Barcelona is one of the most bustling and urban metropolises; the young and the old, the past and the present, and the local and the foreign coming together in perfect (if sometimes a little hectic) harmony. Staying in such a lively city like Barcelona with a population of over 1.5 million, it is only natural that visitors might feel a little overwhelmed during their time here.
Although Barcelona is primarily city, there exists a scattering of hidden green spots, or secret gardens, within the city’s urban framework. Places where you can loose yourself for a couple of hours, without leaving the city.
Parc del Laberint d’Horta
One of Barcelona’s oldest and most disputed gardens- many argue over whether the garden is of Romantic or Neoclassical style- Parc del Laberint d’Horta was opened as a public park in 1971. It is often hailed as a museum garden due to its meticulously meddling maze which forms a visitor’s route through the green space. There is beautiful garden landscaping, mythological sculptures, a free falling waterfall, a wild garden, and even a pavilion dedicated to muses. This exquisite space is perfect for taking a picnic and enjoying a quiet sunny afternoon.
The Mossèn Costa I Llobera Gardens
The Mossèn Costa I Llobera Gardens are one of the biggest gardens in Europe, and are the result of a collaboration between architect Joaquim Maria Casamo, and gardening-school teacher Joan Pañella. They were first opened in 1970 and include a variety of cacti and plants that are adapted to live in hot and dry climates. Further to a staggering 3.16 hectares of exotic greenery from a variety of regions, the gardens have also been voted one of the 10 best gardens in the world.
Jardins del Palau Robert
Forming part of the Palau Robert building (the former residence of politician, businessman, and aristocrat, Roberto Robert y Surís) these gardens include an impressive variety of plants in three large parterres. As a city, Barcelona underwent a significant expansion at the end of the 19th century and these gardens offer visitors a unparalleled glimpse into the lives of the capital’s Bourgeoisie. Be sure to look out for La Lluna, a stainless steel and iron moon created by Kiku Mistu in 2001, and painted by students at the Joan Amades School for the Blind.
Once a former leather factory, Palo Alto has since been turned into an artistic studio and creative hub. It is now also one of Barcelona’s most imaginative and greenest gardens. The space was discovered more than twenty-five years ago by artist and animator Javier Marsical, who became so enamoured with the abandoned ruins that he decided to move his studio there on the spot! Along with the help of his brother Santi Mariscal and garden designer José Farriol, Palo Alto is now home to a collection of art studios and is also used as offices for Barcelona’s creatives. Visitors are welcome during office hours when Palo Alto’s metal gate is open.
El Bosc de les Fades
Although not a green garden as such, El Bosc de les Fades brings the magical woodland into the city’s urban zone. This café and restaurant has been inspired by fairy tales and will fool you into thinking that you really are sat in an enchanted fairy forest. This space is not only exclusively unique, but offers visitors something truly memorable to take back from their stay in Barcelona.
Sandra Roig is Marketing Director at AB Apartment Barcelona. AB Apartment Barcelona is an apartment rental agency offering over one thousand short and long term apartments across Barcelona.