There are a few hidden corners of the Ciudad Condal that even locals stop to capture.
No trip to Barcelona is complete without a visit to modernist architectural heavy-hitters like the Sagrada Familia and Casa Batlló, a trip down the Rambla with a stop at the famous Boqueria, and sipping a bit of vermut on the Barceloneta before jumping fork-first into a plate of fideuà.
But these places only scratch the surface of what this splendid city has to offer. And visiting already over-crowded sights just to take a picture doesn’t line up with the kind of responsible tourism we encourage.
With that in mind, we scoured the streets and compiled this list of the best places to take pictures in Barcelona. Some of our picks might even surprise its natives!
1. Cafés on Carrer del Parlament
Sant Antoni is an up-and-coming neighborhood with new spots popping up every week, and its heart is Carrer del Parlament. You’ll find Instagrammable corners and cafés serving everything from gourmet donuts to vegan smoothies. Save room for a bite at each one!
Where to find them: Carrer del Parlament
2. Plaça d’Isidre Nonell
Hidden in an alley near the Gothic cathedral is a small and silent plaza. While there, you’ll never know you’re just steps from the throngs of people shopping on Portal de l’Àngel.
“El Mon Neix en Cada Besada,” or “The World Begins with Every Kiss,” was designed by Joan Fontcuberta. Local residents were asked to send in photographs expressing a moment of freedom. When you see the wall from a distance you’ll only see the kiss, but as you get closer to the mural, you’ll see a world in each image.
Where to find it: Plaça d’Isidre Nonell
3. Rooftop Views
Ask anyone who has lived in Barcelona and they’ll tell you: the best way to see the city is from above. A few of our favorites give you the perfect vantage point to contemplate the Sagrada Familia, Gothic cathedral, and the whole city as you avoid the crowds and sip on a glass of cava.
4. Plaça de Sant Felip Neri
Known by its neighbors as “La Plaça del Silenci” due to the tragic bombing it suffered during the Spanish Civil War, this plaza will beg you to stop and ponder the wounds still visible on the church walls.
It’s located in the heart of the busy Gothic quarter but somehow the volume of the city fades to a murmur as soon as you enter it. Bring your travel journal or a good book and enjoy a coffee at the only business in the plaza, Hotel Neri.
Where to find it: Plaça de Sant Felip Neri
5. Rambla del Raval
This lesser-known and highly-underrated rambla is located in El Raval, a neighborhood bursting with an eclectic mix of cultures, colors and flavors that its more famous counterpart just can’t offer.
Insider’s Tip: Check it out on a Saturday or Sunday when local designers line the street with everything from jewelry to vinyl records.
Where to find it: Rambla del Raval
6. The Plant Wall
This literal hole-in-the-wall has made a name for itself as one of the most Instagrammable places in Barcelona. (And it’s well deserved, if you ask us!)
El Born is one of our favorite neighborhoods for cafe-hopping and people watching, making this stop all the more enjoyable.
Don’t miss a café con leche or cheeky gin and tonic surrounded by antiques and locals in a hidden open-air cafe called Espai Mescladís just five minutes away.
Where to find it: Carrer de l’Allada-Vermell 12
7. Markets galore
The Boqueria Market was once a bustling place for locals to get fresh ingredients every morning. However, in recent years it has become overrun with tourists who see it only as one of the best places to take pictures in Barcelona, rather than as a way to support local businesses.
If you can’t leave Barcelona without getting your Boqueria fix, make sure you visit the market the right way:
But the Boqueria isn’t the only market in town. And you don’t have to limit yourself (or your Instagram) to just one kind of market!
A few of our favorites are Palo Alto Market which promises a day of food trucks, music, and local artists and designers selling their wares; Mercat de la Terra, a market that prides itself on all locally-sourced, seasonal, and ecologically-grown food; and Mercat Port Antic, where for over 20 years antiques fanatics have been showcasing their treasures for visitors to take home as a more original souvenir.
Let’s put it this way: would your dad rather have a Barcelona magnet or a coin from the Spanish Civil War?
Where to find them:
- Mercat de la Terra: Avinguda del Paraŀlel 49, every Saturday from September to May from 10 a.m.–4 p.m., and every Tuesday in June and July from 5:30–10 p.m., free!
- Palo Alto Market: Carrer del Pellaires 30, the first weekend of every month, €4 euros (well worth it!)
- Mercat Port Antic: Passeig Josep Carner, 27, Saturdays and Sundays from November to May, and Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from March to October.
8. Jardins de Laribal
This park is one of our best-kept secrets and the perfect spot for a romantic sunset walk—be it with your favorite travel buddy, a Tinder date or just a good book.
Barcelona doesn’t have the inner-city lung that El Retiro provides for Madrid, so getting fresh air requires a bit of a climb. But we promise it’s worth it.
Dripping in flora, fauna and fountains rivaled only by the likes of the famous Alhambra in Granada, this hidden gem is a must see on your next visit. It’s undoubtedly one of the best places to take pictures in Barcelona.
Our advice? Pick up a few homemade empanadas and famous bravas from Oiga and make a picnic out of it.
Insider’s Tip: Don’t get winded on the first set of stairs. This park only gets prettier as you keep climbing. You’ll eventually get to the Joan Miró Museum, and you can continue walking down Avinguda Miramar for more splendid views and a few places you can stop for a drink along the way.
Where to find it: Passeig de Santa Madrona, 2
9. Casa Vicens
Tucked away in charming Gràcia is the first house Gaudí designed, Casa Vicens. Let yourself bask in the colors and designs characteristic of none other than Barcelona’s most famous architect, with a fraction of the crowd you’ll find outside of Casa Batlló.
Where to find it: Carrer de les Carolines, 20