‘Cinema a la fresca’ and other outdoor activities in Barcelona

Open air cinema Sala Montjuic

Are you going to Barcelona this summer? If so, you should know that the city organises several outdoors activities during the summer to take advantage of the incredibly nice summer weather of the city. One of the most popular ongoing summer events is what is known as Cinema a la Fresca, where those who are in Barcelona, either locals, expats or tourists, can enjoy a movie in the outdoors.

The Cinema a la Fresca has taken place for over 30 years now, so it includes several different programs.

Cinema a la fresca, outdoors cinema in Barcelona

One of the outdoor’s activities the locals enjoy the most is the Cinema a la Fresca, which could be translated as “Cinema out in the cool” and consists in outdoors projections in several spaces of the city of Barcelona. We’re going to give you some more information about the two most important, but these outdoors cinemas take place in other spots in the city as well, such as the CosmoCaixa, Poble Espanyol or El Fossar de Santa Eulàlia, in the neighbourhood of Poble Sec.

  • Cinema Lliure: The most popular of all the Cinema a la Fresca programs, because it’s completely free and offers a young, friendly atmosphere at one of the most popular and central beaches of the city of Barcelona, Sant Sebastià, and other popular beaches in the Barcelona area. A wide screen set in front of the sea and a bunch of people sitting in the sand, with take-out pizzas or home-made picnics. The movie starts once the sun says goodbye so the light doesn’t interfere with the projection. We recommend going there early to find a good spot. The perfect plan? Enjoying an afternoon at the beach and putting the cherry on top with some food, a cocktail and a nice film afterwards, at the very same place! The Cinema Lliure takes place from June 29th to August 3rd and it offers other popular locations besides Sant Sebastià beach, such as the beaches of Badalona (Platja de l’Estació), El Prat (Platja del Prat) or Mataró (Platja del Varador).

Outdoor activities in Barcelona

  • Sala Montjuic: Also part of the Cinema a la Fresca tradition, Sala Montjuic offers a pretty different experience, an enriched, advanced cinema experience. Sala Montjuic is located at the top of the mountain, where the fortress is. Next to the Castle of Montjuic you will be able to enjoy an exclusive program that includes recent and classical films which are preceded by an exclusive concert planned accordingly for the film. You can bring your own picnic and picnic blanket, but you can also rent a chair and buy your eco-picnic at the chiringuito that opens there for the occasion. The entrance to Sala Montjuic isn’t free, though – entry ticket costs 6 euros and renting a chair costs 3, but it’s still quite a good deal for such a special cinema evening. You can also buy a season ticket for 5 movies for 20 euros or 3 for 15 euros.


However, you must be wondering if the films are prepared for the local audience, that is, in Spanish or Catalan. Well, lucky for you, most of the films showed are not dubbed but subtitled, so an English-speaking audience will be able to enjoy them to the fullest, provided the original language of the film is English, of course! You can check the schedule and all the information for each film online.

Other outdoor activities in Barcelona – Book now

Barcelona: An ongoing summer party

But the Cinema a la Fresca is not the only summer activity going on in the city – there are many others that belong to the official festivities of the city’s neighbourhoods, many of which take place during the summer too. Each neighbourhood of Barcelona has its own festivities (Barcelona’s own, La Mercè, take place at the end of September), and they are a cool compendium of concerts, street decorations, popular meals and partying and some Catalan traditions such as castellers, the impressive human towers.

So when are you coming to Barcelona? Whenever you choose, you’ll probably be able to check out some of these holidays. Raval’s Holidays take place from July 13th to the 16th, Poble Sec’s take place from July 14th to the 23rd and Sants’ are from August 20th to the 28th. The most famous of all these festivities are those of the neighbourhood of Gràcia, the famous Festes de Gràcia, which take place from August the 15th until the 21st. What makes them famous is the impressive street decorations that take over its streets – the neighbourhood even makes a contest out of them! If you’re in Barcelona during that week, a visit to Gràcia is mandatory. Your children will love it too!

Festes de Gracia in Barcelona - Gowithoh


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