A city that is breathtakingly enchanting, Barcelona oozes with an otherworldly charm, a credit which must be given to its architectural gems that exist more than a millennium. Draped in towering columns and cobblestone paths, meandering through the city is like navigating through a dream. Here, the sun touches the culture with a benign warmth, and the city comes alive with an unusual radiance.
As darkness falls, Barcelona is transformed into a buzzing cosmopolitan, dancing to the tune of jazz and the snappy rhythms of flamenco. Lights flicker, streets are crowded, there’s an insane rush as heels tap on the streets. The city bursts with sights, sounds, gastronomical wonders and an unabashed party scene – Barcelona is awake 24/7, and there is no stopping the locals’ deep affection for genuine fun and flair.
It is easy to fall in love with the city, especially with the motion, the visual wonders, the people and the nightlife. But its sheer enthusiasm can be draining, especially for one who needs to catch up on sleep. In order to enjoy Barcelona to its fullest, it is just right to look at it from another angle – one that will lead you to a surprising feeling of tranquillity. Here are some of the quiet places in this ever-busy city:
Take a step back and inhale the artist culture in Raval, perched in the district of Ciutat Vella. Here, you can quietly walk through the streets and pleasantly meet people from various countries, some of which may have come for the Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, constructed by the prominent designer Richard Meier. Enjoy the culinary delights of Mercat de la Boqueria and sit back to revel in the visual feast of the neo-Gothic mansion, Palau Güell.
For those who want to wander, the Horta Labyrinth Park is an idyllic place covered in lush greenery. It served as a backdrop for the famous movie, "Perfume." Meander around the maze, or adore its romantic atmosphere while the sound of the water fountain cascading from the distance calm your soul.
For the cafe lovers, Barcelona is a treasure trove of quaint restaurants that offer a sweet escape from the bustle of the city. Granja Petitbo, found at Eixample Dreta, used to be a dairy farm back in the twentieth century but is now transformed into a humble brunch place with a modern industrial flair.
Cosmo Café y Galería de Arte in Entric Granados is both a gallery and a bar, perfect for reading books while relishing fresh juice. Another quiet place is Bitte, a little nook embellished with succulents that it almost looked like a tiny botanical garden.
Here is a secret: El Diposit de les Aigües, a library at Pompeu Fabra University, is lodged at what was once a reservoir for the waterworks in Parc de la Ciutadella. Josep Fontesere designed the high-ceiling structure in order to regulate the water flow into the park gardens. This space, whimsical and mysterious, is now filled with shelves of books. Grab a chair and spend pleasurable hours of reading in this quiet sanctuary.
Barcelona may be known for its fast beat, but in some places, the tempo slows down. As dusk settles, and as your body becomes accustomed to the tranquil cadence of the city, it’s time to slip back to your hotel, take off your heavy coat, and put on your silk pyjamas for a true slumber.