Barcelona, we’ve all been, and if you haven’t then you definitely need to. I’d go as far as saying it’s my favourite city in Europe. I visited when I was a child, but went back again a few years ago, and was able to sample the nightlife and restaurants the city has to offer and was blown away by the friendliness of the people, good food and reasonably priced cocktails.
One thing I do like to do when visiting a new city in Europe is try and find some of the less touristy spots to get a better feel for how people living in the city live, in terms of food, drink and culture. Whether you’re looking to plan an awesome cheap holiday, or something a bit more luxury, there’s always new and exciting things to see. With this in mind, I thought i’d do a little rundown of some great spots in Barcelona off the beaten track a bit. You might have already heard of some of these, or even visited, but these are my favourites.
Bunker del Carmel
This isn’t new to those of you who know the city well, but if it’s your first time in Barcelona, or you want to view the city from a different angle, definitely head here. I recommend getting the bus to this place, instead of the subway, as there’s a bit of a walk from the station if you do so (all uphill too, sorry). A bit of history, the spot itself is a former Spanish Civil War bunker where anti-aircraft guns were once installed.
This place is right at the top of Barcelona, and I have to say, the view is INCREDIBLE. It really opens your eyes to how big the city actually is, and you can see all the tall landmarks from this view, such as the Sagrada Familia and the coastal areas right at the far end. I spent a couple of hours up here, just chilling, drinking a beer and taking it all in. Make sure you take food or drink up there with you as there’s literally nothing to purchase up there, great for catching the sunset too.
If you head further down the coast, away from the Eixample and El Raval areas, you’ll stumble upon Palo Alto, and the amazing Palo Alto market. A bit about the gardens first though, this urban garden is located on the courtyard of a former factory (now co-working space) and is open 7 days a week for you to roam around and take in this beautiful space.
The main attraction for this spot in Poblenou is the street food and design market which takes place every month. This is where you get a real taste of Barcelona and Catalunyan culture, with the market selling 100% local produce and products, the perfect spot to find a souvenir to take home, something different to the usual keyrings and fridge magnets. There’s loads of live music and workshops too so it’s a great place to take in the atmosphere even if you aren’t buying anything.
This is another place you might have been to, but again, if new to the city you might not have ventured in this direction. Situated just behind all the tourist spots is the area of El Born, which has a wonderful array of restaurants and bars later on at night. I preferred going here in the evening as you got to take in the atmosphere of locals (usually a younger group) drinking alcohol in the square and generally having a great time. There’s plenty of cocktail bars in this area too, and late night ice cream spots so I recommend giving it a go.
If you’re visiting in the daytime, there’s also plenty to do too, like checking out the Santa Maria del Mar church, Picasso museum, chocolate museum and the wide range of little shops and cafes.
So there’s my run down of Barcelona spots, there’s much more than this out there and the city as a whole has plenty to offer if you venture away from the obvious spots.