Relax on Barcelona’s 4.5km of sandy shores, from Sant Sebastià by the city to the easterly Nova Mar Bella beach. Midway lies the more tranquil Bogatell Beach where watersports fans, in-line skaters and sunseekers happily share the shoreline. Come early evening, when beachside chiringuito bars are the spot for sunset cocktails and seaview dinners.
Relax in Parc Güell
Above Barcelona’s northern Gràcia neighbourhood is the Antoni Gaudí-designed Parc Güell, a relaxing Barcelona spot and home to several quirky Gaudí designs. Take in the views from the mosaic-tiled serpentine bench or join in an impromptu yoga class. Beneath the palm trees is an alfresco café, perfect for an afternoon coffee.
Parc Güell, Carrer d’Olot, 1-13, Sants-Montjuïc, Barcelona Barcelona Parks Website
People-watching in Plaça Reial
Bag an alfresco spot in one of Barcelona’s most popular squares, Plaça Reial, lined with palm trees and Gaudí-designed lanterns. Sip café con leche, cocktails and fine wines on the Taxidermista bar-restaurant terrace, which also serves seasonal tapas dishes.
Plaça Reial 8, 08002, Ciutat Vella, Barcelona Taxidermista Website
Picnicking in Ciutadella Park
Pack a picnic and head to Ciutadella Park, between the old town and the Olympic port. Soak up the Barcelona sunshine from the grassy verges, explore the exotic gardens or rent a boat on the lake, bobbing past the majestic arch with its waterfall and fountain.
Ciutadella Park, Av. del Marquès de l'Argentera, Barcelona Barcelona Parks Website
Enjoy spectacular city views on a relaxing Barcelona harbour cruise. Choose from coastal cruises, sunset excursions and themed trips like jazz cruises. Boat company Las Golondrinas offers short cruises that sail inside Barcelona’s port while seafaring catamarans explore the open sea towards Port Forum.
Las Golondrinas, Plaça Portal de la Pau, (Columbus Monument) Las Golondrinas Website
Located on Montjuïc hill, south-west of the centre, are the peaceful Botanical Gardens. Admire the exotic plants and explore the garden’s microclimates, making the most of the tranquillity before heading back to your Barcelona hotel.
Botanic Gardens, Carrer del Doctor Font i Quer 2, 08038 Barcelona Botanic Gardens Website
Fresh air in Collserola Park
Behind Barcelona’s northern Tibidabo hill is the lush green Collserola Nature Park. Leisurely bike rides and walks along tree-lined paths take you past woodland and diverse ecosystems. Sunset views with Barcelona illuminated below are particularly memorable.
Carretera de l'Esglèsia, 92, Above Ronda de Dalt, Barcelona Collserola Park Website
Barcelona views from Montjuïc
Take the Funicular de Montjuïc railway towards Montjuïc Park and castle, south-west of the centre. Get lost among the park’s gardens and grounds and enjoy bird’s-eye Barcelona views. For coastal views, take the Telefèric cable car, which connects Montjuïc with Barcelona’s beaches.
Montjuïc, Carretera de Montjuïc, Barcelona 08038 Montjuïc Website
Fine Asian-Mediterranean cuisine and beach chill-out meet on the seaview terrace of fusion eatery club Shoko Barcelona. Tuck into tempura or chocolate brownies in a faux bamboo forest interior and watch Oriental dance and martial arts displays.
Shoko Barcelona, Paseo Marítimo de la Barceloneta, 36 Barcelona, 08005 Shoko Barcelona Website
At Aire de Barcelona spa in the old town, enjoy the therapeutic waters of its restored ancient Arab baths which include a hot caldarium and refreshingly cold frigidarium. Unwind in the hamman steam baths and salt baths or book a massage on hot marble slabs.
Aire de Barcelona, Paseo Picasso 22, 08003 Barcelona Aire de Barcelona Website