From sprawling open spaces and forests to veritable labyrinths of foliage to dazzling botanical gardens, Barcelona is a dream for anyone who likes a little nature mixed in with the city entertainments. Over 1,300 acres of parklands within the city limits offers a paradise of places to wander, picnic, or soak up some sun and fresh air. Our little guide brings you the cream of the crop of Barcelona’s great gardens and parks.
Sprawling down the hill that shares its name, the park of Montjuïc offers enough tranquility and natural beauty to make it easy to forget the rest of the city. All the while, it provides some of the most stunning panoramic views, vibrant architectural structures, theatres, sports centres, pavilions, and the breathtaking Magic Fountain.
Thanks to the construction efforts inspired by the 1929 World’s Fair and the Olympic Games of 1992, this park has grown into an ideal location for everyone in your group.
Insider Tip: Take the funicular to the top of the hill—it’s free with a metro pass and a one-of-a-kind way to see the city.
Parc de l’Espanya Industrial
Once the site of a textile mill, the Parc de l’Espanya Industrial now seamlessly blends architectural cunning with natural serenity. Nine towers and an enormous sculpture of a dragon—which doubles as a slide for children—stand sentinel over the park that welcomes you to relax.
The grassy expanses are great for children and family picnics away from the bustle of the city, while the sculptures from the 1929 World’s Fair provide interesting sights for art-lovers.
Insider Tip: Try hiring a boat to make for perfect family fun or a quirky romantic afternoon.
A must for architecture aficionados, Parc Güell was designed by the renowned Antoni Gaudí and is one of the largest architectural works in Europe.
Its whimsical, Dr. Seuss-like design will delight adults and children alike and is blended with trees and lush foliage.
A uniquely dreamlike place, it encourages you to explore and was classified a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Climbing to the top of the hill will reward you with breathtaking views of the entire city and the bay.
Insider tip: Keep an eye out for parrots, which, though not native to Barcelona, have often been sighted in the park.
Parc de la Ciutadella
No visit to Barcelona is complete without spending a lazy day in this dazzling park. Another of Barcelona’s oldest, the romance of its history is found in its boating lake, waterfalls, and fountains.
The Barcelona Zoo, housed within the park, is ideal for children, while its natural history museums and the parks own pas as a former fortress attract history buffs. The grassy spaces dotted with groves of trees and beds of flowers makes it perfect for a midday picnic.
Insider tip: Don’t miss the Hivernacle, a stunning iron and glass greenhouse that dates from the late 19th century. There’s a delightful café inside.