August in Barcelona
by Lauren Dickinson
Barcelona has a lot to offer but a bit less so in August as many residents vacate the city, so I can’t make any claim just yet about the top 5 of anything, but after a month here a few things have stood out. I will save the intensive tapas bar reviews for later as that is a work in progress. I also decided to wait out the tourist crowds, so I promise to get to Gaudi a little later. Consider this an end of summer suggestion list instead.
- Day trips: Sitges is only about 20 minutes south of the city by train yet is a huge departure from the city beaches. I had never rented a paddle boat with a slide before but the combination was irresistible and I highly recommend it. Cadaques is roughly two hours north but a fun place to spend the night, you can visit Dali’s house and get some culture with your sun. The narrow streets and whitewashed buildings are lovely, as is fresh octopus and a bottle of rosé.
- Boutiques in Barcelona tend to shut down for the month so I was relieved to find QK Barcelona in Saint Gervasi open, the brick walled store is filled with bohemian luxe clothes that fit Barcelona’s laid back style and you can have a drink or espresso while you shop. There might be more on this neighborhood later- it was hard to tell through the shut windows but it looked very promising!
- One of the areas of the city that thrives in the summer unsurprisingly is Barceloneta and Porto Olimpico down by the beach, many of the city’s most popular clubs like Opium Mar are located here and dancing outside near the water is not a bad way to spend the night. Bestial is a solid start to the night, the cool décor and scene do not mean that the food is not fantastic- I can vouch for the grilled sardines and veal carpaccio- the menu is modern Barcelona cuisine, not constrained and worth trying even if you don’t end up at a club next door.
- If you’re trying to sort out the Spanish wine lists, I have had much success with the white wines of Penedes so far. The region is known in the US for cava, but they make quite a few still white wines with the same grapes, generally all dry and refreshing, exactly what you’re craving after a day at the beach, usually crowd pleasers for not a lot of money.
- if you are around at the right time don’t miss the festivals in Gracia, the already exhuberant neighborhood turns it up another notch with remarkably coordinated decorations, different plazas and streets have different themes each year, usually with live music and an abundance of places to grab a walk away mojito. You can easily spend multiple night wandering around the streets taking it all in.
More on Barcelona later as September gets underway!
Filed under: epicurean, fashion, travel | 2 Comments
Tags: Barcelona, Cadaques, Gaudi, Gracia festivals, hot spots, Opium Mar, Penedes, Porto Olimpico, Sitges, summer, travel tips, what to do, wine