This is a guest post by blogger Harriet Freeman
If you have any knowledge at all about Barcelona, then when someone asks you “What should I see when I visit Barcelona?” you would probably answer without hesitation “La Sagrada Familia, it’s so beautiful… Oh! Don’t forget to see the buildings and the park from Gaudí”. Of course, it goes without saying that these attractions are a must, but what if you want to make your trip to Barcelona a little more unique? If you’re looking for a guide to the best places off of the beaten path, you’ve come to the right place.
Parc Laberint D’Horta
For the thousands of people that flock to Parc Guell every day, there will only ever be a few hundred that come to this wonderful park. Sure, Parc Laberint D’Horta doesn’t have the same modernist quirkiness as Gaudí’s landscaping project, but it does have it’s charm in other ways. This neoclassical garden is the oldest in the city and also one of the most romantic. If there was one spot in the entire city to take a loving stroll with your partner, it’s here. With a limit of 750 people at a time, it’s also a great place to take photos. Entry is only €2.23, but is free on Wednesday and Sunday.
A frieze designed by Picasso
Hidden in plain sight in the middle of Barcelona, is a work of art by Picasso. It’s a unique one too, being the only design he made for the open-air. It’s on the side of the Collegi d’Arquitectes in Plaça Nova, opposite Barcelona Cathedral. While everyone is standing in awe of the Cathedral’s beauty, you’ll be the smart one who turns around to snap a photo of this piece.
The Barcelona Science Museum
If you’re traveling as family, this is definitely a visit that you shouldn’t miss, and on the first Sunday of every month and for children under 6, entry is free, otherwise it costs €3 for adults and €2 for children over 7. It’s a fun and interactive day out and the exhibitions are always changing, though there are also permanent exhibitions, like a planetarium, and a rainforest with various animals of the habitat, like birds, alligators, and piranhas; watch out though, it actually rains in the exhibit.
Turo de la Rovira
This site, a former battery and bunker for Barcelona was recently stored with the help of MUHBA (Barcelona’s History Museum). It was used back in the Spanish Civil War in an attempt to hold back Francisco Franco. After Franco took control of Barcelona it became a place of poverty. It’s a stark contrast between the past and the present, with beautiful views of the entire city. You can take the number 28 bus to the bottom of the hill and walk up to the site. You can also pay for a guided tour by MUHBA.
Monestir de Pedralbes
This monastery is a bit out of the way. You’ll have to get off at Maria Cristina or Palau Reial and walk about 900m to the site. Alternatively you can catch the train to Reina Elisenda and walk a much shorter distance. Built in the 14th century for nuns, this building was off limits to the public for around 650 years until the 1980s. You can view how life in a Medieval monastery was and the area that the building is located in has some lovely parks with wonderful scenery. Admission costs €6 and includes an audio guide, it’s free on the first Sunday of each month from 3-8pm.
If you decide to visit any of these attractions then you may want to consider renting from some of the cheap accommodation Barcelona has on offer in the area. Alternatively, if you’re staying in Madrid, then consider staying in Madrid Apartments.