Barcelona’s secret places



Barcelona is lucky enough to be home to many places that are of interest to tourists. If we wanted to list them all, we’d run out of space in this blog. What we can do, however, is give you a shorter list of restaurants, historical sites, and hidden corners. We’ll take a tour around places in the city where you won’t find yourself swirling around in a soup of tourists – this is a stranger, more bizarre, and more secret Barcelona, but it’s passionate and interesting just the same.

Everybody knows that New York’s famous Statue of Liberty, a gift from the French government to the North Americans in 1886 to commemorate the centenary of the Declaration of Independence, is not unique among its kind. There are various more or less official replicas around the world, the most well-known in Paris and Las Vegas. Barcelona also has one. It’s two metres high and has been located in the entrance to the Rossand Arús Library since 1984.

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Barcelona’s Erotic Show is one of the most important events of its kind in Europe, and the city is also home to one of the most complete – and yet unknown – erotic museums in the country. It features more than 800 pieces, including videos from the private collection of King Alfonso XIII and a world register of some of the most unusual sexual records around.

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If you’re looking for something more cultural, check out the Canuda bookshop, a 600m2 shop dating from 1931 that contains around 100,000 books. In it, you’ll find a secret door that leads you to a shelf of exceedingly old books. The bookshop is the location that inspired Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s best seller, “The Shadow of the Wind”.

Continuing on the cultural motif, L’Antic Teatre, a haven for the performing arts hidden in the Born neighbourhood, is worth pointing out. It’s a theatre and reasonably priced bar with a terrace and garden dominated by a majestic tree. You can find it on Carrer de Verdaguer i Callis 12 and enjoy their programme of live performance arts.

If you’ve worked up an appetite, we have a few gastronomic recommendations for you. The first is a restaurant hidden in a supposed souvenir shop. It’s called Chi Ton and is located on Carrer Provenza 300, and we always recommend booking in advance (you know what these pseudo-clandestine places are like…). The second, Kakigori, serves Japanese-style ice-creams – a special machine shaves up ice and adds fruity syrups. It’s a pretty place and comes highly recommended.

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After this tour, you’ll need somewhere to relax. We recommend the Hotel Reding Croma by BlueBay***, a modern, coquettish boutique hotel in the heart of the city, close to both Plaza Catalunya and the Ramblas. It offers a genuine sense of character and is decorated around a motif of “colour” and all of its sensorial connotations. The 44 rooms at the disposal of the traveller are different and innovative and completely in harmony with the character of our tour of the hidden – yet passionate – Barcelona.

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