Unusual and unique places of Barcelona

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This multifaceted city is full of historical places to visit.  You've probably already heard about the famous "Sagrada Familia", a basilica that has been under construction for more than 100 years under the direction of the famous architect Gaudi and which attracts more than 3.2 million visitors every year, or the eccentric Parc Güell with its many Gaudí buildings, which offers a magnificent view of the city of Barcelona, among other things. But there are many activities in the heart of Barcelona that will make you discover the city from a new angle. Places that are often unknown to the flow of tourists and yet are either beautiful or mysterious. Here's a short overview of the unusual and unique places of Barcelona, off the beaten tracks. 

The Mossèn Costa i Llobera gardens​

"The New York Times ranked him among the 10 most beautiful gardens in the world"

Just a few minutes from the center, these are one Europe’s biggest gardens specialising cacti and succulent plants. Exit the famous Güell Park and Ciutadella Park, let’s go to the Mexican desert. Located on the famous Montjuïc hill overlooking the city, the Mossèn Costa i Llobera gardens offer in the heart of the city more than 800 different species of cactus sending us straight into a desert setting worthy of the name. Perfect for a walk in the sun on a Sunday when there’s not much to do in Barcelona. On more than 3 hectares, you will be able to lose yourself among these different succulents while discovering an original place. The century plants come from Mexico and have adapted so well to the Mediterranean climate that they are now part of the marginal landscape. The most ? Its breathtaking view of the sea and the port of Barcelona. 

Opening hours: Every day from 10am to 9pm.

Price: free of charge.

Address: Ctra. de Miramar, 38, 08038 Barcelona. Spain.

Transport: Metro Paral-lel (L2 and L3), exit Avinguda Paral-lel and 15 min walk.

Labyrinth park of Horta

After that trip to Mexico, we decided to give you a jump on your childhood. Situated in a park of more than 9 hectares, this obligatory passage will delight young and old alike and will allow you to discover in the heart of the labyrinth a statue of Eros, God of love. This semi-secret storybook hedge maze is also the oldest garden in the city. Considered as a garden-museum, it is full of elements that will probably amaze you, from small temples to various fountains. It has been the setting for many films, including the famous “The Perfume ». Slightly off-centre, it allows you to be fully appreciated far from the crowds of Barcelona. There is a limited number of tourists allowed in the park each day, to avoid excessive crowds and noise.

Opening hours: Every day from 10am to 8pm.

Price: Approximately 3€.

Address: In the Horta district, Passeig dels Castanyers, 1, 08035 Barcelona, Spain.

Transport: Metro Mundet (L3), exit Passeig Vall d’Hebron and then 6 min walk.

The statue of liberty

Being in Barcelona you can enjoy searching for the secrets of the city. The famous New York Statue of Liberty, the world famous symbol of freedom, is also in Barcelona. You still have to find it! In fact it is not exhibited in full view of everyone but is kept more or less secret, for the most curious to see. With its two meters high, the statue has been guarding the entrance of the Rossand Aris Library since 1984. 

Clandestine or hidden bars and restaurants

Clandestine or hidden bars are already common in London and New York. Would you like a Gin To’ served by a barber, or a folkloric atmosphere in a laundry? Here are some of the city’s fairly common but very well hidden bars and restaurants. They are part of the most incredibles “unusual and unique places of Barcelona”. 

Arcos de la Virgen: This art space is hidden in a small street in the Raval. The entrance, uncommon is, simply a door that you have to push to discover another world. Between concerts, plays and exhibitions, this unique bar is an opportunity to meet new artists.

Location: Carrer Varge, 10 – Price: 1€ to become a member

Pizzeria Saltimbocca: What’s more common than a pizzeria … Think again because the chef of this restaurant, Jordi Vilà, had an original idea. There’ s a second restaurant here, with a Mediterranean cuisine. The room is at the end of a corridor, very secret and reserved, you will eat in a special and unique atmosphere. The place has no windows, which reinforces this mysterious side. You will have to get the phone number of the manager to be able to taste his delicious cuisine.

Location: Carrer Loreto, 22

Chi-Ton souvenirs: A banal souvenir shop and without much interest, but you would be wrong not to push the door of this place that has many surprises in store for you. A little hunger? You are at the right place, hiding here one of the clandestine restaurants in town. The particularity is its kitchen in the middle of the room. An experience full of sharing, not to be missed under any circumstances. Nevertheless, you must make a reservation to be sure to taste one of the wonderful dishes of this amazing place.

Location: Carrer Provenca, 300

The Carmel Bunkers

Ready for a climb that will take you to the top of Barcelona? This escapade is located at the top of Turó de la Rovira in the Carmel neighbourhood with a height of 262 meters. It is well deserved but above all it allows you to admire a 360-degree panoramic view of the city.

Getting there in the first or last hours of the day will allow you to admire the sunrise or sunset over Barcelona. You have to know that despite being popularly known as Bunkers, there has never been any bunker at the top of the Turó de la Rovira, only an antiaircraft warfare and its facilities.

Before little known by the general public, this place has acquired through word of mouth a certain notoriety making it preferable to go there during the week to avoid the crowds.

Opening hours: Every day, 24 hours a day.

Rate: Free of charge.

Address: Carrer de Marià Lavèrnia, 08032 Barcelona, Spain.

Transport: Metro Alfons X (L4), exit Ronda Guinardó, then 20 min walk.

Barcelona's underground passages and refuges

To protect themselves from the bombings in early 1936, the inhabitants of the town built underground shelters. At the end of the war these shelters were abandoned and then forgotten.

Today it is possible to visit some of them. They will allow you to get away from the heat of the city but above all to live a parenthesis of history. Among the best known are refuge 307, which shows the living conditions of the inhabitants of the time, and the Plaza del Diamante refuge, which allows you to relive the daily life of the people of Barcelona through a guided tour.

It will cost you 3.40€ for refuge 307 and visits are by reservation only. Guided tours are scheduled every Sunday at 10:30, 11:30 and 12:30. For the Plaza del Diamante refuge, the price is 3€ and the visit lasts 45 min. To organize a visit, you will have to contact the association “El taller de la historia de gracia” via their e-mail address: tallerhistoriagracia@gmail.com.

You now know the unusual and unique places of Barcelona that will allow you to discover the city differently and bring back different memories of your holidays in the city of Gaudi. And if you want to continue your visits, but at a low price this time, have a look at our article on free activities in Barcelona!

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