Things to do in Barcelona – the alternative list is here! Written by us locals, we present the TOP TEN in Bcn:
1. Beaches Beyond Barcelona
Discover the dazzling shores outside the city walls!
Number one of the most unique things to do in Barcelona is to explore all of its beaches and beyond, biking. As you follow the Mediterranean coastline past the popular Barceloneta beach, you enter a different world. Here, sand is golden, water is crystal-clear and tourists are rare. Dare to go a little further and see for yourself the design mastery of Barcelona’s biggest leisure park – el Forum. Watch birds gather by the Besos river valley where no tourists go. Then reach the elegant spacious seafront of the town of Badalona. Go further still and discover the utter peace of the coastal village of Montgat. How? Sea breaze in your face as you glide inbetween palm trees? If the answer is Yes please. – Bike with us!
2. Tapas Up Above
Enjoy heavenly food at the foot of a hilltop lookout!
Get a bird’s eye view of Barcelona from the Bunkers of Carmel. They are secluded hilltop structures built in 1938 as guards and anti-aircraft defenses, now well- maintaned ruins with a museum. Fancy a brand-new panoramic facebook cover pic? Click! Now walk straight down Calle de Mühlberg to treat your tastebuds to Barcelona’s best tapas in Bar Delicias. Locals quickly fill the wooden chairs of the big stone-walled main room and the unassuming terrace alike. It may be crowded during siesta, but it’s worth queueing if you have to. Fresh seafood selection? Hearty stews? Traditional sausages with crunchy rustic bread? They have rich homely flavours and generous portion sizes. So, no wonder it’s a local favourite. Calle de Mühlberg 1.
3. Labyrinth Park
Lose yourself in a maze in Barcelona!
The Labyrinth Park of Horta is a historical garden in the affluent, hilly district of Horta-Guinardó in the north of the city. Juan Antonio Desvalls designed it in the eigthteenth century. He was a Catalan aristocrat of great artistic sensibility. So now, the garden offers a quiet retreat for lovers and friends alike. It’s a truly magical thrill for kids and one of the best things to do in Barcelona for families. A lush tall hedge maze inspired by the mythical story of Ariadne and Theseus, surrounded by gardens of rare plants and neoclassical fountains with white sculptures glimmering in the sun…Hop on the metro green line L3, get off at Mundet, follow the signs and thank us later.
4. Cava and Sausages
Sample regionally produced cava like a local!
Can Paixano, also called La Xampanyeria, is a small lively bar located in the historic seaside neighbourhood of La Barceloneta. This family-run establishment specialises in fresh fruity cava, traditionally cultivated from grapes grown in northern Catalonia. In Can Paixano, cava is enjoyed with…juicy sausage sandwiches! Or maybe you fancy spicy stuffed peppers or family recipe cheese? Forget the boring tall glass and embrace champagne coupes – shallow, broad-bowled, small goblets – and as your cava bubbles away, browse the Can Paixano Delicatessen, located in the back of the bar. Oh, and once you’re done? (This may be one of the funniest things to do in Barcelona)Throw your crumpled serviette on the floor, like a local! See for yourself at Calle de la Reina Cristina 7.
5. Olympic Swimming Pool
Swim on the mountain side and look over the city!
Built for the diving and waterpolo competitions, the Barcelona Olympic Swimming Pool was dedicated to public use after the Games finished in 1992. Located on the side of the Montjuic mountain overlooking Barcelona from the south-west, this extraordinary pool offers an opportunity to get fit and enjoy a panoramic view of the city at the same time. Open from July till late September, and for a mere €6,50 per person! Get off the metro at Poble Sec and take Calle de Margarit all the way up to the pool. One of very local things to do in Barcelona. You’re welcome.
6. Open-Air Velodrome
See Barcelona’s roofless track cycling arena!
Surfaced with beautiful light brown wood imported from Cameroon, the Horta Velodrome was the first jewel on the crown of 1992 Olympic Barcelona architecture. In the course of over 30 years since its first inauguration in 1984 the open-air arena has hosted legends of track cycling – from Koichi Nakano through Guillermo Timoner to Shane Kelly. If the big names caused your head to spin, one of the best things to do in Barcelona is to go for a walk – the velodrome is located at the foot of Collserola Park – the largest metropolitan park in the world. The velodrome is also just next to the Labyrinth Park, so you already know how to get there. De nada.
7. View from Tibidabo
Earn the most majestic vistas of Barcelona!
In Latin, tibi-dabo means I will give to you – and believe me, the gift is the view. Tibidabo is the tallest peak of the Collserola Natural Park, a 8,000 hectare hilly forest rising up over Barcelona. From the peak of Tibidabo at 512 metres (1,680 ft) you can enjoy spectacular vistas of both this surrounding nature reserve and the city. However do you reach such dizzying heights? Well, you can take the bus T2A, the train S1 or train S2 or the bus 118 and bus 111 and the cable car or combine the train L6 and bus 111 and the cable car…or forget that and climb with us by bike. Swap the sweaty bus seat for fresh breeze and cycle above ravines in the shade of tall trees. Aw yeah.
8. Sports Experience Stadium
Pick your sport and play like a pro!
The Lluis Companys Stadium located on the west side of Montjuic was first built in 1929 and later largely developed for the 1992 Olympic Games. Inspired by the glory of past tournaments and yet keeping up with the times, the arena opened its doors last year to lovers of sports, entertainment and…virtual reality! Open Camp is the first park in the world to offer you the experience previously only reserved for pros. Box your opponent while crowds cheer, hit the home run on a professional baseball field, save goals whilst cameras flash or choose from over 30 other experiences. Forget your next training session in an overcrowded gym and bring your friends and family. Open Camp – open to everyone. Walk down Avenida Miramar from The Olympic Swimming Pool and get tickets from the Open Info Kiosk.
9. Roof Terraced Museum
Learn local history and earn a view of the Port!
The Museum of Catalan History occupies an elongated brick-walled building by the Old Port in Barcelona. Formerly used as a warehouse, the edifice is in fact the last one still standing after huge reconstructions of the previously industrial harbour for the 1992 Olympic Games. Part of Catalan Cultural Heritage, the vast museum will take you on an incredible journey through the region, starting from the Stone Ages and reaching the Modern Era. Accessible information in English, presented with stylish multimedia and a choice of temporary exhibitions guarantee a fantastic day for the visiting historian and the layman alike. And let’s not forget a treat after all this learning – on the fourth floor of The Museum of Catalan History a roof terrace beckons with food and drink and a well-earned view of the Old Port! Placa de Pau Vila 3, unmissable.
10. Basque Beers & Bites
Savour scrumptious snacks and low-cost lager!
The Basque people might stereotypically be seen as brutes, but you gotta love their uncomplicated drinking ways. Pintxos, originating from the Basque country in the north of Spain, are bite-sized pieces of crunchy bread garnished with all delicacies imaginable. Ranging from olives with feta cheese, roast beef and garlic prawns to oven-baked asparagus, €1 pintxos are enjoyed with €1 small beers. Simple, tasty and cheap. Take a night stroll down Calle de Blai in the Poble Sec district, pick your favourite from a dozen quirky bars and feel like a Basque for a day in Barcelona. Cheers!