Off to the land of tapas, red wine and endless fiestas? Barcelona is a prime spot for any newbie to the continent or seasoned traveller, thanks to how it balances the usual tourist suspects with a number of secret spots. The locals for instance, wouldn’t be caught dead on La Rambla, so why should you? So we spoke to those in the know and narrowed down a hit list worthy of your footsteps, forgo the usual touristy trail for these excellent alternatives.
Bunkers of Carmel
Forget the views from the tiled peaks of Park Guell and head to the bunker instead. Expansive views over the city and history a plenty, the bunkers are a milestone of the Spanish civil war. It makes for a steady walk up so you can earn your indulgent picnic snacks. Wine is most certainly encouraged.
Labyrinth Park of Horta
Weave your way about the maze or stare it’s mesmerising arrangement from above. If it’s sun and gardens you seek, this attraction is an afternoon delight.
Sant Pol de Mar
The pebbled shores of Barceloneta Beach are walked by tourists exclusively. A short hour journey or so out from the city centre and you’ll be greeted by a stunning sandy oasis. There’s a walk surrounding the beach that that’s you peer out over the cliff and off into the glassy blue below.
A street where the tapas are certain to warm your belly for not a euro too much. A pilgrimage of sorts for hungry hordes, Calle Blai is a your best option for tucking in without the added tourist surcharge..
Cala Sant Francesc, Blanes
Another picturesque option if you’re avoiding the crowds, this beach is a stunner. Not totally devoid of people on a hot summer’s day, but it’ll be bronzed Spanish bodies rather than sunburnt backpackers beside you.
Cathedral of Cava, Codorniu
A cellar to marvel at, Cathedral of Cava is an institution worth every last drop. If you’re making the day trip to Montesserat make sure to stop by for a sip too. It’s the largest underground cellar across the globe, hosting 100 million bottles or so at any one time.
The Arús Library
Founded in 1885, this hall of books galore was a masterpiece before it’s time. The Catalan public library houses many a page on social movements, workers movements’ and anarchism. The staff will be happy to tell you a tale or two about how Catalonia is certainly not Spain, if you dare ask.
A neighbourhood with views of the Mediterranean sea and littered with bars that ooze cool, Poblenou is worth an explore. It means new town in Catalan and no other collection of streets better describes the true spirit of the Catalonian capital. Sumptuous local eats, evening options abound and a hidden quality about it (thanks to the high rise appartments along it’s order edges). If you’re booking an AirBnB, this is a local favourite.
Riera Baixa Street
If you like your vintage by the kilo, then this is the street for you. Forget your luggage limits and adorn yourself with yesterday’s garb, you’ll truly be spoiled for choice. Just be warned, Spanish shops open and close as they please, with a later morning start and a guaranteed afternoon siesta.
Famous for the eight day street party Festes de Gràcia in August, the neighbourhood itself is a charmer all year round. With streets on an incline, you’ll get stunning views over the city and many a cafe to along the way. It has a reputation for drawing a particularly stylish crowd, which makes for excellent up and coming designer wares in every shopfront.
Mercat de Sant Antoni
Unless you fancy battling the elbow busting crowds of La Boqueria, this market is a local’s alternative. Similar food offering and abundant market options without the annoying tourists or the elevated prices they bring. Bring a basket and buy snacks for your post siesta snack.
The Garden at Hotel Alma Barcelona
Even if you’re not lapping it up at the Alma Hotel, a visit to their garden is a must. Tucked away it’s the ideal balance of seclusion and service. Let your afternoons roll into evenings with a glass of local wine in hand, how lush.
Image source: Golden Times New Woman, Flick Hive Mind, Hashtag Spain, Travel Photo Gallery Spain, Charming Villas, What The Food, Fai Moui Moui, Apartment Barcelona, Driftwood Journals, WGSN, Lifestyle Barcelona, Alma Barcelona.