The streets of Barcelona are well and truly trodden. Its creative vibe, Catalan culture and amazing attractions have made it one of the best mini-break destinations in the world, with thousands of tourists flocking to it every year. It boasts an extensive list of must-see sites – which you really must see! – but this beautiful city still has some secrets yet to be discovered. |
If you’re a traveller who likes to get away from the crowds and veer off the beaten track, then don’t despair. The Catalan’s capital is full of some wonderful lesser known gems that are bound to make your city break a little different.
Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site
Today, Gaudi is almost synonymous with the Catalonian metropolis. Every day of the year his marvellous creations (such as the renowned Sagrada Familia and the Casa Battlo) heave with visitors eager to immerse themselves in the architect's world. Capturing that perfect picture is nearly impossible and if you’re a fan of art nouveau the crowds can often ruin the experience.
To experience such a masterpiece in a far quieter environment, head to the Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site, one of Europe’s foremost art nouveau sites. Known to tourists as the Hospital de Sant Pau, this architecture is something out of a fairytale with its colourful domes, patterned facades and stained glass windows. Transport yourself to another world with a tour, self-guided or otherwise, of this magical building.
Placa Sant Felip Neri
Hidden between the towering walls of the buildings of the Gothic Quarter, this secluded square offers a quiet refuge from the thronging crowds and the Mediterranean sun. It’s a charming alcove in the heart of the city, however, its history is pretty dark. If you look closely, you’ll notice traces of bomb destruction from the Civil War. General Franco’s execution squad also used it as a site to carry out their terrible duties.
Today, it’s better known for its appearances in movie such as Vicky Cristina Barcelona. In fact, you can even enjoy a cup of coffee in the cafe featured in the film – so sit back, relax and soak up the gorgeous gothic architecture.
While the Sagrada Familia often steals the show, any Gaudi enthusiast will have Casa Vicens at the top of their must-see list. This stunning modernist building was the first significant project by Antoni Gaudi but has been near-forgotten by tourists.
The house has been transformed into a museum, and its colourful doors and garish patterns now exist as a sort of tribute to the architect. Visit the house yourself or join a guided tour to hear more about this influential artist.
Bunkers del Carmen
A 20-minute walk from Parc Guell will take you to one of the best viewpoints in town. Originally built as anti-aircraft fortifications during the Spanish Civil War, today the bunkers serve as a look out. Its sensational panoramic view of the vibrant city below make it the perfect location for capturing that glorious Spanish sunrise or sunset. Grab your camera and get walking!
How to Get There
There are plenty of budget airlines that offer regular flights from the UK to Spain. With so much still to discover, consider a Barcelona Airport transfer into the heart of the city – the drive is only 30 minutes. If you want to make the most of your time (and your euros) in this colourful city, a pre-booked Barcelona Airport transfer to your accommodation is a great option. Now get out there and get exploring!
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re looking for an affordable Barcelona airport transfer Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport swiftly and safely.
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