Barcelona’s Four Hidden Corners

Published in The Guardian

Barcelona has a well-documented tourist trail marking out the must see highlights of the city. However there’s an abundance of interesting places in the city that visitors aren’t made aware such as the Spanish Civil War bunkers or the open-air cinema in the mountain. Here’s a round up of Barcelona’s best-hidden gems worth checking out.

El Refugi 307:

This 400-metre tunnel offers a rare experience to understand what the 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 of El Refugi 307 it’s possible to see the 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.

Palo Alto:

This Poble Nou based industrial complex was established in 1875 by businessmen Ramon Gal and Joan Puigsech and it was designed my Antoni Vila i Bruguera. In the 1970s it was reconverted in to light creative studios. Its been used for film sets, artists work space and events and currently there’re twenty different creative companies using the space. Visitors can enjoy wandering through the beautiful gardens and have lunch at the Cantina restaurant.

Barcelona’s Four Hidden Corners by Hatty Copeman

Poble Nou Park:

Near by 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 utilised 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.

El Refugi 307
Address: Carrer Nou de la Rambla, 169
Phone: 932 562 100
Metro: Paral·lel

Palo Alto
Address: Carrer Pellaires 30-38
Phone: 933 070 974
Metro: at Selva de Mar.

Poble Nou Park
Address: Avinguda Diagonal, 130
Metro: Poble Nou

Sala Montjuic Open Air Cinema
Address: Carretera de Montjuic, 66

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