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What are the best things to see in Barcelona? For most people, a trip to the Spanish capital means Gaudi architecture, the La Rambla Avenue and a whole lot of tapas. But you’d be selling the city far short if that’s all you go to see. Like every city, there’s the tourist hotspots bustling with people bearing cameras glued to their hands, and then there’s the lesser known and often more impressive sites, which only the true explorers uncover.
Take the beaches in Barcelona. Tourists are often recommended the seashores in Barcelona’s south as the best place to spend your day soaking in the sun. But, according to locals, the beaches north of the city are far more impressive, a lot less crowded and much more relaxing. From the UK, Spain is an extremely popular destination and cheap flights to Barcelona leave regularly from every major airport.Budget airline shave made it possible to spend the weekend in Spain by offering the cheapest flights possible.
But while discount flights by Flybe and the likes are the popular choice of travel, once you land in the city you don’t have to do what every other visitor is doing. Instead, find the lesser-known sights and take stories home to share of places that none of your friends have seen yet.
Open between 29 June and 8 August, this outdoor cinema is located at the bottom of the grassy Montjuïc hill. During the season, the SalaMontjuïc plays a selection of the greatest movies of all time and includes a number of concerts, picnics and short-film screenings in its programme. Enjoy a bit of Spanish culture as you throw down a blanket and enjoy a balmy, summer night in your t-shirt and shorts.
This imposing and commanding castle sits atop Montjuïc and despite its beauty, the castle remains relatively short of tourists (in comparison with other city sites) due to the hilly walk required to get to it. The castle houses a large military museum and the statue of France, but it’s the immaculate gardens and the sensational view of Barcelona and the Mediterranean Sea that are the real attractions.
This lush green park is the oldest in Barcelona and is made up of an 18th century neoclassical garden and a 19th century romantic garden. The best part is that the park is limited to 750 visitors at a time. While this is intended to preserve the delicate environment, it also means you’ll be free to wander around in the tranquil surroundings enjoying the peace and quiet. The park is dotted with sculptures has a number of terraces overlooking the gardens and a perfectly trimmed hedge maze within its walls.
This tiny hidden town square is tucked away in a corner of Poblenou that you’re likely to miss unless you know it’s there. Plaça Prim used to be a popular meeting place for fisherman and factory workers around the end of the 19th century. Although times have changed, the square still feels like you’re walking around a seaside village, with charming white, stone houses and knotted Ombu and citric orange trees stretching from the ground.
This strange industrial complex has been transformed over time to become a green haven of creativity. The Cantina is a fantastic place for visitors to enjoy a meal, while the gardens are a blend of flora and fauna creating a lush, inviting and completely imaginative environment. The old factory walls are hidden behind crawling plants and weaving vines that stretch their way towards the sky, and you’ll find frogs and turtles living in the garden beds. The indoor space is used by creative businesses from artists to designers and film crews.
Barcelona photo: Juan Luis Mayordomo