Barcelona in August

August is the month when most locals shut up shop and go on vacation. To be honest, August is the month when most people take days off work. For those planning their holidays in Barcelona this month, do not worry! The city itself does not shut down. All touristic attractions are still open to the public, so are the cafes, bars and, you’ve guessed, the beaches!

Actually, during this month Barcelona is overflowing with ones of the biggest festivals and concerts of the year.

Festa Major de Gracia is the biggest festival of the Catalan community. Starting 15th of August, the Gracia streets will compete in street decorations and creativity. The festival’s schedule of events will be published on 3rd August on their official website. We know about a competition starting 15th August and ending 17th  August, called The 14th Competition of Balconies & Doorways. We are also sure that this festival will transport us into a world of fantasy, until 21st August. Artwork made by anonymous hands will transform 19 streets of Barcelona into alien worlds. Whether you are walking among giant flowers or in the space, Festa Major de Gracia will definitely amaze. As well as the amazingly decorated streets, all vying to win the “best decorated street” prize, there are the usual fiesta activities (day & night)…..parade of Giants (Gigantes), the fire-run (Correfoc), human towers (Castellers), bands playing nightly in every placa…etc etc. Enjoy!!

Festa Major de Gracia

Festa Major de Gracia

Football fan, by any chance? Then you certainly know about the Spanish SuperCup. First match between the two giants, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid will take place on the 23rd August at Camp Nou, with the return match in the Bernabeu stadium on 29th. Intense, is not enough said, when two of the most poweful clubs in the world meet on the field. Barcelona beat Real Madrid’s arch rivals last season, but Real Madrid has won the previous four meetings between these two teams, so, it’s difficult to say who has the odds-on.

Supercup 2012

Into music? Cap Roig Festival at Costa Brava will be full of great singers. Also, in Barcelona August is the month of Jazz. At Jamboree Jazz Club, for example, there are gigs on almost every night!

Jazz Music in Barcelona

Family holiday? Barcelona has great outdoor events for your children. Parc de la Ciutadella has a Ludoteca where all types of toys are put out for the children to play with and workshops are organised by the monitors at the centre. There are also museums, such as the Museum of Ideas and Inventions where kids under 4 get in for free and under 12 need a ticket for only 5€. Another suggestion is the Chocolate Museum, where we can all pretend we’re children and indulge ourselves in chocolate.

Children activities in Barcelona

All in all, Barcelona is not asleep in August. From open-air cinemas to Dining with the Stars, this city is as lively and energetic as….a child! And if this is not enough, we, the team at Barcelona Flats, can assure you that we’ll be around in August , to make your holiday a memorable one.

Barcelona Flats team

Barcelona Flats team

You might also like…

Magic Fountains        Barcelona eBook Guide         Montserrat

Magic Fountains                 Download Now your Free Barcelona Guide               Montserrat abey

If you like it, share it with your friends here:


Correr de los Toros (Running of the bulls). Part I


This past weekend I had the pleasure to compete in the annual “Running of the Bulls” in Pamplona, Spain. Every year, at the beginning of the 2nd week of July, thousands upon thousands of people flock to the small city of Pamplona for this epic celebration where runners sprint down a small street for a few minutes while being chased by big, angry, horned bulls. The event is a big deal in Spain, as it is nationally broadcast live across the entire country, giving viewers the chance to witness the mayhem as it unfolds. I’ve been looking forward to this experience since I booked my flight to Spain months ago, and it sure did not let me down.

Pamplona run with the bulls

 I arrived in Pamplona Friday afternoon not knowing what to expect. When we got off the train, we were immediately greeted with sights of people in all white outfits with red sashes around their waists and red bandanas around their necks, the traditional `’Running of the Bulls’ outfit. We hopped in a taxi to our hotel close to the city center. Word of advice: hotels and hostels in Pamplona during this week are extremely expensive, so book a long time ahead if you want decent rates. Luckily for us, there was a shop next to the hotel that had the entire traditional outfit for only 20€. Now that we had the proper attire, we were ready to party like a Pamplonian.

