Barcelona is the perfect mix of urban sprawl and coastal retreat, ideal for holidaymakers who are seeking the best of both worlds. With Spain now on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) list of “quarantine-free” countries for all England, Wales and Northern Ireland eager travellers might be looking to book their next trip to the city.
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Whether you are heading to Barcelona for the first time, or you are returning for a second or third visit, why not beat the crowds of tourists and spend some time exploring one of these lesser-visited hotspots?
Take an elevator up the Columbus Column
Though you may have noticed the Columbus Column located in the city centre by Barceloneta Beach, you may not have truly explored the statue.
While it may look like a simple monument, the column actually houses a hidden elevator which visitors can ride right to the top.
From the top of the monument take in stunning aerial views of the metropolis – the perfect spot for a unique photo moment.
The cost to ride the elevator is roughly €5.40, and the awe-inspiring views are priceless.
Watch the sunset from Bunkers del Carmen lookout
If you are still on the hunt for some picture-perfect views, why not take a stroll to this hilltop hideaway dubbed “the best Barcelona viewpoint” by Barcelonahacks.com.
The area, though slowly becoming more known amongst tourists, is a local favourite and an idyllic spot to watch the sunset.
The Bunkers were once home to an Iberian settlement and later an agricultural base of vineyards and almond trees, before being transformed into a series of bunkers and gun platforms during the Spanish Civil War.
These days, it’s a much more relaxing hangout.
Though there is a climb to the top of the 257-metre high viewpoint, the scenery from above is worth the physical exertion.
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Be stunned by architecture at Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site
Barcelona is famed for its artistic architecture throughout, with Gaudi fans flocking every year.
However, if you’re looking to avoid the crowds of Casa Battlo and Sagrada Familia, why not visit the Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site?
Surprisingly, this UNESCO world heritage site was actually once a hospital, and now visitors can take a tour of the space.
On occasion, you might even be lucky enough to catch a live musical performance taking place in one of its intricately designed pavilions.
Self-guided tours cost €14, meanwhile a visit with a guide costs €16.
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Treat yourself at Mercado de la Boqueria
Mercado de la Boqueria is a bustling food market home to local vendors and a number of mini restaurants.
While you may be used to the traditional tapas bars of the city centre, why not grab a casual bite from one of the market’s bustling and get a taste of local living?
Since 1836 the market has been home to more than 200 traders and offers everything from fresh fish to mouth-watering smoothies.
The market is open from 8:00am until 8:30pm at night, Monday through to Saturday, meaning you can enjoy the delights all the way through to the sunset.
Beat the crowds at Casa Vicens
Another architectural wonder and stunning museum often missed by tourists is Casa Vicens.
The colourful building is one of the first works of Antoni Gaudi and has since been transformed into a museum.
Rich is Gaudi’s modernist style, the building is just north of the city centre, and doesn’t require a car to get there.
Visits start at €16, or €19.50 with a guide.
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