Word "August" written in a piece of wood in a beach in Barcelona

What To Do In Barcelona In August?

Word "August" written in a piece of wood in a Barcelona beach

HERE ARE THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN BARCELONA IN AUGUST

August in Barcelona is a busy time, but less crowded than you’d think because many locals head to their holiday residences, and many tourists favor beach destinations rather than cities. And while years ago many things used to be closed because shops and restaurants closed for vacations, it’s not so dramatic anymore. 

The weather is hot – with temperatures around 29ºC / 84F during daytime and 23ºC / 73.5F at night.

Here are some Summer travel tips to make the heat bearable. It's also quite humid, but not "Florida-humid". And there's often a light breeze. Rain is rare - maybe once or twice during the entire month.

This is what to do in Barcelona in August:

1

What to eat and drink

If you are in Barcelona in Agust, there are some Summer specialties you can’t miss. One of them is of course Gazpacho, a popular vegetable cold soup that you aren’t likely to find in restaurants the rest of the year. You’ll often see it as a starter in menu del dia day specials and in à la carte restaurants.

Then there is orchata (or “orxata” in Catalan), a sweet Summer refreshment that looks like milk but tastes like nothing else. It’s made of tiger nut, a small tuber, sugar and water. Ocassionally some almonds and cinnamon too. All pressed and filtered. You can find it in most gelato places, sometimes in bars and cafés, or in its own dedicated horchateria parlors

And talking about gelato, did you know in Barcelona we have several award-winning gelato places? Make sure to locate the closest one to the area you’ll be sightseeing for the day!

2

It's time of Festa Major!

Festa Major is the main festival of a village or district. And in the month of August in Barcelona we celebrate nothing but THREE of them!  Gracia, Sants and the Gothic Quarter are the places to go.

The most famous of them is the Festa Major de Gracia and it is celebrated on the days before August 15th. The neighbors dress their streets with decorations around a theme of their choice, and compete in a contest to see which is the best street of the year. There’s activities for the kids in the morning and outdoor concerts and dancing in the evenings. 

When the Festa Major de Gracia ends, it’s time for the Festa Major de Sants. Similar to Gracia, the street decorations are nice but maybe not as spectacular. The atmosphere in the evenings is a tad more hard rock than Gracia.

Also right after Gracia, on August 16th, starts the main festival of the Gothic Quarter – the Festa Major de Sant Roc. Saint Roch is the patron saint of the neighborhood, and his day is celebrated precisely in August 16. The streets aren’t decorated here, nor there are as many concerts and parties. But it is a great opportunity to get in contact with Catalan traditions such as giants parades, sardana dancing and correfoc fire runs.

3

Get in the water

August in Barcelona can be really hot. If you haven't booked your accommodation yet, make sure to make pool or beach one of your priorities when choosing where to stay. You'll thank me for this recommendation!

Here are some ideas to start with: 

But if you have already booked your hotel and neither has a pool nor is near the beach, don’t worry! You can always reserve some time for it. Here is the information you need about the Barcelona beaches. And you might want to plan eating at some fun beach restaurant afterwards!

And what about exploring the beaches right outside Barcelona? Sure, the ones in the city are convenient, but they tend to be crowded and lack of charm. If you are staying enough days in Barcelona, consider going out of town one day. You can take the suburban train to get to many lovely beaches near the city. Or you can rent a car and head to the scenic Costa Brava.

4

Experience the harvest

Global warming has pushed the grape harvest from September to August. While in some South-oriented vineyards they might have to start harvesting the grapes as early as late July, August is the busiest month in the Penedes wine country. 

Some wineries even organize special harvest tours where you get to pick some grapes yourself and then step on them with your bare (clean) feet to get the must like it was done in the old times. That’s usually in the wineries outside of the village, but some of them might accept to come pick you up at the train station or could be a lovely hike through vineyards from the station!

5

Go shopping: it's sales time!

