Activities for single travellers in Barcelona
The city of Barcelona welcomes all kinds of visitors with open arms, whether families, couples, friends or, in this case, solo travellers. Fortunately, it’s been a long time since we’ve said goodbye to the idea that travelling alone means being lonely. To celebrate that, we want to share some of the best activities to prove it, whilst you enjoy the beautiful Catalan city. Below you’ll discover options as varied as a tranquil stroll around a maze hidden away in the district of Horta and the crowds at the Poble Espanyol of Montjuïc. We’ve also included a few tips for the best bars and clubs for singles and a recommendation for a day trip to immerse yourself in the wild and rugged landscape of Lloret de Mar, the closest village to Barcelona on the Costa Brava.
Get lost and find yourself in the Labyrinth of Horta
Our first suggestion will transport you, the solo traveller, to the romantic heart of the Park of the Labyrinth of Horta, a historical park in the Horta-Guinardó district. Just 45 minutes by public transport from the centre, its latticework gates hide what is considered to be Barcelona’s oldest garden, its construction beginning in 1791. It was first created by the Desvalls, an aristocratic family, on their land in Horta, which was then an independent municipality from the Catalan city. It wasn’t until 1971 that this garden-museum was opened to the public by its new owner, the City of Barcelona.
These days, a largely symbolic price of three euros will get you into the park, which has two main areas: a neoclassical garden dating from the eighteenth century, and a Romantic garden from the nineteenth century. There’s also the old palace of the Desvalls family, the medieval structure hiding an even older tower, the Subirana tower, which dates from the eighth century. And dotted about the park you’ll find works of mythological art, mostly sculptures by unknown creators, as well as various ponds, waterfalls, fountains and canals.
But the main attraction here is the maze, the walls of which are pruned cypresses. It’s 45 m long and 50 m wide. Although the first image that comes to mind might be an axe-wielding Jack Nicholson with his teeth bared, the maze is actually the perfect place for getting lost in your thoughts and imagining what this place might have looked like all those years ago. Fall even deeper under the spell of the maze by reading the carvings with quotes from mythology that you’ll find at the beginning and the end of the winding path.
Poble Espanyol, a pleasant stroll around every corner of Spain
The last activity transported us to the Collserola hill, but this one takes us to the Montjuïc hill, or Barcelona’s magic mountain. Here you’ll find, alongside many other remains of the famous International Exposition of 1929, the Poble Espanyol: a kind of theme park that showcases Spanish architecture, crafts and cultural richness. In other words, this is an open-air architectural museum composed of 117 buildings that try to emulate, through streets, houses, theatres, schools, restaurants and artisanal workshops, the different urban landscapes in Spain.
There are a million and one reasons to visit it, one of which is to find out about its interesting history. Learn about how it was built as the Spanish pavilion for the aforementioned International Exposition, discover its age of decadence during the 1950s, and find out about its dark days, used as a prison camp during the Spanish Civil War. All that and more is explained in the visited guides they offer their visitors.
A great excuse to visit this attraction could be one of the many live music concerts that are held here throughout the year, or the beer or craft fairs, amongst others, that the village plays host to at different times of year. On top of that, it has its own private collection of contemporary art, with paintings by Miró, Dalí, and Picasso amongst others. This is the perfect way to spend a Sunday.
Singles’ nights in Barcelona’s bars
Although it might sound a bit clichéd, bars aimed at singles are eternally popular. If you’ve come to Barcelona in search of like-minded people as well as history, architecture and gastronomy, then you’ll find plenty of places that organise regular meet-ups for people just like you.
The Bar Coctelería Snooker is one of them. Not far from the Passeig de Gràcia, in glamorous surroundings complete with pool tables and a great cocktail menu, there’s a singles’ night every Wednesday from 8:00 PM onwards. The same thing happens on Thursdays in Plaça d’Urquinaona, in The George Payne, an Irish Rock Pub with an eye-catching medieval aesthetic. Bear in mind that the age range is between 25 and 40.
If you’re up for a big night out, there are classic singles’ nights at Barcelona’s clubs: Duvet, on Avinguda Diagonal; and Oshum, on Avinguda del Doctor Marañón.
However, if you feel like you need an activity of some description to help you get to know new people, the language exchange held every Thursday from 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM at Baviera is just what you’re looking for. If that doesn’t suit you then it’s repeated on Fridays and Saturdays at 5:00 PM and 10: AM respectively.
A taste of nature in Lloret de Mar
Lastly, we couldn’t leave out an activity that means you can discover Barcelona’s surroundings, because man cannot live on city alone. But you don’t have to go very far. You can get to Lloret de Mar in just an hour by public transport. It’s one of the first villages on the coast known as the Costa Brava that belongs to the region of Girona. This is a tourist town that, depending on the time of year, can be more or less crowded.
With archaeological remains that prove Iberian and Roman presence in the area more than two thousand years ago, the most eye-catching buildings belong to the city’s colonial age. From the eighteenth century onwards many locals started trading with the Americas in the hope of making their fortunes.
Surrounding them you’ll find all kinds of other attractions. The Jardí Botànic Santa Clotilde are considered to be one of the best examples of historic Mediterranean-style gardens in Europe. The modernist cemetery is practically an open-air museum, sculpted by the most important Catalan modernists of the nineteenth century. The Museo del Mar is an entertaining way of discovering the city’s close historical relationship with the oceans and sailing.
On top of all that, the surrounding coastline is dotted with beaches and coves that you can discover by walking the Caminos de Ronda pathways. These coastal paths take you to some of the tiniest but most beautiful beaches in the area like Cala Sa Caleta. From there, walking on past the Castell d’en Plaja, you’ll find others like the rocky Cala dels Frares and the stunning Cala Trons.