It’s summer. It’s hot. Barcelona is a great place to be in summer but sometimes the heat can also be unbearable. We offer you 5 classic plans to escape from the heat and cool down like locals do.
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This is the obvious solution, but try to avoid the beach in Vila Olimpica and the Barceloneta area, it’s so crowded you’ll just burn to get from the towel to the water. Take the metro and try one of the nice beaches in Poble Nou: Bogatell, Mar Bella, Nova Marbella or even better, take the train and just in a few stops you’ll escape the beaches in the city. Castelldefels, Gavà on one side or Badalona, Montgat or Masnou on the other. There are also bus lines covering these areas, all integrated in the transport zone 1, so they are included in your T10 ticket (except Masnou that is zone 2). If you have a car or don’t mind taking a few more stops, try Sitges, and you can combine beach with walking and sightseeing or eating out in one of its many restaurants.
Just remember, you are not allowed to walk shirtless outside the beach area in Barcelona city. They can’t fine you at the moment because they’re changing the law that allowed the fines but police officers and civic agents will advise you to get dressed.
2. Catalan cold drinks
Summer is the time to try all the ice treats we offer and love: horchata, ice cream… You can also try granizado, shaved ice with syrup. The typical ones are lemon and orange, but nowadays you can find many flavours! For coffee we have our simple alternative: café con hielo (you can also have cortado con hielo), order it and you’ll get the coffee and a glass with some ice cubes. Add the sugar and stir when it’s hot, and then pour it into the glass with ice. If you don’t want to experiment, many cafés and restaurants around the city offer iced coffee as well. Try for example , and combine the iced coffee with an excellent home made doughnut. So choose your cold treat, look for a good shade, sit and enjoy!
3.Pools in Hotel Terraces
Another alternative to the beach in the city are hotel terraces with pools. Most of them are open to the general public, in some of them you can have access to the bar and the terrace but not the pool (unless you are a guest in the hotel), or have set times for guests. You should ask or check this information before you go. Some of them are Hotel Barceló Raval, with a wonderful 360º view terrace; Axel hotel, with an animated bar and parties in the heart of gayxample, especially at night (you can only use the pool during the day, except for some parties) or Gallery Hotel, with a nice terrace and also offering a vermut deal. Or if you feel really fancy and luxurious, try Mandarin Oriental or Majestic, both on Passeig de Gracia.
4.Indoor alternatives with air conditioning
This is a classic idea that can also be tacky, but let’s face it: sometimes in summer we just want to be for a while in an air conditioned space. It’s really annoying, though, to be popping in and out of shops and feeling the temperature of your body change dramatically, so try to go to a big space where you can be fresh for a long time. In the very centre, Corte Ingles (a big department store with 8 floors where you can find a bit of everything) in Plaça Catalunya or Triangle Shopping Centre (where you can find Sephora, Urban Outfitters, or Fnac, for example) are the two classic options. There are other shopping centres around the city, like Maremagnum, at the end of the Rambla built on the water and with views to the sea. If you rather avoid shopping, there are other spaces where you can bring down the temps like a cinema or a theatre, where you can cool down while enjoying a film or a show.
5.Go out when the sun is down
This may sound silly to you but it’s one of the best pieces of advice. You can try a chiringuito on the beach at sunset, a nice terrace or just walk around the monuments or typical sights at night, they offer a different and interesting perspective. For example, Casa Batlló offers Magic Nights in its wonderful modernist terrace, consisting of a drink or dinner (depending on the ticket) and a live music concert. If you don’t want to pay, there are lots of plans on the open air for free, like open air cinema in different areas of the city (the beach, the CCCB or Montjuic, for example) or free concerts in magic spaces like the University of Barcelona Gardens (access through the gates in Diputació street with Enric Granados).
And to stay while you visit Barcelona and make several of these refreshing plans remember ShBarcelona offers rentals in different areas of the city!