If you’re planning to venture to beautiful Barcelona for the first time, you’re probably excited to see its top sites and eyeing the perfect place to stay on sites like Lugaris.com, which offers luxury apartments. After all, there are so many things to do in Barcelona, which is known for its beautiful architecture found in its most popular tourist attractions like Güell Park, Boqueria Market and the Gothic Quarter.

But if you want to bypass the attractions loaded with tourists and get a taste of the “real” Barcelona, we’ve got you covered with these off-the-beaten-path gems.

10 Little-Known Things To Do in Barcelona

1. Swim in an Open Water Swimming Pool

If you prefer the structure of a swimming pool, yet the natural properties of the sea water, consider going for a dip in the in the Zona de Banys del Fòrum.

This sandless beach is surrounded by wooden decks and seating and is perfect for a relaxing daytime retreat that is appropriate for the entire family. Whether you decide to catch some rays or cool off in the salty water, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this secluded slice of heaven.

2. Visit a Pop-Up Market

If you’re lucky enough to be in the area on the first of the month, consider visiting the Palo Alto Market chock full of hip vendors and an eclectic mix of food trucks to satisfy an adventurous palette for every budget.

3. Check Out Unique Local Flora

Home to some of the rarest types of plants in the area, the Jardins de Mossèn Costa i Llobrera houses a collection of tropical plants and succulents for those that have a green thumb — or wish they did :).

4. Get Lost

horta labyrinth park

Literally. If you plan ahead, you can pay roughly 2 Euro to be one of the 750 people allowed entry into the Horta Labyrinth each day. Enjoy this 820-yard, 18th century creation and see if you can find your way out. We promise you’ll have fun along the way!

5. Try a Unique Dining Experience

While there are many culinary delights in Barcelona, consider something completely different. If you like quirky, modern surroundings, try Poblenou’s Bistrot by Valkiria.

Or if a peaceful outdoor atmosphere full of lush orange trees in an ancient university is more your speed, El Jardí Bar is one to add to your list. Don’t forget about the unique picnic areas around town, as well, such as the Grec Gardens Amphitheatre on Montjuïc hill.

6. Find the Best City Views

Barcelona view

It may come as a surprise to some that an area housing old wartime bunkers could be one of the best destinations to find some of the most beautiful 360-degree views of the city. Visit the Carmel Bunkers when you’re ready to soak in the scenery and be sure to snap a pic to share on Instagram. Your followers will be uber jealous!

7. Discover a Top Secret Hangout Spot

When you think of nightlife, mingling with others and sipping your favorite libations are likely to come to mind. While most would head straight to the bars, why not try something a little more unusual?

At first glance, El Born’s pastrami bar might not seem like much, but follow the speakeasy’s protocol and you’ll discover El Paradiso, a secret hangout. We could tell you more, but it’s a secret… shhh….

8. Get a History Lesson Firsthand

Planning an extended stay in one of many holiday apartments in Barcelona? An longer visit can be a great opportunity to take your time to explore historical sites firsthand.

For example, if you’re strolling down the Gothic Quarter, be sure to check out the randomly-placed 2000-year old columns that make up the remains of the Temple of Augusto. It’s one of many finds that you may come upon when you slow down and enjoy your surroundings, even feeling like a local.

9. Look for Hidden Street Art

street art barcelona

What may look like random street art may actually be rich in purpose and history. Consider viewing the socially-fueled pieces by muralist, Keith Haring, or the cosmos-inspired art of Miró.

10. Visit Historic Chapels

Regardless of your religion, Barcelona’s old chapels sprinkled about the city are worth a visit. See the aftermath of Spain’s civil war at the Sant Felip Neri Church, or The Santa Madrona Chapel, one of the few still standing from the 1400s.

Whether you visit the city to experience its busy tourist attractions or opt to visit more unconventional sites, there is no shortage of things to do in Barcelona. Plan a trip today!

Note: This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my own!

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