Correr de los Torros

 Fast-forwarding through the night and multiple cups of beer and sangria later, the sun was rising, letting us know that it’s time for the run to begin. We lined up at the start of the run, packed liked sardines, fear and adrenaline pumping through our veins. After the officials were done checking the streets, they gave the okay for the run to begin. The first horn sounded, letting us know the corral had been opened. At that point people started sprinting as fast as they could. I wanted to get as close to the bulls as possible while still keeping safe, so I waited a little bit until I could see the bulls coming. Once I saw them, I started running for my life, being sure to stay towards the side of the road… I’m not that brave. The bulls ran right by me, their massive bodies and sharp horns so close that I could almost touch them. I made it all the way to the end of the run, feeling like I was on cloud 9. However, the insanity didn’t quite stop just yet… (to be continued in Part 2)Pamplona

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Written by:  Zachary Branch

You might also like…

Festa Major             Barcelona eBook Guide         Try La Mercé Festival..

Human Tower - Festa Major Sagrada Familia               Barcelona travel Guide      

If you like it, share it with your friends here:


Antoni Gaudi – a Genius Architect

Not easily compared with other architects, Gaudi’s work drew attention from the beginning. He was born in 1852 in Reus where he also studied, followed by more studying in Tarragona.

His first contract was in Barcelona, where he was asked to design the lampposts in Plaça Reial. Among his first works was also Casa Vicens, a residential building that Gaudi designed for his friend Manuel Vicens. Vicens was an industrialist, hence the style of the house where bricks are a central theme. This house became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2005 and it is open to the public only once a year with the celebration of Saint Rita’s Day (the patron of the impossible). We were lucky enough to visit it this year and so we recommend you all to visit Barcelona around 22nd May and to go see it on this day.

Lamp posts in Placa Reial, designed by Gaudi

Casa Vicens

Casa Vicens

Casa Vicens

Villa El Capricio is in the resort area of Comillas (North of Spain) and is another early development of Gaudi. The artist had a close friend and a loyal client: Eusebio Guell, for which he also designed a chapel in Santa Coloma de Cervello.

Villa El Capricio, in Comillas

Chapel for the Colony at Santa Coloma de Cervello

Chapel for the Colony at Santa Coloma de Cervello

All these projects had been steady steps towards Gaudi life’s masterpiece: La Sagrada Familia. When he decided to take on the project in 1884 he seized the opportunity to express his strong religious and nationalist feelings, hence his decision to focus all his attention only on it.  He worked on this project for more than 40 years, until his death in 1926.

Gaudi found his inspiration in nature, animals, anatomy and these can be admired in the details of his unique buildings. Take Sagrada Familia, for example. Twelve towers represent the 12 Apostles, the middle tower that will end with an impressive cross, is a representation of Jesus Christ. There is one tower representing Virgin Mary and four others for the Evangelists. The middle tower will be taller than Saint Peters, in Rome, but one meter shorter than Montjuic, because Gaudi did not want his work to surpass that of God.

Symbolic animals are featured, such as a pelican for the Eucharist and turtles for the stability of the cosmos. A remarkable creation at which one can stare for hours and still find new details that passed unnoticed at first sight. Some say Barcelona is Gaudi’s creation, a city that once you had a taste of, it keeps calling you back.

Sagrada Familia, seen from Parc Guell

You might also like…

Magic Fountains        Barcelona eBook Guide         Poble Espanyol

Magic Fountains                 Download Now your Free Barcelona Guide               Poble Espanyol

If you like it, share it with your friends here:


Sitges – Santiago Rusinol’s oasis

When reading about the history of Sitges, Santiago Rusinol is the main element. The town was deeply influenced by this artist who also inspired Pablo Picasso’s work. In the planning of a Barcelona trip, Sitges is rarely forgotten.



It was our weekend destination, therefore I can attest for its beautiful beaches and clean water. We had a great time admiring the modernist buildings that Santiago Rusinol left behind. This place was known as an “Ibiza in minituare” in the sixties, a party focal point with a cultural openness which made it attractive to the public.


As we visited it in a Saturday afternoon, there were no signs of parties, but people filling the cafes and enjoying the warm sun. The town had a relaxing vibe, narrow white streets that made me feel like I was in the South of Italy. I will definitely return.


If you are a beach traveller, I recommend this being part of your Barcelona beaches‘ itinerary. Small, but quiet, you are less likely to be “attacked” by the beach vendors as in other hot touristic spots.


