Located in the Catalonian region on Spain’s eastern coast, Barcelona is a city that has it all. Its unique architecture, stunning beaches, and unique arts and culinary scene attract over thirty million visitors a year. As a result of so many people traveling to Barcelona each year, it can be hard to avoid the crowds and experience the true feeling of this vibrant city. If you’re looking for a tourist guide to Barcelona that shows you how to explore like a local, you’re in luck. These are our 6 favorite things to do in Barcelona that only the locals know about!
Bunkers del Carmel
These abandoned anti-aircraft bunkers are a popular spot for locals to gather and offer stunning views over the city. Pack some snacks and drinks and enjoy the views while watching the sunset. To get there, take bus number 24 from Placa Cataluna, which stops close to the hilltop. Or if you’re visiting Park Guell, the bunker is only a 15-minute walk away. This view of the city and sea is a must-see!
No tourist guide to Barcelona would be complete without a place to relax. The Gràcia district offers a break from the hustle and bustle of the city center. The area has many charming streets and squares where you can find specialty shops, cafes, and bakeries. Literature fans will also enjoy visiting the Plaça del Diamant made famous by Catalan author Mercé Rodoreda’s novel of the same name.
Parc de la Ciutadella
Soak in the sunshine with a picnic at the Parc de la Ciutadella. This is probably one of the most beautiful places in Barcelona, and you’ll find it filled with locals over the weekends. Rent a boat and row across the central lake or simply enjoy a Catalan beer at the bar in the park. It’s the perfect way to take a break from the city.
National Art Museum of Catalonia
Art is a must in any tourist guide to Barcelona. Plan a visit the steps of the National Art Museum of Catalonia at sunset to enjoy beautiful mountain views without the crowds. The architecture of the building itself is impressive, and the art inside is as well. Especially popular is the collection of Romanesque church art and 18th and 19th-century Catalan art. Visit this museum on Saturdays or the first Sunday of the month for free admission.
A hike to the top of Tibidabo is also an experience you’ll treasure during your visit to Barcelona. Locals love enjoying the beautiful weather by hiking this mountain located in Collserola Natural Park. Start at the Baixador de Vallvidrera station, right at the entrance to the park. From there make the 3.5-kilometer trek to the top, passing the beautiful Sagrat Cor church along the way. As you reach the top you’ll be greeted with stunning views and have a chance to enjoy one of the world’s oldest amusement parks. When you’ve tired of the rides, treat yourself to a ride on the funicular train back. Take it from Vallvidrera Superior station to Peu del Funicular. From there you can quickly be back in the heart of the city.
Finally, while you won’t avoid the tourists completely at the Jamboree at Plaça Reial, locals agree that its a must any tourist guide to Barcelona.
Two sets a day for half a century, 365 days a year since 1960. Few jazz clubs, and few live music venues of any kind, can boast a track record like the Jamboree. The Jamboree is a club, a jazz cave, a venue and an institution, forming part of Barcelona’s cultural heritage – the living culture of a restless, dynamic, cosmopolitan metropolis open to the world.
Be sure to also stay all the way to the end of the jam sessions to see things get really lively, at times the stage is completely packed with musicians.
There is an endless supply of things to see and do in Barcelona. If you’ll be traveling to Barcelona in September, read more about attending the La Mercé Festival in Barcelona, an experience you’ll never forget. So, is there anything that you would add to this tourist guide to Barcelona?