26 January 2022

9 hidden gems of Barcelona

1. Rec Comtal in Vallbona

The Torre Baró-Vallbona neighborhood is where you'll find the only outdoor section of the old Rec Comtal, an irrigation canal built in the 10th century as a Roman aqueduct. It covered 12 kilometers and supplied water to the walled city and orchards on the plain of Barcelona. A walk through the medieval past of the city.

2. Church of the Pure Conception

The Església de la Puríssima Concepció, in Carrer d'Aragó, was built in the 13th century as a convent for nuns in today's Via Laietana. But when the city was rebuilt in the 19th century, the church and monastery had to be dismantled and moved to their new location, block by block. The 14th century monastery has two levels with galleries and a unique garden.

3. Placa d'Osca

In the past, Plaça d'Osca was the site of the bustling Sants. That's probably why it retains its lively, folk spirit: it's a meeting place for locals. The square, closed to traffic and overgrown with trees, is surrounded by all kinds of bars. Its terraces are in high demand for drinks before lunch and on breezy summer evenings.

4. Convent de Sant Agustí

The Gothic cloister and part of the building are all that remain of the old Sant Agustí monastery, which dates back to the 14th century. It was demolished to make a barracks, after the siege of 1714. Now restored, it is a busy place for sophisticated travelers, hidden under the arches of the monastery, there is a bar with a great terrace to have a drink!

5. Plaça de la Concòrdia

Anyone who is in Plaça de la Concòrdia realizes that Les Corts was a city and this was its central square. Closed to traffic, it is surrounded by 18th and 19th century buildings, and there are even some period shops. The gem of the neighborhood is the Modernista mansion, Can Deu, with a fantastic landscaped courtyard.

6. Plaça de Sant Gaietà

If it weren't for the fact that there is no fence blocking access, one would think Plaça de Sant Gaietà was a private patio. A tiny public square, covered in red tiles and surrounded by flowers and bougainvillea. The people who live in the ten houses around are privileged. This romantic spot is known locally as el Raconet, the little corner.

7. Plaça de les Santes Creus

In the 16th century the urban center of the small town of Horta developed around this square. At the beginning of the 20th century, when Horta was annexed by Barcelona, an exact copy of the Font de Canaletes was built on the Rambla which still flows today in the Plaça de les Santes Creus. Surrounded by low houses and with plenty of shade under its trees, a great place to relax on a sunny afternoon.

8. Plaça de Masadas

Plaça de Masadas, in the heart of La Sagrera, was built in the late 19th century and is one of the few arcaded squares still left in the city. For much of the last century there was a covered market there, but it was demolished in the 1990s and the square reopened to the public as it is today. On the first Sunday of every month there is a wonderful market selling old toys.

 9. Plaça de Prim

Plaça de Prim has the oldest houses you can find in Poblenou, a neighborhood with a maritime past. In the past years it was inhabited by fishermen. The square is simple but charming, with three ombu trees, a fountain and only one restaurant that, needless to say, cooks seafood. A quiet retreat in the middle of the city.