10 Hidden Gems of Barcelona, Spain: Secret Spots and Local Hangouts

1. El Raval – An Artistic Haven in the City

Situated in the heart of Barcelona, El Raval is a vibrant and multicultural neighborhood that has become a haven for artists and creative minds. Its narrow streets are filled with colorful graffiti, art galleries, and trendy bars, offering a unique blend of urban culture and bohemian atmosphere.

A must-visit spot in El Raval is the MACBA (Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona). Located at Plaça dels Àngels, 1, this modern museum has an impressive collection of contemporary art from both local and international artists, making it a must-see for art enthusiasts. Its rooftop terrace also offers stunning views of the city.

For a taste of local cuisine, head to Carrer de Joaquín Costa, where you’ll find a cluster of tapas bars and restaurants frequented by the locals. Try some authentic Catalan dishes like ‘pan con tomate’ (bread with tomato) and ‘patatas bravas’ (fried potatoes with spicy sauce) while enjoying the lively ambiance of the area.

Website: https://www.macba.cat/en/home

2. Park Güell – Gaudí’s Enchanted Garden

Situated on Carmel Hill in the Gràcia district, Park Güell is a true hidden gem designed by the renowned Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudí. This UNESCO World Heritage Site offers a whimsical escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Featuring stunning mosaic-covered buildings, curving pathways, and breathtaking views of Barcelona, Park Güell is an architectural masterpiece. Make sure to explore the gardens, where you’ll find unique sculptures and vibrant vegetation that create a fairytale-like atmosphere.

Highlights of the park include the famous dragon fountain and the Sala Hipóstila, a large terrace supported by columns with mosaic decorations. The park can get crowded, so it’s advisable to book your tickets in advance and visit early in the morning to fully enjoy the tranquility of this enchanting place.

Website: https://www.parkguell.cat/en/

3. Carrer de Blai – A Gastronomic Adventure

Carrer de Blai, located in the vibrant Poble-sec neighborhood, is a hidden gem for food lovers. This pedestrian street is lined with a wide variety of pintxo bars, where you can indulge in delicious bite-sized snacks at affordable prices.

Unlike other touristy areas, Carrer de Blai offers an authentic local experience. Stroll along the street, hopping from one bar to another, and discover an array of mouthwatering pintxos. Don’t miss the chance to try the famous ‘bombas,’ a local specialty consisting of deep-fried mashed potatoes stuffed with meat and topped with tangy sauce.

The lively atmosphere and friendly service make Carrer de Blai an ideal spot to spend an evening with friends, enjoying good food and drinks. It’s a perfect representation of Barcelona’s vibrant culinary scene that you won’t find in mainstream guidebooks.

4. Carmel Bunkers – Panoramic Views of Barcelona

For breathtaking views of Barcelona, head to the Carmel Bunkers. Located in the Carmel neighborhood, this hidden lookout point offers a panoramic vista of the entire city.

The Carmel Bunkers were originally built as anti-aircraft fortifications during the Spanish Civil War. Today, they have become a secret spot cherished by locals and savvy travelers alike. Bring a picnic and enjoy a sunset or sunrise surrounded by the stunning Barcelona skyline.

Getting to the Carmel Bunkers requires a short hike uphill, but the effort is definitely worth it. Avoid wearing flip-flops or heels and be sure to bring water, especially during the hot summer months.

5. Sant Felip Neri Square – A Hidden Oasis of Tranquility

Tucked away in the heart of the Gothic Quarter, Sant Felip Neri Square is a hidden gem that offers a serene oasis away from the bustling city streets. This small square exudes history and charm, with its cobblestone-paved ground and a tranquil fountain in the center.

However, beyond its tranquil appearance, the square holds a tragic past. During the Spanish Civil War, it was struck by bombings that claimed the lives of many, leaving a lingering aura of melancholy. The walls of the church adjacent to the square still bear the scars from the explosions.

