Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, Casa Milla.. Sure, when you are in Barcelona for the first time, you naturally want to see these masterpieces. And if you have more time, or if it’s not your first discovery of the city? Here are two tips, which I guess, are sometimes forgotten. My two hidden gems and my favorites Barcelona spots..
1. BEST VIEW
.. Bunkers del Carmel
“Better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times.” So let’s enjoy the sunset on this hilltop hideaway. With a glass of wine or with some bread and olives. It’s the place where you’ll experience the beautiful 360° view of the city.. You are on top of Turo de la Rovira hill with an altitude of 262 m.
GoodToKnow: During the Spanish Civil War, an anti-aircraft battery was built here to protect the city from the fascists’ attacks. Before the Olympic Games in 1992 in Barcelona, the government wanted to clean up the city. They decided to rehouse all the residents living around this area. The city provided them with flats and the area stayed completely inhabited. Now you find here a small so-called museum with few boards explaining the history and the story of Bunkers del Carmel.
JustToKnow: If you use Metro, exit on Guinardó Hospital de Sant Pau stop and follow the path through the Parc del Guinardó to the top. If you prefer to go by bus, take bus no. 22 to the last stop (Pl Mitja Lluna) and walk more or less 10 minutes onto the top of the hill.
Bunkers del Carmel / MUHBA – Colina de la Rovira: Carrer de Marià Labèrnia, s/n, 08032 Barcelona
2. BEST HISTORICAL SIGHT
.. Sant Pau Recinte Modernista
Hospital. 600-year-long history. The largest Art Nouveau complex in the world.
What is most beautiful at this huge complex? The idea behind it; To cheer up the patients with the beauty of the complex. The leading architect of Catalan Modernisme, Lluis Domènech i Montaner, wanted to create an environment which would be healing. Maybe more than all the medications and doctors’ help. Gardens with trees, sculptures, stained glass, colors, mosaics..
It was raining while we were here, but still, the colors and the details of the pavilions were shining. Buildings are connected with underground passages, so you can walk underneath the gardens. There is an exhibition, where you can see how the hospital looked like in the past. Few of the pavilions are closed for public and are used for medical purposes even nowadays.
GoodToKnow: Sant Pau Hospital was built between 1902 and 1930. It was fully functional until 2009. Then it underwent restoration and since 2014 is opened for public as a museum and cultural center. It was awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO in 1997.
GoodToKnow: Every first Sunday of the month, there is a free entrance. Otherwise, the ticket costs €14 for a self-guided visit and €19 for a guided visit. Between November and March, it opens at 9:30 and closes at 17:00 (Monday to Saturday). April till October closes at 19:00 (Monday to Saturday). Be careful – on Sundays and holidays it closes all year at around 15:00 (Actual information 2019).
JustToKnow: Sant Pau Hospital is bordering the Sagrada Familia neighborhood. If you use public transport to get here, take Metro (L5 Sant Pau / Dos de Maig) or one of the buses: H8, 19, 20, 45, 47, 50, 51, 92, 117, 192.
Isn’t it beautiful? Although it was dark and rainy?
If you are more into food and good wine, read my blog post with the tips for The best foodie spots in Barcelona. Tapas are waiting!