25 facts about Barcelona that you didn’t know

It’s impossible to cover all the interesting facts about Barcelona in just one article. This wonderful city, replete with modernisme relics, culture, history and more offers an array of secrets just waiting to be discovered.

This article on facts about Barcelona takes you from Roman Barcelona, to its role during the Civil War and its-most loved sites and landmarks. We’re sure that in addition to surprising and astonishing you, you’ll be packing your bags to visit in no time.

So let’s dive in and see which of these facts about Barcelona you already knew!

  1. Did you know that over 1,400 bomb shelters were constructed during the Civil War, above all by the citizens of Barcelona themselves? Read more about them in our article here.
  2. There have been many books written about and set in Barcelona over the years including Ildefonso Falcones’  The Cathedral of the Sea, which was recently made into a Netflix series. Find out other facts about Barcelona books here.
  3. Barcelona’s metro has 12 abandoned stations that are closed or have never been used – some of which don’t even appear on the metro network map. The most well known is the Post Office station on Via Laietana.
  4. Did you know that the name Tibidabo comes from Latin and means “I will give you” taken from a verse in the bible where the devil offers Jesus everything he sees before him.
  5. Another interesting fact about Barcelona’s Tibidabo is that the theme park is built upon a volcano that has been dormant for 7,000 years.
  6. Perhaps you’ll want to keep fact about Barcelona to yourself – the city has several secret bars, one of which is Bobby’s Free. You’ll need a password to get in. But shhh, don’t tell anyone!
  7. One of the windows of the Basílica de Santa María del Mar is dedicated to Barcelona FC. Can you spot it?
  8. Here’s a fact about Barcelona you have definitely wondered about. The area of el Born takes its name from the Catalan for “jousting field” as the location for the medieval city’s tournaments.
  9. There is an eternal flame in Barcelona in el Born that burns for those who fell during the September 1714 battle defending the city.  Discover more facts about Barcelona’s Born in our article here.
  10. You don’t have to go to the Picasso museum to see this great artist’s work. Just head to Plaza Nova to see his “Mural of the Giants” painted as an ode to Catalan culture during the years of Franco.
  11. Did you know that the Roman name for Barcelona was “Barcino”. Now you know it’s more than just a beer!
  12.  If you look carefully at the passion of the Sagrada Familia you’ll find a magic square of numbers. No matter how you add them up, the total is always 33. Any guesses as to why?
  13. Talking about the Sagrada Família – until recently it was due to be finished in 2026 to coincide with 100 years since Gaudí’s death.
  14. Finally, our last interesting fact about Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia: its architect, Antonio Gaudí, was run over by a tram and initially wasn’t recognised due to his weathered appearance.
  15. Barcelona has its very own maze: Laberint d’Horta. Discover more green areas to explore in Barcelona here.
  16. The name “Barça” in fact refers to the city’s football club. Locals actually refer to the city as “Barna”.
  17. The walls of the Plaça Felip Neri tell a tragic story not known by many. If you look close enough you’ll see the bullet holes. Learn more here.
  18. Barcelona is home to a plague of Monk parakeets that are thought to have originated in the city after they became popular as pets.
  19. Barcelona has its very own zoo in Parc de la Ciutadella. It was famous for being home to Floquet de neu (Snowflake), an albino gorilla.
  20. Barcelona’s famous concrete “almond flower” that paves the streets of Eixample and is an icon of the city was designed by Josep Puig i Cadafalch. Don’t forget to look down!
  21. Barcelona’s Eixample was designed in a grid pattern with large avenues and chamfered corners that would make it easy for trams – that were never installed – to turn them.
  22. The Eixample Esquerra in Barcelona was voted the best neighbourhood in the world this year by Time Out. Read all about this interesting fact about Barcelona here.
  23. The next time you walk down Las Ramblas, don’t forget to look up. The Japanese-inspired umbrellas, fans and dragons you see are thanks to the influence of this country on European architecture.
  24. Barcelona has its very own Valentine’s Day: Sant Jordi is celebrated every year on 23rd April. Read more about this romantic fact about Barcelona here.
  25. Last but not least, legend has it that if you drink the water of the Canaletes fountain – where Barça FC celebrates its victories – it’s said you will return to Barcelona. We hope to see you soon!
Facts about Barcelona - Santa Maria del Mar Barça
Facts about Barcelona – One of the windows of the Basílica de Santa María del Mar is dedicated to Barcelona FC

 Did we miss a fact about Barcelona off the list? Let us know!

