10 Ways to Experience Barcelona Like A Local

Like A Local Guide • 27 Sep, 2016

Visited all of Barcelona’s main sights and wondering what to do next? Looking to step off the beaten track and get into the local rhythm? Or maybe you just want to escape the tourist crowds? Our Catalonia locals have you covered, whatever your interests, whatever the weather!

1. Enjoy the nature at Parc Natural de Collserola

The Collserola Natural Park is one of the most unknown and underrated green spaces in Spain, according to Pablo. He says that besides being full of historical sights worth discovering, it’s one of the best places to enjoy a view over the city at night.

Ed explains that the park is popular among local joggers and cyclists, but it also attracts many nature lovers and people seeking great views. He recommends visiting on a windy day or after a rainstorm when the views aren’t obscured by pollution.

15962221799_a18c57d655_kPhoto credit: Luis Marina

2. Relax with a picnic at Parc de la Ciutadella

Vicky and Ignasi agree that picnicking in Parc de la Ciutadella is a typical way to spend a sunny Sunday in Barcelona. Hugo thinks it’s one of the most beautiful places in the city, offering both locals and visitors a relaxing escape from the noise and crowds of the centre.

For those who like to stay connected, there’s an open Wi-Fi network. Sit as close as possible to the “W” signs for the strongest signal.

9544080026_88f8e8d651_kPhoto credit: Laura Cuttier

3. Head to Bunkers del Carmel for awesome city views

According to Annicken, these abandoned anti-aircraft defences are popular places to watch the sun set. She recommends bringing snacks and something to drink, and enjoying the magical moment when the sun retreats behind the mountains.

Early bird? The bunkers are also great spots to see the sun rise!

52a54c6e736e6d3d8f095dea51c7945aPhoto credit: Annicken

4. Hike to the top of Tibidabo

Tibidabo is the highest mountain in the Collserola Natural Park. At its peak there’s a lovely church, says Jesper, as well as one of the oldest amusement parks in the world.

Clàudia and Pablo recommend visiting its summit at night to admire Barcelona from above. They even invite travellers to hike with them to the top! Besides pointing out lots of interesting spots and historical sights, they’ll treat you to a light dinner and a refreshing Catalan beer.

8cf5bd43c667dbb90f91c7ae8dc87085Photo credit: Pablo Jiménez Labaig

5. Get lost in El Raval

Marta loves strolling the streets of the Raval district, especially in the evenings when the area around the Museum of Contemporary Art comes to life.

She likes to pretend she’s staying at the Barceló Raval hotel and head straight to the rooftop terrace to enjoy the impressive 360-degree view.

She also recommends entering Jardins de Rubió i Lluch via Carrer de l’Hospital, and having a glass of vermouth in the open-air bar.

28803626746_ddd093f076_bPhoto credit: Jorge Franganillo

6. Get active on the Carretera de les Aigües

This 10-kilometre trail is the perfect place to walk, run or bike while enjoying beautiful views over Barcelona. Ignasi recommends coming in the evening to enjoy the sunset.

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7. Admire the view from the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya

It’s nice to watch the sunset from the top of the stairs of the National Art Museum of Catalonia, says Marta. A mountain backdrop, gorgeous views, and secret spots free from tourists – yes please!

For those who’d like to visit the museum itself, Marta notes that it’s free on Saturday afternoons and the first Sunday of the month.

Fountain3Photo credit: Clark & Kim Kays

8. Discover the delights of the Gràcia district

Gràcia is fairly quiet compared to downtown and can be an extremely rewarding place to wander. Locals say it’s full of eco stores and small specialty shops, and there are many charming streets and squares where you can relax with a drink and a snack.

Plaça del Diamant is the most iconic square in the district, explains Clàudia. It was made famous by Catalan author Mercé Rodoreda’s novel of the same name (translated as The Time of the Doves). The square itself isn’t special, she continues, but there’s an air-raid shelter from the Civil War and a lovely Portuguese bakery called A Casa Portuguesa.

Clàudia prefers Plaça de la Virreina, another square nearby. It’s not far from the Verdi cinemas, which often screen independent films in English with Spanish subtitles. Marta says that if you come here you’ll be transported back to a time before multiplexes when cinemas were nestled in small, charming streets. A must for a rainy day!

18076438392_210afda0d1_bPhoto credit: OK Apartment

9. Listen to live music at the Jamboree

Barcelona locals agree that, despite being packed with tourists, Plaça Reial is home to one of the city’s best live music venues.

Tal says the WTF Jam Sessions are really enjoyable, and insists you stay until the end. He explains that they can be pretty laid-back for the first half, but then things start heating up: expect lots of jamming, improvisation, and a stage filled with musicians!

1376323_10151656461336816_1704595381_nPhoto credit: W T F Jam Sessions

10. Have lunch at Bar Bodega l’Electricitat

Want to eat excellent and affordable tapas? Clàudia recommends you visit this spot! Despite being located just in front of the Barceloneta Market, she’s never seen a tourist there. The ensaladilla de cranc (crab salad) and bombas (fried potato balls) are the best she’s ever tried.

If you happen to stop by around midday on a Sunday, there’s usually someone playing the guitar and everyone sings along. Fun times!

921650_10151596182364894_1397009621_o-2Photo credit: Mestre Happo‎

Opening photo credit: stvcr

Like A Local Guide
Like A Local Guide is about stepping off the tourist trail and finding cool and cosy spots where locals like to spend their time. We built a website and mobile app to bring insider recommendations from around the world to your fingertips.

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