Where the locals go in Barcelona

Spotted By Locals
March 13, 2020
4 min read

Since 1990 tourism to Barcelona increased about tenfold. If you read about tourism in Barcelona in the newspapers (How tourism is killing Barcelona, The AirBnb invisian in Barcelona) it seems the situation is terrible. And it is, in some places.

So is it even possible to visit Barcelona and not be surrounded by fellow tourists everywhere you go? Yes, these are the types of spots our locals love and write about!

All our locals are required to check their articles every few months. If a spot becomes too “touristy” and our locals don’t like visiting it anymore, they will take it offline. On Spotted by Locals Barcelona – and in our app –  you shouldn’t find any out of date tips but only spots that are cool to visit today!

If you use Spotted by Locals and visit these spots (or even better – our locals’ recommendations in cities where few tourists go!) you’ll help combat overtourism.

Here’s just a few of the local jewels our Barcelona locals love:

Portal Miralles – A rare Gaudí gem

Portal Miralles Barcelona
Portal Miralles Barcelona (by Cristòfor Rosique)

No, you don’t have to visit the Sagrada Familia or the über-touristy Park Guell to view Gaudí’s masterpieces in Barcelona! We dare you to skip both…

“Many people (also many Barcelonins) do not know that Gaudí was responsible for some hidden gems around the city. Portal Miralles is a huge 8 meter high arch, complete with wavy wall and trencadís, topped with a wrought-iron cross that seems to appear out of nowhere… “—Cristòfor Rosique Bird

Nau Bostik – An edgy events space

Nau Bostik Barcelona
Nau Bostik Barcelona (by Ilse de Ridder)

Barcelona is packed with leftovers from the Industrial Revolution. Many become trendy quickly! Nau Bostik, in the La Sagrera neighbourhood, is not as well known but it’s  an awesome example of how Barcelona is converting industrial leftovers into contemporary cultural centres. Located in an old glue factory, Nau Bostik is an open space that it’s used for social and cultural activities for the neighbourhood. And much more!

Carrer Mariá Aguiló – Hang out with the locals

Mariá Aguiló street Barcelona
Carrer Mariá Aguiló Barcelona (by Carlos Domeque)

“Unlike the better known Rambla Poblenou, Carrer Marià Aguilo offers a glimpse into the heart and the soul of a still traditional Barcelona barri or neighborhood. The businesses are all independent, ranging from one of the best fish mongers in town to an organic parfumier, haberdashers and grocers who know their customers by name.”—Carlos Domeque

Bar Cerveceria Acuari – Cheapest bar in the city?

Acuari, Bar – Cerveceria Barcelona
Acuari, Bar – Cerveceria Barcelona (by Andia Ago)

Euro 1.20 for a beer in Barcelona, in a very central neighborhood with few tourists? Yes, it’s possible!

“It is a simple bar, it is not pretty nor does it have any cool decor but it is really comfortable. Somehow you can always find a spot to sit outside… The prices are so cheap that me and my friends call it the cheapest bar in Barcelona.”—Andia Ago

Palau Robert – A hidden place to chill out

Palau Robert Barcelona (by Haarland Sinclair)

“The area around the Palau Robert building is a really good year-round spot to chill out. Given its location at the junction of Passeig de Gracìa and Diagonal it’s surprisingly quiet and peaceful.

During the summer, the garden, with its little parakeets, is a great place to cool off, maybe have a packed lunch, pretend to read a book, or just hang for a while. In the evening the garden and pavilion may come alive with music, laughter, discussion and debate.”—Bill Sinclair

Bar 7 – Heaven amongst tourist traps

Bar 7 Barcelona
Bar 7 Barcelona (by Tatiana Martinez)

“You know that feeling you have when you are walking around a very touristic area and you just think to yourself “I wish I could find a local little spot to get away from all these tourist traps”? This is exactly Bar 7. This hidden bar is located in the heart of Barri Gotic, literally some alleys away from the famous Plaça Real.”—Tatiana Martinez

Fábrica Lehmann – A secret in Eixample’s heart

Fábrica Lehmann Barcelona
Fábrica Lehmann Barcelona (by Gina Xifra)

Fábrica Lehmann (Lehmann Factory) is located in a hidden patio in the middle of Eixample. You would probably never cross the main door to arrive to the charming patio, unless someone tells you about it. This hidden spot is a creative space that brings together around twenty artisans and creative entrepreneurs.”—Gina Xifra


More Barcelona tips? Check our Barcelona local guide and app!

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