Where to Run in Barcelona

If you’re wondering where to run in Barcelona this autumn, you’ve come to the right place. We’re living in strange times, with restrictions on our activities changing the way we live.

However, running is an outdoor activity that is safe and currently. What better way to get out of the house and enjoy the best this city has to over.

Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or a beginner, more and more people are hitting to the streets to run in Barcelona and enjoy the fresh air.

Whether you like to run at the beach, mountains, with scenic views or among the urban cityscape, Barcelona and its all-year-round mild climate is the perfect place to get your sweat on.

But where are the best places to run in Barcelona?

This city offers many possibilities to runners of all ages and abilities. With this article we’ve summed up our favourite places to run in Barcelona: from flat, short routes in parks that are perfect for beginners and after-work runs, to longer urban and rural routes perfect for training longer distances.

Read on to double check the current Covid-19 regulations when running in Barcelona.

Where to run in Barcelona: Covid-19 regulations November 2020

Before you discover the routes we’ve prepared for you, this a small reminder on the current Covid-19 restrictions on outdoor activities in Barcelona and Catalonia.

  • Individual sports activities may be practised outside and between adjoining municipalities (see below)
  • The 10 pm to 6 am curfew applies to all individual sports activities
  • Exceptions to the restrictions regarding mobility and entering and leaving Catalonia (and municipal areas on weekends) include doing individual outdoor activities

We recommend checking these regulations regularly as they may be subject to change in your area.

Read on to find out where to run in Barcelona!

Where to run in Barcelona: 5 of our favourite routes

Run in Barcelona at Parc de la Ciutadella

This famous park lies in the heart of Barcelona’s old quarter, the Ciutat Vella. If you’ve recently taken up running, or are looking for an easy run that is perfect for all members of the family, this is your ideal place.

Its dirt-sand tracks and flat surfaces make this an easy route for beginners. The route around the entire park is a total of 2 km. What’s more, there are many grassy areas where you can stop and take a break if needed. Let’s get running!

Where to run in Barcelona -Parc de la Ciutadella
Where to run in Barcelona -Parc de la Ciutadella

Run in Barcelona at Carretera de les Aigües and Collserola National Park

This is one of the most well-known running spots in Barcelona, and when you get there you’ll understand why. Get ready for breath-taking views over the city and pure nature, approximately 30 minutes from the centre of this cosmopolitan city.

This route can be adapted to all levels, with a total distance of almost 20 km there and back. The running route is almost all flat and is popular with runners, cyclists and dog walkers.

For those seeking a bit more of adventure, why not head to the Collserola National Park for some mountainous trail running routes in the heart of nature.

Where to run in Barcelona - Carretera de les Aigües
Where to run in Barcelona – Carretera de les Aigües (Collserola)

Run in Barcelona at Avinguda Diagonal

If you’re a runner who gets inspired by urban trails, Diagonal is sure to have the route for you. The entire distance of one of Barcelona’s most famous streets has wide walkways and room for cyclists, pedestrians and runners. No matter where you start from, it is well equipped to run in Barcelona.

For a 3 km running route, we recommend starting in Les Corts, from Francesc Macià and ending at Parc Cervantes, with its beautiful rose gardens and stunning views.

Another option for a run in Barcelona is to start at Francesc Macià and head down towards Glòries and the Torre Agbar with a total distance of 4 km to stretch your legs.

Where to run in Barcelona - Avinguda Diagonal
Where to run in Barcelona – Avinguda Diagonal

Run in Barcelona along the Passeig Marítim

Why not start or end the day with a run along Barcelona’s stunning coastline. This seaside promenade has ample space for runners, cyclists, skaters and dog walkers.

The best running trail starts from Barcelona and ends at el Fórum. You will pass the beaches of Puerto Olímpico, Bogatell and Mar Bella among others. This run in Barcelona is a total of 10 km approximately if you run there and back. So lace up your shoes and enjoy the sea breeze!

Where to run in Barcelona - Passeig Marítim
Where to run in Barcelona – Passeig Marítim

Run in Barcelona at Parc Güell

Another option to run in Barcelona is at the beautiful Parc Güell in Gràcia. What better way to get your dose of fresh air, than surrounded by nature and some of Gaudí’s masterpieces?

