Barcelona’s hidden terraces: oases of calm in the heart of the city
Bucolic or urban, intimate or spacious, Barcelona's hidden terraces offer the perfect places to hide away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Barcelona is a very busy, lively city, and there’s always lots going on. Fantastic – but sometimes, you just want to get away from it all and retreat to somewhere calm, worlds away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
We have the answer! Step into any of these hidden gems in the heart of Barcelona and escape from the noise into a parallel dimension of calm and tranquility…
The arty one: Antic Teatre
Hidden behind a monumental doorway in the Born quarter, the Antic Teatre is a rather unusual café/bar. As its name suggests, it’s housed in a former open-air theatre. Traces of its past life can still be seen, creating a uniquely poetic atmosphere.
When? Monday – Thursday, 10am-11.30pm; Friday, 10am-midnight; Saturday, 5pm-midnight; Sunday, 5pm-11.30pm
How much? From €1.50
Why? For its originality
Where? Carrer de Verdaguer i Callis 12, métro Urquinaona (L1, L3)
The chic one: the terrace at the Petit Palace Opera Garden Hotel
The Petit Palace Opera Garden Hotel conceals a well-kept secret: a quiet oasis, perfect for getting away from it all. Situated just below a small park, this sunny terrace is the perfect place for a refreshing cocktail after a long walk, or to whet your appetite for dinner.
Allow around 3 euros for a beer, 10 for a cocktail and 15 for a litre of sangria or a bottle of wine.
- Read our article on our favourite hotel terraces for more hidden gems…
When? Every day, 4pm-midnight
How much? From 3 euros
Why? For quiet drinks
Where? Carrer de la Boqueria 10, métro Liceu (L3)
The laid-back one: El Mercadillo
Fans of the unusual, come with us to discover the terrace of… a shop! It shouldn’t be too hard to spot from the street, since there’s a statue of a camel in the doorway. Pretty hard to miss, if you ask us.
Follow the passageway, go into the shop and head for the back. Go up the stairs, and you’re there. Greenery everywhere, colourful walls, background music and even a dog asleep in the corner… life moves at a slower pace in this quiet nook!
The menu includes sandwiches (3-6 euros), the salad of the day (around 8 euros) and, of course, drinks. It’s more of a bar which happens to serve food than vice-versa.
When? Monday – Saturday, 11am-9pm
How much? €5-10
Why? For its laid-back, chilled vibe
Where? Carrer de la Portaferrissa 17, métro Liceu (L3)
The bucolic one: Olokuti
Like El Mercadillo, Olokuti is a shop, rather than a hotel or bar. Go through the shop, situated in the Gràcia quarter (stopping to admire the range of organic and/or fair trade products on display), head for the back right corner by the vending machine, choose your drink, then go down the steps into the garden. Sit yourself down at one of the pretty ceramic tables and relax! Take our word for it, you won’t want to leave…
When? Monday – Thursday: 10am-9.20pm; Friday and Saturday, 10am-10pm
How much? €2-3
Why? For its shady garden
Where? Carrer Astúries 38, métro Fontana (L3)
The maritime one: Norai
Located in the courtyard of Barcelona’s Maritime Museum, Norai is a café/restaurant with a quiet terrace, next to a pretty pool. Drinks and snacks are available all day long (the chorizo sandwich is excellent).
At lunchtime, Norai turns into a “proper” restaurant, with a menu focusing on fish and seafood (what were you expecting from the maritime museum? Turnips?). The products are fresh and offer good value for money, particularly for somewhere so close to Las Ramblas.
When? Monday to Sunday, 9am – 8pm. Occasional evening opening for special events.
How much? €5-20
Why? For seafood
Where? Maritime Museum, Avinguda Drassanes, métro Drassanes (L3)
The historic one: El Jardí
Hidden away between the old walls of the Santa Creu hospital and set across from a garden full of orange trees is El Jardí, a little restaurant which is open all day long for tapas, salads and a weekday lunch menu which will set you back around 10 euros.
When? Monday – Friday, 10am-midnight; Saturday and Sunday, noon-midnight
How much? €5-20
Why? For its quiet charm
Where? Carrer Hospital 56, métro Liceu (L3)
Take your pick, sit back and let yourself be soothed by the singing of the birds as you relax on one of our favourite hidden terraces!
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About the author
Pauline loves books, food and new discoveries. For her articles, she loves finding original and authentic places which are a treat for both the eyes and the tastebuds. Her favourite thing to do in Barcelona? Getting lost in the Old Town and soaking up its unique atmosphere... whilst enjoying the appetising smells emerging from restaurant kitchens! Is there anything better than that?