All you need to know about the arts, culture, local fare and activities in Catalonia’s capital city. This is your guide to Barcelona.
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October 25, 2017 | Things to Do in Barcelona
Did you know on-site, complimentary bicycles are included when you book a stay with us? To kick off your expense-free adventure, we’ve mapped out the most scenic routes for you to take.
Breathe in fresh ocean air as your cycle down the coastline. We like to start off in Barceloneta, a lively fishing quarter full of fantastic seafood, luxury yachts, and a palm-lined promenade popular among tourists. After taking a dip and grabbing a bite, head towards Barceloneta Park. In addition to lush greenery and an environmental preservation center, the park is also home to the historic remains of a water tower and gasometer from engineer Claudi Gil Serra’s former Catalan Gas Company.
Just north of Barceloneta Beach lies the Port Olímpic complex, which hosted the sailing events for the 1992 Summer Olympics. Stop by to take in the glitzy cruiseliners and yachts or gaze out on the Mediterranean. As you head away from the water, you’ll find the Mapfre and Arts Hotel towers and Frank Gehry’s enormous copper fish sculpture. These skyscrapers were originally built as part of the Olympic Village to house athletes during the games, but have since been transformed into office buildings and hotels.
Escape the crowd by visiting El Poble-sec, an older, less-populated neighborhood with 19th-century architecture located on the city's outskirts. Cruise down Carrer de Blai for tapas bars and drinking and then head over to Paral·lel Avenue to visit a theatre strip and catch a musical or cabaret. Plaça de las Navas and Plaça del Sortidor are our favorite squares in the neighborhood, full of friendly locals, shopping, and al fresco cafes.
There's no shortage of architecture in Barcelona—especially when it comes to the jaw-dropping masterpieces of Antoni Gaudí. Start off by spinning down Passeig de Gràcia to see Casa Batlló, a Gaudí-designed home with unusual tracery, irregularly shaped windows, and sculptured stonework. Another Gaudí masterpiece, Casa Milà, can be found just three blocks north. This home was the last private residence designed by Gaudí and showcases an unconventional, rough-hewn appearance. End on a high note with Gaudi’s world-famous Sagrada Família—an emblematic Roman Catholic temple known for its gothic and Art Nouveau infrastructure, located on Carrer de La Marina. But be sure to take special caution: Carrer de La Marina is a bustling street, thriving with tourists, buses, cars, and other cyclists.
Explore Barcelona's up-and-coming art scene in Poble Nou. Once an industrial neighborhood with booming textile mills, Poble Nou's now flaunts vibrant graffiti murals and colorful sidewalks. As you cycle comfortably, you can spot artists such as Aryz, PEZ, Miss Van, Escif, and Sam 3. Enjoy a hint of nature on your way back towards the hotel by cutting through the tree-lined Parc del Poblenou, ending at the quiet coastline of Platja del Bogatell.