This park offers great routes and marvellous views over the city. Bear in mind that it is located in the upper part of the city and is perhaps more suitable for experienced runners. Be prepared to climb many a hill on this run in Barcelona!

Where to run in Barcelona -Parc Güell
Where to run in Barcelona -Parc Güell

Make the most of your run in Barcelona and plan ahead by choosing one of our running routes. We also recommend using Google Maps to check your route before starting. What’s more, remember to take a water bottle with you and apply sunscreen regardless of the time of year.

Where is your favourite place to run in Barcelona? Let us know!

Crema Catalana: Best recipe for Catalonia’s most typical dessert

Crema catalana is Catalonia’s most renowned dessert; made with an egg custard base and caramelised sugar topping, find it on the menu of almost any restaurant in the region and you won’t be disappointed.

Traditionally served in a clay dish, this dessert steeped in history and legend is will tickle both your curiosity and your taste buds. So what is the story behind crema catalana?

The chances are you’ve tried France’s crème brûlée or Portugal’s creme caramel – two desserts that are similar to crema catalana – however today we’re going to delve into the history of this sweet treat and explain to you step by step how to make it at home.

As far back as we can remember, crema catalana has been associated with Catalonia’s local holidays, being above all the typical dessert served on the day of Sant Josep in early spring (19 March). Yet, legend has it that the dessert became so popular in the region of Catalonia in the 18th century when the monks of a Catalan monastery served this dessert to a visiting bishop.

As the story goes, the flans the monks were going to serve to the bishop didn’t set, so instead the monks served crema catalana. When the bishop tried a spoonful of the dessert, which he expected to be cold, he cried: “Crema!” ­– which in Catalan means, “it’s burning hot!” And this is where this curious dessert gets its name “Crema Catalana”.

So now it’s your turn. Today we bring you a homemade recipe that uses basic ingredients you can find at any supermarket. What’s more it’s simple enough for everyone at home to join in and help.

So, roll up your sleeves and get stuck in: it’s time to make your very own Crema Catalana.

Crema Catalana - Crema catalana recipe

Crema Catalana recipe step by step

Ingredients

  • 1 litre of whole milk
  • 8 medium-sized egg yolks
  • 25 g of cornstarch
  • 250 g of white sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • zest of half a lemon

Instructions

  1. First of all, wash your hands and all surfaces you are going to use thoroughly before starting to prepare this delicious homemade dessert. Now let’s get to work!
  2. Wash the lemon well and peel it. Be sure to remove all the white part from the zest, as it can give your crema catalana a bitter taste.
  3. Pour a glass of milk and add the cornstarch. Stir well to ensure the cornstarch dissolves.
  4. Pour the remaining milk into a large saucepan. Add the cinnamon stick and the lemon zest.
  5. Slowly bring the milk to boil on a low heat.  Be sure to stir regularly and make sure the milk does not burn.
  6. When the milk reaches boiling point, take it off the heat and cover with a lid for the cinnamon and lemon to release their flavours. Leave to one side to infuse and cool.
  7. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks with 200 g of white sugar until combined.
  8. When the milk has cooled, add the egg and sugar mixture to the saucepan and combine well. Then, add the glass of milk with cornstarch and mix.
  9. Next, leave the mixture to heat slowly on a low heat. Stir for approximately five minutes with a wooden spoon always in the same direction (for example always clockwise) until the milk slowly begins to thicken into cream. It’s important not to let the mixture boil and to remove all lumps.
  10. Take the cream off the heat and remove the cinnamon stick and lemon zest. Pour the cream into a large ovenproof dish or individual dishes, depending on how you are going to serve it.
  11. Leave the mixture to cool to room temperature. When it has cooled, you can store it in the fridge if you don’t plan on eating it immediately.
  12.  Before serving, sprinkle the crema catalana with the remaining sugar. Lightly burn the sugar topping with a cooking torch until it begins to turn golden brown and caramelise.

Now, grab a spoon and dig in to your very own homemade Crema Catalana!

Tips:

  • If you’re not a fan of cinnamon and lemon, remove them before leaving the milk to cool down in step 6. This will give the Crema Catalana a milder flavour.
  • Why not try infusing your crema catalana with something different? We suggest citrus fruits, lavender or even rosemary. Let’s get creative!
  • You can buy cooking torches from any hardware stores or specialist cooking stores.
  • It’s important you caramelize the sugar topping immediately after adding it, before the cream base absorbs it. This will ensure you get a solid caramel topping.

