August is the best month for all the tourists who would like to enjoy the sun, the sea and the beaches, whether in Barcelona itself or in nearby coastal towns and villages. But it’s not just the beach that’s alive in August, as many open air activities are organised, and the amount of events livening up the city such as the open air cinema screenings, events organised on the roof terraces of various hotels, the lively nightlife and the fiestas of some of the city’s districts really bring the city to life. Although it’s true that in August most businesses close for the summer holidays, this isn’t really the case in the most touristic part of the city centre, so you don’t need to worry about the possibility of not being able to go to all the shops, bars, restaurants and of course tourist sights that are on your list – as they are aimed at the tourist market, these will remain open.
Sagrada Familia visit + Park Güell visit + tourist bus tour + Transfer from the airport
Which fiestas, activities and events take place in August?
Música als Parcs (Music in the Parks)
The Música als Parcs (Music in the Parks) initiative puts on free concerts throughout the summer, of different styles, in some of the greener areas of the city. We recommend that before arriving in Barcelona you take a look at the programme of events, in order to find something that takes your fancy.
In some of Barcelona’s parks.
€ Free of charge.
Festival de Cap Roig
Until mid-August you can continue to enjoy this music festival, which takes place in one of the most charming locations along the Costa Brava, Peralada Castle (officially known by its Catalan name of Castell de Peralada). The high ticket price, which is well above average for concerts of this nature, is due as much to the unique idyllic location in which it takes place, as to the high profile artists who perform there.
Castell de Peralada.
€ depends on the performance.
Since 2007, one of the highlights of the city’s calendar has taken place at the beginning of August, Circuit Festival. Tens of thousands of gay people come from all over the world to take part in the biggest gay festival in Europe. The festival is organised by the ‘Matinée Group’ company, and during the 10 days or so during which it takes place, all sorts of celebratory fiestas and activities are laid on, the majority of which are centred around Barcelona, Sitges and Vilassar de Mar, and these can be accessed with a wristband that you’ll receive when you buy a ticket for the festival.
Various locations in Barcelona, Sitges and Vilassar de Mar.
€ €15 / €65.
Girlie Circuit Festival
The Girlie Circuit Festival, which is also organised by the Matinée Group, is the most high profile lesbian festival in Europe, bringing together over 10,000 lesbians from all over the world. It lasts 5 days, and usually coincides with the last 5 days of Circuit Festival. As with its male counterpart, in order to take part you’ll need to buy a ticket, for which you’ll receive a wristband allowing you enjoy the various fiestas and events during the festival.
€ €15 / €65.
The city has a total of 10 beaches. You should take into account that the nearer you are to the city centre, the busier the beaches will be. The beaches of Sant Sebastià, Sant Miquel, Barceloneta and Somorrostro are therefore usually more crowded. Some of the beaches outside Barcelona that we recommend are those of Sitges and Castelldefels. And a little further afield are the beautiful beaches and coves in the lovely Costa Brava’s small coastal towns.
Coastline of Barcelona and further afield within the region..
€ Free of charge.
Bars, discos and nightlife
There are a huge amount of nightclubs in Barcelona, in which you’ll be sure to enjoy the summer nights. Some of them are next to the beach or very close, for example Club Catwalk, Opium Mar, Carpe Diem Lounge Club, Shôko and Bar Eclipse (on the 26th floor of the W Hotel). Other well-known bars and clubs in the city, all of which have their own individual style, are Sutton Club, Sala Bikini, Razzmatazz, Otto Zutz, City Hall and La Terrazza. Barcelona’s nearby towns also have a great offer of nightlife, as is the case with Sitges, Castelldefels and Lloret de Mar amongst many others.
Various bars and clubs.
€ depends on the bar or club.
Events taking place on the rooftop terraces of hotels
The events taking place organised by hotels on their rooftop terraces are open to everyone, and there are several put on throughout the summer months. As well as those that are specific to each hotel, others are more general in character and similar events can be found in each hotel, such as the “Vespres Inedit’s”, focusing as much on gastronomy as culture (and especially music). And even if the days on which you’re in Barcelona don’t coincide with one of the events, we still recommend going to the hotel terraces, of which there are many, as we think it’s a great option to spend an evening with friends or with your partner.
€ Free entry.
Festes de Gràcia (Gràcia Festival)
The fiestas of one of Barcelona’s most authentic districts begin with the opening speech on 15th August. Over the following 7 days, and from first thing in the morning to last thing at night, all sorts of activities are programmed, and everyone can take part in most of them. Concerts, popular events (such as the “matinada de grallers”, fireworks marking the start and end of the festival, “cercavila” parades, etc), games and workshops for children are all organised in abundance. In spite of all these activities, the most eye-catching feature of everything that takes place during the Festes de Gràcia are the streets themselves, which are decorated by residents according to a variety of themes. A prize is even offered for the best-decorated street, and it’s therefore fascinating to wander through the district, passing through anything from Star Wars, an enchanted forest to scenes from Jurassic Park or shark-infested waters. For this reason alone it’s worth having a walk through the streets of Gràcia during its fiestas.
Streets throughout the district of Gràcia.
€ The majority of the activities are free of charge.
Festes de Sants (Sants Festival)
Just as Gràcia’s fiestas finish (around the 3rd week of August), those of another of the city’s districts, Sants, get under way. As a large emphasis of the Sants Festival is also decorating the streets, there’s a healthy rivalry between the two fiestas. Normally the decorations in Gràcia are more spectacular than those of Sants, but that’s not to say that it’s not worth going to the Sants district and walking through its streets during their fiestas.
Streets throughout the district of Sants.
€ The majority of the activities are free of charge.
