Wherever we travel we want to feel like we are seeing the real side of the city and we don't want to be just tourists following the same tour everyone has already done. That doesn't mean we can't visit the most important museums or the emblematic places of the city, but there has to be something extra. This is why we have created this guide filled with things to do in Barcelona during your summer holidays.
Tapas are a good and tasty option (even though there are many more) and great to have at a terrace of a bar on a sunny day, while drinking a caña or a vermouth. If this sounds like something you would enjoy, you can go to some of the following places:
O'retorno: A Galician restaurant with delicious tapas that will let you full and happy for a very reasonable price. We recommend you to try the “pulpo a la gallega”, you won't be disappointed. This restaurant is located in the city centre (Comte d’Urgell, 168).
Quimet i Quimet: A must. Located in the Paral·lel area, you will find a small and classic bar with amazing tapas. Try to be there early though, because, guess what? The word of mouth spreads fast and it is a very popular place.
La Cova Fumada: truly traditional tapas near the sea. The “bomba de la Barceloneta” (a deep fried mashed potato ball filled with meat) was invented here and it has become a very popular tapa all over the city.
El Xampanyet: A meeting point for tourists and locals in the district of Sant Pere, Santa Caterina i la Ribera. There you will not only find good tapas, you will also find great cava and vermouth to go with the food. It can get very busy, so the earlier, the better.
El 58: In Poblenou, one of the most charming districts of the city nowadays. This tapas bar combines tradition with imagination and the result is described by most as delicious. And yes, as you are probably anticipating, it can also get pretty busy, so it is important to get there early.
If you want to get to know Barcelona better, you can book an alternative bike tour with a local guide, who will give you an introduction to the Catalan way of life. You will be able to do it in small groups, which not only will make it easier for everyone to follow, but will also make the experience more personalised. This tour doesn’t have a fixed itinerary but it will take you to places that, even though they aren’t featured in the popular tours of Barcelona, they are worth a visit and will show you the true side of the city. Some of the stops might include nice cafés or original shops, so you can taste and bring memories back with you.
You choose: at the Castle of Montjuïc or at the beach. From the end of June until the beginning of August, you will be able to go to any of these two locations and enjoy a session of open-air cinema. If you decide to go to the Castle of Montjuïc, you will get a concert and a film for only 6€ every Friday and Wednesday. The movies here go from classics, such as The Apartment, to relatively new ones, like La La Land.
If you prefer independent cinema and having the sound of the waves as a background, you can change the castle on the hill for the beach. In this case, the screenings happen every Thursday and they are free.
Before you go, just make sure you check the language of the film and the subtitles so you know if at least one of the two involves English.
If you are visiting Barcelona at the end of September you will be able to enjoy the “Festes de la Mercè”, a week-long festival to honour the patron saint of the city, Our Lady of Mercy. This festival fills the entire city with events, concerts, parades, fireworks, and much more.
But if you are planning to have your holidays in August, don’t worry, you have more options. The neighbourhood of Gràcia celebrates its festivity by mid-August and it is truly impressive. Many of the streets of the area are fully decorated by the neighbours and they all participate in a contest. Concerts, the traditional human towers (Castellers) and many more activities are part of the Festes de Gràcia programme.
Going to the park, skating along the beach, eating seafood in la Barceloneta; the list could go on for very long, but we thought these four tips would be a good beginning. If you combine them with a stay at one of the Feelathome apartments, you will definitely feel like a local in Barcelona.