We hope you enjoy this traditional Catalan dessert! Bon profit!

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Eixample Esquerre: the coolest neighbourhood in the world 2020 according to Time Out

Eixample Esquerre has done it. Beating the likes of Soho, London, Downtown, Los Angeles, and even the most stylish and upcoming neighbourhoods in Berlin, Paris and Hong Kong, it has been voted the coolest neighbourhood in the world right now by Time Out.

With the help of its international team of editors and a global reader survey, every year the online magazine picks a favourite. This year Esquerra de l’Eixample in Barcelona has taken the top spot and we couldn’t be happier.

Why Esquerra de l’Eixample?

It was not only Esquerra de l’Eixample’s unique grid-like architecture, its endless list of restaurants, coffee shops and bakeries, and its LGBTQ+ clubs and bars, (hence its nickname “Gayxample”) that have taken it to the top spot this year.

Above all, it was Esquerra de l’Eixample’s community spirit that has proved it to be the most authentic, and coolest, neighbourhood on earth. Dealing with the most unexpected circumstances earlier this year, this community has come together to support its most vulnerable during this time of hardship.

In our complete guide to Eixample Barcelona you can learn about the history of the sprawling Eixample neighbourhood, which is actually split into two main districts: Esquerra (left) de l’Eixample and Dreta (right) de l’Eixample. As a rule of thumb, and as their names indicate, one is to the left of Passeig de Gràcia and the other to the right.

So, we’ve put together a short guide to Esquerra de l’Eixample, the lesser-known Eixample district, so you can get to know it like a local.

What to see and do in Esquerra de l’Eixample

Here’s a round up of our favourites things to see and do in the Esquerra de l’Eixample neighbourhood. We recommend you check online before visiting, as opening times may very due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Parc de Joan Miró

C/ d’Aragó, 2, 08015 Barcelona

Visiting Esquerra de l’Eixample with kids? Not to worry! This park is ideal for kids of all ages with areas shaded by palm trees and pines, a playground and a striking sculpture by Joan Miró. Perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Eixample esquerre - Parc de Joan Miró

Mercat de Sant Antoni

Carrer del Comte d’Urgell, 1, 08011 Barcelona

Discover the best-quality local produce and history in this magnificent building by the local architect Rovira i Trias. After almost a decade of renovation, it has recently opened its doors once again. What’s more, don’t miss the second-hand book market right outside on Sundays.

Eixample Esquerre - Sant Antoni

Casa Sayrach

Avinguda Diagonal, 423, 425, 08037 Barcelona

Also known as the House of “Cream” due to its milky colour, this fantastic example of late-modernist architecture by the architect, Manel Sayrach, took inspiration from Gaudí.

Eixample Esquerre - Casa Sayrach

La Model


Carrer d’Entença, 155, 08029 Barcelona

Although visiting a former prison may not be the first thing you think about when planning your trip to Barcelona, La Model project remembers over 100 years of history. Discover more with guided visits and a range of cultural events, art exhibitions and concerts hosted regularly.

eixample esquerre - La Model

Where to eat & drink in Eixample Esquerre

Carrer d’Enric Granados

Stroll down this pedestrian- and bike-friendly street lined with trees at any time of day and you’re sure to find locals of all ages out and about. Stop at any of its restaurants, bars and coffee shops, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Fàbrica Moritz

Ronda de Sant Antoni, 41, 08011 Barcelona

A microbrewery belonging to Barcelona’s famous Moritz beer, drop by to try any of its variants with a selection of tasty Catalan-inspired tapas, take a tour of the brewery and learn the history of the city’s local tipple.

Malasang

Carrer del Comte Borrell, 148, 08015 Barcelona

With its sleek, modern interior decked out in wooden fittings, Malasang boasts character and captures the modern-vibe of Esquerra de l’Eixample. Drop by for tapas, vermouth or beer. You won’t be disappointed!

Pastisseria Takashi Ochiai

Carrer del Comte d’Urgell, 110, 08011 Barcelona

This Japanese bakery serves the best Nippon treats. From matcha cappuccinos, homemade mochis and doriyakis to local and equally delicious sweet treats. Not to be missed!

