Barcelona has a well documented tourist trail marking out the must see highlights of the city. There is also, however, an abundance of lesser-known, yet just as interesting, places in the city that visitors aren’t often made aware of. Here are five spots worth checking out on your next trip to Barcelona.
A treasure of funeral art, located on the Route of Montjuic on the hill, this 138-acre graveyard boasts sea views and a place of calm away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The cemetery, which was featured in Pedro Almodovar’s 1999 film All About My Mother, opened in 1883 after an escalation in the population. Montjuic Cemetery is more than a place of the dead as its modernist architecture, sculptures and beautiful, exotic gardens are works of art. The extravagant design meant the graveyard became a prevalent spot for the rich to be buried and many of them had their own mausoleums built in the cemetery. Montjuic houses some excellent examples of funeral art that include architecture, sculptures and stained glass creations. This is a great place to visit if you’re interested in modernist art, architecture and sculptures and you are looking for a free-of-charge, peaceful way to explore Barcelona.
El Refugi 307
This 400-metre tunnel offers a rare opportunity to understand what living conditions were like during the Spanish Civil War. Based in Poble Sec, this two metre underground tunnel is where people had to live during the war for protection from the bombings. There were thousands of similar tunnels built throughout Barcelona. This particular tunnel is now part of the Museu d’Historia de la Ciutat–a project devoted to restoring and teaching the history of the city. Inside El Refugi 307 it’s possible to see different rooms and to walk the full length of the tunnel. Visits are assisted by a guided tour and it’s highly recommended to book tickets in advance.
This Poble Nou based industrial complex was established in 1875 by businessmen Ramon Gal and Joan Puigsech and was designed by Antoni Vila i Bruguera. In the 1970s it was converted to light creative studios. Its been used for film sets, artists work space and events and currently there are twenty different creative companies using the space. Visitors can enjoy wandering through the beautiful gardens and have lunch at the Cantina restaurant.
Park Central del Poblenou
Close to Palo Alto lies this eco-friendly park, which was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel in 2008. Nouvel’s aim was to create a winter sunshine spot. As the park is eco-friendly weeping willow trees have been utilized to absorb water and there is an irrigation system that collects ground water. There are two islands in the park and the old factory of Oliva Artés dwells on one of them. The gardens are made up of herbs, shrubbery and interesting architecture. Another part of the park is made up of purple plants and a crater that points towards the centre of the earth and connects with Guayaquil in Ecuador.
Sala Montjuic Open Air Cinema
This is a great spot for film lovers. It’s open annually from 4th July until 5th August on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and is set within the walls of Montjuic Castle. There is live music before film begins. The films are classics and shown in the original versions with subtitles. Most people take a picnic, which can be enjoyed on the hill where there are magnificent views of Barcelona.