Off the Beaten Path: Barcelona
For all those looking to travel in the next year as we start to embrace our post COVID world (fingers crossed) we thought we should give you some of our favourite tips for a city I love. Most of the places are venues to spend your evening, some less known than others, and give you the perfect opportunity to rub shoulders with locals as you down 1 Euro beer in the autumn heat.
1. Meet up at MACBA
Located in the suburb of El Raval, MACBA is the most predominant Modern Art Museum in Barcelona. Although the real fun of MACBA isn’t the artworks that are hosted inside, but the abundant street culture outside. Skating, break dancing, live music and cheap drinks handed out on the side of the road for a mere 1 Euro await you in MACBA. It provides the perfect experience for those looking to meet up with friends before hitting the many local bars or restaurants in the surrounding streets. Whether it be a pit stop you make during an afternoon bar crawl of the local sangria venues, or a place to pre-game before hitting up Pascha or other nearby nightclubs, MACBA provides the perfect place to plan the rest of the day.
2. Soak up some Sun at Parc de la Cuitadella
Parc de la Cuitadella or Cuitadella Park is one of the main sources of natural greenery in the city. Whilst grass, tree’s and flowers might not be a rarity where you live, inside the concrete jungle of Barcelona, the manicured streets have very little of the natural world. Parc de la Cuitadella offers you that oasis to soak up an afternoon of sun amongst friends. Enjoy the life of the music from a variety of buskers performing, and those just performing for the love of music. You’ll find this park buzzing with life all morning with families and young people looking to enjoy a little outdoor fun. Make sure to pack yourself a nice picnic and a few bottles of wine before heading out for a booze-filled afternoon.
3. Swim at Sitges
Whilst not being in Barcelona proper, but only being located a 35-minute train trip away, the town of Sitges proves to be the best spot to swim in the area. Its beaches lack the usual tourism trap feel of those in Barcelona, and the town itself pulls young people from all over the Catalan region for its Mardi Gras parade and festival. Another location for you to eat and drink your way through, as you relax beachside with a sangria in tow and some potatas bravas on the side. I hate to give this secret away, as whilst the local business could use a bump, the sleepy nature of the town is what attracted me so much prior. Sitges proves to be the perfect place for a day trip getaway if you find yourself in Barcelona in the coming year.
4. Enjoy the Surreal Sunsets at the El Carmel Bunkers
Whilst not as under the radar as a few of my other suggestions, the Bunkers at El Carmel is the best place to watch the sunset with friends. The Bunkers are known to most locals as the go-to place to get the best view of the city, making it the perfect date spot or method to light up your Instagram feed with images that will drive your friends crazy. When you’re finished checking out the last drips of the evening sun, you’ll find yourself around Gracia, a suburb known for its niche restaurants and cafes to round out a perfect afternoon.
5. Party on at ECO La Experimental
ECO La Experimental is a collective that bases itself in Tibidabo, overlooking the hills of Barcelona and the city beneath. The collective host's numerous events all year round at the mansion location, offering live music, pay what you want food and parties that run all night long. Make sure if you head up for one of their parties you’re ready to stay the night because public transport back into the city is sparse later in the night. If you do manage to stay the night, you’ll be surrounded by a host of lovely people, all there to enjoy the party atmosphere.
Looking to find more activities to do this year? Download FreeGuides to find all the best-hidden experiences in your area.