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How to Plan an Outdoor Event in Barcelona

Barcelona Outdoor Event

An Introduction to Barcelona

Sangria, tapas, beautiful architecture, busy beaches, and a very famous football team; these are just some of the things that immediately spring to mind when you think about Catalyuna’s Capital. The vibrant culture and spectacular cuisine of Barcelona attracts tourists from around the world; coupled with the fantastic weather, there is no shortage of outdoor events to enjoy throughout the year

The city’s range of neighbourhoods means there is an area for everyone; from the tiny, tranquil streets of the Gothic Quarter, to the bustling Barceloneta beach, and the famous La Rambla and La Boqueria Market. If you want to see it all, there are no shortage of places where you can take in the whole city; climbing up Montjuïc to take in views of the Sagrada Familia, or take the cable car further to Montjuïc castle, or take in the view from a rooftop terrace in one of the cities’ hotels, such as the W Hotel, Barcelona. The San Juan festival, held every 23rd June, celebrates the shortest night of the year; where the whole city comes alive with bonfires, fireworks, and music celebrations all night.

Famous and popular locations in the city range from beautiful gardens, to bustling placas, to sandy beaches. With so many different areas, with so much to offer, choosing an event location in Barcelona seems a daunting task. Whether you’re hosting a street fiesta, sporting event around the city, or open-air festival, here’s a run down of Barcelona’s best areas to help you with your planning.

La Rambla, stretching from the Gothic Quarter to Placa de Catalunya, is a hugely popular tourist location, host to La Boqueria Market, small business stands and local coffees. Keep walking, and you’ll reach Barceloneta beach; the surrounding streets and beachfront are both popular locations for markets, volleyball events, and outdoor gatherings.

Further down the coast takes you to Montjuïc, where you can find the 1992 Olympic Park, and the beautiful Montjuic castle, with views over the whole city. This is an excellent location for hosting sporting events, especially  road events, and including making use of their two outdoor pools (Piscina Municipal de Montjuïc and Piscina Picornell) and huge open-air stadium, host to various artists.

Public Transport in Barcelona

Making provisions for travelling to and from your event is a crucial part of your event planning process, and will aid with the smooth running of your event. Luckily, public transportation in Barcelona is quick and clean, and relatively cheap. The main method of transport is the Metro; with 8 different lines running across 165 stations, from Hospital de Bellvitge, all the way up to Badalona beach, north of the city. With single trips at €2.40, you can also buy 24h, 48h, and 72h passes, and a 10 trip pass. Included in your ticket is also access to the Montjuic funicular, offering cable-cars views of the city. The city buses, also well priced, can take event goers all across the city. This extensive public transport is perfect for event planners, and we recommend checking your nearest metro and bus station ahead of time; both to inform your event goers as well as the local TMB transport police, if you have predicted crowd surges. You can check the live running of the services here

OnePlan’s crowd entrance and arrival calculator tools can be useful to implement in your event plan; not only at the event entrance, but surrounding the routes to and from metro and bus stations. Furthermore, the routes and flow tools enable event planners to calculate predicted time it will take event planners to reach the event site from the station, including provision for one-way routes and flows. 

Our routes and flow tools are useful for calculating the predicted time and distance between locations, and have proven particularly useful to clients planning street events or street markets, enabling a one-way flow system to be accurately planned for.

Event Permits and Local Permissions

Barcelona’s permit application process is simple, however the city requires multiple different permits and considerations for outdoor event planners.

If you are hosting an event with a planned capacity for over 1000 people, you will need a ‘licencia para espectáculos públicos y actividades recreativas’. A similar licence is necessary for smaller events, but the application and approval process will be shorter. Permits for concerts and live music events are also required, and can be applied for here. You will also need vehicle authorisation for vehicles that provide services for the event, including food vendors, in order for them to legally travel through the ZBE (low emissions zones) of the city centre. Floats and parade vehicles, such as those seen at Barcelona Pride, and food trucks must be considered in this, as well as emergency vehicles on site. Any event that is specifically hosting children’s events and activities in a municipal park, such as birthday parties, sporting or school events, will require a specific permit.

Measure your crowd area using our Crowd Management tools! Select how many people per metre squared you want in your crowd and watch it calculate your capacity- so you can see exactly how many people you can have on your dance floor!

Planning with OnePlan

Once you’ve selected your location, and found the necessary permits required, it’s time to start planning. With events over 1000 persons, whether in a parade style like Pride, or a music festival such as Primavera, preparing adequate and trained staff is imperative. Our dot planning tools offer a full overview of your on-site event staff, from paid Staff, to volunteers and marshalls, to security and medics. Every dot is given a unique record in the menu, allowing you to add key operational details and specific notes for the position of each person; OnePlan ensures that every member of your team knows their role, responsibilities and location for a successful event.


Our back end event intelligence tools make event planning smoother, more collaborative, and help you to plan and produce events in a sustainable way. Our Analytics Dashboard helps event organisers assess and compare infrastructure, materials, vehicles and other items across multiple events. This enables the unlocking of new efficiencies, and allows event planners to plan and collaborate from anywhere in the world, reducing the need for on-site visits. Our Inventory management tools, including an accurate bill of quantities and location data, helps to reduce waste and make sharing event plans with vendors, local governments etc quick. This is particularly important in Barcelona, to enable you to quickly categorise the vehicles, infrastructure and stands that will require specific licences, and share these with the relevant authorities. 

"I could not stop gushing about OnePlan to my grounds people at the festival. I was like, ‘We have a new software. It's wonderful. You have to check this out."

LA Wild

Renna Muhieddin

Associate Prodcuer, SoulFest

With a plethora of event planning tools designed for outdoor events, OnePlan is a best and most effective solution for your outdoor event planning needs. Sign up today for free, and start delivering bespoke outdoor events.

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