If you are planning a Barcelona trip to include Sitges and more, Barcelona Flats recommends two apartments strategically positioned for an easy Sitges reach. One is in Placa Catalunya, a large apartment, sleeping up to 13. The other one is in Sants, smaller, for up to 6 people. Both holiday apartments are close to train stations leaving to for Sitges whilst located in the heart of the city.


Trains leave every 20 minutes from Passeig de Gracia, passing through Sants Station (Sants Estacio) and then Sitges. Tickets and timetables can be found on the official website Renfe. Keep in mind that there are two trains passing through Sitges, having as final stop Sant Vicenç de Calders or Vilanova i la Geltrú (these names are found on departure boards and the front of the train).


Tip: you do not receive a discount for buying train tickets with return, therefore we recommend to buy a one way ticket if unsure of return time. After all, Sitges might sweep you off your feet and make you its prisoner !



You might also like…

Get to Montserrat..   Barcelona eBook Guide    Barcelona Beaches..

Montserrat Monastery view Barcelona     Free Barcelona Guide     Barcelona beaches

If you like it, share it with your friends here:


Get to Montserrat in one day Trip from Barcelona

Monserrat Monastery view - BarcelonaMontserrat is one of the biggest and most beautiful mountain around Barcelona hosting the Sanctuary of the Virgin Mary of Montserrat. It is very famous because of its amazing environment and its religious symbol. It is a must see if you are staying several days in Barcelona. There are lots of possibilities to make a one day trip from the city since it is only 1 hour away from the city. We have been there and we will try to give you some tips and insights for your visit.

View from MontserratLeaving Barcelona you can go either by car with a very nice road or by Ferrocarril (FGC) from Plaça Espanya. The FGC is line R5, it is the same entrance as the metro station. It is easy and convenient if you don’t have a car in Barcelona. Whatever transport you have chosen, you will get to the little city of Monistrol, to the train station. There you can take the Cremallera (funicular railway) which is climbing 5km until the monastery with magnificent views from more than 600 meters up the mountain. The journey takes 15 minutes, with departures from Monistrol Vila every 20 minutes and you can buy your combined ticket with the FGC at Plaça Espanya for less than 20€ per people back and forth. From Monistrol you can also take a cable car, Montserrat’s Aeri. It is a 1,350-meter journey scaling gradients of up to 45%, in just 5 minutes. The parking is Free if you get there by car and there are departures every 15 minutes.

Monserrat Monastery ceremony - BarcelonaNow you are in, you have an amazing Panorama with the monastery, the unique mountain reliefs and the views over the countryside. There you can visit the Museum with permanent collection of artists such as Picasso, Dali and Caravaggio and other temporary exhibitions. Of course you will visit the monumental Monastery with its luxurious building. You will certainly hear choral singing as you get into the main patio, the church has maintained its religious activity and it uses to be full with locals. It is a warm and beautiful scene to assist. You will also be able to get into the peripheral rooms of the church with an amazing architecture and treasures, don’t miss the Virgin in the top and the little prayer room next to it.

Sant Jeroni Hiking - Montserrat - BarcelonaFor nature lovers you can have an organized hiking tour to the many hermitage around the mountain. It will cost you around 10€ for 2-3h walk. If you want to go by your own, we recommend you to go directly to the Information point (in front of the Cremallera station) and ask for the hiking plan. There you can see all different itineraries with difficulty and estimated time. All routes are well marked out so you can’t get lost. The one going to Sant Jeroni is really beatiful, you will get to the top of the mountain with amazing spots and if you are lucky you should catch sight of some chamois around…

Of course in Montserrat you will find several shops, cafeterias and restaurants to enjoy the day and bring back some souvenirs. Montserrat is a feast for the eyes just 1 hour away from Barcelona; wherever you find yourself in the site, you can just sit back and take it all in.

 You might also like…

Barcelona eBook Guide     Tibidabo Amusement Park       Montserrat testimonial

Barcelona Flats' Guide                 Barcelona Tibidabo amusement park                     Montserrat abey

If you like it, share it with your friends here:


New eBook: Barcelona Insights, the first Guide from real People experiences

Barcelona Fltas' eBook, Barcelona Insights, the first guide from real people experiences

Barcelona Flats launches its new eBook in mid-May.


