Take a stroll around El Gotico
It’s definitely possible to sightsee and relax in Barcelona at the same time. The oldest part of the city, El Gotico is a maze of narrow streets and historic plazas. It’s an area where Gothic churches tower over small shops and cafés and most of the streets are pedestrian only. Try to explore in the morning, when the city is just waking up and before the crowds spill onto the streets. Otherwise, make the most of the golden light by sitting outside a café in one of the plazas.
Have a beach day in Barcelona
Barcelona is a seaside city and its golden beaches are just a ten minute walk from the centre. One of Barcelona’s oldest and most popular beaches is Barceloneta Beach, where the city meets the sea. During the summer, it can be hard to find a free spot on the sand, but you can keep wandering along the promenade until you find a quieter place. Sant Sebastià Beach is equally lovely; it’s a place where rushing around just doesn’t happen and everyone looks content. Nearby restaurants and showers mean that you can spend the whole day there, if you feel like it.
Meditate in Espai Obert
A space for meditation and personal development, Espai Obert takes a non-religious and very open approach to group meditation. The centre holds daily 60-minute meditation sessions, which are €7 for non-members. They also run introductory sessions every Wednesday evening, as well as various retreats. Just remember that instruction will usually be in Spanish. c/ Ribes, Barcelona #24
Picnic in a park
Barcelona has plenty of parks to choose from, so pack a picnic, bring your sunglasses and find a good patch of grass. The Parc de l’Oreneta, an area of urban woodland, is a nature haven. It’s packed with Mediterranean vegetation, including fruit trees and herbs, so it’s a great place to go if you’re looking for somewhere to relax in Barcelona. Walking paths wind through the trees and there are extensive views of the city from higher areas of the park. Carrer de Montevideo, 45, 08034 Barcelona
In north-east Barcelona, Parc del Nus de la Trinitat sits in the middle of a circular motorway junction. Although surrounded by traffic, it was designed to be an escape from the noise and pollution. Protected by a barrier of trees, the park is 6 hectares of peace and greenery. Metro Stop: Trinitat Vella (L1)
Parc de Cervantes is a gorgeous, lush garden in the Pedralbes neighbourhood. In an area known as the Pergola, 10,000 rose bushes are in bloom from April to November. A wander through the multicoloured collection of roses has to be one of the loveliest things to do in Barcelona. Av. Diagonal, 706, 08034, Barcelona
Barcelona is surrounded by hills and walking up them in soaring temperatures mightn’t be for everyone. Taking the cable car up Montjuic Hill means that you get all of the amazing views and none of the heatstroke. As well as being one of the most fun ways to relax in Barcelona, the views out over the city and port are impressive. Montjuic Castle, a 17th century fortress, is perched on the highest point of the hill. It holds regular exhibitions and tickets can be bought from a booth outside. Below the castle are the gardens of Costa i Llobera, which has 800 types of cacti and tree-filled subtropical gardens. Avinguda Miramar, 30, 08038 Barcelona
Explore more cities