Barcelona is one of my absolutely favourite cities to visit not just in Spain but in Europe as a whole and understandably, I’m not alone in feeling like this too.
Year after year, Barcelona is ranked as one of the top 10 most visited cities in Europe so it’s safe to say that a lot of the amazing things to do in Barcelona is by this point pretty well know by a lot of travellers.
*If not though, I’ve got you covered in this post here detailing all the top places to visit in Barcelona. And if you really like free things, here’s some pretty amazing free things to do in Barcelona.
But, I digress, this post is not about just the top places to visit in Barcelona or indeed, about the free things to do in Barcelona but instead all about the amazing secret spots to visit in Barcelona.
This is all about some incredible places which are so worth checking out in the city that might have perhaps been missed otherwise.
Anyway, enough rambling from me! Let’s get started, shall we? 😁
1.) Teatre Grec
Up on Montjuïc hill lies a century-old Greek theatre, which, given how relatively ‘new’ it is, you’d be easily forgiven for not knowing about. That’s not to say it’s not worth a visit though, quite the opposite.
The theatre is every bit as grand as it’s older counterpart dotted across Europe. It is one of those spots best visited when there’s an event going on here, case in point the Festival Grec de Barcelona.
If you happen to be visiting around a time where there isn’t ana activity happening here, it’s still worth checking out so do leave sometime in your itinerary to explore this amazing part of Barcelona.
2.) Horta Labyrinth
This is one spot that seemed to surprise even the locals in the city but is another secret spot in Barcelona that you absolutely have to visit.
The clue is in the name really – this beautiful green maze is a gorgeous part of Barcelona and one you could easily spend hours in (in my case, probably not by design 😄 – I’m terrible at labyrinths 😆. Remember this one from when we went to Blenheim Palace in Oxford? Was stuck in that for ages! 😆).
It is worth noting that the labyrinth isn’t the only thing here. It’s actually a grand garden that’s centuries-old so is worth setting aside a bit of time on a sunny afternoon to explore it properly.
3.) Church of Saint Philip Neri
This church was already an important part of Barcelona’s history for centuries, however, during the Spanish civil war in the 1930s (1938, to be precise), the church was bombed several times by the Spanish Dictator’s armed forces. Till this day, you can see all the scars on the church exteriors walls from the bombing.
Despite all this heaving bombing (it was actually the second-worst in the war), the church still stood, like it had for centuries. When you’re done taking in the exterior, be sure to head inside the church as well.
4.) Refugi 307 – Underground Bunkers
As mentioned earlier, Barcelona was under attack between 1936 – 1939 ( during the Spanish wars) and as a result, a labyrinth of tunnels were built under the city as a refuge for the citizen of Barcelona when the city came under attack.
Most of them are closed off now but there are still some you can visit, the best one being Refugi 307 in the El Poble-sec neighbourhood of Barcelona (it was one of the largest ones).
It had the capacity to shelter up to 2,000 people and is quite the insight into Barcelona’s history.
5.) Mossèn Costa i Llobera – Cactus Garden
So many visitors to Barcelona have no idea there’s even a cactus garden in the city, let alone one spanning over 6 hectares (60,000 square metres). Now although there are lots of plants to check out here, the real lure here is the cactus garden – home to over 800 types of cacti!
The views from here over the city are also pretty amazing making it one of the best secret spots to visit in Barcelona if you want to get away from the busy city crowds but not have to compromise on a gorgeous view while you’re at it.
You’re bound to find yourself in the Montjuïc area of Barcelona anyway (which is where the garden is) so while you’re here, you might as well pop into Mossèn Costa i Llobera. 😁
6.) Antic Teatre
When you’re done exploring the city, or perhaps if you’re just looking for a break in between your gallivant around Barcelona, Antic Theatre is where you wanna head over to.
Antic Teatre is smack in the city centre so it’s very easy to get to and is something of social space and, I guess more like a bar, with relatively cheap drinks. This means it also doubles as a great place to get to hang out with locals and just sink your teeth (figuratively speaking, of course) into the city.
7.) Carmel Bunkers
I don’t think I can remember why we even visited Carmel Bunkers in the first place. I think it was towards the end of our trip and having seen most of the major sights in Barcelona, we found out about Carmel Bunkers and decided to pop in.
What is it? Well, Carmel Bunkers is actually not a ‘bunker’ per the name. It was, however, used during the Spanish wars for anti-aircraft guns.
It had a bit of a checkered past later on as something of a shantytown in the city, however, these days Carmel Bunkers has been cleaned up, the people living there rehomed and how has one of the best views in Barcelona.
See, from up here, you get a 360 view over Barcelona so be sure to pop by when you’re in Barcelona.