25 Apr [:en]Sport in Barcelona: Where to Start[:]
[:en]The food in Barcelona is excellent. Barcelona’s beer scene is among Europe’s best. The city is surrounded by glorious beaches. However, after a few weeks of exquisite consumption coupled with beachside relaxation, you might find yourself wanting to do some exercise. Of course, that might sound like an utterly ridiculous suggestion. If so, I bid you a fond farewell, and suggest you visit our article about visiting the Torres Vineyard.
My first impressions of Barcelona suggested that exercise might be hard to come by: it is an incredibly densely populated city, the streets are loaded on either side with multiple floors of apartments, and the parks are generally small; the reserve of relaxed couples and families.
But to take the city at face value is always a mistake. Among the restaurants, bars, and boutique stores there is such a range of sporting activities with which to get involved that the problem stops being how to find something to do, but what you’ll have to miss out on!
Football (or “Soccer”)
The best way to get into Barcelona’s football scene is – generally 7-a-side, although there are also 5- and 11-a-side games. Signing up for an account is easy and free, and games tend to cost €5-€7 (to help pay for the pitch).
It’s always a friendly atmosphere – for the most part a charming and slightly unusual mixture of Italians, French, and Spanish. You can be fairly certain that any Catalan player will be wearing a Messi or Neymar Barcelona shirt.
It’s a great way to meet new people in the city, and, as most people organise weekly matches, you’re sure to start seeing some familiar faces.
Cycling: Mountain and Road Biking
Mountain biking has long been popular in Barcelona, unsurprising for a city that loves bikes and is surrounded by mountains. It might be worth getting a tour for your first outings, or, if you’re ready to venture out under your own steam, have a look at some recommended routes.
Road cycling has only recently started to earn popularity in Barcelona, but is on the rise. The most popular routes are in the mountains, and can be seen on the map below. The map is from strava.com, an extremely useful resource for road cyclists generally if you have yet to try it.
Running routes can be a little harder to find in Barcelona, but if you’re willing to put in a little extra effort getting there you can run in some extremely beautiful places. The most popular of these (with good reason) are:
By the beach, from the W hotel to Platja per a Gossos (~5km). This has the advantage of being flat, but make sure to avoid busy times of day to stay clear of the unwieldy inflatables swaying hazardously around the burnt bodies of beachgoers.
In the mountains from Sarria Sant Gervasi to Peu del Funicular (~7.5+km). This is a far less busy area, and offers panoramic views over the city. However, the lack of public transport means you need either to bring a car, or be ready to run between public transport stops.
Yoga and Pilates
Barcelona has an enormous wealth of excellent yoga and pilates centres, so in this instance it is worth trying to find something near you and becoming a regular. However, if you are willing to travel further afield, there are also numerous articles discussing the many centres’ various merits. There are classes for all levels, so, whether you are as flexible as an overcooked rice noodle or as stiff as a cupboard in freezer, there will be something for you.
We will also soon have a blog post on the subject of Luxury Gyms and Swimming Pools, watch this space!