Explore all the natural spots in Barcelona and enjoy a more relaxed way of visiting the metropolis. Here we’ll show you our favourite parks, hills, gardens and beaches. Ready for a dose of nature?
La Barceloneta, Sant Miquel and Sant Sebastià beaches
With the same name as the fishing neighbourhood nearby, La Barceloneta is one of the oldest but most loved Barcelona’s beaches.
La Barceloneta is a great place to visit and have a drink or eat in any restaurant or bar in front of the beach. The beach is equipped with a gymnastics area and some beach volleyball nets. The only downside is that it’s usually the most crowded beach in Barcelona.
Sant Miquel beach is connected to La Barceloneta beach, and it’s very similar to it, but with fewer bars around and fewer people. During summer, there’s usually one film per week projected on the beach. The access is free, and the movies are in their original language -usually English. It’s a great place to spend a fabulous and different evening.
Further away but connected to Sant Miquel, there’s the Sant Sebastià beach. In our opinion, it’s the best one if you want just to have a swim and lay on the sand to sunbathe. On this beach, there’s also a couple of places where you can rent the material for practising some aquatic activities, such as paddle surf and kayak. The Sant Sebastià beach ends at the feet of the luxurious Hotel W and in front of a couple of really cool bars. It’s great for having some food and cocktails while listening to nice music and enjoying the vibes of the summer in Barcelona.
As a disclaimer, all these three beaches are pretty crowded from the end of May to September. Still, there’s plenty of sand for everyone. Just find a nice spot or get there early and enjoy the sun!
Montjuïc is one of Barcelona’s natural elevations. Some time ago, it played an essential role in the defence of the city during wars and battles. It’s an incredible spot as it overlooks Barcelona’s harbour, allowing you to enjoy a breathtaking view of it and the Mediterranean sea.
There are a lot of things to do and visit in Montjuïc. We recommend you choose what you want to see beforehand or take a walk to the top and down if you’re short of time. The main attractions are the impressive Castell de Montjuïc (Montjuïc’s castle), the National Museum of Art of Catalonia (MNAC) and the Olympic Ring.
Most of the events during the summer Olympic Games of 1992 took place in Montjuïc. Nowadays, we can still admire the Olympic stadium (Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys), the sports complex Palau Sant Jordi, the Bernat Picornell swimming pools and the telecommunications tower designed by Santiago Calatrava.
In addition to that, we can find more sport-related constructions around the area like the National Institute of Physical Education (INEFC) and the Olympic and Sports Museum. Another sports complex is La Foixarda. It consists of a horse riding school, a rugby field, and climbing facilities, both indoor and an outdoor tunnel free to access.
Montjuïc is also home to beautiful gardens such as the Mossèn Cinto Verdaguer Gardens, the Greek Theatre Gardens and the Botanical Gardens. Our favourite is the Mossèn Costa i Llobera Gardens. It has a crazy amount of different cactus, and combined with its views of the sea, it makes the place unique.
Finally, another point of interest is the Montjuïc Cemetery, which contains great funerary art and the only collection of Hearses in Europe. In this cemetery are buried important personalities like the former president Francesc Macià or the artists Joan Miró and Santiago Russiñol.
Parc de la Ciutadella
The Parc de la Ciutadella (the Citadel’s Park), or just La Ciutadella, was created in the mid-19th century, and it’s still the greenest oasis in Barcelona. Although it’s not a big park, it’s usually full of life. People practice all kinds of activities, such as playing music, doing slackline, juggling, having a picnic, doing some exercise, or just laying under the sun. So no matter what you want to do, it’s an ideal place to relax and enjoy some nature.
This park is home to the Barcelona zoo and also the Catalan Parliament. Moreover, it has an impressive and beautiful fountain and a small lake where you can rent a boat and spend a romantic (or playful) time paddling through the lake.
The park is open all day until dusk, and it’s usually jam-packed in the evenings, especially during spring and summer.