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.
Photo 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.
Photo 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!
Photo credit: Annicken
4. Hike to the top of Tibidabo
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.
Photo credit: Pablo Jiménez Labaig
5. Get lost in El Raval
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.
Photo 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.
Photo credit: stvcr
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.
Photo 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!
Photo 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!
Photo 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!
Photo credit: Mestre Happo
Opening photo credit: stvcr