Bar La Principal

Carrer de Sepúlveda, 186, 08006 Barcelona

An emblem of the neighbourhood, this bar on the border of Sant Antoni offers a unique experience with its tiled interior and street-side terrace. Offering simple bites to eat and a selection of local drinks, grab a seat and tuck in.

Where to stay in Eixample Esquerre

Now you know where to eat and what to see and do, there’s only one thing left to make sure your trip is as comfortable as possible. Our flats located in the heart of Eixample Esquerre are perfect for discovering this area and ensuring you don’t miss out on a thing.

Our ethnic-style Livingstone apartment is located close to the Sant Antoni marketplace. This light-filled pad it is perfect for corporate visits. Also in Eixample Esquerre is KissMe. This romantic 2-bedroom apartment has a balcony overlooking Carrer Rocafort, and is ideal for an early-morning coffee or late-afternoon drinks.

Our apartment Noname also in Eixample Esquerre is just a stone’s throw away from Plaça Espanya and boasts three spacious bedrooms. And, finally, the ArtBlue penthouse is a haven for art lovers that is located on the fashionable Carrer d’Aribau, boasting a plethora of local-run shops, bars and restaurants.

We hope you enjoy your visit to Eixample Esquerre!

La Castanyada in Barcelona, The Chestnut Festival

La Castanyada  is almost here here! La Castanyada is a custom of eating roasted chestnuts and panellets (traditional Catalan sweets) during the 1st and 2nd of November.

This is a custom held deep in the hearts of Catalans since we are children. We observe this day in school years, not falling foul to the Halloween pageant and its pumpkin lanterns.  This tradition has been going for much longer and is hosted by the Castanyera – a kind of mythical good lady witch – who would sit behind her charcoal fire roasting chestnuts for everybody in her peasant rags.  Some of the traditions have also been borrowed from traditional funeral offerings that have long been forgotten in the passage of time.

Eat Roasted Chestnuts in La Castanyada

La Castanyada is the survival of those traditions in a more modern form that pays homage to all of the Catalan Saints (1st November) and the Day of the Dead (2nd November).

Castanyada - Castanyada Catalonia

The first day of La Castanyada would begin with the churches beginning a non-stop ringing of bells to warn the citizens on the arrival of the time to pray for their deceased.  The chestnuts are said to have been roasted for the bell-ringers who would be working all day, and that the chestnuts and sweet pieces were to replenish their strength and stave off the cold while they took turns to rest.

According to some sources, the tradition became more widespread across Catalunya and other regions of Spain and Portugal during the Eighteenth Century.  So if you are visiting Barcelona during this time, La Castanyada 2017 will be right on your doorstep, as virtually every street corner in the city will host a stall roasting chestnuts and sweet potatoes (moniato) for you to buy and eat right away in hot portions.

Try the Delicious Panellets in La Castanyada

The best ones are almond-flavoured, candied fruit that are coated in pine nuts and are a typical meal for the La Castanyada celebration.  The origins of this part of the tradition are somewhat lost in history, but some ideas hint that this custom is linked to the blessing of loaves, which were deposited as an offering to family tombs in honour of the memory of the ancestors and also as food in their journey to the beyond.

Panellets - Castanyada

La Castanyada  with all its beautiful tasting chestnuts and sweets is actually a communion celebration to worship deceased relatives.  Traditionally, while there will be many roasted chestnut vendors on the streets, it is not really a street-style festival.  It’s actually a very private moment for the Catalan family as they spend time together and pay respect to their lost ones.  In fact during La Castanyada, families would normally go to the cemetery and put flowers on the graves of their deceased family members and then spend the rest of the day at home, together.

However, that doesn’t mean there won’t be things going on the city.  Barcelona is one of the most vibrant places in Europe.  If you are looking to stay here during this time, or anytime even, we have a fantastic choice of holiday rental apartments to ensure that your trip is pleasant and comfortable.  Check our selection here.

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Everything you need to know about La Mercè Barcelona 2020

La Mercè Barcelona is finally here! This week, from 23 to 27 of September 2020, join us for one of the biggest festivals on Barcelona’s calendar. Remember that on Friday 25 no events will be held, but the celebrations will resume on Saturday for the weekend.

