Hello hello! Barcelona is one of the best known cities worldwide and everyone has heard of Sagrada familia. The Catalonian capital has very recognizable landmark and a quite unique spirit. If you browse photos from Barcelona, you will end up seeing the same type of pictures over and over again. And there is nothing wrong with it. The tourist attractions are absolutely stunning over here and they deserve to be photographed. But if you want to spice up a bit your Instagram feed, you might want to visit some lesser-known spots in the city. Living here gave me the opportunity to discover some hidden gems in Barcelona and I would like to share some of them with you.
17 Hidden Instagrammable gems in Barcelona by TravelistaGoesTo:
This park is one of the few green areas in Barcelona and a very nice place to walk and enjoy the view. You all know that I often recommend el Bunker del Carmel as the best view in Barcelona, but the truth is that it got so crowded in the past few years that I don’t really enjoy going there any more. Guinardo could be a really nice alternative as it is located right next to el Bunker, the view is pretty much the same and it is way less crowded than its neighbor. The yellow line L4 goes directly there.
2. Casa Vicens
This house is one of the treasures left by Gaudi. It gets more and more known lately but because of its location it is less crowded compared to the other two located at Passeig de Gracia. You can reach Casa Vicens using the green line of the metro, close to Lesseps metro station in Gracia neighborhood. There is an entrance fee as usual, but if there is a queue (which I haven’t seen so far) it will be waaaay shorter than the line in front of casa Batllo!
3. Casa Comalat
This house was created by the Catalonian architect Salvador Valeri Pupurull more than 100 years ago. You can see Gaudi’s influence in the construction as it reminds quite a lot of Casa Batllo. The facade of the house has those typical mosaic colors that make Barcelona such a recognizable place! Unfortunately the house is not open for public, but it is still worth seeing it from the outside.
4. Jardins de la Tamarita
These gardens are located in Sant Gervasi – la Bonanova neighborhood in the upper part of Barcelona. There is nothing extraordinary there, but it’s a nice quiet place where you can spend some time away from the crowd.
5. Arenas de Barcelona
The shopping center Las Arenas is not a very hidden gem, it is quite known view point at plaza Espanya, but I included it here as they recently put a unique arch that will make your pictures even more beautiful. The arch is in arabic/ morrocan style and it is a great asset for stunning Instagram feed. By the way – it is not necessary to use the panoramic elevator to go up, save this euro and use the escalators inside the center.
6. Carrer de Pablo Saez de Bares, 8
This is one of my favorite photos ever! The font is just a colorful garage door, but it makes the picture so vivid and so Barcelona that I cannot but share the location with you. It is far from the center and there is nothing special in the area, but if you happen to be there, just pass by and take a shot. I found it by chance as I was living in this neighborhood back then. On my way to el Bunker I passed by this door and I took this cute photo. No regrets!
Paral-lel is one of the longest boulevards in Barcelona. Close to Paral-lel metro station there is a skate park with some walls covered in graffiti. I am crazy about graffiti art and I am always looking to discover new unique pieces of art. I wouldn’t recommend you to go to this place at night or after the sun goes down because it is quite dodgy, but during the day you can find pretty stunning art there. The paintings are changing frequently so you never know what to expect. Look what I found once…
8. Carrer de l-Allada Vermel, 12
This cute wall covered with plants is located in El Born district. This is one of the walls surrounding a nice quiet square with a few bars and restaurants where you can sit and enjoy a beer or a coffee.
9. St. Felip Neri square
This square has one of the most moving stories that I’ve heard so far. It is located in the Gothic neighborhood close to the cathedral. The name of the square comes from the name of the church which presides over the plaza.
“On the 30 January 1938, one of Franco’s bombs fell on the church killing 30 people most of whom were children from the School of Sant Philip Neri and some were refugee children from Madrid where the church had been turned into a makeshift orphanage. As people pulled survivors from the rubble, a second bomb hit the square, killing 12 more bringing the death toll to 42. It was the second worst bombing hit in Barcelona during the war. Evidence of the bombings can be seen in the pockmarked walls of the church.” (source Wikipedia)
10. Carrer de Montjuic de Bisbe
This tiny narrow street leads towards Filip Neri square. It is part of the Gothic neighborhood and one of the most Instagrammed hidden places in Barcelona.
11. Hospital Sant Pau
I don’t know how popular this place was before, but they should pay me for promoting it so much! 😀 Now seriously, I just like it very much and I use every opportunity to go back and show it to the world. You can read more about this hospital and other popular attractions in my other article here.
12. Casa Padua – Carrer de Padua, 75
Barcelona has stunning architecture and it is not so hard to find houses with pretty facades. This red house is hidden between two grey buildings at one of the narrow streets in the upper part of Barcelona. It used to be a perfume factory in the past. The history sources are limited, what is known is that it was abandoned for a long time, but later it got reformed by the architect Alfonso Balaguer who won several prizes for his work.
13. Park del Turo del Putxet
Another beautiful view spot in Barcelona. The park takes over the hill right next to park Guell and it reveals mesmerizing views over the city. It is way more quiet and secluded compared to its famous neighbor. Just climb to the top and be amazed!
14. Casa Tosquella
There is not so much information about this house, but I recently read and interesting article about its history. It was constructed more than 100 years ago and up until few years ago there was the daughter of the first owner still living there. She was 81 years old back then and had recently lost her husband. She didn’t want to move out of her father’s house even though the chalet was no longer in good conditions. The house was barely repaired in the last decades and looked more like a dumpster rather than a home. But the woman didn’t want to abandon it. At some point she almost lost the house, but thanks to the rent she was paying to her parents she was able to save the house and stay as tenant. Now the house is protected by the government as a cultural heritage.
During the years the woman started having problems with homeless people who started occupying her yard. They caused a lot of problems, even a person was killed there. The house was dirty, half destroyed, nobody could access the second floor as the stairs were not in place any more, there were rats and other animals living in the house…But the woman couldn’t abandon her home…She spent her last years locking and blocking the yard, spending sleepless nights guarding her property from intruders, going to bed at 6 a.m and sleeping during the day to prevent future invasions of her home…I don’t know the end of this story, but last year when I visited the place it was absolutely abandoned and you could not enter inside. Not that I wanted to, to be honest it looks like a ghost house, very scary, but really impressive!
15. Narrow streets of Born neighborhood.
The Gothic neighborhood is more famous than El Born, but I must admit that I like Born better. The two districts have pretty similar look and style, but I find Gotico darker and grey-ish, compared to el Born that has more colors and light. There are many narrow streets that are worth being seen and you can easily spent a few hours wandering around.
16. Plaza d’Isidre Nonell
This square is located right in front of the Cathedral, slightly hidden between the streets. It’s most famous attraction is the art piece called “El beso” or “El mundo nace en cada beso” de Joan Fontcuberta. It is an art project that consists of 4000 small pictures printed on ceramic plates. The theme of the pictures is “live freely” and they were sent by the readers of the magazine “El Periodico”. Looking it from a distance they form a picture of two people kissing or more precisely their lips kissing.
17. Plaza de Lesseps, 5
The square itself is surrounded by beautiful buildings with impressive architecture. You can effortlessly take very nice Insta pictures. Going down the street there is a plenty of impressive photo material for your feed.
Well, these are my suggestions, I hope you liked it! I still have a lot to discover here and I am pretty sure that this list will grow in the next few years! Share your favorite hidden gems in the comments!