Barcelona. The city of Gaudí. The capital of Catalonia. Cosmopolitan to the core. It is, without a doubt, one of the most authentic places in the whole country.
And it is full of tourists. They are everywhere. Along La Rambla. Strolling, one above the other, in Barceloneta. Clogging the streets of the Gothic Quarter. In such a dynamic city, this is a side effect.
As a traveler, you want to escape the crowds. And we don’t blame you for it. How to take advantage of the genuine character of Barcelona? Where to go to escape the mass of tourists in one of the most touristic cities? If you want to live like a local in touristy Barcelona, try these five plans. You will not regret!
Go down to the underground of Barcelona:
But really underground. If you want to try something that really takes you away from the busy tourist route, head to Refugiados 307.
Curated by the Barcelona History Museum (MUHBA), Refugio 307 is the name given to a set of tunnels and a war shelter under the old streets of the city. Built during the Spanish Civil War as protection against Franco’s bombings, it is just one of the approximately 1,000 shelters that are hidden under the city.
History. Chilling surroundings. A bit of urban exploration. It is as local as local can be.
Find a place
Do you really want to live like a local in Barcelona? Get out of the tourist areas, find the most charming square and make it yours.
One of the favorites? The Plaça de la Vila de Gracia. Full of terraces, shops and, most importantly, shops, this square is located in the heart of Barcelona. But it is not overwhelmed with the typical tourist groups.
If this option doesn’t suit you, try Plaça de la Concòrdia in the Les Corts neighborhood, or even Plaça del Pi, with a local market. A pleasant terrace, one or two drinks (or more), and we can guarantee that you will start to feel more local in one of these small squares.
Get out of town
Being a local is not just about getting to know the city. It is also important to have a deep knowledge about the areas that surround it. Get out of town! Not sure where to start? Try the Carretera de Les Aigües.
The Carretera de Les Aigües is a road of about 10 kilometers full of cyclists, runners, and other locals who go out for some fresh air. Thanks to the fact that it overlooks the city, you will get a better and unique perspective of Barcelona.
Visit the local bars
PRO tip : flee from the crowded bars for tourists in the center of Barcelona. Take a walk outside the center and start going where the locals go.
But where do the locals go?
Try L’Ovella Negra, the locals’ favorite, or Vinos y Max, good-pretty-and-cheap. Or, if you’re looking for something really different, check out Le Cyrano – here you can help yourself to drinks.
Don’t feel like sitting in a bar all night? No problem. Take a tour with a local, and have a mix of drinks, food and culture. Important, non-tourist congratulations.
Relax in the Ciutadella
There is nothing more local than becoming a regular at the local park. While it is true that Parc Güell is impressive, it would take a miracle to be able to relax in it. Go to the Parc de la Ciutadella. Prepare a picnic and let your imagination fly – being in the Ciutadella is like being in a distant and exotic jungle.
Rent a boat. Enjoy the scenery. Have a picnic with your friends on the one of the best Barcelona beaches.