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Hidden Gems in Barcelona

10 Must-Visit Hidden Gems in Barcelona

by Christian Petzold - updated January 24, 2022

Hidden gems are hidden for a reason—they’re hidden to keep them unique. But there’s no place like Barcelona, a place that has all the characteristics of a gem. It’s also the destination to uncover hidden gems all around. We know Barcelona for its rich history, Catalan culture, beaches, and architecture. 

Explore the streets of this beautiful city, where you can find modernist architecture, medieval churches, and palaces; their rich history is evident in every step. You can find it all within one mile of each other! 

And speaking of gems, there are tons of hidden gems in Barcelona we’ll talk about later. This article will help you find the unique and beautiful parts of this fantastic city so that you can go on a magical journey through Barcelona, 

Hidden Gems in Barcelona

The hidden gems in Barcelona are known for not being too heavily traveled or talked about. These treasures and secrets include some of the most beautiful buildings, views, food, and various items. Here are some of Barcelona’s unique secret, not-so-hidden gems (but definitely gem-like sites!).

1. Get lost at the labyrinth of Park of Horta

Park Of Horta

You’ve probably seen these charming hedge mazes in children’s books or movies. Labyrinth Park of Horta, the first corn labyrinth, has been amusing visitors since 1791. Besides being an entertaining experience, it is also rich in history, which you may learn about while exploring the grounds of this unique destination.

You should, however, arrive as early as possible if you plan on coming out to this area. Just 750 people are permitted each day to preserve the park’s natural beauty. 

Good to know:

The park also presents a picnic area and a children’s playground. It is open every day, and the entry price is €2.23 for adults, €1.42 for kids aged 6 to 14, and free for children under the age of five. In addition, admission to the park is free on Wednesdays and Sundays.

2. Enjoy the high views at Bunker Del Carmel

Bunker Del Carmel

Bunker Del Carmel is a fortress with a striking military aesthetic. It was initially built in 1938 during the Spanish Civil War. While they have taken the cannons down, you will still be able to see the city and even the sea beyond. This is one place you’ll want to make sure you have your camera with you when you go.

While visiting this castle, wear comfortable shoes as you will have some hiking to do. Once you have climbed the set of stairs that lead you into the bunker, you can enjoy a fantastic view at the top.

Good to know:

At nightfall, locals and visitors alike congregate at the bunkers to watch the sunset over the city while listening to music, eating picnics, taking photographs, and simply soaking in the breathtaking scenery.

3. Take a trip to one of the last bomb shelters – Refugi 307 

Refugi 307

This bunker was built during the Spanish Civil War. It is one of the last bomb shelters built in Barcelona during the war. This bunker belongs to the city. We cannot deny the historical value of this destination, as it was one of two bunkers completed in Barcelona and one of the few surviving examples of such structures in Spain. With its original electric lights and its network of tunnels, they have preserved this hidden gem in Barcelona for future generations.

Note: Because of the narrow dimensions of the tunnels, people who have claustrophobia or don’t like enclosed spaces should avoid the visit. However, there are areas with wider tunnels, and as they lighten the route up, it shouldn’t feel too enclosing when you are inside. 

Good to know:

There are guided tours for groups. The tour guide speaks English, French, Spanish, and Catalan from Mondays to Saturdays. However, ensure to make the prior tour arrangement to enjoy this hidden gem in Barcelona at its best. 

4. Rock climbing and bouldering at La Foixarda 

La Foixarda is a must-see for rock climbers and boulderers alike. Just a short walk away from The Climbat Foixarda gym, and this urban climbing heaven tucks away in a quiet nook of Montjuic.

There are numerous different climbing routes, both for bouldering and with rope, and for several ability levels. The courses are all placed within and around an ancient tunnel, so the mood is unique.

Good to know:

The site is open to everyone—all you need to do is take your equipment with you. If you need anything or have any queries, don’t be too shy or afraid to ask a stranger! Finally, like with any climbing, be cautious and recognize that everything you do is entirely at your discretion.

5. Take a trip to a historical library – Arús Public Library           

The Arús Public Library, with its old architecture and fabulous collections of books, has a beautiful air of mystery and beauty to it, making it a fascinating hidden gem in Barcelona. The Ars Public Library houses a remarkable specialized collection on social movements and freemasonry despite its limited physical space. In addition, there is a replica of the Statue of Liberty at the museum entrance. This is unquestionably a must-see hidden gem in Barcelona for book enthusiasts.