It is the first Barcelona guide from real people experiences. It has been written by all Barcelona Flats team. Our team is established in Barcelona for more than 10 year. Some of us are real experts and others are new in the city, this helped us to give the best information with different points of view and don’t miss to explain the very basics as well as the most special of Barcelona life. Our team is also composed by 5 nationalities, here again we get a very global approach and care about different habits, requirements and interests. Finally, from 21 to 52 years old, our team is diverse enough to give tips about a variety of topics like natural escapes or night clubs.

group of happy people with laptops

But! Barcelona is a big city and a life would not be enough to try and test everything, it is why we have asked our social media followers and customers to help us feed the content of our eBook with their own tips, tricks, favorite places, … experiences. Thanks to them we have made some amazing discoveries and we have been able to add a more personal touch for our readers.

Finally, we are proud to offer this unique Guide of Barcelona in an eBook version and for Free for your most convenience.

Download this eBook to know what to see, what to visit, what to try, what to taste, where to go, how to go, when to go and you will know why to go to Barcelona!

Download soon Barcelona guide to get insights for free

If you like it, share it with your friends here:


Have you tried eBooks? They’re brilliant!

EBooks are a brilliant


An eBook is a book in electronic format which you download to your computer and read on your screen. It can include a table of contents, pictures and graphics just like a physical book.

All you have to do is to search for the book you want on the internet and purchase it online. Afterwards you will either be directed to a downloading page or receive the download link in an email.

Then you save it in a folder of your choice, and then, that’s it! – it is yours permanently to read whenever you wish and it does not require internet access.

The advantage of an eBook is that it is portable and it does not take up storage space. You can have hundreds of books stored on your computer, USB, CD, Smart Phone or whatever you prefer.

You can buy a book in just a few minutes without leaving you chair, and you can buy one every hour of the day! Also, eBooks are cheaper and some of them are even free!

EBooks are also a great way for new authors to spread their work in an easy, cheap and environmental way!


It is also a perfect way of getting information about almost everything.

There are thousands of eBooks of  “how to” and the advantage here is, eBooks can contain links and videos and often you can just press the table of content and get straight to the page you need.

If you prefer to have a physical book it is easily printable and you can resize both the text and the pages to whatever size you prefer.

Some eBooks can even be transformed into audio books. Meaning that if you suffer from blindness or cannot read you can still have the experience of listening to a good book without having to purchase a tape and a tape-recorder.

EBooks are available to everyone who has some kind of Wifi. If you live in a small country house out of the city you can easily get access to the newest book by your favourite author, or if you are going on vacation you do not need to carry books in your suitcase, you can just download the ones you feel like reading at that specific time.


There are so many advantages of eBooks which is why we would like you to help us make one!

We are making an eBook on the hidden treasures of Barcelona. We are going to include subjects such as shopping, food, nature, museums, culture, small streets, beautiful places and everything there is to know about Barcelona.

Our aim is to make a guide which is not just about the usual and typical tourist attractions in Barcelona. And, one which you can download whenever you want and even print-out!

Which is why, we would love you to tell us about one of your favourite things and places in Barcelona.

How?  We will ask a question on Facebook every week and we would like you to answer! The 3 most popular answers will be included in the eBook and the 3 people who supplied these will each be named as a co-writer of the eBook.

We want to make a unique and personalized Barcelona Guide made up of the favourite experiences and choices of us and you!

If you would like to contribute by telling us your favorites of Barcelona press here!

You might also like…

Try Easter in Barcelona         Hidden Gem in Borne, the story unfolds          Travel El Prat airport

 If you like this, share it with your friends…







Like sports? Barcelona is full of sport

Sport in Barcelona

Sport in Barcelona is like a religion. The football culture especially is something which gets imprinted in early childhood, surrounding one with various opportunities for football summer camps etc.

It is an important part of the famous social culture of Spain. Whether they watch the Sunday night fixtures in the living room or go out for a beer and tapas with their friends, it is a very treasured tradition and a gathering point for the whole country no matter what region, class, gender or age.

Even though football is Spain’s national sport and easily the country’s most important participant and spectator sport, there are lots of other sports participated in and valued in the country and inparticular in Barcelona

In fact, the Barcelona calendar is stuffed with sports events.

