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To do in Barcelona:

Sport in Barcelona: Where to Start

people playing football
August 31, 2016No Comments
Written by Theo Dye in To do in Barcelona

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!

Running on the beach in Barcelona

Man running on the sunset coast.

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.

Complex Esportiu Municipal Clot de la Mel - host to regular fubles matches

Complex Esportiu Municipal Clot de la Mel – host to regular fubles matches.

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.

Parc de Collserola, an excellent destination for mountain bikers

Parc de Collserola, a renowned destination for mountain bikers.

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.

Popular road cycling routes in the mountains above Barcelona.

Popular road cycling routes in the mountains above Barcelona.

Running

Beachgoers carrying inflatable in a hazardous and unwieldy manner.

Hazardous and unwieldy.

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.

Running route from the W hotel to Platja per a Gossos.

Running route from the W hotel to Platja per a Gossos.

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.

Running route in the Barcelona mountains.

Running route in the Barcelona mountains.

Yoga and Pilates

Yoga con Gracia yoga centre

“Yoga con Gracia” yoga centre.

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!


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