10 Cool Things to Do in Barcelona

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There are plenty of sights and attractions that make Barcelona one of the world’s most visited cities. You could forever gaze at the beautiful and intricate architectural designs that are all around you, or take endless amounts of pictures to upload to social media when you get home. Although there is no denying that these sights – such as the well-known Sagrada Familia – are a must-see, there are a lot of lesser known attractions that are just as good and offer many cool things to do in Barcelona.

Ice Barcelona (Ice Bar)

There is no doubt that Barcelona’s Ice Bar is definitely one of the more cool things to do in Barcelona, pardon the pun. Located right on the beach at Port Olimpic, you can go from one extreme to the other. One minute you could be almost melting in the scorching heat of the Mediterranean sun while the next you’re putting on an Arctic-style winter coat and gloves while you submit yourself to temperatures of -5°C. It’s not just the stunning sculptures that are carved out of ice; the stools, shot glasses, and even the bar itself are constructed out of ice, making this a truly unique and unforgettable experience. You can give the Ice Bar a try for the very affordable price of €16.50, which includes a free drink and coat and gloves.

Ice Barcelona - Cool Things to do in Barcelona
Ice Barcelona

 

Steel Donkey

The Steel Donkey is just a euphemism for a bicycle, which sounds quite simple, but there is undeniable logic behind this simplicity. Steel Donkey Bike Tours take you on a quieter route that you would not typically experience while on a city tour bus. You will get to visit the industrial ruins of Poblenon, flea markets, squat houses, the back streets of El Borne, and much more on this tour. It will give you a real insight into Barcelona’s true history. One thing about these tours that definitely make them one of the cool things to do in Barcelona is that no two trips are the same. They are not your standard scripted and ‘one routed’ tour, as are many of the walks Barcelona is famous for; your guide is a local who has immense knowledge of the area. Prices for a four-hour tour is around €35, which many who have participated have said is generally a good price for the sights and information you take in.

Steel Donkey Bike Tours, Barcelona
Steel Donkey Bike Tours

 

Dine in the Dark

Barcelona’s Dans le Noir? will take you out of your comfort zone in an experience that will put your senses and culinary knowledge to the test. Blind waiters will take you to a pitch black room, where you sit down to a meal and learn to eat without your eyesight. Without your vision, simple tasks such as eating become an entirely different experience; according to many, it really does bring out the flavours of the food. You’ll never see tapas in the same light again. Prices range from approximately €35 to €65, depending on what menu you opt for. It is definitely an unforgettable experience if you can make it there, but you should look into it if you get the time and you can budget for it.

Booze Cruise

Barcelona’s very own Booze Cruise is an excuse to get as drunk as a sailor as you set sail around the nearshore waters of Catalonia’s Mediterranean Sea coastline. Several times a week during the warmer months, you can hop aboard one of these party boats with up to 149 other revellers and enjoy music, soak up the sun, and most importantly drink beer, cocktails and sangria to your hearts content. Featuring DJs, barbeques, and games, this really is one of the cool things to do in Barcelona by fun-loving partygoers. Due to its success in previous years, there are now three different events to choose from – the Legendary Booze Cruise at €40, the Champagne Sunset Cruise at €45 and the BBQ Boat Party at €47. The prices are slightly more expensive than some of the other things to do in the city, but for the younger crowd, it may not seem such bad a price as it includes free drinks for the duration of the trip. On top of this, the friendly staff will provide you with free entry to some of Barcelona’s hottest night clubs so that you can continue your adventures when you dock back in port.

Be a Winemaker for a Day

If you want to do something that is both cool and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, take advantage of one of the cava making tours that originate out of Barcelona. Cava is Spain’s version of champagne, and they’ve been making it in and around Barcelona for several centuries now. Board a train and travel out to a vineyard that could be as old as a thousand years, where you will learn the fine art of making cava. You will get to bottle your brew when you’re done, along with creating a custom-made label that expresses what your wine is all about. Even after you drink it, you’ll still have the bottle and its label to keep the memories alive.

Vineyard in Spain
Vineyard

 

Go Skateboarding at the Contemporary Art Museum

While people looking for a quiet holiday experience will go inside the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona to view paintings, sculptures and the like, I bet you’re looking for something a little bit more energetic. You’ll be pleased to know that Barcelona is considered one of the hottest skateboarding cities on earth. And guess what? Both the city and the art museum welcome the fact that skateboarders love the massive plaza outside the building. All day long you’ll find skaters honing their craft, soaking up the sun, and perhaps enjoying a beer (those were old enough, of course). There are several skate shops in the general vicinity where you can get a board and a helmet.

Pretend You’re a Ferrari Racer

The truly adventurous holidaymaker might consider getting behind the wheel of a powerful Ferrari for a high-speed run around the Circuit de Catalunya. The circuit just happens to be the official track of the annual Spanish Grand Prix. It’s expensive, at £549 for a party of four, but it’s well worth it if you like fast cars and F1 racing.

Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona
Circuit de Catalunya

 

An Urban Treasure Hunt

You and a group consisting of at least ten players can race against the clock and/or other teams in an exciting urban treasure hunt that will take you through the streets of the city. Look for hidden clues, solve cryptic puzzles, and use your compass to get where you’re going before anyone else. The team that completes the treasure hunt first wins a delicious bottle of cava. Of all the cool things to do in Barcelona, this is one of the best for larger groups.

Learn to Dance the Flamenco

Lots of tourists will visit Las Ramblas for its history and Flamenco dancing. But if you want to take it to the next level, book a Flamenco lesson at Tablao Cordobes. For under £70, you will get a 2.5-hour experience that includes a one-hour lesson and an outstanding show provided by local professionals. It is an opportunity to be part of a cultural event that is unique to Spain.

Flamenco Dancing in Spain
Flamenco Dancing

 

Hot Air Balloon Rides

Another cool thing to do in Barcelona is to take a hot air balloon ride over the region. It’s very affordable at less than £150 per person, and you’ll get to see Barcelona and the Catalonia area in a way very few people get to see it. The best kind of tour is an early-morning tour that lasts about five hours. Climbing up to about 3,000 feet as the sun is beginning to rise is incomparable. Flights are complete with a champagne brunch and a flight certificate upon landing. If five hours is too long for you, you can book a one or two-hour flight instead.

Barcelona Balloon Flights - Cool Things to Do in Barcelona
Barcelona Balloon Flights

 

 

As you can see, there is more to Barcelona than the typical tourist attractions. Whether you’re looking for a more relaxed day trip or an adventure on the high seas, there are plenty of cool things to do in Barcelona.

And while you’re in the region, why not visit Salou. For lots of attractions to visit and things to do in Salou, check out our dedicated Salou page by clicking on the preceding link.

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Image Attribution:

  1. Ice Barcelona: http://bcnshop.barcelonaturisme.com
  2. Steel Donkey: http://www.steeldonkeybiketours.com
  3. Circuit de Catalunya: By Mutari 10:51, 21 September 2007 (UTC) – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2788326
  4. Vineyard: By Mick Stephenson – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2683529
  5. Balloons: http://barcelonaballoonflights.com/

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34 Comments
  1. Justin says

    Great Article! Never Been To Barcelona but planning a trip to Europe next summer, Will definitely be checking in on your page!

    1. Tony says

      Barcelona is a great city to visit if you ever get a chance.

  2. Emma says

    I have been to Barcelona twice now, and I did not know that there is an ice bar and dine in the Dark. I love this city but as I’ve been twice I thought I had seen all there was to offer. Obviously, I’ve missed a few things. I should have looked this up before I went

    1. Tony says

      The Ice Bar looks amazing, doesn’t it?

  3. Kevin Bulmer says

    Hey Tony!
    Nice job. Looks fun and I love your site!
    I admit my eyes were drawn immediately to “Steel Donkey.” I don’t know what that says about me! But there sure look to be some fun things to do in Barcelona. Good work.
    Be well,
    Kevin

    1. Tony says

      Thanks Kevin. Ha ha, yes – steel donkey has that effect.

  4. Nabeel says

    Cool article. I love travelling and I am always looking for unconventional means of exploring new places and immersing myself in the culture. The steel donkey tours seem to be a bucket list item that everyone should try.

    1. Tony says

      Thanks. Yes, the Steel Donkey definitely has something going for it. Something different from the norm will always go down well.

  5. Brandon says

    Hey Tony, I’m an avid camper and traveler, however I have never been to Barcelona and by the looks of it – I may be missing out! I think I know where I’m going for my next trip for sure.

    I do like the idea of taking photos and sending them to Social Media for family and friends to see. This is something that’s new to the Internet world and is eventually going to be big, so good job there.

    Thanks for this helpful post,
    Brandon

    1. Tony says

      Many thanks Brandon. I much prefer just travelling to camping now – must be an age thing 🙂

      Barcelona is an excellent city to visit, and there are definitely thousands of photo opportunities there, so well worth the effort to get there at lest once in your life.

  6. summerly says

    These places sound fun and I want to try out the Ice Bar. I have see those before and Ice hotels but never had the chance to go to one yet. And -5C is easy! I live in Canada so our winters can get pretty cold, -5C is a warm winters day! 🙂 I am thinking of the next place I want to travel, and reading this post has got me thinking of Barcelona now, thanks!

    1. Tony says

      I’m glad it peaked your interest. Canada is definitely on my bucket list – and sooner rather than later 🙂

  7. Alan says

    Went to Barcelona in 2007. Loved it. So much to see. We took a guided tour on motor scooters … yeah brave!!! … and then walked and used the subway. Picasso museum is worth a visit too.

