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Plans for the summer in Barcelona: grab your diary

When you're making your list of "things to do in summer in Barcelona" your thoughts are sure to turn to lying on the beach and boosting your melanin levels, or strolling through the Gothic Quarter while enjoying an ice cream. But, wait a minute! In summer, Barcelona is much more than you could ever imagine: it's an explosion of festivals, events, concerts, sightseeing trails and even alfresco film screenings that will ensure your diary is packed to overflowing with unmissable things to do. And this comes with the added bonus of taking your taste buds on a tour of some of the city's most mouthwatering tapas restaurants and terraces. Aren't you dying to find out more? Well, read on, read on…

Summer in Barcelona wouldn't be summer without festivals!

Festival de Pedralbes de Barcelona

The arrival of summer in Barcelona can be experienced in so many ways. Through the fine weather, the heat and the unstoppable desire to take a dip… and through the music and culture that suddenly fill the city. At the beginning of June, Barcelona welcomes one of its most prestigious and recently established festivals, the Festival Jardins Pedralbes, which in just seven years has established itself as one of the city's benchmark musical events. Its beautiful landscaped grounds have hosted performers of the calibre of Carla Bruni, Tom Jones, the Pet Shop Boys, M83, Miguel Poveda and Mariah Carey. And don't forget, before the concerts you can have a bite to eat at the festival village with its mouthwatering array of delicacies.

But there is one festival that truly marked a watershed in Barcelona's summer music events: Sonar Barcelona. With its eclectic line-up of performers blending creativity, technology and electronic and experimental music, Sonar Barcelona, has become a brand that is known around the world. It has brought about an extraordinary transformation in the city's music scene since it was first held 25 years ago.

If you're looking for an event that offers more than music, the Grec Festival de Barcelona is our hot tip. The amphitheatre of the Teatre Grec is the main venue, but there are others around the city, including museums and creative hubs. And there's so much to see! The fact is, Barcelona's Grec Festival has become one of the key performing arts events in Europe due to its carefully curated blend of entertainments, ranging from plays to dance and circus performances.

Do you still want more? Well, don't forget Vi Jazz Penedès, the perfect pairing of wine and jazz in Vilafranca del Penedès, the heart of the historic county of the Penedès. During the first weekend in July, you'll be able to sample more than 300 wines while you enjoy free open-air concerts.

Summer nights, cultural nights

Summer Nights in Casa Batlló

But festivals aren't the only summer events in the city where you can enjoy great music. When the sun sets, some of Barcelona's iconic landmarks are revealed in all their finery to entertain us on summer nights. They include La Pedrera, the Casa Batlló and the Palau Güell: architectural landmarks that are known around the world due to Gaudí's distinctive style. Their roof terraces bring you concerts and good vibes in the unbeatable surroundings of their roof terraces, which you can enjoy on your own or in company.

These aren't the only art nouveau, or modernista, buildings hosting these kinds of events. The Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site also brings us a programme of summer concerts in every musical genre. Other venues, like the Poble Espanyol and CaixaForum, also bring us a particularly refreshing line-up of events: the first featuring alfresco film screenings, a comedy festival and blues concerts; and the second, cultural activities and entertainments.

Mouthwatering delights

Restaurants with open terrace in Barcelona

Thinking about all the things on offer is bound to have whet your appetite. If you enjoy a good meal, you'll know that when summer's here Barcelona's restaurants open their terraces providing the perfect opportunity to try out the best alfresco dining options in the streets, in secluded courtyards or on hotel rooftops.

The restaurant Windsor has one of the city centre's most secluded landscaped courtyards, similar to El Principal de l'Eixample, which has as charming interior courtyard in the typical architectural style of the Eixample neighbourhood, open on all four sides to let the air and light circulate freely. You can also make your way down to the seafront and have lunch as the sea breeze cools your skin. In this case, El Cangrejo Loco, with its terrace with sea views, and Xup Xup, right on the beach, are two great options for relaxing while you enjoy a seafood meal. But if you're looking for restaurants with terraces boasting spectacular views you can't miss Martínez on top of Montjuïc, which has vistas of the port and the city, or 1881 per Sagardi, with its spectacular, sun-kissed terrace, the Terrassa de les Indianes. They are two perfect examples of the way you can combine fine food with picture-postcard panoramic views.

Tapas restaurants in Barcelona

But maybe you're more inclined to go for tapas restaurants ? No problem! At the legendary Casa Alfonso you'll polish off every morsel of their delicious tapas while you enjoy the interior design, one of the main reasons the restaurant was awarded architectural heritage landmark status. The Bar Cañete is another unmissable tapas eaterie with a long bar and delicious tapas where your mouth will water just by reading the menu. If you want to enjoy another kind of experience, why not go for lunch at one of the city's traditional food markets? The Cuines de Santa Caterina, at the market of the same name, are renowned for their varied and original range of tapas, made with the freshest produce. And we can't miss out the historic El Velódromo, the classic bar, café and restaurant restored to its former glory a few years ago by the brewery Cerveses Moritz and serving tapas that will simply take your breath away.

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