5 Overrated things to do in Barcelona

1 - View of Barcelona from Tibidabo and Montjuic

Tibidabo and the Montjuic cable cars are often thought of as the go-to places when it comes to getting the best view of Barcelona. However, neither of these sights really give you that breath-taking experience or exceptional holiday snap to remember fondly afterwards.

Where to find the best view in Barcelona?

After you have settled into one of our apartments in Barcelona, the questions is what to do first? To see the best 360° view of Barcelona you must keep going to the more remote setting of the Carmel Bunkers. The location has a remarkable history, due to its significance during the Civil War and with breath-taking views, a trip here is essential. Bill Sinclair from the blog Spotted by Locals believes that it "is the very best spot in the city to get the very best eyeful" and we would have to agree.

Uitzicht over Barcelona vanaf de Carmel Bunkers

2 - A day by the sea in Barceloneta

Many people flock to Barcelona every year to soak up a bit of sun by the glorious beaches on offer. However due to this fact many of the central beaches become crowded and jam-packed with sun worshippers making the experience all very lacklustre.

Escape from the masses...

Take the path less travelled and discover some of Barcelona's hidden beaches, where you can chill back without the stress and discomfort of the masses. There are so many beautiful beaches to retreat to in Barcelona and our Waytostay tip is to head to Garraf Beach where you can enjoy a tranquil sanctuary away from the masses. Although not positioned slap bang in the middle of Barcelona, at only 15 minutes from the city by train, it is well worth the venture south to refresh in some peaceful silence in Garraf.

Het strand van Garraf vlakbij Barcelona

3 - A splash of Sangria?

Looking to try some Spanish delicacies and searching for a sweet tipple to compliment your meal, many will no doubted reach for overpriced Sangria as they take a breather on La Rambla. However, if you really want to blend in with the locals, then this is not the drink and location for you.

Tuck in like the locals...

If you want to dine like one of the locals, instead of sangria you must sample some local Vermouth as you dig into some delicious tapas. Experience the real Barcelona by venturing through the winding cobblestone streets that give the city so much character to find that true gem to spend the afternoon in. Ben Holbrook from the blog Driftwood Journals recommends Bormuth as perfect for "Sip on vermouth, people watch and nibble on a selection of delicious tapas dishes!" There are so many diamonds waiting to be discovered in the hidden alcoves of the city and your hard work will always be rewarded.

Bar Bormuth in El Born Barcelona

4 - Searching for GaudÍ?

No visit to Barcelona would be complete without seeing some of Gaudí's finest masterpieces. However, due to this fact many attractions suffer from overcrowding and pricing, a recent problem for buildings such as Casa Batlló and La Pedrera.

Architectural hidden gems...

Gaudí has so many fascinating creations, the most famous of these being the Sagrada Familia. The tour itself can be quite expensive; however the view from the outside is always free, so well worth a visit to when in the area. For many Barcelona is only about Gaudí, however why not see the work of one of Barcelona's overlooked icons Lluís Domènech I Montaner with a trip to the exquisite Hospital de Sant Pau and be prepared to be blown away by the sheer beauty on display. Ingeborg Koedijk from Barcelonainfo recommends seeing "one of the greatest and largest pieces of the Art Nouveau movement" by visiting the hospital, something we couldn't couldn't agree more with. An apprentice of Gaudí, his wisdom can be seen in his apprentice's work with an additional flair making Hospital de Sant Pau and Palau de la Música Catalana exceptional pieces to behold.

Palau de la Musica in Barcelona

5 - Shopping in the tourist hot spots

Shopaholics often flock to La Rambla and Passeig de Gràcia for a spot of shopping in some of Barcelona's biggest names, amongst the hustle and bustle of the inner city. Or if they are looking for an experience a little quirkier then they go for a rummage round Encants market. Unfortunately, we don't believe it lives up to its reputation with car boot finds and worn out items more at home here than the rare gems you might have been hoping for.

A more charming experience...

To get away from the tourist hotspots and shop in a more authentic environment, the beautiful, winding streets of Gràcia are perfect. Gràcia is the spot to go with streets such as Carrer de Bonavista and Carrer del Torrent de l'Olla ensuring that you will never come back empty handed when you shop in glorious Gràcia. If the market scene is more for you then follow the locals to find the best buys. The monthly craft market of Palo Alto is an exceptional find, described by our trusted Barcelona owner Nadía Gómez as "the perfect spot to discover something original and to enjoy great food and drinks!" Other marvellous finds include the LostandFound Market, Fantàstic Market and Flea Market, ensuring that whatever your tastes may be, that there is something for everyone and an experience you will never forget!

Palo Alto markt in Barcelona


Looking to learn more?

If you have any questions about this article or want more information about Waytostay, don't hesitate in contacting us!

Feel like a city trip?

Check our selection of city guides below for more tips