    1. Tony says

      You used motor scooters in Barcelona?? You certainly are a braver man than me, lol. I never did get to the Picasso museum. Maybe next time.

  8. Matt's Mom says

    I think I would definitely like going to the Ice Bar, as well as taking a “steel donkey” and cruising around the city. This is one city that I would love to visit, so much to see here. I’m adventurous, so heck, I will dine in the dark too. Just as long as they don’t feed me something I hate!

    1. Tony says

      I’m not sure about eating in the dark. Personally I like to see what I’m eating, lol. However, the Ice Bar is something else altogether. Having been to Barcelona myself in the past, I never did manage to get to the Ice Bar. However, on my next trip to that part of Spain, I am making it my mission to visit the bar. As long as the beers are ‘icy’ as well …

  9. Maurice Jackson says

    I never been to Barcelona, but after your review though, I think I will add it to my bucket list

  10. Caroline Alonso says

    Barcelona is a beautiful city for sure! I was lucky enough to stay there for a few hours while on a cruise. I really liked it! I just wish I could spend at least a week. I would really like to try Steel Donkey Bike Tours this sounds really cool. I love the idea of visiting on a seeing things from a different perspective. I guess the guide stops at several places to let you visit unlike a regular city tour bus?

    1. Tony says

      Yes, the Steel Donkey tours do involve impromptu stops, making it a much better experience than the regular tourist bus tours.

  11. Cat Pillar says

    Browsing your site is almost like visiting these places…. and the Ice Bar gives one a coat and gloves for the duration – Cool! Never tried dinner in the dark – must be quite an experience.

    Thank you, my little holiday excursion here was well worth the trip!

    1. Tony says

      My pleasure. You never know; perhaps you will visit them in real life one day.

  12. Wade says

    Having been to Barcelona many years ago, I can say I definitely want to go back.
    While we did the main touristy stops like Park Guell and Sagrada Familia, which are amazing, doing a guided tour that is more unique would be on my next visit list.
    I found that guided tours can be a great way to get to know an area a lot quicker

    1. Tony says

      I totally agree with you Wade. But the quirkier the tour, the better 🙂

  13. Eve says

    Nicely articulated post! I was in Madrid earlier in the year and we were planning on hopping to Barcelona for a day, but unfortunately that never happened. However, I am planning on making a trip to Barcelona very soon. Being a huge footy fan, I will definitely want to check out the legendary Nou Camp and watch Barca play live……I’ll be hoping for a defeat since I support Real! 😉

    1. Tony says

      I’m glad my post is nicely articulated for you 😉

      Barcelona is such a lovely city, so I would really make it your business to try to get there at some stage.

  14. Peter Mantu says

    Hi Anthony, thanks for this amazing post. I have always wanted to visit Barcelona but didn’t really know about all these cool places. This will definitely prove helpful in the near future.

    Thanks for sharing this with us. All the best to you!

    1. Tony says

      No problem Peter. And thanks for your kind words.

  15. salbene says

    Hi Tony,

    I love traveling too 🙂 I have been to Barcelona and its really interesting that they have an experience there to go out to eat without seeing your food. That’s not very common… Is that a one place special in Barcelona or do they have it also in other places? Do you have the address to that place perhaps? I still have friends in Barcelona, maybe they want to see and try it out themselves.

    really nice website by the way

    1. Tony says

      Many thanks. There are many of the same type of establishment in many cities across the world, so although not common, they are about.

      Here are the directions to the Barcelona venue: “Dans le Noir’s restauant on Paseo Picasso, flanking Ciutadella Park.”

  16. Cheng says

    I have not been to Europe and Spain is one place I’m keen to visit. And I’m certainly drawn to the Steel Donkey. Thank you for the info. 🙂

  17. Sharon Cowie says

    Wow Tony, been to Barcelona, but now I want to go back! The ice bar looks so cool!! Sure is!! I think dining in the dark would be something I would do. Would be an amazing culinary experience! Thanks for the info.

    1. Tony says

      The ice bar defo looks the place to be. Not sure about dining in the dark though. I like to see what I’m eating 🙂

  18. Nnamdi says

    Hey, Tony , you said loads of things here but I am not sure where to start. But what you unveiled about Barcelona is great. Before now, I use to think Barcelona is a home to the great football team and stars but never knew that they have such tourist attraction centers. I love the tour of the vineyard where Champagne was made since a thousand years ago and of course I want to drink to stupor just like those sailors I see in the movies. I think that will be fun Tony.

    Anyways, this is a great place to be indeed. I could vacation there forever, lol.

    Thanks, man.

    1. Tony says

      Many thanks for your comment, and no problem at all. But go easy on the plonk – I wouldn’t want you to get ‘stupefied’ on my account, lol 😉

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