La Mercè is a festival that dates back to the Middle Ages in honour of Our Lady of Mercy. As you’ll have learnt in our past articles here and here, nowadays, it unites the city of Barcelona in one huge celebration for young and old alike.

Given this year’s exceptional circumstances, there will be some changes to the celebrations for La Mercè Barcelona compared to previous years. In this article, we’ll talk you through the safety measures in place, in addition to the online events, to ensure everyone gets a chance to celebrate.

In this article on La Mercè in Barcelona we’ve got you covered. From fireworks, live music concerts, street events, and the famous La Mercè closing ceremony, we’ll make sure you don’t miss out on a single thing.

La Mercé Barcelona 2020: Covid-19 measures

La Mercè 2020 will take place during the day from 11:00 am to 22:00 in order to ensure better control. All events have limited capacity and must be booked online here in advance.

La Mercè Barcelona this year has unfortunately had to forgo its typical correfoc (fire run) which is normally held every year on 24 September. Likewise, the castellers (human towers) will no longer take place this year given government restrictions. The main reason is to avoid crowds of people gathering and to ensure social distancing.

The City Council has also decided to cancel all digital light mapping shows, and what’s more, the events will be spread out across 10 neighbourhoods to prevent excessive crowds. Locations this year include many of Barcelona’s greatest spots, such as Ciutadella Park, Park Güell, Camp Nou, Joan Miró Park,  Grec Theatre and Montjüic castle.

La Mercé Barcelona 2020: Opening ceremony

This year the festival’s opening ceremony (the pregó in Catalan), will take place as usual at the City Hall but will not be open to the public. Be sure to watch the opening ceremony live on betevé or on La Mercè’s official website.

As you may guess, the theme of this year’s speech by entertainer and clown “Tortell Poltrona” will be to encourage citizens and visitors Barcelona to celebrate La Mercè whilst respecting the safety regulations in place.

La Mercè 2020 - opening ceremony

La Mercé Barcelona 2020: Live music concerts

You’ll be pleased to know that the Barcelona City Council has made sure that many concerts can still take place this year, always following all regulations and safety measures.

This year, however, it is essential that you book your tickets online here. With a line-up that ranges from the Barcelona Municipal Band, House of Pharaohs to a selection of DJs, Sabor de Gràcia, the Barcelona symphonic orchestra, and local jazz bands, you’re sure to find something up your street.

We couldn’t possibly list all the concerts if we tried! You can also check out this link here for a list of all concerts and activities.

La Mercè Barcelona 2020: Closing ceremony

This year’s magical closing ceremony (known as the Piromusical) will take place on Sunday 27 at 10:00 pm at Plaça Espanya. However, as we’ve mentioned, this year the event will not be open to the public in order to avoid crowds and ensure social distancing.

However, not to worry! Head  to your nearest rooftop or balcony, as this year the fireworks will be even bigger and better than in past years so they can be seen and enjoyed all over the city.  The event will also be broadcast live on TV3 with a vintage soundtrack that pays homage to Barcelona’s oldest and wisest citizens: the over 60s.

What’s more, there will be four other simultaneous fire shows at points around the city in the areas of Sants-Montjuïc, Nou Barris, Les Corts and Sant Martí.

La Mercè Barcelona - La Mercè 2020 - closing ceremony La Mercè

La Mercè Barcelona 2020: from home

As mentioned, this year La Mercé En Obert (Open Mercè) will be streamed live on TV (Betevé) and La Mercè website to ensure no one misses out on the opening and closing events, concerts, street shows, traditional celebrations, and much more, from the safety of their own homes.

What are your plans for La Mercè this year? We hope you have a blast!

Top 10 Barcelona churches that you can’t miss

Barcelona churches are synonymous with magnificent architecture and unforgettable history. With over 200 churches scattered around the city, we’ve picked out 10 Barcelona churches worth visiting thanks to their historical, cultural or architectural value.

We will cover the city’s most famous churches – from the Sagrada Familia and the Barcelona cathedral and Santa María del Mar – to some lesser known but equally as stunning churches, just waiting to be discovered.

If you’re visiting Barcelona, don’t miss out on these hidden-away delights. Let us take you on a tour of Barcelona churches to discover another side of the city.

These 10 Barcelona churches are the ones we recommend you must see on your next visit!

