Timeless streets, green islands in the middle of the asphalt, botanical jewels, historic gardens… Choose a neighborhood to wander aimlessly and be surprised with what you’ll see!
Places where time has stopped, neighborhoods without tourist accommodation, a town of single-family houses with courtyards and gardens, green islands surrounded by roads in which only connaisseurs know they can make a barbecue outdoors as in the park of the Trinitat, corners suitable for retired people to play dominoes without appearing to be a species in danger of extinction, as in the central park of Nou Barris, botanical paradises with numerus clausus. All districts of Barcelona have hidden or little-known treasures, even on very busy roads; such as Muntaner, Hospital and Carme streets. You will have unique postcards from Barcelona in these places.
Barcelona secret spots
Here we want to present 12 Barcelona secret spots that will let you go home with a unique postcard to hang on the wall of your memories.
#1- Aiguafreda street
The street in the neighborhood of Horta, represents a true journey back in time. It is a street that was inhabited by washerwomen, and that conserves some old washing. There were laundries of this type in many other areas of Horta. But with the urban remodeling, they have been disappearing. On Aiguafreda Street there are eight low houses. Each of them has its laundry in front of it, on the other side of the street. The laundry room is accompanied by a well, from which the water was taken out with buckets. Some of the houses also have a small patio, with orchard or garden. It is a modest, very clean and well maintaining neighborhood. As the neighbors worry about having plants on the street as well they ask for respect to those who come to visit.
#2- The gardens of the house of Ignacio de Puig
They are one of the most romantic enclaves of Ciutat Vella. The house is situated next to the Rambla, although half-hidden because one of its entrances crosses the lobby of the hotel Petit Palace Opera Garden.
Vallbona is a neighborhood in the Nou Barris. It was a small village until the middle of the twentieth century when most of it was demolished by the Rec Comtal canal which mostly covered over. You can now see the open-air rests of the canal which construction may date back to Roman times.
#4- Gardens of Rubió i Lluch
The garden in the old hospital of Santa Creu, between Hospital and Carme streets, in El Raval, are increasingly degraded and run the risk of losing their status as an oasis, as happened to the viewpoint Turó de la Peira, now overcrowded. But if the visitors are in a hurry, they still have time to discover this heaven of peace and be ecstatic from the Baroque and-hopefully-almost deserted courtyard of the Institut d’Estudis Catalans.
#5- Turó de Monterol
In Muntaner, 450, there is the main access to a small great secret. The Turó de Monterol, with 66 steps that lead to the park of this hill, is a piece of Collserola in the middle of the asphalt that many Barcelonians do not know.
#6- The public Arús Library
Set up in 1895, Arús Library on Sant Joan promenade was as a library to educate working people. It is now a research center that has specialization in contemporary social movements. The library can also rely on a significant collection of books on the workers’ movement, anarchism, and Freemasonry. A guided tour of the Biblioteca Pública Arús is possible and will tell you about the history of this unique library and its connections with the history and the social movements that prevailed in Barcelona throughout the 19th and 20th century. The ticket costs just 9€ and you can also buy it here!
#7- Montjuïc secrets spots
Montjuïc does not end in the Poble Espanyol, the Fundació Miró, the Estadi or the castle. The entrance to paradise around this magic hill costs nothing: a night walk, if possible with a full moon, along the ring road of Montjuïc Castle. This is one of the experiences that will make you enjoy the city.
Also free are the spectacular views that you will find between El Mirador del Alcalde y el Mirador del Migdia, 2 amazing viewpoints where you can also have a refreshing beer at la Caseta del Midgia, a secret and romantic site where you can enjoy an amazing view and a spectacular sunset. The cemetery of Montjuïc (if you have time go also to the Poblenou one) is an open-air museum!
Passers who go further will find between the cemetery and the Sot del Migdia a very beautiful place and alien to the traffic lived below. The Fossar de la Pedrera and the cliffs that surround the mausoleum of President Lluís Companys also offer surprises. The Morrot cliff is not far behind. It encourages the lust of ornithologists, who have detected 144 different species of birds here. All that is in a place that almost all Barcelona people think they know like the back of their hand!
#8- The labyrinth of Horta
The labyrinth of Horta is a botanical paradise. Here, it is possible to hear in the city a silence broken only by cicadas and the coo of pigeons. It is an open secret that allows you to enjoy solitude because it has a maximum capacity of 750 people. The park, with redwood trees and other listed monumental trees, demands an urgent investment. There are at least three discarded statues, two decapitated and one manca. A stretch of cypresses from the maze had to be replanted and the palace of the Marquis of Llupià, who commissioned the garden in 1791, falls to pieces.
But anyone can enter this paradise: the unemployed, retired and neighbors enter for free; the rest of mortals must pay 2.23 euros, except for open days. The paradise for 2.23 euros, a small amount for those who have to recover from the stress of the crowded areas and need “at least a vacation”.
#9- The gardens of the Tamarita
The gardens of the Tamarita is in the Paseo de Sant Gervasi. It is another relative haven of peace despite its proximity to Tibidabo Avenue and a busy Tourist Bus bus stop. These gardens surround the old Noucentista (Catalan cultural movement) house of the same name and are among the first designs of the architect and landscape artist Nicolau M. Rubió i Tudurí. They are full of decorative features that confirm their domestic origin. With plenty of fountains, water jets, little ponds, decorative elements, magnificent vegetation and stone walls that surround the gardens you can have a feeling of protection and isolation that is very relaxing.
#10- The immense central park of Nou Barris
The immense central park of Nou Barris with 6 hectares is one of the largest parks in Barcelona. Only the district headquarters and the Nou Barris library, one of the gems of the public network, justify the visit. The two facilities, in the park area, occupy the central body of the colossal and old mental hospital of Santa Creu, promoted by Dr. Pi i Molist (1824-1892). Inside the park, you can also see the aqueduct of Dosrius, in the Maresme. It crossed Nou Barris and was more than 50 kilometers long. Few Barcelonians have heard of this bridge over one of the ponds of the park. It is one of the few living memories of that infrastructure which moved water from the stream of Argentona to Gràcia.
#11- Another bridge and an impressive hypostyle hall
Another bridge and an impressive hypostyle hall are crying out for restoration. They are the hallmarks of the Ca n’Altimira park, in Sarrià-Sant Gervasi. In this district, you can find the gardens of Portolà, Can Castelló, Vil·la Amèlia and Vil·la Cecília, among many others. In Vil·la Cecília the sculpture of Ofèlia saved from the waters is a beauty that was recovered after the cleaning of the pond.
#12- The list of green areas is almost endless:
The park of Guinardó and that of Las Rieres, in Horta-Guinardó; the gardens of Rodrigo Caro and the park of La Guineueta, with the monument to Blas Infante, in Nou Barris; the gardens of the Humans Drets, in Sants-Montjuïc…
The Barcelona of these Edenes is the same Barcelona of the year of the plague: the terrorism and what you don’t know is that the city has managed to preserve many secrets. So, those who want to isolate themselves from the apocalypse and disconnect can achieve it here. Even if only for a few hours!
If you decide to escape from the crowded streets in the center & discover Barcelona secret spots, let us know your experience!
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Source: La Vanguardia
Photo credits: lavanguardia.com