Sant Felip Neri Square is the perfect spot to relax and take a break from sightseeing. Sit by the fountain, enjoy the peaceful atmosphere, and admire the beautiful baroque-style church that stands as a testament to the resilience of the city.

6. El Born Cultural Center – Exploring Medieval Ruins

Located in the El Born neighborhood, the El Born Cultural Center is a hidden gem that showcases the historic ruins of medieval Barcelona. Built on the site of the former Mercat del Born, this cultural center offers an immersive experience into the city’s history.

As you explore the center, you can walk through the remains of the market, which was once an essential hub of Barcelona’s commercial life. The underground chambers house archaeological finds, including the foundations of houses and businesses from the 17th century.

In addition to the captivating ruins, the center hosts temporary exhibitions, cultural events, and performances that delve deeper into Barcelona’s past. It’s a perfect spot to learn about the city’s rich history and immerse yourself in its medieval charm.

7. Bunkers del Carmel – A Hidden Sunset Spot

High above Barcelona, hidden among the winding streets of the Carmel neighborhood, lies another set of bunkers that offer stunning panoramic views of the city. The Bunkers del Carmel are less known than the Carmel Bunkers, making it a perfect spot for a peaceful sunset experience.

Clamber up the hill to reach the bunkers and marvel at the unobstructed vistas of Barcelona’s skyline, including iconic landmarks like the Sagrada Família and the Mediterranean Sea. It’s a spot cherished by locals who come here to escape the crowds and witness Barcelona’s beauty from a different perspective.

Enjoy a picnic, bring a blanket, or simply sit on the old concrete structures as you watch the sun sink below the horizon. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture this hidden gem of Barcelona.

8. Xamfra Del Mercat – A Vintage Vinyl Haven

Music lovers and vinyl enthusiasts should not miss Xamfra Del Mercat. Tucked away in the Sant Pere neighborhood, this quaint record store offers a treasure trove of vintage vinyl records.

Xamfra Del Mercat is a fascinating place to browse through a vast collection of records ranging from classical, jazz, rock, to eclectic world music. The knowledgeable staff can guide you through their collection and even recommend hidden gems that you might fall in love with.

Whether you’re a collector or simply enjoy the warmth of vinyl, Xamfra Del Mercat will transport you to a different era. Spend some time flipping through records, immerse yourself in the soulful melodies, and take home a piece of Barcelona’s music scene.

9. Bunker del Carmel Park – A Local’s Hangout

If you’re looking to experience Barcelona like a local, head to Bunker del Carmel Park in the El Carmel neighborhood. Away from the tourist crowds, this park is a popular hangout spot for locals seeking a peaceful retreat.

Surrounded by lush greenery, the park offers stunning views of Barcelona and offers benches, picnic tables, and even a small play area for children. It’s an ideal spot to relax, read a book, have a picnic, or simply enjoy the panoramic vistas of the city.

Visit the park during sunset, and you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views as the city lights up, creating a magical atmosphere. Don’t forget to bring some snacks and drinks to fully enjoy this hidden gem with the locals.

10. Espit Chupitos – Shots for Every Taste

No visit to Barcelona is complete without experiencing Espit Chupitos, a unique shot bar located in the heart of the Gothic Quarter. This hidden gem is known for its extensive menu of imaginative shots that cater to every taste.

With over 500 different shot combinations available, the bar offers a true sensory experience. From flaming shots to shots that change colors or come with props, Espit Chupitos never fails to surprise its guests.

The vibrant and eclectic atmosphere, along with the friendly bar staff, make Espit Chupitos a memorable spot to have a fun night out with friends. Make sure to try some of their signature shots like the “Harry Potter” or the “E.T.,” and let the night unravel with a touch of Barcelona’s quirky nightlife.

Website: https://www.espitchupitos.com/

Barcelona is full of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. From vibrant neighborhoods and breathtaking viewpoints to unique cultural centers and quirky bars, this city offers an array of experiences beyond the typical tourist attractions. Venture off the beaten path, explore these secret spots, and embrace the local charm of Barcelona.