Basílica de Santa Maria del Mar

This stunning example of Catalan Gothic architecture has a special place in the heart of all Barcelona locals, which was built thanks to the donations of local businessmen and residents. We’d thoroughly recommend a guided door to discover its crypts and rooftops with breathtaking views. Discover more in our article on this special Barcelona church.

Barcelona Churches - Basílica de Santa Maria del Mar

Interested in learning more about this important piece of history? This Barcelona church inspired a book by ldefonso Falcones plus a TV series. You can discover many more books written about or set in Barcelona here.

Address: Plaça de Santa Maria, 1, 08003 Barcelona

Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor

This Neogothic monument is located almost 600 m above sea level with views overlooking the entire city. This Barcelona church started out as a small chapel; the construction as the church we know it as today started in 1902 and ended in 1961.

Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor - Barcelona Churches

Why not make a day of it and also discover the Tibidabo amusement park? It’s the perfect plan for the whole family.

Address: Ctra. de Vallvidrera al Tibidabo, 111, 08035 Barcelona

Monestir de Pedralbes

Founded in 1327, this Gothic monastery just outside the city centre boasts a three-floor cloister, a range of permanent and temporary exhibitions, and beautiful gardens. What’s more, its walls are brimming with history.

Monestir de Pedralbes - Churches in Barcelona - Barcelona Church

Address: Baixada del Monestir, 9, 08034 Barcelona

Basílica de la Sagrada Família

Need we say more? The Sagrada Familia, the ultimate Gaudí’s masterpieces, is a church that is synonymous with Barcelona. Don’t miss the chance to uncover the secrets of this World Heritage Site, which is a monument to Catalan identity. Discover more about the history of this epic Barcelona church and visiting it here.

Basílica de la Sagrada Família - Barcelona Churches - Churches Barcelona

Address: C. de Mallorca, 401, 08013 Barcelona

Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia

The name of the Cathedral of Barcelona can be translated as “Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Sant Eulalia” after the city’s patron saint, who is buried inside its walls.

Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia

This beautiful Barcelona church is an example of Gothic Catalan architecture that took 150 years to build. It can be found in the heart of the Gothic quarter. Discover our guide to one of Barcelona’s most fascinating neighbourhood’s here.

Address: Pla de la Seu, s/n, 08002 Barcelona

Basílica de Montserrat

The church of the Montserrat monastery is a must for all those who visit Barcelona.  Follow in the footsteps of pilgrims who once travelled to this mountain to visit this sanctuary of the Virgin Mary of Montserrat.

Abadia de Montserrat - Barcelona Churches

A thousand years have passed since its founding, yet believers and non-believers from around the world still flock to this Barcelona church. Set in the mountains, it makes the perfect day trip for walkers. Discover how to get there and what to see whilst there here.

Address: 08199 Montserrat, Barcelona

Basílica Santa María del Pi

A stone’s throw away from the city’s famous avenue ‘Las Ramblas’, you’ll find art, culture and community tucked away in this historic square. Wander around this Gothic-style church and contemplate its beautiful stained glass windows, including the fascinating “Rose window”.

Address: Plaça del Pi, 7, 08002 Barcelona

Basílica de Santa María del Pi - Barcelona Churches
EPSON DSC picture

Església de Sant Felipe Neri

On first glance, you perhaps may not even notice the San Felipe Neri church tucked away in this quaint, tranquil square, yet its walls hold a tragic tale that dates back to the Spanish Civil War.

Església de Sant Felip Neri - Barcelona Church

Definitely worth a visit, if you would like to learn more about the neighbourhood of Cuitat Vella, where this Barcelona church is located, check out our guide here.

Address: Plaça de Sant Felip Neri, 2, 08002 Barcelona

Monastir de Santa Anna

Carrer de Santa Anna, 29, 08002 Barcelona

This former monastery located in the Gothic quarter is a Barcelona church you don’t want to miss. This Roman-style church still conserves much of its original architecture, despite having some Gothic elements. 

Check out its website before visiting to discover concerts and events held in its beautiful courtyard.

Basílica de la Puríssima Concepció

The curious thing about this basilica is that it was once the Jonqueres Monastery. In the 19th century, stone by stone, it was moved to its new location in the heart of L’Exiample.

If you plan to visit the sights of Eixample, don’t miss this little-known Barcelona church, with a tranquil garden home to a plethora of exotic plants tucked away inside its walls.

