Top Things To Do in Barcelona: Outdoor Adventures

With the sea, the mountains and green spaces, there are plenty of options should you choose to spend your time outdoors in Barcelona. There's an enviable coastline, with a stretch of sandy beaches close to the city center—and the area of Barceloneta and Port Olympic showcase how much this region has improved with extensive development and regeneration

There are green spaces galore, especially at Parc de la Ciutadella on the city's edge, the "lungs of Barcelona" which also houses the zoo. Closer to the center is Park Guell, where Gaudi's undulating, mosaic creations and sculptures blend into the natural environment. 

To get an overview of the city, you could jump into a Teleferico to whizz you up to Montjuic. At the top of this hill you can enjoy the "Spanish Village" El Poble Espanyol and, at night, the enchanting Font Magica de Montjuic.

And, if you still have time, you can take an even more dramatic journey to Montserrat, with a cable-car taking you to the hilltop monastery, a popular pilgrimage place. It's certainly a world away from the big city. 

Parc de la Ciutadella

The city’s best-loved and most central park contains a pretty boating lake, an over-the-top fountain (Cascada) designed by Josep Fontseré—with the help of Gaudí— plus shady bench-lined paths and Barcelona’s Zoo

Park Güell

An emblem of the city, Park Güell is lifted straight from a fairy tale. The entrance pavilions have swirling rooftops and windows, and the glistening tile-covered dragon at the main staircase is the city’s unofficial mascot.

Barceloneta Beach

The city’s seven beaches stretch for miles and you can do everything from hiring a tandem and cycling along the boardwalk to taking a siesta down on the sand. The traditional old fishermen’s neighbourhood of Barceloneta is still the best place to find great seafood tapas.

Estadi Olímpic

Opened in 1929 for the Barcelona Universal Exposition, this was redeveloped for the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. You can take a tour of the stadium and the surrounding park.

Montserrat

This hilltop monastery, around 56km northwest of Barcelona, is an important pilgrimage site in Spain. The main attraction is the medieval statue of La Morenta (the black virgin), Catalonia’s patron saint. The basilica is open daily, with regular recitals by the Escolania boys’ choir.

Zoo de Barcelona

This 32-acre site is home to some 300 species of animals, from elephants and hippos to a Komodo dragon. There's also a farm section for more hands-on fun. Open daily from 10am; please check for closing times (changes depending on season). Adult €19.90; child 3-12 €11.95; under 3 free.

Port Olímpic

Barcelona’s beaches and seafront were given a multimillion dollar facelift for the 1992 Olympics. The glistening Port Olímpic is packed with bars, restaurants and shops, all overlooked by swish new urban developments and Frank Gehry’s shimmering copper fish.

Poble Espanyol

The "Spanish Village" was built for the 1929 Universal Exhibition and is enjoyably kitsch, with an Andalucian market square, reconstructed village streets from all over Spain, and the Torres d’Avila, copied from the Castillian town. There are craft 
shops, restaurants and flamenco shows. Open daily; please check for times.

Teleferico de Barcelona

The cable car runs between the port and Miramar, on the slopes of Montjuic. The route takes approximately 10 minutes. Single €11; return €16.50.

Tibidabo

At 512m high, Mt Tibidabo is Barcelona’s "mountain of fun". It is topped with an old-fashioned funfair, which opened in 1908 and has had a series of new rides added from the 1980s to the present day, such as high-tech rollercoasters and stomach-churning free-fall rides.