Here is a draft of what’s coming up during the next month:

From the 16th till the 19th of February 2012 there is Copa del Rey de baloncesto Which is a 3 day event were the Spanish Top Basketball finals are played. For tickets click here. It will be held in Palau Sant Jordi were we have just the right accomondation close by.

On the 19th of February at 21:30 you have Barcelona-Valencia playing at Camp Nou stadium in BCN which will create an absolutely amazing atmosphere.  A lot is at stake as Barcelona FC is in 2nd place  and Valencia in 3rd in La Liga.  Tickets are still available.  Actually, we have a brand new apartment available in this area!

Sport in barcelona

From the 21st of February until the 4th of March there is Formula One pre-season test days for the new F1 season where the participants will get to know the new cars and drivers. It takes place at Circuit de Catalunya where you can get guided tours AND the tickets are on sale now.

On the 25th of February the FIS Speed Skiing World Cup 2012 – Grau Roig takes off and goes on for two days. Grau Roig and Grandvalira ski resort,  in Andorra near Barcelona, hosts a 1 km Speed Skiing event on the 25th and 26th of February which welcomes 60 racers from 12 countries who will race on the Les Antenes slope.
On the 7th of March we have Champions league featuring                                            Barcelona FC vs Leverkusen at Camp Nou BCN ! For tickets, click here

Conclusively the World of Sports in Barcelona is high right now. Check out the FCB calendar for more matches.

BUT it’s not only sports events which are on in Barcelona. 

The wonderful Disney on Ice is coming to Barcelona on the 1st of March AND Festa de Sant Medir “the Sweetest Festival” where there is 100 tons of sweets that are given away every year during the colourful Sant Medir parade 2012 on the 3rd of March.

There are lots of reasons to go to Barcelona and experience the beautiful fall and the sun warming the checks.  Also, it’s due to the fact that Barcelona Flats have apartments close to all the events! 

You might also like:
Moritz Factory          La Sagrada Familia     Getting around Barcelona
Moritz factory                 La sagrada familia             getting around barcelona

 If you like this, share it with your friends:


Dali & La Costa Brava in “Best of the World 2012″ – National Geographic Magazine


From Barcelona to the first of the picturesque coastal towns & villages of The Costa Brava is approx 1 hour either by car, coach or train. A visit to one of these delightful retreats is a great idea for a day trip from Barcelona. You will also find the town of Figueres in the Costa Brava, slightly inland from the coast, famed for being the home of  the great Spanish artist, Salvador Dali’s Theatre Museum, housing much of his art, sculptors and even jewellery.  And, perhaps, to tempt you more,  is the fact that National Geographic magazine has included the Costa Brava in their “Best of the World Trips 2012″ Quite an accolade! Click on Costa Brava to find out more about this intriguing stretch of Spanish coastline in Catalunya, translated as the ‘wild coast’ (costa brava).
Read the article about La Costa Brava in National Geographic Magazine


San Fermin – Running with the Bulls

 San Fermin is a yearly celebration in Pamplona, Spain that takes place from July 6th until July 14th.  The holiday is meant to recognise Saint Fermin, and the events held to honor him are incredible. Many people wouldn´t recognise the holiday from the name alone, but the Running of the Bulls is what makes this event famous. Every year, thousands of people flock to Pamplona in order to see the infamous runnings and bullfights. While, the celebration has many more aspects to it, the Running, is the main event. Each morning, from July 7th to July 14th, at 8:00, the half a mile run down the streets of Old Pamplona takes places. Runners begin lining the course as early as 5:30, in order to get the best possible positioning for the run. Around 7:00 the fans start crowding the outside of the track to try to get as many pictures of the spectacle as possible. The entire town is ready for what everyone hopes is an entertaining run. At 8:00 sharp, the first firecracker can be heard, meaning that the bulls have been released from the pen. The runners begin making their way down the narrow Pamplona streets towards the stadium, with anxiety filling their veins. Spectators are crammed onto hostel balconies waiting to warn the runners of the first sighting of the bulls.

