Last year Barcelona hit a new record with the number of tourists visiting the city coming in at 7,390,777 tourists! That's over 4 times the population of the city. So when you're on the tourist route in the Catalan Capital, one thing that you probably won't feel while surrounded by the masses of tourists is the authenticity of the city. One way to stay in total authenticity is to rent Barcelona accommodation in the form of apartments.
One also needs some peace and quiet from time to time. That's not to say that you shouldn't visit all the famous landmarks like La Sagrada Familia, and Park Güell, but rather that you should take a day or two to go off the beating track in order to find the hidden gems of the city. How do you find them if they're hidden? Don't worry, this article has got that covered.
Parc del Laberint D'Horta
This attraction is literally a hidden gem. It's very hard to find and you may have to stop and ask for directions (there are normally students around because it's located near a campus). What will amaze you about this romantic park is not only its sheer beauty, but also the fact that there is hardly a soul in sight. What's more is that entry is incredibly cheap at only €2.23 and on Wednesdays and Sundays it's free. You can count on the fact that this park will always be a hidden gem as they limit visitors to a maximum of 750 per day.
Monestir de Pedralbes
This is also a lovely place with amazing views and few tourists, even in the summer. The monastery was built in the 1300s and is a great example of Gothic architecture in Catalonia. In order to get here you may want to catch a train to Reina Elisenda. You can take the metro to Palau Reial or Maria Cristina, but it's quite a walk away.
This one is a little bit different. It isn't really a hidden gem in terms of being free from tourists, as the area is one of the most densely packed in the entire city, however, when you're by Barcelona Cathedral in Plaça Nova, why not turn around for a second to view this building? What will you notice that everyone else hasn't? Well along the facade of the building is a work of art by Pablo Picasso himself. It's a unique piece of art because it's the only piece of outdoor artwork ever done by the artist, and it has been right under everyone's noses all along. Why not snap a picture?
This building was a palace until the last century when it became the city's historical archives. It was originally built in the 1100s but was drastically renovated in the 1500s. You can also see the roman wall from the inside of the building on the bottom floor.
If you're traveling in a family then visiting the science museum is a brilliant diversion. It's fun for all ages with many science exhibits, a digital planetarium, and a mock rainforest complete with the tropical critters that inhabit it (and where it actually rains from time to time). The tree that extends the entire height of the building is over 300 years old.
So when you visit Barcelona, enjoy a gratifying tour of the city by passing by the places that haven't even crossed the majority of visitor's minds.
Harriet Freeman is the content manager at OK Apartment Barcelona, a company that specializes in providing the best accommodation Barcelona has to offer.