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!