When visiting a city for the first time, it’s only natural to go in search of all the famous attractions and landmarks that are recommended in the guidebooks. After hours of waiting in long queues and battling through the crowds of tourists though, it can all get a little too much. So when taking a trip to Barcelona, why not leave the tourist hotspots behind for a day or two and explore some of the other lesser known places the city has to offer?
Whilst wandering along the streets of Barcelona, the Torre Agbar can be seen for miles. Every time you turn around another corner, you’ll be able to see this huge structure towering above the city. And at 144 metres high it’s hard to miss! The building is said to have been inspired by Montserrat – a multi-peaked mountain near the city and is made from reinforced concrete covered with a glass façade. Visit on a weekend evening to see the building in all its glory as the thousands of LED lights attached to it glow a magnificent range of colours.
Torre Agbar by Poguri on Flickr
The Peix (Fish)
Towering over the beaches in the Olympic Port and looking out to sea is a giant fish sculpture that was built in 1992 for the Barcelona Olympic Games. The ‘peix’ is made up of thousands of copper-coloured metal plates that glisten in the midday sun – making it a lovely sight that can be seen right along the coast line. Sitting at the bottom of two of Spain’s tallest buildings – the Mapfre Tower and the Hotel Arts – you’ll be able to check the golden fish out when spending a day on the beach.
Most big cities around the world are covered in various forms of graffiti on buildings, bridges and pretty much everything else in between. In Barcelona though, the graffiti – or street art – really is a bit more sophisticated and stylish than the usual amateurish efforts. So avoid the galleries for a day and instead check out the artwork on the streets of the city such as around Carrer de Pujades and the street next to the MACBA Museum. Many of the best street artists have their own unique styles such as ‘Pez’ (famous for smiling fish) and ‘Kenor’ who specialises in geometric designs and installations.
Gambrinus – Lobster Sculpture
Who doesn’t love a smiling lobster? Standing at the end of the Passeig de Colom is the ‘Gambrinus’ – a huge lobster sculpture made out of fibreglass with a massive grin across its face. The cartoon-like lobster with its enormous claws was also created for the 1992 Olympics and can be seen between the Olympic Port and La Rambla.
Gambrinus in Barcelona by Fraser Mummery on Flickr
El Cap de Barcelona
Walking past El Cap de Barcelona, it’s hard to know exactly what it is. Literally meaning ‘the head’ in English though, this weird surrealist sculpture is just further down the road from the ‘Gambrinus’. The sculpture – completed in 1992 – is made up of various ceramic tiles that celebrates the city’s passion for mosaics and is definitely worth taking a closer look at.