Barcelona is the ideal city for picnicking outdoors. Year round sunshine makes any season ideal for a picnic in Barcelona, even the odd winter day! This is a city all about outdoor eating in all its forms, a city with many terraces overflowing onto sidewalks and plazas. Outdoors living is a part of the Catalan way of life!
For those travelling on a budget a picnic is always a fine option, and Barcelona is full of wonderful markets full of wonderful fresh baked breads, hams, cheeses, olives and fresh fruit (La Boqueria, el Mercat de San Antoni on Las Ramblas is a popular option). So why pay extra for a sandwich at an outdoor table among the seething crowds when you can relax under the shade of a tree in one of the cities beautiful parks?
Or if you are travelling with children and feeling the heat, a trip to the park is always a great way to let them burn off some steam. Last but not least, relaxing in a park with some nice food and wine is an enjoyable way to relax, see the city as locals see it, and idle away some hours people watching.
Once you’ve got your hamper nice and full, head to one of these local parks:
El Parc de la Cuitadella
This is one of Barcelona’s most attractive and central parks. Located on the site of the once feared Ciutadella fortress (which was built to keep the cities populace under control by the Madrid government in the 18th century) it is now a decidedly peaceful and unthreatening part of town. There is plenty of well kept grass to spread your picnic out on, and plenty of trees to shelter from the sun under. In the centre of the park is a boating lake. Points of interest include Barcelona’s Zoo and and the Catalonian Parliament.
Another centrally located picnic spot is the mountain of Montjuic. An unmistakable part of the Barcelona skyline, Montjuic offers a huge green space with views all over the city and out to sea. Look for El Font del Gat park, a truly magnificent park within the park.
Parc Guell is one of Guadi’s, and Barcelona’s, many Barcelona masterpieces. Originally conceived as a housing project for the wealthy Guell family, Gaudi gave full flight to his vivid imagination in it’s landscaping.
Barcelona’s labyrinth park is a top insider’s tip for a picnic. If it seems familiar, the labyrinth was featured in the film of Patrick Susskind’s bestselling novel Perfume. The surrounding gardens are charming and one of the finest green spaces in the city.
There are picnic tables at the park’s entry, but if you aren’t picky try grabbing a seat somewhere inside the gardens – there are park benches and the superior views.
If you have the energy, climb to the highest part of the park and be rewarded with the reservoir where you can watch the fish swimming and enjoy the reflections of the trees and blue skies.
El Parc de Joan Miró
Parc Joan Miró is best known for Joan Miro’s 22-metre sculpture, “Dona I Ocell” (woman and bird), which Miro donated to the city he loved.
Built on the land once occupied by the city slaughterhouse (and still known to some locals by it’s old name – Parc de l’escorxador), the park offers a green space and refuge only a stone’s throw from the hustle and bustle of Plaça Espanya and Las Arenas shopping mall.
Parc Miro also boast two Chiriguitos (informal outdoor bars) where you can enjoy a drink and a tapa, these are open 365 days a year barring any day when there is rain!