Are there many parks in Barcelona? This is a questions many people ask before visiting this emblematic Spanish city. Indeed, Catalonia’s capital city offers its inhabitants as well as its visitors a fair share of green areas equipped with entertainment facilities or dotted with artistic landmarks.
Parc de la Ciutadella
Standing on the grounds of a once loathed fortress, Parc de la Ciutadella is an extended green area within the city. Within the park you will find the building of the Catalan Parliament, Barcelona Zoo, an artificial lake where you can hire a boat as well as many statues and monuments signed by famous Catalan artists. One of the finest parks in Barcelona, Parc de la Ciutadella is a popular entertainment area with the locals as well as a tourist attraction in itself.
Read more about Parc de la Ciutadella here.
An exquisite combination of landscaping styles, Parc del Laberint is, as the name puts it, a true maze inviting everyone to walk its paths, to climb its stairways, to admire the swans and duck on its ponds as well as its waterfalls and to understand the meaning of its temples and statues. One of the most beautiful parks in Barcelona, Parc del Laberint is also the oldest, as its origins go back to 1791.
Read more about Park Laberint here.
Resembling more a natural forest than a landscaped garden, Guinardó Park features a complex topography pointing towards the four cardinal points. A truly green jewel in the heart of the city, stretching itself on nearly 16 hectares, Parc del Guinardó has been for a long time neglected by the bodies in charge with its maintenance. At the beginning of the 20th century, Barcelona’s city council invest over €1 million to renovate it. Parc del Guinardó has then regained its former glory and now it is a great venue for hiking and jogging for the residents of Horta-Guinardó neighborhood. Although one of the greatest parks in Barcelona and certainly worth visiting if you are an outdoors lover, don’t expect to see Guinardó Park mentioned in a travel guide. It is one of those secrets only the locals know.
Jardins del Palau Reial de Pedralbes
The most dignified park in Barcelona, the gardens of the Pedralbes Royal Palace find their origins are to be found in the fire that destroyed in the 17th century the royal summer residence. The impressive building that burned on Christmas day of 1875 was restored in 1921 and the new palace was equipped with a landscaped garden dotted with sculptures, fountains and ponds, waterfalls, bridges and beautifully arranged flower beds.
The Pedralbes Royal Gardens will charm you from the very moment you passed through the impressive forged iron gate and entered the park. In front of the palace, you will notice an exquisite oval pond. The sculpture of a woman is floating in its center. You can sit on the surrounding grass to admire the pond and the nice flower beds or just to rest at the shade of bay and orange trees.
The Royal Palace itself is also an great sight to behold. The Guell tower was remodelled in order to be turned into the summer residence of the royal family, and new rooms were added on its both sides. A statue of Isabel II holding her son Alfons XII adorns the main door of the palace. In front of the royal edifice, you can admire classic sculptures embodying Apollo, Adonis and Antinous, while the stairway is decorated with marble busts.
Mossèn Cinto Verdaguer Garden
Located up Montjuïc hill and offering great panoramic views over the city, Mossèn Cinto Verdaguer Garden is certainly one of the beautiful parks in Barcelona. If you visit the park in late spring, you will be undoubtedly charmed by the sight of the magnolia next to the main entrance, Avinguda de Miramar. The interconnected pools populated with aquatic plants represent another attraction of Mossèn Cinto Verdaguer Garden. If you want to see them, you will have to go to the upper part of the park. Although you will be going up the hill, you will realize it is a real pleasure as Mossèn Gardens with their ivy covered stairs and beautifully arranged flower beds are a great venue for a stroll.
Mossèn Costa i Llobera Gardens
This is not only one of the most interesting parks in Barcelona, but also one of the biggest European cacti gardens. Benefiting from a privileged location up Montjuïc hill and protected from cold winds, this garden sprawls on over 3 hectares offering stunning views over Barcelona’s coastline. Easily accessible from the city center, Mossèn Costa i Llobera Gardens have recently gone through the biggest renovation process since they were opened to the public in 1970. They are now home to even more species of cacti and succulent plants brought here from desert areas, from tropical regions as well as from up the mountains.
Parc de Collserola
A Mediterranean forest of pine and oak trees, Parc de Collserola is located at the heart of Catalunya’s most densely populated area. Marking a natural border between Barcelona and the surrounding towns, Collserola Park is accessible from various locations. You think New York’s Central Park is huge? Sprawling on 8000 hectare, Parc de Collserola is 22 times bigger and a great part of it is still largely unexplored by most locals.
This Barcelona park is not only the city’s green lung and the perfect venue for outdoors activities like walking, hiking, biking and picnicking. Collserola Park is home to a number of interesting historical landmarks and archeological remains. In the district of Montflorit Cerdanyola you will find the archeological sight of Ca n’Oliver with its fortified walls and traces of zoomorphic sculptures dating from the years 550-300 BC. The Iberian village Penya del Moro with is rectangular residences built by excavating the rock has its origins in the same historical period. The Romanesque shrine of Sant Medit and the rounded chapel of Sant Cugat will allow you to explore the area’s artistic and cultural past. The impressive Neo-Gothic edifice of Tibidabo Temple built between 1902 and 1961 is another Parc de Collserola sight to behold and so is the view from the top of the building.
El Turo Park
One of Barcelona’s finest parks, El Turo was built during the 20th century and has a complicated history. Initially designed as part of the Betrand Girona family estate, it opened in 1912 and almost 20 years later became a public garden. Dotted by sculptures and flower beds, El Turo Park is home to a playground, an oval shaped pond covered with nymphs, a magnolias bordered alley and a small open air theatre.
Designed by the landscaping architect Nicolau Maria Rubio Tudurí in the early 1920s for the private estate of the Craywinckel family, Tamarita Gardens are made up of two sections initially standing on either side of the mansion occupying the center of the estate: on the right – a Romantic garden, and on the left a classical style one. An important sight in this Barcelona park is the Four Continents square with its statues inspired by Renaissance and Baroque models and its oval fountain.
Named after the nymph by the same name, daughter of Tethys and Ocean, which ruled over all the Oriental lands, Asia wears a crown of flowers and fruit and is riding a camel. Africa is represented by a black woman, wearing a beautiful silk dress fitted at the waist with a belt, bracelets and long earrings. On the right side appears the head of a lion, and the helmet bears the shape of an elephant head. America is a naked Amazon warrior woman, barely covered with a veil that falls from her shoulders. She holds a bow in her right hand and an arrow in her left one. The figure that currently occupies the site of the European continent represents the figure of a soldier wearing armor with a sword in his right hand.
Palau de les Heures Gardens
Surrounding an impressive building that looks very similar to the French castles, Palau de les Heures Gardens are one of the most pleasant parks in Barcelona. They are actually a landscaped forest that sprawls on over 3 hectares. Equipped with benches for sitting they represent a nice area for a quiet walk and a relaxing afternoon away from the city noise.