Barcelona is a beautiful and cosmopolitan Spanish city, much of which was designed by the architect Antoni Gaudi.
His influence is all over the city and you’ll notice it everywhere you go. Most people tend to visit his major works, including La Sagrada Familia and Park Guell, but there is much more to Barcelona than this. Here are five lesser-known places that are well worth a visit.
Placa Felip Neri
The Gothic Quarter is the centre of the old city and is located just off the famous street, La Rambla. The area is a warren of little, narrow streets full of history and the stunning Cathedral is the centrepiece of the area. If you stay in the Gothic Quarter, you will be in the heart of the city and close to many wonderful restaurants and bars. For a break from the hustle and bustle, go to Placa Felip Neri, a beautiful, romantic square with a lovely baroque church.
Few tourists make the trek up the 184 metre-tall hill Montjuic, despite its splendid view over the city, and at times, you will be completely alone up here. The walk is well worth it as there is a lot to see on the hill, including the spectacular Castle Montjuic and the Olympic Stadium from 1992. For something a little different, you should definitely check out the Sala Montjuic, an incredible open-air cinema in the beautiful castle gardens.
Barcelona is one of the world’s favourite tourist’s destinations. There are flights from many UK airports on a daily basis which run all year round. With so many tourists flocking to the city, you may want to get away from them for a while. Gracia is the perfect area to do this; it’s popular with the locals, but less so with visitors. Once a village that has since been absorbed into the city, it retains that local feel and is full of cafes, restaurants and little shops.
Turo de la Rovira
A remnant from the Civil War, this was the site of the city’s air defences and as such, offers perhaps the best view of the city. From here, you get the only full 360-degree view on Barcelona and all the major attractions can be seen. The best times to see the views from Turo de la Rovira are naturally at sunrise and sunset, so plan your schedule accordingly.
El Refugi 307
Literally a hidden gem, this 400 metre-long tunnel was one of many underground shelters built during the Civil War to protect people from air raids. This is the best-preserved of the tunnels and is an evocative and fascinating insight into the war. It now functions as a museum and you can walk the length of the tunnels and explore the rooms inside.
Have you discovered any other lesser-known attractions in Barcelona away from the typical tourist traps? Have you been to any of the places on my list? Share your thoughts with others in the comments below.