Last Updated: 23/10/2017
The cosmopolitan city of Barcelona is not only home to amazing Mediterranean beaches, awe-inspiring architecture and winding, historical streets. You may be surprised to know that 10% of the Catalan capital is made up of lush, green parks where many a visitor can escape the hustle and bustle of Barcelona’s busy city center. Whether you’re in search of the perfect patch of grass for a picnic or a different Gaudí experience, these top 5 parks in Barcelona are a must for anyone looking for a tranquil day out in the city.
Park Güell in Barcelona is an outdoor haven offering visitors an unbridled look at the period when this famous architect was arguably most inspired by animal and naturalist themes. Upon entry, you might feel like you have stepped into an alternate world of color and open spaces, much different from other areas of the city. Here, mosaics made of broken, glazed ceramic tiles can be seen across the park while animal figures like dogs and snakes can be spotted – although they are sometimes a little hidden – around every corner.
Be sure to stroll past the famous dragon fountain which leads to the Sala Hipòstila. Originally intended to be a marketplace, this area is now home to 86 grand columns that support the public square above. Don’t miss your chance to sit on the famous mosaic benches in Park Güell, too, from where breathtaking views of the city await!
How to get there: Vallcarca (L3) or El Coll/ La Teixonera (L5)
2. Parc del Laberint d’Horta –Lose Yourself
Situated on the outskirts of the city, the Parc del Laberint d’Horta is the oldest garden in Barcelona and a green gem often left unexplored by many visitors to the Catalan capital. A trip to the Labyrinth Park in Barcelona is ideal for families visiting Barcelona, as the maze from which it takes its name offers plenty of fun for the kids, while you can soak up the views from the terrace overlooking the park. The garden is also home to turtles and geese, making it an all-round natural sanctuary and a great place to visit if you’re looking for some quiet time in Barcelona.
How to get there: Mundet (L3)
3. Parc de la Ciutadella – Historic Haven
One of the largest green spaces in Barcelona and a former military citadel, the Parc de la Ciutadella in Barcelona definitely has something for everyone. Whether you choose to enjoy a picnic on the grass, row a boat on the lake or head over to the Barcelona Zoo, the Ciutadella Park is the perfect place for families, couples and groups of friends to spend a day in a more tranquil part of the city.
Don’t miss your chance to see the waterfall in the park, designed by Josep Fontseré for the Universal Exhibition in 1888, and be sure to make your way to the Arc de Triomf, located just outside the park on the tree-lined Passeig Lluis Companys. You can also explore the glass house and the beautiful plant house, as well as discover some quirky sculptures like that of the giant mammoth.
How to get there: Arc de Triomf (L1) or Villa Olímpica (L4)
4. Parc de Joan Miró – An Artistic Viewpoint
This Barcelona park is a tribute to the surrealist imagination of none other than Joan Miró, and despite the fact that this area was once a municipal slaughterhouse, this large urban park now plays host to a wide variety of events and activities. The lower level is landscaped with pine, palm and fragrant eucalyptus trees and plenty of colorful flowers, especially during the spring and summer months. The upper level of the Joan Miró Park in Barcelona is paved and is home to one of Miró’s last sculptures, entitled ‘Dona i Ocell’ (Woman and Bird).
How to get there: Tarragona (L3)
5. Parc de Montjuïc – Astonishing City Views
Montjuïc in Barcelona may be best remembered as the venue for the 1992 Olympics, but the park that occupies a vast area of this hill is also home to green spaces, beautiful gardens, museums and cultural centers like the MNAC and the Botanical Gardens. For those looking to avoid the crowds at Plaza España, we recommend heading to the Montjuïc Castle in Barcelona. Not only can you explore this historic fortress, but you can also lose yourself in the serenity and breathtaking beauty of the city atop this hill where incredible 360º views of Barcelona await.
How to get there: Bus 150 from Plaza Espanya to Castell de Montjuïc or Paral-lel Metro (L2 or L3) to the Montjuïc Funicular
So, whether you wish to get an up-close look at some of Gaudí’s most famous works, get lost in a real-life labyrinth, or simply enjoy a picnic with friends, these top parks in Barcelona are well worth checking-out and make for a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.