There’s more to Barceloneta than beaches, more to the old part of town than La Rambla, and more to Gaudi than Parque Guell. Check out 10 of our favourite hidden gems in the city.
1. MERCAT DE SANT JOSEP DE LA BOQUERIA
Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria is often referred to as La Boqueria and it’s located in Ciudad Vieja (the old city) and be entered from La Rambla. It’s the oldest marketplace in the city and has more than 300 stalls! Get some fresh fruits here to take on your adventure in Barcelona.
Neighbourhood: Ciudad Vieja
2. THE GREEN SPA
Sore feet after walking around exploring all day? The Green Spa is a perfect place to relax. Here, they concentrate on helping you reconnect with your physical and emotional selves. They offer a great massages (we’ve sampled them and are a fan!) and other body treatments. Highly recommended before heading to the Barceloneta beach.
One of our favourite cocktail spots, Elephanta is located in Gracia. The bar is known for its Gin Tonics and they serve a whopping 40 different varieties that are perfect combinations of flavours. If you are not into GTs, don’t hesitate to try their teas and cake!
4. JARDINES DE MOSSÉN COSTA I LLOBERA
Nearby Montjuic Mountain, you’ll find Jardines de Mossèn Costa i Llobera. What makes this place so special is the variety of cacti. Generally, people tend to connect cacti with extremely hot deserted locations, but Barcelona has one of the most beautiful botanical reserves for these spiky plants. Go check it out!
Neighbourhood: El Poble-sec
5. BUNKER DEL CARMEL
One of the best views of Barcelona… at least that’s how we feel about it! Former wartime bunkers are located on the foothills that surround the city. They’re a popular hangout place for locals around sunset and you can enjoy a 360-degree view of the city.
6. PLAZA DE SAN FELIPE NERI
Plaza San Felipe Neri is a true hidden gem right in the centre of the old part of Barcelona! The square has a magical atmosphere and could be the backdrop for any ‘romantic walk scene’ in a movie. On the square you’ll see an old church (that still bears damage of the Civil War) and a beautiful fountain… You’ll feel far away from the city’s business on this little square.
Neighbourhood: Gothic Quarter
7. CASA VICENS
Around Barcelona, it’s pretty easy to spot Gaudi’s projects. Casa Vicens is found north of the city centre and it’s a lesser-known and sometimes even forgotten design from Gaudi. It’s one of the originals and it dates back to the late 19th century. It’s beautiful and innovative, a design is worth to seeing!
8. EL BAR MARIACHI
You’ve probably heard of Manu Chao, the musician… El Bar Mariachi is actually owned by him and it’s located in the heart of the Gothic Quarter. It can be challenging to find but it’s worth searching for it! It’s a small, colourful and unique – and has a quirky atmosphere. It’s a popular spot among Barcelona’s musicians. If you are lucky, maybe you can even see a live performance of Manu Chao there.
Neighbourhood: Gothic Quarter
9. LABERINT D'HORTA
We love games, so it may not be a surprise that this garden made our list! This historical garden is located in the Horta-Guinard district. It’s the oldest conserved garden in the city, with a neoclassical style and a hint of Italian influence. In reality, as the name suggests, it’s a complex maze! At the entrance, you’ll pass a marble Ariadne and Theseus, and… if you make it to the centre you’ll find a statue of Eros! Enjoy!
10. HOSPITAL DEL TÓRAX
If you are looking for something completely different on your city trip, Hospital del Torax is a must see. This spooky, and said to be haunted, abandoned hospital is located in Terrassa. They used to treat people with respiratory illnesses here until 1997. After the closure, people have wandered around the empty halls and claim to see ghosts….