With Barcelona being in the top 3 of the most visited cities in Europe, it tends to get pretty busy sometimes. We are lucky to have our cool fleet of go-everywhere vintage vans and sidecar motorcycles that allow us to escape the crowds and explore the most authentic side of Barcelona. Below is a short selection of some of our favorite Barcelona hidden gems to unwind and enjoy some moments of peace and quietness in the city.
Jardins de Laribal
One of our favorite spots on the Montjuïc hill, where locals go to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of the city. Tucked right behind the Museum of National Art of Catalonia (the big palace-like building on Plaza España) these gardens offer exactly the peace and quietness to contrast the busy front of the museum and the fast paced life in the center of Barcelona. Here you can have a relaxing walk and feel connected to nature.
Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau
Located a very short distance away from Sagrada Familia – just walk up the picturesque Avinguda Gaudi – this impressive example of modernist architecture and UNESCO World Heritage Site isn´t nearly as busy as the famous church by Gaudi. Nevertheless, its stunning façade on the main entrance, the 27 historical pavilions and its beautiful gardens and interior court make it a piece of outstanding architectural value: a mandatory “hidden gem” open for cultural visits and tours.
Hospital de la Santa Creu
Exceptionally charming is the courtyard of the Hospital of the Holly Cross in the Old Town. Its history dates back to the Middle Ages and it was the prime center of medical research back in the day. Nowadays it is the seat of the national library of Catalonia and offers a quiet oasis in the middle of the vibrant Raval neighborhood.
If you needed any more proof that Barcelona is an awesome city, well, the gardened labyrinth in the Horta-Guinardo neighborhood should do. This iconic garden was constructed as part of the private estate of the for the Desvalls family in the 18th century and expanded in the 19th. In 2006 a scene for the movie ´The Perfume´ (after the famous book by Patrick Suskind) was shot there. Nowadays it is open to the public but the number of visitors is limited to 750 at a time in order to preserve area. It´s much quieter than Las Ramblas.
Tibidabo is the tallest hill immediately surrounding Barcelona, so we couldn’t possibly skip it. While the church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the amusement park are a great plan, if you are looking for a chilled vibe to grab a cocktail and enjoy spectacular views over the city, then Mirablau café is your answer. It´s a great spot to just sit back and appreciate the great city that Barcelona is.