Sonar Music Festival in Barcelona has grown from strength to strength and is now established as one of Europe's most well known music festivals. Each year, for one weekend in June, Barcelona is flooded by thousands of music fans from all over Europe. You can usually tell them by their over-sized sunglasses, on-trend flip flops and urgent march towards the festival site.
As one of Sonar's biggest fans and a regular attendee I have decided that it's about time somebody answered many of the nagging practical questions about the festival. Things like where to pick up tickets, how to find affordable accommodation and how the heck to get home from Sonar by Night!
This page will provide a general overview to Sonar Music festival, with news on the line-up, advice on how and where to buy tickets, how to get to and from both Sonar by Day and Sonar by Night, accommodation information and some tips on where to eat.
Sonar Music Festival
If you don't envisage being anywhere near an internet café during your trip to Barcelona, you may wish to print this page out before your trip. Keep it in your back pocket at all times - you never know when it might come in handy.
In contrast to many summer festivals, Sonar does not take place in a field, with people camping. It is a city festival, so accommodation must be found in and around Barcelona. There are two different sites for the festival in Barcelona - one for during the day (Sonar by Day) in the city centre and one for at night (Sonar by Night) that is further out of town.
Date: 14 June 2018 - 16 June 2018
For more information regarding the tickets and how to purchase them, check the Official Sonar website.
The festival line-up for Sonar 2018 Sónar Barcelona presents its first confirmed artists, including:
If you want to keep a look out for it yourself, check the Official Sonar Website.
- Sonar Pass: €165.00
This allows access to sonar by day (Fira Montjuïc) and night (Fira Gran Via L' Hospitalet) for the festival - the 3 day events and the two night events.
Tickets for the festival are available on the phone or online. There are also dedicated phone/online outlets for the UK, France, Belgium and Switzerland. If you have made an online or over the phone booking there is also a list of collection centres on Sonar's official site where tickets can be collected for entry into the festival itself.
For more information regarding how to purchase tickets for Sonar, check the Official Sonar website.
The day time part of the Sonar by day Festival takes place this year in the Fira Montjuïc area in Plaça d'Espanya. The Fira centre is normally used for large conferences in the city.
Sonar by day venue address:
Avenida La Reina Maria Cristina
08004 Barcelona, España.
How to get to Fira Montjuïc
Metro: Espanya (Green Line, L3) and (Red Line, L1)
Hop on hop off sightseeing tourist bus stop
Nearest stop for Fira Montjuïc is "Plaça d’Espanya" with the Barcelona City Tour "hop on hop off" sightseeing bus
Plaça Espanya / Paral·lel: 37, D20
Plaça Espanya: 13, 23, 30, 37, 46, 50, 65, 79, 91, 109, H12, H16
|Fira Gran Via|
Getting to Sonar by Night is slightly more complicated than getting to Sonar by Day. You will see hoards of party people around the city struggling to catch taxis and buses to the out of town location. Sonar by Night takes place in a large conference centre called Fira Gran Via, on the outskirts of the city.
When planning your night it is worth planning how you are going to get home before the night has begun. Sonar by Night goes on until 08:00, at which point there are thousands of people in a location outside of Barcelona with only a few options home. See below for further advice.
It is approximately a 15 - 20 minute journey to Sonar by Night in a taxi. The important thing to remember with taxis is that they will be in high demand on the Sonar weekend. If you have decided to catch a taxi, head to the less touristy parts of town, where you will find less competition for the taxis.
Also, regarding taxis, remember that there will be surcharges for travelling on the weekend, and another if you are travelling after midnight. When returning to the centre of town from Sonar by Night, taxi drivers are only too aware of how in-demand they are. They will often simply turn off the meter and ask for as much as they think that they can get out of you. You may find yourselves paying a large sum.
Possible Taxi Fare Without Meter: €60.00
The train station that is closest to Sonar by Night is called 'Europa/Fira'. It can be reached via all trains leaving the FGC station that is located in the Espanya metro station. The journey lasts only 5 minutes and trains run at least four times every hour. The Sonar by Night venue is just around the corner from the train station and signposts will lead you directly to it.
Trains from Plaza Espanya run until approximately: 02:00
Trains from Europa/Fira start running again at: 05:06
You can use a normal Metro ticket or T10 to make this train journey. For more information on this, see our Barcelona Metro Guide.
For more information on train times, check the Official FGC Website.
Most people think that getting to Sonar by Night via train is too complicated, however this may prove to be the quickest and cheapest route there and almost definitely the simplest route back home. If you are leaving the venue after 05:10, regular trains will bring you right back into the city centre at Plaza Espanya.
Sonar by night venue address
Gran Via Fira Centre
Avinguda Joan Carles I, 64
08908 Barcelona, España.
How to get to Fira Gran Via (M2) L'Hospitalet
Metro: Espanya (Red Line, L1) and (Green Line, L3), followed by FGC train to Europa or Fira.
Avinguda Joan Carles I / Botànica: 79
Foc / Metal·lúrgia: 125
Plaça Europa: 46, 65, H12
There are a huge amount of options for accommodation within Barcelona but those intending on booking something need to move quickly. It is nearly impossible to find accommodation in Barcelona in the week of the event so do not arrive without having booked somewhere first. You may find yourself sleeping on the beach!
From hostels to hotels to self-service accommodation Barcelona has got it covered.
Here are some recommendations that may suite larger group bookings or those looking for cheap accommodation:
For more information on value hotels, check a guide to value hotels.
For more information on budget hotels and hostels, check out our page on budget hotels & hostels.
For more information on finding an apartment in Barcelona, check our page on apartment rental in Barcelona.
You might find lots of accommodation raises their prices by 30% over Sonar time. Please double check what exactly you are paying for when you make the booking.
It is often difficult to know where to eat, especially if you are in a large group or you do not have much time. Some favourites of mine include quick snacks or somewhere to relax and take a break. You may need to take a short metro 10 minute metro ride from the event to the city centre where there is more choice to eat. The Espanya metro station is right outside the event and the metro runs every few minutes to Las Ramblas - get off at Liceu and you are right in the middle of Las Ramblas. From there it's a few minutes walk to these places:
Maoz - They are falafel take-aways where you can fill your own pita to the brim with a whole selection of fillings.
Carrer de Ferran, 13
08002 Barcelona, España.
Pollo Rico - suitable for large groups who want cheap food, something cold to drink and most importantly a seat. This no-frills restaurant has a large upstairs area and a high turnover so it's perfect for those on the move.
Carrer Sant Pau, 31
08001 Barcelona, España.
For more information on Pollo Rico and Barcelona on a budget check our page on Barcelona on a budget.
Sonar Barcelona draws huge amounts of people to the city and inevitably this has a huge impact on the clubs and nightlife outside of the festival itself. For those who don't want to spend their whole time at the festival, it is worth keeping your eyes open for what else is on offer.
The streets are lined with posters and flyers advertising a huge array of musical offerings from Techno to House to all things Electronic. Sonar music festival is one of the most exciting times to be in Barcelona. Get all of the boring and practical planning sorted out before you come, then while you're here you can focus on listening to music in the sunshine.