Barcelona is a dream when it comes to walking. It’s great if you want to climb a mountain or you just want to stroll along the beach (I know which I prefer). With Barcelona walking tours becoming more popular as a result of a growing tourism in the city, it’s time someone created the 5 off the beaten path walking tours in this Catalan capital! No matter how fit you are, these Barcelona walks are not too strenuous. And, hey, a little walking never hurt anyone, right? I figure these off the beaten path walks will give you a great insight into the kind of Barcelona tourists don’t get to see. So let’s get a little lost in the city. Vamos!
1. Visit the Historical Barcelona Bunkers
The bunkers are a secluded haven in Barcelona. Honestly. Free of tourists, this is where locals go to get a little tranquility from the busy city below. They’re situated at the back of the city right near the Parc del Guinardo (which also makes for a great little walk too, just sayin’). But what exactly are they? Well, the bunkers are the former air raid bunkers that were used during the civil war in Spain. What’s brilliant about the bunkers is that you get great panoramic views of Barcelona, a little history thrown in and peace and quiet on the top of these concrete shelters. Not bad at all. Also, it’s the perfect place to go and watch the sunset over the city.
2. Gothic District tour with a photographer
One of the most historical neighborhoods in Barcelona is the Gothic District. It’s ancient and the small winding streets make this quarter one full of charm. In fact in one of the plazas – Plaza de Sant Felipe Neri – still has the bullet holes in its old war torn walls and was also used in the shooting of Woody Allen’s eponymous film Vicky Cristina Barcelona. It has it all: medieval buildings, boutiques, churches and cute little plazas to enjoy an afternoon coffee. It’s super photogenic and makes the perfect backdrop for a few selfies. But, even better is going around this tiny area and enjoy a Gothic District photo tour to make for the best kind of souvenir.
3. Climb up Montjuïc
Montjuïc is a mountain right by the port of Barcelona. At first sight, it doesn’t necessarily look like a mountain but it’s huge. Like, really huge. You can easily spend 4 hours walking around the whole thing. It was home to a bunch of sporting events during the 1992 Summer Olympics. There’s also the Botanic Gardens of Barcelona, an Olympic swimming pool, there’s the MNAC which is the National Museum of Art of Catalunya, there’s Poble Espanyol which is an awesome architectural museum consisting of 117 full-scale buildings that recreate a real Spanish village. It seems this humble hill has it all. So why not take a picnic and start hiking up? You won’t regret it, promise!
4. Take a stroll along Barcelona’s beaches
Barcelona being a coastal city means it’s the perfect location if you want to hike up a mountain or head to the beach. For me, it’s win-win. And the beaches in Barcelona are some of the most beautiful in Europe. The most touristic of the beaches is undoubtedly the Barceloneta which is the first beach you will arrive to when you walk down by the port. In truth, it’s not the best beach that ever existed, it gets super busy during the sunny months and it’s difficult to find a spot to catch some sun rays. But, fear not, a little further up the wild coast you have Mar Bella. This beach has fewer tourists (yay) but in exchange for more space to stretch out, you’ll be sitting in Barcelona’s unofficial nudist beach. Oops. Although, it’s not too bad for that all around tan… Further south from Barcelona, and a short train ride away is Sitges. This beach is one of the best in Barcelona and the sea is clear and sand golden. The city itself is great for walking around and it has some pretty spectacular architecture and lots of shops and restaurants to keep you occupied. And it only takes 30 minutes to get there.
5. The Barcelona Labyrinth – Laberinto del Horta
Barcelona is also home to a labyrinth. An actual labyrinth, the ones that you read about in books. OK, slight exaggeration – it’s highly unlikely you’ll get lost for days in this little labyrinth. But el laberinto de horta is definitely one place to enjoy a good walk in Barcelona. And it isn’t too far from the Parc del Guinardo so two birds, one stone. There’s also a neoclassical garden from the 18th century to feast your eyes on and, if that isn’t enough, there’s a romantic garden from the 14th century, too. It’s also home to beautiful fountains, birds singing and verdant trees. It’s a paradise within Barcelona that more people should know about. It’s not especially busy up in the labyrinth so it makes for the perfect tranquil walk, a little light reading or even just somewhere to sit and meditate on a lazy Sunday afternoon. The labyrinth is open on Mondays to Sundays from 11am until 9pm so why not take someone along with you for a little romantic stroll?
There’s a lot to do in Barcelona and doing it by foot is certainly one of the most enjoyable ways to get around the city. After all, who really likes spending time on a hot and sweaty underground metro? My 5 off the beaten path Barcelona walking tours will give you a chance to see a different side to the city, away from the busy Ramblas and tourist traps, and let you experience the city a little more like a local – after all, that’s what traveling should be about, right?