Barcelona is without a doubt one of the best cities in the world for tourism. There are countless activities to do and sights to see. This is hardly an unknown fact, and therefore the amounts of tourists that visit the city every month, especially during the holidays, can be very high. During this time, you can spend precious hours queueing for even a basic tapas lunch.
So how exactly can you avoid the pesky crowds?
Related article: Tourist traps to avoid in Barcelona
Avoiding seasonal crowds
First and foremost, the golden rule; avoid August like the plague! There is a reason all the locals go on their own holidays in August. You will be no more than a foot away from the next person on the beach, and you will queue for hours in the heat to go to any of the sights such as the Sagrada Familia and Camp Nou. The problem, however, is easily rectifiable. There is no bad time to come to Barcelona! It has something to offer all year round. The weather is warm enough to go to the beach from the end of May to the start of October, and the party atmosphere is present all year round. So head on down to the Costa del Sol or Mallorca in August, and come join us in Barcelona the rest of the year.
The beaches of Barceloneta and San Sebastian are closest to the city centre, and therefore are the most full. They have rows of bars and free WiFi, which tends to attract the tourists. However, there are five more beaches in the city and the further down you go, the less busy they become. Not only this, but they too have beach volleyball courts, bars and restaurants and all the amenities that Barceloneta and San Sebastian do. So, if you’re looking for a day on the sand and want to avoid the crowds, head on down to the beaches of La Mar Bella and Llevant, which are easily accessible by car, foot or public transport.
Related article: Best Beaches in Barcelona (and around)
Where to Stay
If you want to avoid the crowds, don’t get a hotel right on La Rambla or a hostel in Barri Gotic. Instead, live like a local and get a flat with ShBarcelona in another part of the city. The districts of Gracia and Eixample are still great locations with lots to offer and are less crowded by tourists. They are within walking distance of a lot of the sites, yet the local bars, restaurants and shops are considerably cheaper as they don’t have a tourist premium.
Time of Day
Some of Barcelona’s best views actually come after sunset. Instead of going around on a tour during the heat of the day, take one at night. This way you will feel cooler, miss the crowds and also see the city beautifully lit up. In Barcelona, we eat late anyway, sometimes having dinner at 10 pm or 11pm, so go on a night tour before coming to dinner and miss all the crowds!