Barcelona in July is a little crazy as it is - it's super hot and very crowded. Oh, and I was there for a hen do where I knew maybe two out of the twelve attendees. It turns out that being super tired from coming back from New York a day before left minimal headspace for my help-only-child-in-organised-fun-situation-and-what-if-no-one-likes-me worries and actually if someone is friends with you then they have good friend-making judgement (haha) and it'll all be fine. Being my third visit to Barcelona meant that I'd already ticked off the sights and didn't feel fussed at the thought of not being able to do everything. In the end I got to re-visit favourite spots and take in some new experiences (bar hopping dressed as a penguin being one). Here's how to visit the city in the summer and not lose your cool...
Barcelona is on the beach but it's easy to forget that when you're in the city itself. Barceloneta playa is a nice sandy stretch, judging by the lack of bikini tops it's mainly frequented by locals. Forget all notions of personal space, pack a beach mat and you'll be fine.
Parc Guell is my favourite spot in the city - it's actually not really near anywhere else so hop in a cab there for minimal fuss. If you want to visit the main park then you need to book a time slot (as it's not really near anything else its not convenient to wait if the next slot isn't for a few hours). Otherwise you can walk around the edges for free and still get the panoramic views of the city. Bring cash to buy 1E bottles of water from the numerous sellers dotted around - July in Barcelona is hot work.
Brunch time - brunch spots are everywhere in Barcelona, probably a new-ish concept as the menus are not too dissimilar from getting brunch in London. Brunch number one was at Firebug in the Arc De Triomf district and I very much enjoyed these spicy baked eggs. Spanish food isn't exactly vegetarian friendly and there are too many restaurants which have pictures of the food on the menus so do some research before you go...
Sundays are pretty quiet as a lot of attractions and shops are closed. As our flights all departed at different times, I went for a wander around the city armed with iPod and book. I popped into two quite strange museums which I wouldn't say were particular must-dos (but you be the judge), a free Dali museum at the bottom of Las Ramblas and the Hash & Hemp museum which has a free exhibition.
Even on holiday, even when your phone is in airplane mode for 99% of the day there's no escaping the, at times, pretty damn awful world we live in. Big sigh. Stumbled down a side street and found an awesome keyboard playing busker so ended up watching for an hour because I would never, ever do that in London.
Brunch nombre dos at Milk Bar - Hannah and I actually went here in 2014 and as I was following an offline Googlemap there I thought that it looked familiar! I had the huevos rancheros because at Milk Bar they are veggie (i.e. no chorizo). Also had a Virgin Mary and a soy cappuccino (praise be for finding somewhere in Europe that stocks soy milk) because at this point I was doubting my ability to sightsee for another 7 hours before my flight home. Did the trick. Sort of wished I'd had the non-virgin drink.