Sporty but broke? No problem! In Barcelona there are many ways to exercise for free On your marks, get set...go!
Barcelona is a city that is particularly well suited to practicing sport. There are many gyms with fitness machines and pools, but you can also stay in shape without spending any money. Here are 8 ideas for taking your workout outdoors.
1. Run the Carretera de les aigües
The Carretera de les Aigües is a 20 km trail in the hills above Barcelona along the Collserola mountain. It’s the perfect place for exercising in fresh, unpolluted air with a magnificent view of Barcelona, a wide enough path to let all the hikers, cyclists and runners pass, and a mountainous route… you can completely disconnect from the chaos of the city centre!
2. Walking at Montjuïc
Easier to get to than the Carretera de les aigües, Montjuïc is just as pleasant. If you want to take some exercise in a very special setting just a few minutes from the city, then this is the place for you. You can climb the hill, past the MNAC, the CaixaForum, Poble Espanyol, the , the Olympic village and a number of gardens before arriving at Montjuïc castle. And from up here the view is sublime!
3. Fitness training at the beach
So no, Barcelona’s beaches are not just full of tanning holiday makers. Sports-lovers are particularly fond of the equipment dotted along the coast.
Most of the installations are found on the beach but there are also some located at Eixample and Poblenou.
4. Swimming in the Mediterranean
A great idea for free sporting opportunities is swimming in the Med. If you’re doing this we advise you to use the iBeach app, which gives you all the information you need in real time: flag colour, wind speed, temperature and quality of water, and presence of jellyfish…
Some brave swimmers even go out in Winter. If you’re thinking of doing this, be sure to wear a wetsuit.
5. Practice a team sport
Do you like team sports? In Barcelona there are various public spaces set up to encourage you to play.
Where, you ask? At the beach, first of all, where you can play boules, beach volleyball, ping-pong… In the Born, dels Metgers street gives on to a public football pitch and a ping pong table is also installed, along with may others in the Oreneta and Santa Amèlia parks in Sarrià-Sant Gervasi.
The Santa Amèlia park also has a basketball court for teenagers.
6. Climb a climbing wall or nets
A climbing wall
You will be delighted to learn that the biggest urban climbing wall in Europe is found at Montjuïc (Carrer Camí de la Foixarda). The tunnel where it is found is closed to traffic to allow completely safe climbing for all.
It is 17 metres high and is spread over 240 square metres with more than 120 internal and external paths. You can therefore climb up different paths depending on your level.
Installed along the length of the beach, these are perfect for children or for those who want to start off gently.
The nets and climbing walls are open to the public for free 24 hours every day of the year.
7. Skateboarding in the fresh air
Did you know Barcelona is considered the European skateboarding capital? It makes sense when you see the number of skate parks spread out throughout the city.
Many young skateboarders particularly love to meet in front of MACBA, where a very cool atmosphere reigns. Others prefer the real skate parks with slopes, ramps, steps, pools and bars.
- Our article on where to skateboard in Barcelona
8. Head down the Passeig maritim
If you are coming to Barcelona by car with the kids, don’t forget the scooters! The Passeig marítim, the promenade that runs along the coast, is particularly well suited to 2 wheels. And even without kids if you are looking for a little exercise, it is very pleasant to walk or run along the sea front. Barcelona’s beaches stretch over 5 kilometres, so you will have plenty of distance to stretch your legs.
Given the easy access and proximity of the beach, this promenade can be very busy so we recommend you head there early in the morning when it’s quieter.
So, on your marks?
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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?