Barcelona – high temperatures, Mediterranean breeze, bohemian vibe and fascinating architecture in one of the most visited destinations in Europe. And not without a reason. The Catalan capital attracts visitors all year round. If you’ve chosen Barcelona for your next destination, you’ve definitely made the right choice.
When I first visited the vibrant city last year, I hadn’t planned almost a thing. I didn’t even know which sites should I visit besides the obvious Sagrada Familia, of course. What surprised me the most in Barcelona was the ocean of things to do and ways to experience the city. It looked like one lifetime won’t be enough to get everything that the city has to offer. It’s not a coincidence that I chose to live there for a few months next year…
And if you’re still wondering how to spend your time in Barcelona, here are 4 alternative ways to get a different view of the city:
1. On Two Wheels: Bike around the famous landmarks
Barcelona is absolutely bike-friendly. You can go sightseeing with your bike or just get to some place without a problem. And it’s pretty convenient as many famous landmarks are not that close to each other. My favourite part of my bike tour in Barcelona was the coastal ride. Biking along the playful breeze and seeing the shimmering surface of the Mediterranean is one of the best memories I still keep from Barcelona…
I’ve also heard that Spain, generally, is a good place to easily move around by bike thanks to various bike rental services such as donkey.bike. So rent a bike Madrid, Valencia or Seville and enjoy the ride! I already put it on my list…
2. With Fork in Hand: Taste the delicious food
Paella, tapas, gazpacho, croquettes, churros… Spain is well known for its tasty food. But Catalonia is where you can try some of the most delicious Spanish meals. So when you visit Barcelona, spare some budget to spoil yourself with a few savory experiences. Here’s where you can taste some Spanish delicacies in Barcelona:
- Vicens – traditional sweets from Catalonia and other parts of Spain;
- La Cervesera Artesana – a pub where you can taste different craft beers;
- La Bodegueta – cozy place in Gracia neighbourhood where you can try homemade vermouth and tapas;
- Origens – traditional restaurant, again in Gracia neighbourhood.
3. Behind The Scenes: Explore the backstage of cultural gems
Of course, Sagrada Familia, Casa Milà, Casa Batlló, Park Güell are must-see landmarks on your first visit of Barcelona. A good alternative, however, is to go beyond the obvious tourist attractions in the city and explore the backstage of its cultural gems.
While I was in Barcelona, I went inside the famous opera El Gran Teatre del Liceu, that was established in 1847 and have survived 2 fires. We visited several dressing rooms and backstage areas. But the most impressive part was the stage hall itself. The building expands 40 metres above the level of the stage and goes down 24 metres below. It was spectacular! Other places where you can explore the Catalan culture in more depth are Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya and even the famous Park Guell.
4. Through Day Trips: Explore the surroundings
Another alternative way to experience Barcelona is… to get out of the city. The charm of the Catalan capital lies also in its proximity to other amazing places to visit, especially in Costa Brava. When you go to Barcelona I recommend you to spare some time for a day trip or two to one of the beautiful gems of the region. Some of my favourite experiences around Barcelona were the coastal walk in Roses, skydiving in Empuriabrava and kayaking in Llanca. You can find something for every taste.
Whether you are planning a family holiday or an active sightseeing trip, Barcelona will welcome you with open arms. So don’t waste more time and start planning your trip right away!