Get ready to explore Barcelona on two-wheels. Nothing beats the freedom of escaping the traffic without getting sore feet from walking. Cycling is the perfect way to see Barcelona given the excellent network of bike lanes and generally flat terrain of the city centre.
Along the coast from Selva de Mar to Barceloneta, you can cycle on the boardwalk that runs parallel to the ocean. Rollerbladers, scooters and cyclists share the lanes, enjoying the smell of the sea and the warm sun. Perfect for a early morning stint or to view the sunset, and easily accessible from the marinas.
One easy trip is from Placa Colom to the Forum which should take around an hour and is 14kms return, (rating – easy). The Moll de la Fusta (wood wharf), one of the first sections of the old harbor to be renovated, will take you to Barceloneta, and you can breeze along to Port Vila Olimpica and continue to the Forum. The beaches at Forum and Selva de Mar are more tranquil than those closer to the city centre, for those looking to escape the crowds. Apartments here can be rented for the summer and are conveniently located near the Poble Nou Ramblas where cafes, restaurants and open placas await. For a diversion, head towards Glories and Torre Agbar via Diagonal. Experience one of the city’s main thoroughfares that extends east-west through the heart of the largest neighborhood in Barcelona, Eixample. Then take Meridiana and cycle to Marina. From there it’s an easy cycle heading back towards the beach.
From the Arc de Triomf to Gracia, 20-30 minutes, moderate: Passeig de Sant Joan is the perfect place to cycle with a lane in the broad median ramblas extending almost all the way to Travessera de Gracia. These wide boulevards were established to connect the former village of Gracia to the city centre. Here you can experience local life, with Barcelonians enjoying the many park benches to sit and have a chat, a coffee, or read, and use the thoroughfare for walking their dogs, teaching children to ride, or playing bocce. During festivals and public holidays, the space opens up to stores selling specialty snacks, confectionery and handicrafts.
There are more exacting routes around Montjuic, well worth it to see the view from castle area (40mins-1hr; moderate-difficult). From Placa Espanya, see the impressive former bull-fighting ring reformed Las Arenas shopping centre in 2011, and the FIRA building that serves as the venue for the World Mobile Congress annually. Cycle towards the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC), majestically imposing at the end of the Avengida de la Reina Maria Christina. Cruise through the green of the Montjuic park stopping to view the Palau Sant Jordi, the site of concerts and major sporting events. It was also the former Olympic Stadium in 1992. Enjoying the oasis of natural surroundings and fresh air, continue on to the Joan Miro Museum, gallery of one of the most famous Catalan artists, and the Greco-Roman amphitheatre. Finally, reward the efforts of the uphill climb by stopping at the Montjuic viewpoint and absorb the breathtaking sight of Barcelona from one of the highest points in the city.