Open-air cinema screenings
Just because the open-air cinema screenings in the grounds of Montjuïc Castle finish at the end of July, or at the beginning of August at the latest, that’s not to say that you can’t continue to enjoy open-air cinema in the city. The two best options for this are Gandules, in the Pati de les Dones (literally the ‘Womens Courtyard’) next to the CCCB (Barcelona’s Cultural Centre), and those at the Cinema Lliure a la Platja, the free cinema screenings that take place on the Sant Sebastià beach.
Pati de les Dones and Platja de Sant Sebastià.
€ Free of charge.
Sopar amb estrelles
Whether you are fans of astronomy or if you just fancy the idea of ‘Sopar amb estrelles’ (Dinner with the Stars), then this concept at the Observatorio Fabra could be for you. It starts with a wonderful dinner on the terrace, from which you can enjoy magnificent views of the whole of Barcelona, which is then followed by a guided tour of the museum inside the observatory (in Spanish, Catalan and English) and to end the evening, you can actually observe planets and stars through the telescope.
Poble Espanyol (which literally means ‘Spanish Town’) is one of the attractions that we recommend visiting at any time of the year. Just as throughout many other months of the year, in August many events and activities are programmed. Highlights amongst them include concerts, readings, projections of short films for adults and children alike and musical performances, all of which are organised by the La Terrrazza open-air nightclub.
€ Entry cost €6.25 / €11 (check price of activities in advance).
Terraces, chiringuitos and restaurants with views of the sea
Whether it’s in a chiringuito (a café bar on the beach) or on the terrace of one of the many bars and restaurants near to the beach, you can’t miss out on the experience of eating or having a drink in one of them. Many of their prices might not be the cheapest, and they vary according to whether it’s a chiringuito (where you’ll benefit from more reasonable prices) or a slightly more high-end bar. And, of course, your final bill will depend on what you’ve ordered. Some of the best bars and restaurants close to the beach are: Wet Bar, Xiringuito Escribà, Salamanca, La Viblia Wine Restaurant & Showroom, Torre d’Alta Mar, El Túnel del Port, El Cangrejo Loco, Platja Ca la Nuri and Bravo 24. In all of these establishments you’ll be able to try good quality paellas, fideuás (a traditional Catalan dish, a little bit like a paella but made with small fine noodles) and seafood dishes.
€ depends greatly on the restaurant or chiringuito.
Brunch -in the Park
Every Sunday throughout the summer (with very few exceptions) one of the most popular music events that has grown in popularity over the past few years takes place on Montjuïc Mountain, the Brunch -in the Park. In order to attend this outdoor electronic music festival, which boasts some of the most well-known DJs, you will need to buy at ticket.
€ €10 / €13 (season ticket €75).
Festes de Sant Roc
The Gothic Quarter’s annual summer fiestas take place in mid-August. Thanks to its central location in Plaça Nova (next to the Catedral de Santa Eulàlia) and its surrounding areas, we’re sure that you’ll come across all sorts of activities and celebratory events as you walk through this part of the city. Some of the highlights include the popular “chocolatada” (a gathering at which people drink hot chocolate), the “cercavila” parade, the “correfoc” with “els Diables del Barri Gòtic” (people running through the streets throwing and juggling with fire), and the craft fairs that are set up.
Plaça Nova (next to the Cathedral).
€ The activities are free of charge.
The Joan Gamper Trophy and the Supercopa de España
F. C. Barcelona’s summer trophy, which is officially presented to the team at the start of each season, doesn’t have a fixed presentation date each year, but it usually takes place between the middle and the end of August. It’s a great opportunity to see one of the best football teams in the world. Around the same time the Supercopa match usually takes place, between the winning teams of the Copa del Rey and La Liga from the previous season, and Barça usually features in this match too.
Camp Nou stadium.
€ The price depends on the type of ticket.
Hotels and other accommodation in August
Transport and tourist cards
Weather and temperature in August
August is the month in which the highest average temperature is recorded, reaching highs that could top 30º, which can make attempting sightseeing at the hottest hours of the day (from 12:00 to 16:00) somewhat uncomfortable. We therefore recommend that if the weather is hot during your stay, you set aside this time for eating and seeing indoor sights or museums. Many beach holiday fans will choose to spend practically the whole day on the beach, benefiting from taking plenty of dips in the sea or cooling down in the showers, and heading to one of the chiringuitos for lunch.
Climate statistics for August
Average maximum temperature: 28.1ºC.
Average minimum temperature: 23.7ºC.
Average overall temperature: 19.6ºC.
Average rainfall: 61.1mm.
Sunrise: 06:46 (1st August) – 07:17 (31st August).
Sunset: 21:09 (1st August) – 20:26 (31st August).
Advice, advantages and drawbacks
Depending on the type of holiday you’re after, August may or may not be the best time for you to visit Barcelona. If you’d like to spend plenty of time on the beach and go for a more laid-back kind of tourism, it could be perfect for you, but if you are after a holiday packed full of culture and you’re not so keen on lying on the beach, it might be best to pick a different month in which to visit the city.
Wide range of events and activities: One of August’s great draws is that you’ll be able to participate in the many events and activities that take place in August, whether it’s those that we have already suggested or others that we’ll keep you posted about through our social networks (our página de Facebook, Google Plus y Twitter).
High temperatures: the heat at certain times of the day, and also the humidity, can take their toll for many people, and can be quite uncomfortable for people who aren’t used to such hot weather.
Accommodation and flight prices: as it’s one of the most popular times of the year for tourists, coinciding with school holidays, hotel and flight prices are considerably higher than in other months. Having said that, it’s still possible to keep the cost down by buying flights and booking accommodation way in advance, or by picking up a bargain when the usual offers appear.