7 best hidden gems in Barcelona


Barcelona is known throughout the world for its unique architecture, fashion, and beautiful weather along the northern Spanish Mediterranean coastline. However, beyond the normal tourist attractions and sights, you’ll discover a number of hidden gems tucked away from most visitors. From secrets bars to breathtaking hotels, with a city as old as Barcelona you’ll discover a secret world, if you just know where to look. Here are seven of the secret hidden gems in Barcelona you absolutely must check out during your next visit.

Bunkers of Carmel

Also known as Bunkers del Carmel, these are hidden bunkers that were built into the mountainside and served as anti-aircraft fortifications used during the Spanish Civil War in 1938. While the cannons have since been removed, you will have the perfect panorama view of the entire city and even the sea beyond. This is one spot you’ll want to make sure you bring your camera for. If you’re an early riser, strap on your best hiking shoes and head out to see the sunrise for a more intimate experience that isn’t crowded with tourists.

Labyrinth Park of Horta

Whether in children’s literature or in movies, you’ve likely seen these picturesque hedge mazes. The original corn maze, Labyrinth Park of Horta has been entertaining guests since 1791. It is a fun-filled maze and also brimming with history that you can learn about on the grounds of this unique location. However, if you do decide to come out here make sure you do so early. Only 750 visitors are allowed into the park per day to help maintain its beauty.

Gelarto Rosa

Maybe hiking through a maze isn’t your style. Perhaps snacking on delicious gelato is? Gelarto Rosa is a local “chain” of gelaterias where you’ll be served scoops of the frozen treat shaped like beautiful, colorful roses. The snack alone is worth a picture so, whether you’re going for a refreshing bite or just for an Instagram post, you’ll find this spot to be worthy of coming back to (or maybe another one of its other locations in Europe).

El Paradiso

Yes, you read that right. It’s a speakeasy that you enter through a freezer door. This is one bar that looks like it’s out of a Stanley Kubrick movie. When you arrive at the Patrami Bar, make your way down to this iconic watering hole. We can’t expose too much information as this was meant to be a secret, after all. You’ll just have to see for yourself why this made the list of the best hidden gems in Barcelona.

Bo de B

You’ll probably be hungry after a day of sightseeing and exploring the city and there is no shortage of fantastic restaurants in Barcelona. This not-so-fancy, hole in the wall spot will serve up one of the best sandwiches in Spain and beyond. Sample their small plates or gorge yourself with a massive baguette sandwich that’ll soon become the best you’ve ever (and will ever) eat. Don’t be fooled by the appearance of this location from the outside, the food is high-quality and fresh. Just as your mom always said, don’t judge a book by its cover!

El Bombon

Looking to dance like a local while soaking up Caribbean music? El Bombon is a refreshing combination of Spanish style and Caribbean flair. Listen to the live band while sipping on one of their out-of-this-world Caribbean cocktails. You might even forget that you’re not in the islands. Dance the night away at this lesser-known club and enjoy some of their late-night snacks after your feet tire.

Ayre Hotel

You will come to Ayre Hotel not specifically for the beds (although you can), but for the spectacular view of Sagrada Familia and sangria from the rooftop bar. It offers the very best view of the city. So book a stay here, or just swing by for an afternoon cocktail to enjoy spectacular views of the city and architecture of the 17th-century temple.

These are seven hidden gems in Barcelona many who visit tend to miss. In fact, many who live in the city don’t even know about these locations. So from sneaking into bars tucked away in freezers to incredible views of this historic city, the next time you find yourself in Barcelona make sure to stop by each of these destinations. You’ll be glad you did.

Shawn Boyer is the Co-founder and Creative Director of Anatomie. Anatomie is a luxury travel clothing brand worn by travelers across the globe.

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Comments (7)

  1. Dave says:

    I’m a big fan of Barcelona the city and also Barcelona the football team. I reckon that I manage to get to a game at the Nou Camp around about every other season.

    As I’ve ticked off most of Barcelona’s Top 20 sights by now it is great to have a new list to work my way through.

    Not that I ever need much of an excuse to visit what is probably one of my favourite European cities.

  2. Louise Anderson says:

    Aww it’s a shame I never knew Labyrinth Park of Horta existed, I would definitely have liked to have gone there when I was in Barcelona last year. Although saying that, I bet there’s a push to get in if it’s restricted to 750 per day. It’s a good idea though to keep it pristine. Do you need to book tickets prior to going then? There were a lot of gelaterias to choose from when I was there, they seem very popular. Grabbing a drink at a rooftop bar is definitely worthwhile, that I would recommend as it gives you a new perspective on the amazing architecture all around. I didn’t go to the Ayre Hotel but if that overlooks the Sagrada Familia then I’m sure the view would be excellent. I was amazed at the expanse of the place and just how incredibly busy is was, just packed with people during the summer season.

  3. Pete says:

    You’ve really grabbed my curiosity with El Paradiso. Entering through a freezer door is so intriguing. Often a whispered “Sshh keep it quiet,” secret is far more successful than a full blown in your face marketing campaign.

  4. Gary Childerly says:

    These may be 7 hidden gems in Barcelona. Though good to see that your lead in picture is a Gaudi reminder. Wherever you are in Barcelona you can’t ignore Gaudi. For so many people his original creativity is the spirit of Barcelona.

  5. Grace says:

    I’m very proud of my Insta account but I never do food. The Gelarto Rosa looks brilliant but do you really think that I’m going to stop to photograph it? No way I’d just start devouring it. Pretty colours and looking delicious but ice-cream is for eating not art.

  6. Paul Y. says:

    Some of these are really hidden and that’s coming from someone who already went to Barcelona. Well, I’ve heard of the maze but wasn’t able to experience it because of limited time and the talks of how it’s hard to get in. But I would definitely go next time I get to visit.

  7. Sophie says:

    Barcelona is my most favorite city in the world ! I have tried El Paradiso and Bo de B. Will surely adding the remaining ones in my next visit.

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