Good to know:

The library is entirely free to enter. They also provide guided tours once a week at the cost of €12 per person.

6. Chill at the quiet spot of Jardins de Rubió i Lluch

Jardins De Rubio I Lluch

Visiting this serene sanctuary may be just what you need if you’re seeking a quiet place to get away from the hurly-burly of Las Ramblas. The Jardins de Rubió I Lluch, set in the courtyard of a historic structure formerly used as a hospital, is a genuine hidden gem in Barcelona not far from La Boqueria market.

Inside, there is a fountain, several orange trees that fill the air with their smell during the blooming season, and a charming outdoor café/restaurant named El Jardi.

Good to know:

Its location is not easily accessible, therefore ensure you have the necessary information on your map. Two entrances are available, one on Carrer del Carme and one on Carrer de l’Hospital. Additionally, it is not unusual to find homeless individuals congregating here.

7. Enjoy the beauty of nature at Parc de Cervantes

Parc De Cervantes

Within the 9-hectare Parc de Cervantes in Barcelona, more than 230 different varieties of roses and rose bushes climb their way up the park’s beautiful, gently sloping environment. This patch of vibrant greenery has hosted international rose shows every year since the start of the twenty-first century. 

Because of its remote position near Pedralbes at the extreme western end of Av. Diagonal, visitors often overlook the collection of winding paths and magnificent vistas that comprise Parc de Cervantes, which means you’ll likely share the experience with only a handful of visitors. Consider bringing a few snacks and spending an afternoon appreciating one of the lesser-known hidden gems in Barcelona.

Good to know:

Along with the rose garden, which spans four hectares, the Parc de Cervantes features wide grassy fields that are great for jogging, cycling, and gymnastics or simply for strolling through the center of Pedralbes. Additionally, you can visit the small outdoor museum located here.

8. Have an epic photo at Monestir de Pedralbes

Monestir De Pedralbes

The monastery of Pedralbes, like much of the Gothic Quarter, originates from the early 14th century. That’s about all it has in common with its touristy neighbor to the east, as this church and 3-tiered cloister is the essence of stunning ancient architecture and calm environments in western Barcelona.

Though the structures themselves are worth the trip, with famous frescoes within the Chapel of St. Michael and Queen Elisenda’s sepulcher, it’s the internal garden that steals the show. This courtyard oasis, accented with lush palm and orange trees and guarded by the nunnery’s iconic columned archways, is a world away from the busy summertime beaches just a few kilometers farther east. Prepare your camera and enjoy the calm at this hidden gem in Barcelona.

Good to know:

The monastery has a lot of different collections that show how the nuns live and what they brought with them when they joined the religious order. Their collections include paintings, ceramics, furniture, gold and silverware, textiles, paper, and parchment are all in the collection.

9. Try something unusual like axe throwing

Axe Throwing

How about an axe throwing session in Barcelona for something a little more out of the ordinary? Barcelona Axe Throwing, located just a few streets from Plaza Catalunya, allows you to experience this new activity, which may be both fun and relaxing.

Good to know:

Sessions cost from €16 to €22,50 per person/hour and run around an hour. It is advisable to make a booking in advance.

10. Get mesmerized with the architecture of Walden 7

Walden 7

This futuristic structure developed by architect Ricardo Bofill is a must-see for architectural enthusiasts. This large 15-story apartment structure contains an inside maze of hallways and staircases, making it an excellent location for photography. Constructed in the 1970s, this hidden gem in Barcelona fell into ruin for a time until being renovated in the 1990s.

Good to know:

Although it is not officially in Barcelona, this renowned location in Sant Just Desvern is conveniently accessible from the city. Take the L3 metro (green line) to the Zona Universitaria station and transfer to Tram 3 to the Walden stop.

Because this is a residential building, you must schedule a guided tour through their website to enter. The tours run for about one hour. Tour guides speak in Catalan, Spanish, or English.

Alternatively, you may stay in this architectural marvel as an Airbnb guest and enjoy the place as a resident.

Author’s Note

I believe that one never knows the joys of something until they experience it for themselves. That’s why you must try these hidden gems in Barcelona, even if they’re not as popular. You’ll get a chance to enjoy all that Barcelona has to offer without having to deal with the tourist-filled drama. 

If you have a story about any experiences you’ve had in Barcelona, we’d love to hear them! What’s your favorite thing about Barcelona? What are some of the hidden gems in Barcelona you know about? Share them with others by leaving a comment below. Happy travels!

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