Heading to Spain? Barcelona offers some amazing attractions but we share the hidden gems in Barcelona, so you can get off the beaten path.
There are so many cool and beautiful places to see in the city that it’s hard to organize a schedule and visit everything or even find a nice place to eat. If you also want to escape and see more than the most popular attractions in the city, such as the Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, Casa Batlló, La Pedrera, and La Barceloneta we are here to give you a hand with a list of six places to visit during your stay.
What to see in Barcelona
Barcelona is internationally recognized for its architects and great architectural works that marked an era. Among so many works by Antoni Gaudí present around the city, the work that started the architect’s recognition was Casa Vicens, being the first house designed by him between 1883 and 1888 in the neighborhood of Gracia.
For the design of the project, Gaudí was inspired by nature and wanted to bring it to construction through different elements such as the forge, varied painting techniques, ceramics, and colors, creating a unique space.
The house is one of his seven works that have been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2005.
Mirador al Colom (Colombus Monument)
When we approach the port of Barcelona, we can see at the end of La Rambla a huge statue 60m high in honor of Christopher Columbus pointing to the port, where he ended his trip when he returned from America. The monument was built not only in his honor but also for the Universal Exposition of Barcelona in June of 1888.
The monument is a classic spot in the city, but what many people don’t know is that you can visit the inside of the monument. The first thing you will see when passing between its doors is a souvenir shop with local products from Catalunya and also a wine cellar. Besides that, you also have the chance to take a lift to the top and enjoy a 360º view of the city and appreciate La Rambla from to the top, seeing the Gothic neighborhood, the Montjuic mountain, and the Port Vell with its yachts.
Located close to La Rambla, La Reial is one of the most important squares in Barcelona. Built during the mid-19th century to give the Gothic Quarter a new look, the square is a light, clean and open space located between identical buildings in the old city.
Following the neoclassical style, the area gets a unique environment with its palm trees, the Tres Gràcies fountain in the center of the square, and two lamp posts designed by Antoni Gaudí. Under the arches that sustain the buildings, we find different types of bars and restaurants that enliven the environment with their terraces, creating a nice atmosphere to have lunch, dinner, or just a couple of beers.
Sant Pau Recinte Modernista
There are plenty of hidden gems in Spain and this is one of our favorites. The Hospital de la Santa Creu I Sant Pau has existed since 1401 after the merger of six other Hospitals in Barcelona. But it was only in January of 1902 that authorities would start the construction of the new space due to the demographic growth of Barcelona and its inauguration took place in 1930.
When designing the space, Lluís Domènech I Montaner wanted to ensure that all buildings had enough sunlight and provided good insulation to all pavilions, increasing significantly the standards of cleanliness, comfort, and health for its patients. During the beginning of the 20th century, the implementation of X-rays and anesthesia began, reducing the risk of infections and hemorrhages in patients, and initiating modern medicine.
If you’re a fan of history and architecture, don’t miss the chance of visiting the museum which is located 10 min walking from the Sagrada Familia. Pay attention not only to the objects and organization of the pavilions but also to the stained glass windows, stairs, the beautiful garden outside, and the details of the exterior of every building. The Modernista Sant Pau Complex is considered a World Heritage status by UNESCO since 1997 thanks to its contribution to architecture and health during the Spanish Civil War.
Parque Laberint d’Horta
The Parc del Laberint d’Horta is considered a garden museum and it is the oldest garden preserved in Barcelona. The construction started in 1791 and presents a mix of neoclassicism and romanticism styles. Take a few hours to explore its sculptures, as its various ponds, waterfalls, fountains, and a canal that runs through the upper enclosure.
Get lost in Montjüic
Montjuic is one of the most important places in Barcelona, and many visitors go there to see the MNAC museum and the fountains, but besides that Montjuic has many little gardens to see, and behind the museum, you can easily find the Olympic Stadium where the opening of the Olympics in 1992 was celebrated.
While walking around that area take a look at the floor to find the Walk of Fame with footprinting of Roger Federer, Mark Spitz, Rafa Nadal, Michael Jordan, and many others. Walking around you can also find the Montjuic Castle with a nice view from the top, a Greek Theatre, the Botanical Garden, Joan Miró Foundation, and the Pueblo Español for example.
Barcelona Food Guide
While traveling to a place we’ve never been it’s really hard to find good restaurants for a good price. Barcelona has a lot of great options but if you want to find good places with very local food, we easily recommend you to check these options:
Everyone that comes to Barcelona wants to try some good paella, and for that L’Arrosseria Xàtiva prepares a very typical Valencian paella for a really good price; Now, if you’re more in the mood to try some tapas try booking a table at Restaurante Ciudad Condal located on the upper side of La Rambla; If you’re around Montjuic Miramar Restaurant Garden & Club and Terraza Martinez are very good places to have some local food with a nice view from the top; This might not be a restaurant, but walking around Calle Enrique Granados is one of the most popular and nice places to walk around and choose a good spot to eat between its many restaurant options along the street; Now, if you’re looking forward for a more exclusive and elegant setting you can’t miss the Restaurante Jardín del Alma located inside Hotel Alma in Passeig de Gràcia.
Bars & Rooftops
If you’re looking forward to having a couple of drinks and also want to have a nice view of the city with nice electronic music don’t miss out La Terrassa de Indianes (1881 per Sagardi) and
El Sueño – Hotel The Serras both have a terrace with a view to the Port Vell, near the beach, and are a perfect spot during the sunset; Oriented to the most demanding profile the Old Fashioned Gin Tonic & Cocktail Bar has a “speakeasy” atmosphere dominated by Jazz, Charleston, and Old-Style music and a great selection of distilled drinks and cocktails; Located in the Borne neighborhood Dux Gins & Cocktails Borne is famous for its “Homemade” Gin and serving its cocktails in different recipients such as a bathtub; Another cool place to grab a drink in London Bar with a modernist design and more than 100 years of history. A magical place with artistic performances, creative cocktails, and light meals & tapas.
Save all your Memories
During our trips it’s impossible to keep track of all the memories we will make, or remember the names of restaurants we’ve been to, people we met, and places we visited. After spending some really nice days around Europe and exploring everything Barcelona has to offer, why not save all your memories in a personalized notebook? Creating a unique and personalized space where you can print some Polaroid-style pictures of food, sights, and friends to keep all your memories together. Make a scrapbook of your trip. You can keep receipts, and tickets from the museums you visited… It makes the perfect keepsake!