Located on the east coast of the Iberian Peninsula and bathed by the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea, Barcelona is full of history and secrets that are waiting to be discovered. It is also a cosmopolitan and modern city where there’s always something to do:
‘Pinchos’ in Blai Street
In the neighbourhood of Poble Sec there is a pedestrian street where locals go to enjoy some cold beer and pinchos. The first bar to offer affordable pinchos (small bites) on this street was “Blai Tonight”. Many other businesses followed the trend shortly after.
They may not be so secret, but they’re definitely less crowded than other areas of the city. Behind the cathedral, the “Templo de Augusto” is a small patio with 4 Roman columns that were discovered in the 19th century. Another hidden corner is the Church of Santa Anna, which is just a few meters from busy Plaza Cataluña. Its Romanic cloister is an oasis of calm in the midst of the city.
Markets for every taste
If you like antiques, the “Mercado de los Encants” is a required visit. It opens every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 09.00 to 20.00. If you prefer boutique markets, the Palo Alto Market is held on the first weekend of every month. The entry fee is only €3.
The botanical garden
In Montjuïc, we can find one of the “lungs of the city”. The botanical garden has native Catalonian plants and trees, and promotes respect for nature. The entrance fee is €3.50, but it’s free every Sunday after 15.00.
Hot chocolate and ‘churros’ in Petritxol Street
The first paved pedestrian street of Barcelona is now the paradise of chocolate con churros. This 130-meter-long and 3-meter-wide street in the Gothic Quarter is full of granjas (similar to a patisserie or a café) where you can indulge your sweet tooth and learn about the city’s customs on the mosaics that decorate the walls of the street.
El Palau de la Música Catalana
A beautiful modernist building from the early 20th century houses the “Palau de la Música Catalana”. You can go to shows in this concert hall for under €20, depending on the artist and the seating. There are also guided tours for €18.
This event brings electronic music to the entire family. Grab your picnic basket and go up the hill of Montjuïc to enjoy a day and an evening with some DJs. If you don’t want to carry your own food, there you can find food stalls and all types of drinks. The entrance costs €15.
Barcelona has excellent museums, and they never cost more than €20. If you want to spend even less, go on the first Sunday of the month – it’s free! However, be ready to queue for a while!
Sant Pau hospital
You don’t have to be ill to visit the largest modernist complex in Europe. The new hospital is in a contemporary building that is right next to the old complex, which is now a knowledge centre that offers guided tours. Even if you just go to contemplate its impressive façade, it’s worth it.
Apart from many commercial and independent cinemas, in Barcelona you can find “Phenomena”, a movie theatre that brings back the lights and the red carpets of the old days. It shows classic films from the 70s and 80s in original version, as well as contemporary movies. If you want to get some fresh air, in summer you can enjoy a selection of films in the ditch of Montjuïc castle.
You probably can’t wait to visit the city now! Check out all our Spanish courses in Barcelona and give us your tips in the comments section below.