The Spanish summer is famous for being a time of ‘escape’. For some people, a Spanish summer is an escape from the drab routine of their everyday lives. They come to Spain, to Barcelona in search of excitement, adventure and romance.
For others, a Spanish summer is an escape from the cold, from harsher climates, from dampness and weak sunlight. They come to Barcelona for the sun, the sights and the chance to get a decent suntan.
For those who live all year round in the Barcelona, summer also means ‘escape‘, but of a different kind. To them, it is the time to flee from the city, to leave behind the noise and crowds and above all, the heat.
Most visitors come at the beginning of summer, just as winter is receding. The city celebrates the arrival of the warm months with fervour, there’s entertainments everywhere and everything is warm and cheery. As the months pass and the temperature climbs, more and more visitors come to make good their escape, glorying in .
The perfect summer days may seem to last forever – but the Barcelonans know better. By the end of July, they’re itching to escape the heat they know is coming.
As August begins, the temperatures start hovering around 35 C. Combined with the crowds, the noise and the pollution, the city quickly becomes unbearable. Then, there is a mad, headlong rush to the cooler mountains, the beaches or more far-flung destinations. Those who aren’t able to escape from the city alternate between soaking up the sun and hiding in the darkest corners of their homes. In the wake of the general exodus, Barcelona feels peculiarly empty.
August is the absolute worst time to go to Barcelona. Most people take their summer vacation from the last week of July to the last week of August. Many of the hotels are closed during this month – and despite the seeming oddity of hotels closing during the traditional European high season, this is perfectly normal for Barcelona. In August, a lot of the restaurants, tourist attractions and companies shut down or shorten their working hours, which is perfectly normal for Barcelona. And in August, there are always a few bewildered tourists wandering about, confused about why everything seems to be closed, which is also perfectly normal for Barcelona.
Festivals and Rave Parties In The Summer
Of course, there are still a few lively places left in Barcelona, even at the height of summer. The tourist district of Ramblas is never without interest, and the Placa Reial still has something resembling the usual heady bustle of the city. Many bars still do a roaring trade in summer, with the most heavily tourist-patronized bars being the ones with tables outside where the sunshine can be enjoyed (though after a few days, most people will move in to the dark and cool corners of the bar, which is preferably air conditioned). Many of the clubs are also kept open, and if they dont have quite the same level of energy as they do during other times of the year, they still offer entertainment possibilities during the hot summer nights.
Despite the city’s smaller population in August, it is usually a good month for partying in Barcelona, as various districts in the city stage festivals, most of them religious in nature. Perhaps in other cities, a religious festival is a solemn occasion but in Barcelona, once the ceremonies are done, the rest of the day is often given to some of the most entertaining street parties in Europe. One of the most famous festivals in August is the Mayor Festa de Gracia, held in the charmingly eclectic and fiercely independent district of Gracia.
August also often sees the famed rave parties of the European dance scene making a stop in the city, bringing with it waves of dedicated dance enthusiasts from all over the Continent to party with their favourite deejays.
Despite the general shutdown of the city during August, Barcelona still offers plenty of entertainment, as most of the nightlife still keeps right on going. The only difference about partying in Barcelona in August is that during this month, its mostly the tourists and partiers that stay in the city, and its more likely you’ll run into a Icelander on holiday than into a Barcelonan braving the heat.
Still, for those really, really longing to get away from the dreary weather in the north, and itching to dance the night away at a fantastic party, there are few better places to go than Barcelona — at any time of the year.