Escape The Heat: Five Ways to Cool Off in Barcelona

This blog post was originally posted on June 29, 2015 and was updated on December 14, 2017.

Oh, how we love the Spanish summer – but anyone who’s experienced it firsthand knows where the siesta comes from!

As temperatures soar in July and August, be prepared to do whatever it takes to cool off in Barcelona. So whether you want to take a swim, eat something refreshing, or go on an excursion outside of the city, here are our suggestions to help you make that happen!

Summer can be HOT in Spain! Here are five great ways to cool off in Barcelona, from a list of swimming pools to the best ice cream recommendations!

Find a Swimming Pool

It might not seem obvious at first, but there are dozens of swimming pools scattered around the dense city of Barcelona, hidden from street view on the rooftops and inside patios. Many of the best hotel rooftops also have swimming pools, and the majority are open to the public as well.

Otherwise, check out some of the municipal swimming pools that, for five to ten euros, can be bigger than their rooftop counterparts and are a pretty nice way to cool off in Barcelona. Some of our favorites include:

  • Montjuic Olympic swimming pool: built for the 1992 summerOlympicss, this is an enormous swimming pool with some great views.
  • Centre Esportiu Parc de la Ciutadela: This quiet swimming pool sits atop the city park sports center, and is the perfect spot to relax, cool off and disconnect from the city below.
  • Torre de las Aguas: known as the beach of Eixample, this swimming pool is a total hidden gem great for kids is tucked away one of the Eixample district’s many enormous inner patios!
  • El Llac de la Creuta del Coll: A lake-converted-swimming pool in the northern part of Barcelona’s Gracia district, this scenic city pool is worth the 15 minute hike up on the metro.

Head to the Beach

Not the swimming pool type? The next obvious way to cool off in Barcelona is to head to one of the many beaches in and outside the city. However, we don’t recommend Barceloneta for “cooling off” per se, as the water is usually quite dirty.

If you’re in the city, follow the coast a bit further north by foot or by bike, and take a dip at Bogatell, Marbella or other beaches you will find along the way. Now, if you’re really looking for nice beaches, get out of town by public transport or car and head to places like Sitges, Maresme, or better yet, the Costa Brava.

Local’s Tip: Make sure to visit one of the many local markets to prepare a picnic for your day! Barcelona is jammed full of incredible local markets. We love the Santa Caterina Market in the Born neighborhood. Take a look around with our lovely co-founder Lauren Alouise as she explores inside!

Consume Copious Amounts of Horchata and Ice Cream

There is nothing wrong with eating ice cream every single day of the summer! We’re also big fans of horchata, the deliciously refreshing tigernut drink found in many of Spain’s old school ice cream parlors. If this is your kind of thing to cool off in Barcelona, find out some of the best ice cream and gelato spots in the city!

Mix Up the Drinks

There’s no better time than the summer time to enjoy our favorite summer wines, cocktails and other Spanish drinks. You are surely familiar with sangria, but to do as the locals do, go for a tinto de verano, or summer red wine (basically red wine mixed with Casera, a sweet soda water, or lemon Fanta).

Gin and tonics are hot right now in Barcelona, and they cool off perfectly during the warm nights of summer! And if you’ve never tried one, add sangria de cava, a potent and bubbly marriage of sangria and Spain’s sparkling wine, to the top of your list!

Get Out of Town

Speaking of doing as the locals do, many Spaniards take advantage of the weekends and particularly the month of August to get out of the city. Whether it be a day trip to the beach or another nearby destination, or a few nights sleeping in the cool air of the Pyrenees mountains, there is no better time than the summer to travel around.

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