Visiting Barcelona in June means warm weather, long days and fun nights. Summer is just around the corner so you can expect a lot of visitors around. Maybe getting a seat in a terrace is more of a challenge than what you might think but, on the other hand, the city is booming with festivals. There are new additions to the calendar but also long time classics where you will enjoy some of the city’s best (and a bit crazy, why not) traditions. If you are looking for things to do in Barcelona in June, keep reading as you won’t be disappointed.
- Events and Festivals in Barcelona in May 2018
- Barcelona Weather in June
- Accommodation and queues
Events and Festivals in Barcelona in May 2018
Corpus Christi & “Ou com Balla” (31st May to 3rd June)
The Corpus Christi celebration is one of the oldest in Barcelona, dating back to the 14th century. It always takes place 60 days after Easter Sunday so the date varies each year. In 2018 you can enjoy all the activities related to Corpus Christi from May 31st to June 3rd. The highlight is the outdoor mass on Sunday in front of the Cathedral and the main parade that starts straight after. This is a very religious activity but, also, a great opportunity to see the Giants and beasts of the city. You can enjoy the dancing of these big paper-mâché dolls whose origin goes back to medieval times and this very same parade.
What most people talk about when Corpus arrives to Barcelona is, however, the “Ou com balla”, literally, “the dancing egg”. About a dozen fountains in the city get decorated with flowers and cherries while at the top of the spurting water, an egg is placed and it will dance during the 4-day celebration. This strange tradition started at the fountain of the Cathedral cloister and the theories about its meaning and many and varied. We will talk about them all on our Gothic Quarter Free Walking Tour where we will show to see the egg in full swing.
This celebration is also a fantastic excuse to visit some of the most beautiful patios in Barcelona that are usually closed to the public. My favourite one is definitely the one at L’Ateneu Barcelonès where you will have to climb to the first floor to enjoy the egg dancing in this hidden oasis. I have prepared this map with all the locations to see the “Ou com balla” in 2018 so you don’t miss out on anything.
Sant Joan’s Night (23rd June)
They say that this might be the craziest night in Barcelona. What nobody can deny is that it is the noisiest! It also happens to be the shortest one as we celebrate the Summer Solstice. This is a fun night for children and adults alike. The kids (and not so kids) get their kicks by lighting thousands of bangers and sparkles. The adults head to the beach or private parties once the sun goes down and keep partying until the morning. This is definitely not for you if you are looking for a quiet night.
However, not everything is about noise on Saint John’s Eve. Fire is a very important element too. This is a time of renewal and purification and the massive bonfires symbolise just that. There is no one single bonfire but many of them as each neighbourhod organises their own. They can be quite spectacular at the beach.
Food can not be missed whenever there is a celebration in Catalonia, For Sant Joan we eat the coca de sant Joan. This is a sweet flat crispy bread topped with candied fruit that can contain ingredients as tasty as custard, pine nuts or yoghurt. It is traditionally eaten on the night of the 23rd or the 24th and you will see it in all of Barcelona’s patisseries.
Sónar Festival (14th to 16th June)
It seems like the Primavera Sound Festival has only just finished and yet another big festival is already here. Running since 1994, Sónar has turned into one of the most important music festivals in Europe. That is why each year it attracts more people from all over the world, totalling 123,000 last year. If you are into electronic music, this is a must-do. Their motto is “Music, Creativity & Technology”. Although music is still the main attraction, there are plenty of non-musical events like audiovisuals, workshops or talks that fall under the category of Sonar+D.
The festival takes place at two different locations depending on the time of day: Sonar By Day (Fira Montjüic) and Sonar By Night (Fira Barcelona Gran Via). You can check the full programme for 2018 on the official Sónar website and even download the Sónar App to have everything in your pocket. Hungry? Don’t worry, there are 20 different foodtrucks at both venues so you can recharge your batteries in between shows.
Moto GP (15th to 17th June)
Motorbikes are a huge tradition in Barcelona so it is no surprise that a lot of the Spanish competitors come from Catalonia. The Moto GP race takes place at Circuit de Barcelona, in the town of Montmeló, 25 Km North of of the city. You can book the 3-day ticket with discounts for seniors and family packs are also available. Marc Márquez, Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa… all will be competing, which will thrill the motorbike enthusiasts.
Festa Major del Casc Antic (15th June to 1st July)
The old city neighbourhoods of Sant Pere, Santa Caterina and La Ribera all get together for the festival of Saint Peter. It is a fantastic opportunity to see Catalan traditions in action: Castells, correfocs, sardanes, gegants… Don’t be surprised if on a visit to the wonderful Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar a couple of giant figures are dancing inside or if, once you get out, you get caught on a parade of dragons, devils and fire. My advice is just join in and have fun!
Barcelona Gay Pride (29th & 30th June)
What better way to spend your time in the city than joining the LGTB community in Barcelona for a fun weekend. The highlight is obviously the Pride Parade that will take place on Saturday, June 30th. It starts at 4pm from Jardins de les Tres Xemeneies, the floats will go up Paral·lel street and end two hours later in Plaça d’Espanya. Remember, this is an open parade so, as they say on their website, “everyone is invited to join!”. There are also a lot of activities for children if you are traveling as a family.
The festival also includes night concerts, fun games like foam parties and water fights and partying, a lot of partying. If you check the full programme I am sure you will find something that you don’t want to miss.
Barcelona Weather in June
There is only one word for the weather in Barcelona in June: beautiful. You can almost guarantee blue skies and sunny days but it doesn’t reach the high temperatures of the Summer months. Shorts and sandals are the norm and don’t forget the sunglasses and sun-tan lotion. Barcelona is quite relaxed with etiquette so you don’t have to worry about dressing up for a fancy restaurant (it is all about the food). One exception is the Cathedral of Barcelona where you would have to cover your shoulders and wear shorts that come near enough to your knees.
Accommodation and queues
There has to be a drawback to this beautiful weather in June and that is the high prices and queues. This is peak season so don’t expect to find a bargain hotel. The lines at the most popular attractions will be quite long too but this problem can be easily avoided if you pre-book your tickets beforehand. Another possibility if you prefer to enjoy the sites with a knowledgeable guide is to book a skip-the-line private tour. This is the busiest month of the year for private tours so it is always better to book early to avoid disappointment.
I hope this post helps you with planning with your visit to Barcelona in June. If you are here a few days earlier, you can take a look at our recommendations for activities in May and don’t forget to check our comprehensive list of Free Things to do in Barcelona. There is a bit for everyone in there.
Main photograph by Living in Pixels