While in July you can often start seeing discounts on fashion and accessories, August is officially the Summer sales time. Retailers need to get rid of the Summer items so their stock can be replaced by Autumn and Winter articles.

You will often see great stuff with 20%, 50% or even 80% discounts! Great news for vacationers coming to Barcelona! If you want some more tips and ideas for where and what to shop for, it’s all here.

6

Enjoy the Mediterranean

The Mediterranean Sea is a calmed water. There's almost no tide, and our waves aren't like those in the open Ocean. Sure, in the winter it gets a bit rough and cold. But August is the perfect time to go sailing and do other water activities.

Barcelona offers a great variety of sailing outings: from traditional boats giving you the tour of the old port and the waterfront, to sunset sails and more. Here you have our favorite Barcelona sailing activities

And if you are more the active kind of person, consider water sports! Water skiing, parasailing, kayak, or even a scuba diving debut. It’ll surely be one of the highlights of your trip.

7

See the sites... at night!

While the rest of the year you can only visit the top tourist sites during day time, in the Summer many of them are also opening in the evening. The visits are usually a bit different from the morning experience. It might be a theatrical tour, or there might be a live concert at the end, or they might offer you a drink… 

It’s not only a great way to fill up your evening schedule, but also a way to add more variety to your sightseeing. For instance, while visiting both Casa Batllo and Casa Mila during daytime, seeing one in the morning and taking the night tour of the other will offer you a more dramatic contrast.

And there’s also some unusual sites that allow you to visit and have dinner or attend a show, like medieval mansions or even the Fabra astronomical observatory!

8

Eat out, eat outdoors

Summer is the time to eat outdoors. Who wants to be closed inside a restaurant? Of course, unless you are an air-conditioning addict... But is there a better plan than being outside, under the shade of an umbrella, feeling the light breeze?

Need some ideas to eat outdoors? Here are some:

Oh, BTW, there’s restaurants that close for vacation. Check out our other (indoors) favorite restaurants open in August.

9

Outdoor cinema

If you are here at the beginning of August you might still be able to catch the last days of two outdoor cinema festivals. Sala Montjuic offers movies in their original version with Spanish subtitles and takes place in the gardens of the moat of the Castle of Montjuic. 

Cinema Lliure a la platja is an independent cinema festival taking place in the beach, with people seating in the sand. 

10

More festivals in August in Barcelona

Music and dance festivals don't stop in August! When most theaters have eneded their year program, it's time for Summer festivals to take over. And the offer is very enticing! These are our favorite:
  • Festival de Cap Roig. LATE JULY THROUGH AUGUST. If you are a music lover and are ready to drive  over 1.5 hours for a great concert or dance show, this is the festival for you. It takes place in the wonderful setting of the Cap Roig Gardens in Calella de Palafrugell (Costa Brava). 
  • Mas i Mas Festival. LATE JULY AND ALL AUGUST. Outdoors and indoors concerts combine in this wonderful jazz and related musics festival featuring both local and international stars.
  • Circuit. FIRST HALF OF AUGUST. This is the biggest international Gay Festivals in the world. A vibrant mix of parties, concerts, movies, literature, sports and debates open to everyone with an open mind.

Any other great Barcelona things to do in August?

11

Let's not forget soccer!

Barcelona is a soccer destination, being the headquarters of one of the best teams in the word: the FC Barcelona. If you are into soccer, of course a visit of their Camp Nou Stadium needs to be in your todo list.

But have you considered attending a match? In August, the FC Barcelona presents its players for the next season. And that is done through a friendly match where the FC Barcelona and a guest team compete for the Joan Gamper Trophy. The Spanish league, La Liga, might also be starting mid-August depending on the year, and if so, the team could be playing at home too. 

Big competitions such as the Spanish Supercopa and the UEFA Super Cup are also usually celebrated in August. But they take place in neutral stadiums – what means that if they happen to take place in Barcelona, the FC Barcelona team won’t be playing in the match. Check the First Team Schedule to find out when and where they are playing.

What are your plans for your August in Barcelona?

Marta

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