Hidden Places in Barcelona

Barcelona is a beautiful city with countless famous attractions and landmarks. If you are here for only a week or two, it is of course necessary to check all of the tourist-y places off your list.  If you’re lucky enough to spend more than a few days in Barcelona however, you might want to explore some of these less known, off-the-beaten-path and hidden places the city has to offer.

Bunkers del Carmel (Turó de la Rovira)

This is my absolute favorite place in Barcelona. These bunkers are located on the top of Turó de la Rovira, 257 meters above the city. It is a historic site from the Spanish Civil War that was used to defend against the enemy’s air force.

Unlike any other lookout spot, it boasts a 360° view of the city. You can see all the way from Tibidabo to the Mediterranean Sea, while pointing out buildings like La Sagrada Familia, Torre Agbar, and many more.

My favorite part about this spot? It is a favorite of the locals and does not attract many tourists. I enjoy going here to escape all of the vendors and solicitors, and simply take in the beauty of the city.

Bring a picnic with some wine and cheese, and enjoy the views with a group of friends or maybe on a romantic date. The best time to go to avoid the blazing sun is late evening; that way, you can see the sunset and watch the city light up at night!

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El Bosc de les Fades

If you’re looking for a bar experience unlike any you’ve had before, you should visit El Bosc de les Fades (The Fairy’s Forest). This is a fairytale-themed restaurant that makes you feel as if you’re enjoying a drink in a magical woodland.

It is in the heart of the city right off of Las Ramblas, but once you’re inside, you won’t feel like you’re in the city at all. The main room of the café has many seats underneath the trees and hanging lanterns, but if you want to explore there are several secluded nooks and even a private grotto.

Come here for the experience–the delicious drinks are an added bonus!

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Montserrat Monastery is not technically “hidden,” but it is about an hour northwest of Barcelona by train. The day trip is worth it to see the stunning rock formations of Catalonia, and to learn the religious history of the Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey.

There are also many trails for hiking, and a daily performance by the world-famous boy’s choir in the Basilica.

Make sure to bring your camera to take plenty of photos because you won’t want to forget this experience!

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Street Art — “The world begins with every kiss”

After you’ve seen all of Gaudí’s stunning work, you’ll soon discover that Barcelona has so much more art to offer beyond the most well-known attractions.

For example, Joan Fontcuberta’s piece of art entitled “The world begins with every kiss” can be found in Isidre Nonell Square in the Gothic Quarter, near the Cathedral. The wall is made up of thousands of photos taken by residents in Barcelona that demonstrate what freedom means to them.

The photos were artistically organized to form the image of a kiss, and the spot has quickly become one of the most romantic photo ops in the city. For more tips on where to find street art in Barcelona, check out one of our previous blog posts On The Street!

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Gracia district

If you truly want to escape the tourists and experience the real feeling of a Barcelona neighborhood, I would suggest heading straight to the Gracia district. Even though it is close to the city center, it is often completely missed by visitors who are only here for a few days.

This area is one of my favorites because it is filled with pedestrians-only streets, the cutest boutiques, local tapas bars, and several large plaças filled with people outside enjoying the weather.

Gracia has become known as a hipster-y area of the city, attracting a younger and trendier crowd. My favorite part? While strolling through the streets and shops, I didn’t hear one person speaking English. It really made me feel immersed in the culture and forced me to practice my Spanish!

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This is just a small peek into the multitude of Barcelona’s best-kept secrets. During your time in Catalonia’s capital, make sure to take the time to uncover your own favorite hidden places in the city.