Coming around Dead Man´s Corner

I was able to experience this thrilling moment first hand, as I ran with the bulls on both July 8th and July 9th of 2011. We all started filing into the course at about 6:30, anticipating the most exhilarating moment of each of our lives. The police were pushing everyone into a small area near the town hall in order to get a good estimate on how many runners there would be that day. Unfortunately, on Saturday we started too far forward, and the police had to kick us and hundreds of other runners out because it was too crowded. By this time, they had stopped letting runners into the course, so we had to sprint around and sneak back in under a gate at around 7:45. With only fifteen minutes left, everyone was screaming chants to get pumped up for the run. When the first firecracker ignited at 8:00, everyone  was on their toes, ready to run for their lives. Shortly after the second firecracker, the spectators on the balconies began yelling to let us runners know the bulls were coming, but we could feel the bulls running before the viewers could see them. The streets were shaking as the massive beasts navigated their way through the course. I can try to describe my feelings on paper, but the only way to really know what it is like is to be there in the moment. As we felt the bulls coming, we were  more anxious than anything, but when you actually see the first one come around the corner, that feeling turns to fear and an excessive amount of adrenaline. Your heart starts beating at an uncontrollable pace as you begin to run next to these extremely dangerous animals. Some of the experienced runners attempted to taunt and touch the bulls during the run, while others stay towards the outside of the streets, avoiding them at all costs. The first day, I didn´t know what I was getting myself in to, so I stayed on the outside, but I decided to be a bit more dangerous on the second day running withing a few feet of the bulls. We all knew that we were taking the risk of being tripped or trampled as we made our way to our final goal (the stadium), but it was definitely worth it.

That´s me in the top right corner!

 A few hundred lucky runners had the opportunity to follow the bulls into the bull fighting stadium, where thousands of cheering viewers are waiting for them. The entrance into the stadium is one of the most exhilarating feelings I have ever experienced. It feels as if you are coming out on to the field as a player at the Champions League final.  People are screaming and cheering for all the courageous runners who just put their lives at stake. It was incredible how fast feelings and emotions changed from anxiety to fear to a sense of victory, and I loved ever moment of the wild ride. After a few minutes of taking pictures and celebrating a successful run, the baby bulls are released into the arena one at a time. Let me tell you though, these bulls are anything but babies. The so called ¨baby¨ bulls run around the arena attempting to injure anyone who is taunting them. While many people do taunt them, the Spanish people find it disrespectful if anyone tries to hurt the bull, and anyone who makes a run at this will be booed and kicked out of the stadium. I ended up staying in the arena for the first few bulls, but when the 3rd one got too close, I made a run for the stands to watch the rest of the bulls do their dirty work. After each of the baby bulls has had their turn in the arena, the run was complete, and everyone exited the stadium. The stories that can be heard of the run while exiting the arena are incredible, as everyone has their own perspective on the run. On the second day I ran, I was accompanied by 4 of my friends. It was interesting to hear each of my friends´ stories because, although we all began the run together, it becomes every man for himself when the bulls come. One of my friends got into the stadium before the bulls and had to worry about them inside, while others ran in alongside the bulls, making sure as to not  step in the beasts´paths. Each of our heart´s were still pounding as we recapped the most thrilling adrenaline rush we had ever experienced. After meeting up with friends and telling stories, it was time for more celebrations.

Celebrating a successful run!

  The remainder of the day, people line the streets and parks of Pamplona eating, drinking, and just enjoying the overall atmosphere that surrounds the daily activities. Pamplona is a city of little sleep during the celebration of San Fermin, as people are always awake celebrating in their own way. Despite the fact that the Running of the Bulls is the most popular event during San Fermin, there are tons of other activities to partake in. Each day there is the Gigantes y Cabezudos, or giants and big heads parade, along with the nightly bull fight, and firework spectacle to ¨end¨ the evening. I put end in quotes because the night never really ends, and the celebration is more of a continuous party that carries on until it is time to run again the next morning. San Fermin is an amazing event to be a part of, and I would recommend that everyone go at some point to really experience the holiday!

Facts about the Running of the Bulls:
-July 13th, 2011 was the fastest running since 1980, taking only 2 minutes 11 seconds to complete.
-Since 1925, 15 people have been killed during the running (The last was in 2009)
-People from all over the world attend the event, to say they RAN WITH BULLS!
-6 bulls run, with 6 steers guiding them, and 3 more steers released 2 minutes later to bring in the stragglers.
-Each of the 6 bulls is killed during a bullfight later that same day.

Written by: Steven Zonsius

Template: Wordpress | GreenGeeks Coupons, Strand Spaß