5 non-touristy curiosities for Barcelona lovers
April 16, 2019
Small, but infinite. Even after checking all the must-see spots, even if you are visiting the city for the third time, even if you live there! Barcelona always has yet another treasure waiting to be discovered. And the fact that you can get almost everywhere walking makes it even better. This may be one of the multiple reasons for so many people willing to move there after spending a few days in one of Spain’s most famous destination.
So if you have already walked Barcelona up and down and are looking for new strolls, put on comfortable shoes, get a bottle of water: here we go to these five hidden spots.
Caseta de nines del Putxet
What little girl or boy wouldn’t want to have this dollhouse. What adult wouldn’t want it! Well, we don’t have it, that’s life. But you can enjoy this relic that belonged, in the 1860s, to the privileged kids of a privileged family.
Covered by different tiles, the tiny house surprises the visitors with a cheerful mix of colors and an inspiring antique feeling. If you look through the windows you get to see the miniature bathroom, kitchen, and rooms. Unfortunately, people who forgot their inner child (and manners) have vandalized the place. As a result, the interior looks a bit like a horror movie set. Anyway, the original spirit and delicacy can still be appreciated. The uniqueness of this scene is enriched by the view of the city going down to the sea.
The Caseta de nines is located in El Putxet i el Farró neighborhood. On Carrer de la Costa.
Tip: after climbing all the way up to this point you can also enjoy the Parc del Turó del Putxet. It is a few steps from the dollhouse and from there you can enjoy panoramic views of Barcelona without hundreds of cameras around.
Carrer de Sant Josep Cottolengo
Nature is the inspiration for most of Gaudí‘s amazing buildings, that have become Barcelonian icons. You can feel it in the shapes, details and in the way his pieces blend with their natural surroundings. “Everything comes from the great book of nature” is a well-known quote from this famous Catalan architect. What is less known is the path which tributes this concept near one of the entrances of Park Güell.
Throughout its gray curves, the cement is interrupted by openwork sheet metal with this phrase, each of them in a different language. The passage borders the Cottolengo del Padre Alegre and is called, predictably, Carrer de Sant Josep Cottolengo.
It is one of the less known accesses to Park Güell and its tranquility is a refuge that will be really appreciated in this touristic area.
Tip: you might choose this walk on your way down from the Park Güell since the uphill to get there may feel heavier than other streets.
A 360º passage at Can Baró
The fantasy of feeling local in this incredible lookout of Barcelona is over. The Bunkers del Carmel, on the top of Turó de la Rovira, became a meeting point for tourists. Every sunset is received with drinks, picnics, more cameras than eyes and music that has replaced the silence that suited perfectly this viewpoint. It’s still worth it. No doubt about it. But it is good to know this beforehand so you are not disappointed when you arrive (although for many this is a reason for joy rather than disappointment, of course).
There are many ways to get up there and unless you go by the Carrer de Marià Labèrnia of the Can Baró neighborhood, you will miss this super special street. Privileged neighbors who, while they enjoy the morning coffee or the afternoon vermouth, can yawn to one side and see the ocean, then stretch to the other side and smile at the mountains. Even with a bottle of water and from the street, you will be really grateful to enjoy their hidden luck.
Tip: you can reach this spot late in the afternoon and enjoy the sunset and the city lights starting to light up from this unique viewpoint.
Carrer de la Riera de Sant Miquel
When a local lovely spot is not around the corner, it’s because it is the corner itself. That’s how close the magic of Barcelona can be, especially in the neighborhood of Gracia, where you can see this sort of tiny Flatiron building.
Small, earthy colored, perfectly imperfect like so many parts of this city. Next time you are walking around Gracia, you can check this rustic and happy triangle in the corner where Carrer de Sant Gabriel and Carrer de la Riera de Sant Miquel meet.
Tip: since there are banks and schools in the area, Sundays are better to get a quiet look at this building and its surroundings.
A rainbow you can climb
Taking new paths is always rewarding when walking in Barcelona. Labyrinthine Montjuic is special for that. One day, walking by the Avenue of Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia, you can decide to discover where those stairs hiding behind a tree can take you.
At first, it may not seem very appealing. But as you climb the steps you come across a rainbow that accompanies you without asking for anything. What is waiting for you at the end of this rainbow? Neither a leprechaun nor a pot of gold: the esplanade of the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (National Museum of Catalan visual art). Not bad at all.
Tip: choose a sunny day to go and enjoy the powerful brightness of each color.
Keep walking and don’t forget to look up
For sure, in your way to these places, you will come across more. Not only buildings, lookouts and streets but also an unexpected scene, a funny character, a street show, a refuge surrounded by nature… And that is not just for Barcelona. Every place you walk by, even your home town, can surprise you every day if you take the time to stop, breathe and look around.