabela Rooftop on Las Ramblas, which is one of our ultimate favourite rooftop bars in Barcelona. It’s such a chilled out place to come in the evenings to enjoy dinner or have some tasty house-made cocktails. The terrace at Isabela also offers amazing views over Las Ramblas – plus there’s a pool to make the whole place look even more beautiful!
La Dolce Vitae is another cool rooftop bar and can be found in the Gracia neighbourhood. On top of the Majestic hotel, the terrace bar is a little more pricey so we’d recommend this one for a more special occasion.
Take incredible photos at Park Guell
If you’re a lover of art, then pay a trip to Barcelona’s famous Park Guell (also known as Gaudi Park). It is one of the city’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The whole place was designed by Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi, the same genius who designed the Sagrada Familia Cathedral. You simply must head up the steps to reach that famous colourful balcony – one of the best photo spots in the whole city. For full access to Park Guell, tickets are €10 but there are some parts you can explore for free, including the balcony.
Need a place to stay in Barcelona?
Check out St Christopher’s Inns Hostel, right in the heart of the city
Article written by St. Christopher’s Inns’ Shereen Sagoo