Secret Barcelona: The 13 hidden gems in Barcelona

1. Gardens from Mossèn Costa i Llobera

The cactus is a plant commonly associated with hot climates, like deserts. Who knew that the most important cactus-specialized park in Europe is in Barcelona? Located in one of the sides of the Montjuic Mountain, the Jardin de cactus de Mossèn Costa i Llobera is a beautiful natural space, a botanical reserve of great variety and a terrific viewpoint to see Barcelona. And just a few minutes away from the city.

Jardins Mossèn Costa i Llobera

Image source: Mossèn Costa i Llobera Gardens, Barcelona

2. Parque del Laberinto de Horta

Remember the maze in the movie “The Shining”? Well, the one in the Parque del Laberinto de Horta is as cool as that one without all the creepiness. In this historic park, located at the north part of the city, you will enjoy a walk through its beautiful and leafy gardens, discovering their statues, historic buildings, ponds and its famous maze. Just try not to get lost in this hidden gem of Barcelona!

3. Arús Public Library

The Arús Public Library (Biblioteca masónica Arús), founded in 1895 thanks to Rossend Arús, is a place of knowledge and wisdom. It was built under the motto “the more illustrated the people are, the further they get from absolutism”. Nowadays is one of the biggest information centers about masonry in the world, containing more than 80.000 volumes about the history of this secret society. You will recognize the place because of the reproduction of the Statue of Liberty in the front door.

Arus Public Library

Image source: Arus Public Library, Barcelona

4. Bar Rufián

Located in the Poble-Sec, Rufián is one of the hippest bars in the neighborhood. Not only for its looks (recycled furniture, cool posters and all kinds of pieces of art) or their awesome thematic parties (80’s and 90’s music) but for their delicious homemade cakes and tapas. They even have been awarded for their Pastrami sandwich, that I strongly recommend you go and taste.

5. Refugio antiaéreo 307, Air-raid shelter

Originally known as the “Refugi 307”, this hidden gem in Barcelona was one of the 1.300 bomb shelters built in the city during the Spanish Civil War. In that time, the city was systematically bombed, so the town hall and the local government set in motion the construction of bomb shelters like the 307, which had the capacity for more than 2.000 civilians.

Refugios antiaereos Barcelona

Image source: Air-raid shelter Barcelona

6. Ramen-Ya Hiro

Would you stand in line for 45 minutes for a bowl of ramen? If your answer is no, you don´t know Ya Hiro Ramen. They only have 15 tables, they only have three kinds of ramen and appetizers and they only open for a couple of hours a day. Yet, it’s the most popular ramen joint in town. People usually starts queuing one hour before the opening time, at 8 PM. That’s why even if you get there early, you are going to spend time waiting in line. It’s worthy? Totally. The deliciousness of their Miso Ramen can´t be described in words. You GOT to taste it.

7. Mirador del Turó de la Rovira

A popular viewpoint of the city and a gathering place, not only for tourists but for young people who want to enjoy the 360 degrees views and the natural spaces. From this park you can see with your eyes the two “Barcelonas”: the one in the center, formed by the touristic areas, and the other Barcelona, composed by the neighborhoods that don’t appear in the guide.

Mirador del Turo de la Rovira

Image source: Turo de la Rovira Viewpoint, Barcelona

8. Museum of Carrozas Fúnebres

Are you a hearses fan? Probably not, but if you visit Barcelona you can’t miss this unusual exhibition. Developed in 1970 by the Montjuic Cemetery, this museum displays some of the most beautiful hearses used in the 19th and 20th century Barcelona. From the simple carts used to transport the common folks to the imperial chariots reserved for nobility and bourgeoisie, you will be impressed by one of the oddest museums in Europe.

9. Pont del Bisbe

In the Gothic district, one of the medieval areas of the city, we find a bridge that connects the Palau de la Generalitat (The Catalonian Government Palace) with La Casa dels Canonges. The great mystery of this famous landmark is in the lower part where, if you look closely, you find a skull pierced by a dagger. How did it get there? What does it mean? Nobody knows. So, if you want to be the one that solves the mystery, you better check it out.

Pont del Bisbe

Image source: Pont del Bisbe, Barcelona

10. Bogatell Beach

When tourists want to swim and sunbath, they usually go to La Barceloneta Beach because it’s close from the metro station, adjacent to the neighborhood and the W hotel. And that’s precisely the reason it gets so crowded. So, if you want to have a beach day without having to share a meter square of sand with a hundred people, we recommend you go to Bogatell Beach. It’s ten minutes walking from Barceloneta through the boardwalk, and once you get there you will notice the big difference.

11. Casa de les Punxes Terrace

With more than 600 m2 of extension and inspired in the old Wagnerian castles, this modernist rooftop is a must-see for the architecture fans. Not only because of its historic, architectonic and touristic value, but for its exclusiveness. In reduced groups, you will be allowed to get up to this private terrace to enjoy a great view of Barcelona and taste Champagne and Spanish ham.

Casa de les Punxes

Image source: Casa de les Punxes, Barcelona

12. Weekend Karaoke

There are lots of Karaoke in Barcelona. But, if you want to enjoy an intimate yet cheerful and uplifting atmosphere, very reasonable price for the drinks and a huge list of songs, Weekend Karaoke is for you. Plus, there are two separate lounges, karaoke and club, so even if you are not in the mood of singing, you will have a great time there.

13. Barcelona Comedy Club

Do you like getting your funny bone tickled? Then you can’t miss the Barcelona Comedy Club shows. Amateur and professionals, rookies and veterans, national and international; all kind of comedians get together in different bars during the week to share their hilarious jokes. Comedians that nowadays work on TV started in this underground comedy show, the best in Barcelona. Check their social media for the schedule!

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