LONG WALKS, JOGGING OR ROWING
Located in the northeast of the Old Town, in Ciutat Vella, the Parc de la Ciutadella was established during the mid-19th century at the exact place where there used to be the military citadel built in 1714. Today it’s an idyllic green oasis that can be explored in a hundred different ways. It simply invites you to relax, take a long walk or go for a jog along its paths. It’s also possible to rent a bike here and enjoy a ride through the greenery discovering the history and all the attractions of this beautiful place.
You can start one of the most relaxing tours in Barcelona from the northern corner of the park as there is a stunning Cascada (waterfall). It was built in 1881, and at the beginning it didn’t have any sculptures or details. As it was criticized by the press, the triumphal arch was changed and Josep Fontserè, who designed the whole park as well, constructed a fountain there. The young and, at the time, unknown architect Antoni Gaudi supported him in this work. He constructed the water basin guarded by the winged dragons, which is a popular detail in his work.
One of the most enjoyable parts of the park is the lake and its spectacular vegetation. This is a perfect setting for romantics, and all those in love with nature, as there are little turtles on the rocks, fishes in the water, a famous tree which grows in the water. Our tip is to hire a boat here and experience some memorable rowing.
VISIT THE ZOO, MUSEUMS OR PARLIAMENT
The park also hosts the well-known Barcelona zoo, which was home to the famous albino gorilla Snowflake. At the entrance you can see a gigantic climbable stone mammoth. The zoo organises different types of guided tours, workshops, excursions with the aim to investigate, conserve and educate. The Catalan Parliament is located in the former military arsenal of the citadel. It can be visited every first Friday of the month with a guided tour. This building also hosts the Barcelona Museu d’Art Modern.
Castell dels Tres Dragons or The Castle of the Three Dragons houses the Museum of zoology. This brick house is a great example of early Modernism which combines different techniques with some elements inspired by the Moorish style. The winter garden L’Hivernacle is located right next to the castle. It’s a pavilion made of cast iron and glass is a perfect setting during summer – a cosy café where jazz concerts often take place.
Museum of Geology is next to the Hivernacle. It has a large collection of minerals and was one of the first Barcelona museums. There is also a beautiful plant house Umbracle, the wood-brick construction with a spectacular atmosphere, home to a great number of large tropical plants that grow here in perfect shade and special climatic conditions.
Parc de la Ciutadella will never let you down as there is plenty to do and to see here. This is one of the most beautiful Barcelona tours as you’ll spend a relaxed day in the nature, easily forgetting that you’re just minutes away from the hustle and bustle of Barcelona city centre.