Address: Aragó, 299, Carrer de Roger de Llúria, 70, 08009 Barcelona

Given these uncertain times, we recommend you check visiting times for Barcelona churches either online or by phone before you visit.

We hope you enjoy this guide to Barcelona churches. Let us know, which is your favourite Barcelona church?

Going back to Barcelona or “The miracle case of the Barcelona Nest” – 2020

Going back to Barcelona is the wish for many Barcelona lovers…

The miracle case of the Barcelona nest

This story could be named “The miracle case of the Barcelona nest”.

It was a warm, mid-July Mediterranean night. One of those in which the heat makes it difficult for us to fall asleep, a typical July night in Barcelona. That night a group of friends decided to seek the cooling sea breeze on the Mar Bella beach in Barcelona. The heat was stifling and the beach that night was the perfect place to meet, chat with friends and listen to the waves crash on the shore.

But no one could have imagined was what was about to happen. A few meters from them, in the sand, a few repetitive blows accompanied by strange sounds, put them on alert.

The discovery

Mar, Gabriela And David, who found the turtle on the beach and recorded the video

As they approached, a dark figure surprised them in the night. Stunned they discovered an adult specimen of loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) trapped under a construction fence, repatedly hitting it, fighting to get out. The first thing they did, without really understanding what was really happening, was to record the scene to upload it to their social networks … if we don’t record and publish it, no one is going to believe us! … they must have thought. This was definitely a spectacle more typical of paradisiacal beaches of the tropics, than of an urban beach in Barcelona. Then with the video ready, they reintroduced the turtle into the sea.

The nest

The turtle had just laid 77 eggs, this being the first time in history that there is evidence of nesting on the beaches of Barcelona.

The CRAM foundation, which is dedicated to the protection of marine biodiversity against global threats, has described it as an “unusual event”. They were the ones who discovered the nest, after watching the video on social networks and contacting the group of young people.

Of the 77 eggs, 60 remain in the nest on the beach in a fenced area supervised 24 hours a day and the other 17 were transferred to the CRAM incubators for breeding in captivity.

10 baby turtles were born this Sunday night August 31, 2020 on the beach of la Mar Bella in Barcelona and were released into the sea on what’s the first day of the rest of their lives. Experts say the areas where these turtles used to nest are warming up and they are starting to look for other areas to breed. The truth is that we are living strange times and nature seems to find its ways.

experts working in the nest of the Mar Bella beach in Barcelona, once this turtles will be going back to Barcelona
CRAM experts working in the Barcelona nest
CRAM experts working in the Barcelona nest found on Barcelona beaches, once this turtles will be going back to Barcelona
Eggs collection by CRAM experts
detail of recently laid eggs on the beaches of Barcelona, one day this turtles will be going back to Barcelona
Detail of recently laid eggs
eggs being transferred to the incubators of the CRAM for their breeding in captivity
Eggs being transferred to the incubators of the CRAM for their breeding in captivity

Going back to Barcelona?

As we said before, going back to Barcelona is the wish for many Barcelona lovers…and they are many and diverse. At one point in their life, these adult turtles will feel the call of the nest in which they were born. A nest that her mother chose to locate on a beach in Barcelona, a most unusual place, and this will be the time to return.

Nature definitely finds its ways. This unique and precious event means a breath of hope, it means that when circumstances are adverse, our instincts strive to show us the way to overcome obstacles and survive.

Going back to Barcelona, will be the message that will arise from deep inside to close the circle. And when they return to their beach, El Parc Güell, La Casa Batlló, Gaudí and La Sagrada Familia, Santa Maria del Mar and Picasso and his Museum, will still be here waiting in beautiful Barcelona.

In the near future, we will have to do things in a different way since it has been shown that we are all connected to each other and to the planet and life does not stop and it will run us like a great roller that crushes and molds us.

“Preparation and education are therefore the highest priority. An international effort would be required, and it is essential that governments can anticipate the next pandemic and prepare to stop it at its point of origin rather than simply react and cause the long-term destruction of our society and economy, as it is currently happening” concludes this article published in the journal Frontiers in Medicine.

For those of you who have never been to Barcelona and as our friend Caretta Caretta, feel that something inside attracts you to this point on the planet and for those who Barcelona is already part of your lives, there is a beach here wishing you to leave a piece of yourself.