Although Barcelona isn’t as big of a cycling city as other European cities such as Amsterdam or Copenhagen, it’s still very cyclist-friendly and a great way to whiz from one local highlight to the next, or to simply explore the city from a different perspective. Keep reading to discover three off-the-beaten path cycling routes that will show you a different side of Barcelona.
Make Your Way up Montjuic
Montjuic is the perfect place to start.
Cycle to the top of this imposing hill for spectacular views out across Barcelona’s port and beyond. The pathway begins at Passeig de Miramar, but remember to prepare your legs well – it’s a hefty climb for even the fittest biker.
If you’d rather admire the views without having to huff and heave, you can always get the funicular to the top, grab a bite to eat, and then make the descent on your bike. As mentioned earlier, it’s quite steep in some areas so make good friends with the brakes.
Bike to Barcelona’s Better Beaches
For a more leisurely route that takes in Barcelona’s beaches and the fresh smell of sea air, cycle along to the Maresme beaches.
Unlike the urban beaches with their high-rise frame and free-for-all mentality, the beaches further along the coast offer wilder views and an intimate place to enjoy the sea.
Start out on the path from the Forum area and head towards Badalona, where you can cut off along the way to Ocata, a sandy swathe of beach with lovely shallow waters. Push on a little harder and you’ll make it to Montgat, El Masnou, and Premia de Mar.
Bear in mind this isn’t a quick journey though it is helpfully flat. Premia de Mar is around 16km from the Forum area and Ocata is about 12km, so you might turn up hotter and sweatier than anticipated — perfect for a dip in the sea.
You can always get the train back to save your legs any more stress.
Pedal the Power Route
If you’re dead set on combining cycling with seeing the major attractions in Barcelona you can do so. An urban tour of the city on two wheels is a great way to pack more into a day and get among the ebb and flow of locals and tourists.
Placa Catalunya is a good place to start as it’s in the center of everything. You can then spiral outwards into the Gothic Quarter, past the cathedral and onto the quieter cobbled lanes of El Born.
From there it’s just a short slog to the Ciutadella Park and around underneath the imposing structure of the Arc de Triomf. La Sagrada Familia can be reached from there along Calle Marina and then you can turn back down Passeig de Gracia and stop off at Gaudi’s whimsical houses along the way.
Whether you’re a keen cyclist or a weekend biker, Barcelona welcomes you with open arms and plenty of bike lanes. Pick up your ride from one of the many suppliers throughout the city, get your map at the ready, and get going.