Away from the busy center of Barcelona, the Horta-Guinardó district is less visited by tourists than the other ones but is as good as them. The places to see there are very varied from each other: there are monuments, gardens or footpaths. So, what are you waiting for to discover this district?
Hospital de la Santa Creu and Sant Pau
In Barcelona, one of the most beautiful but underrated places to visit is the Hospital de la Santa Creu and Sant Pau. Since 1997, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is the biggest modernist hospital in the world with its 27 buildings. It was used as a hospital from 1930 to 2009 to cure poor people because the rich ones used private doctors. This hospital is composed of two sections: the right side is dedicated to men while the left side is dedicated to women. In this building, you will be able to visit the Sant Rafael Pavilion that recreates a hospital ward of 1920. Moreover, you will have the possibility to walk in a small part of the underground tunnels to arrive in the Administration Pavilion that counts one of the most colorful and ornate spaces of the Hospital. To discover this place, you can do a self visit, a self visit with an audio guide or guided visits available in Catalan, Spanish, English, and French but if you are a group of more than 15 people possibility to request a guided visit in another language by email or telephone. So do not wait any longer and go visit this place with a lot of colors, ornamentation, and vegetation!
Park of the Horta Labyrinth
The Park of the Horta Labyrinth is the oldest park of Barcelona, it is the heritage of the Desvalls family and was given to the city in 1971. The creation of the park began in 1791 with the neoclassical portion of the park and then, the Romantic part was created in the mid-1800s. Water is the main element of this park because it is present under different forms, fountains, waterfalls, canals with ducks and swans. The particularity of this 18-acre park is that there is a labyrinth of 2000 feets with 2-meter high walls and in its center, statue of Eros that is the Greek God of love but if you follow the wrong path, it leads you to the statue of the forest nymph Echo that was unsuccessful in love in the Greek Mythology. This maze is overlooked by a pavilion with a dome and Tuscan columns dedicated to Ariadne. The entire park is based on Greek Mythology, so open your eyes to see all the statues in this place as Theseus or Ariadne. The park is free on Wednesdays and Sundays, and it costs only 2.2€ the other days. This park does not welcome a lot of visitors and is accessible by metro or bus so what are you waiting for, go discover this beautiful garden by yourself!
Los Jardines del Palau de les Heures
Located right next to the Park of the Horta Labyrinth, the Palau de les Heures Gardens are as much as beautiful as its neighborhood. Indeed, the renaissance gardens in the French and Italian style. There are three terraces: the highest is composed of gardens and the French-style palace with its 4 towers and the two other terraces are composed of various leafy trees and flower beds. The symmetric and geometric garden is free so it will not hurt your wallet.
Located 260-meters over the sea level, the Carmel Bunkers are one of the best viewpoints of Barcelona. The hill named Turó de la Rovira offers a 360-degrees view that allows this place to be used to prevent the city from air attacks from 1936 to 1939, during the civil war. Since 2011, a museum is installed in one of the bunkers; it highlights the uses of this place for hundreds of years. During the day, the Carmel Bunkers are a place quite popular among tourists but if you want to be alone and have quiet, you should go there for the sunrise, you will be by yourself and you will witness the sunrise above the sea!
To reach the bunkers, you can take the buses 92 or 112 or the metro until the station Alfons X and climb the hill on a beautiful path for 25min.
La Carretera de las Aigües
Located in the Collserola National Park, an 8000-hectare park, the Road of the Waters is a must-seen path if you like to walk or ride a bike. La Carretera de las Aigües is a beautiful flat road with clear panoramic views of Barcelona. During summer, the 9km footpath is not protected from the sun by trees so do not forget your sunscreen and your hat. However, there are some drinking fountains on the side of the road so you will be able to fill your water bottles.
You can easily join this footpath with public transports from the center of Barcelona.
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