August. You are home with no air conditioning and it is 37º Celsius and over 90% humidity. Your neighbors have the radio cranked up all the way up to 11 (you’ve lost count of how many babies a certain Maluma has). You are convinced that God is dead, and you envy him. Right now, you are about to leave home and get into a shopping mall, a cinema or any other building with aircon. But before you type in your destination into the GPS, give me a couple of minutes to propose you a day of August that will be…


(this part you have to shout)




You will have to wake up a little bit early, but don’t worry, you will not have to suffer. Put on your swimming trunk, your flip-flops and grab a towel because we are going for a swim. But we are not going to do the obvious. We will not go to the beach and fight over a square foot of sand where we can have our mobile phone peacefully stolen. No, what we are going to do is head for Montjuïc. More precisely to the City Swimming Pools. This salty water swimming pool was built to host the trampoline jump competition during the Barcelona 92 Olympics and has one of the most spectacular views in the city. There is no bar nor restaurant, although what at first glance might seem as a handicap, it is a blessing in disguise. It is allowed to access the premises with food and drinks, so they will not assault your wallet. They do offer lockers, but you must bring your own lock.




Midday is the holy hour of vermouth (may god praise Yzaguirre), and luckily, we won’t have to go on a long pilgrimage to taste it. Without leaving Montjuïc we will find restaurant Martínez, where besides vermouth and aperitifs, outstanding paellas are served.

And since you will be probably exhausted after all that swimming and eating, you can help your digestion in the Miramar Gardens or the Mossèn Costa i Llobera Gardens (you are not fooling anyone with your sunglasses on, everybody knows you are sleeping a siesta)




Today you will be giving yourself a footballer’s treat with the budget of a curling player: a sailing trip to see the sunset! These regular tours depart everyday from Port Olímpic at 18:30h and have a duration of two hours (just enough for the effects of the motion-sickness pill to wear off. You’re welcome). Without a doubt, the best place in the city to enjoy the skyline is outside of the city itself.




We will close the circle coming back to (almost) the starting point: Montjuïc. Because hidden behind Montjuïc Castle, in the heart of a pine-tree forest you will find the Caseta del Migdia. And yes, it is a simple space, with trestle tables and folding chairs where a set menu is served, but there is no better way to end a legendary day than with some drinks under the stars while listening to live music. They are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, and the bands change every day, so it would be advisable to check before you go (that is why I added a link to their website, you know)



And you wanted to go to the Gran Vía 2, you looser…




If you are a night animal (this is a euphemism; my grandma had not-so flattering definitions for your ilk), you believe that the day does not end until the sun rises the morning after. That you want dawn to find you roaming the streets, so to speak. Well, you are a lucky one. From August 15th to August 21st 2018 you will be able to enjoy the (legendary) Gràcia Festival.

Every year, the bohemian neighborhood of Gràcia is transformed into a carnival, where every street is decorated by its neighbors in a competition to see which one is the most beautiful. Ski resorts, Neverland, Jurassic Park… imagination is the only limit (and of course that all materials used are recycled).

The streets will be packed with food stands, open air bars and stages for concerts. Everything you need to extend the party into the wee hours of the morning. But beware: the streets of Gràcia are narrow and there will be a lot of people, which for pickpockets will be like fishing in a barrel.



Simon García

Cover photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash