Unique Things to do in Barcelona

Barcelona is a city jam-packed with history, culture, gastronomy, and art. There’s no shortage of unique things to do in Barcelona.

There’s so much to experience in the Catalan capital, that it’s simply impossible to tick off everything on your to-do list on a single visit here.

For those looking to experience something a little unusual while in Barcelona, here’s our list of…

The top unique things to do in Barcelona

Take a shot at beach volleyball

This fun, summer-time sport takes place all year round in Barcelona! This is a city that loves its sports, with the legacy of the 1992 Olympic Games living on today with the Catalans passion for all things sporty.

Beach volleyball has become particularly popular in the city over the last few years. Due to the increased interest, the council has set up several public nets on the beaches of Barcelona. The most popular beach for a game of volleyball is at Nova Icària. Many people come to play a casual game, or to take part in more competitive tournaments.

And, while you’re at the beach why not check out some of the water sports in Barcelona?

Unique things to do in Barcelona - play volleyball on the beach.
Beach volleyball on Nova Icària Beach

Party at a summer festival

If there’s one thing that Barcelona is famous for, it’s partying. The Catalans know how to throw a good fiesta, with summer being the best time of year to get involved.

There is the iconic Primavera Sound festival, which takes place every April. They’ve had the likes of Radiohead, Kendrick Lamar, and Arctic Monkeys, among many others, perform here in the past. Next up on the line-up is Sonar, an electronic dance festival with uber-cool attendees (you’ll have to wait until 2022 for the next one).

Aside from the big, international music festivals, there’s also Barcelona’s own street fiestas in Summer. There is the Festa de Sant Joan (Feast of St. John) on 23 June to celebrate Summer Solstice each year. Expect fireworks, dances, bonfires and much more at this exciting celebration!

Unique festivals in Barcelona during the summer months.
Crowds at Primavera Sound Festival

Sail on a private boat

The comfortable year-round climate of Barcelona and the Mediterranean Sea makes it perfect for sailing, 365 days a year. For an unforgettable day out on the blue shores of Barcelona, why not hire a private sailing boat?

Take a stab at sailing, or have a professional skipper make life easier! Sip on some refreshing vermouth, while you sunbathe in front of the spectacular views of the city.

Sailing in Barcelona
Sailing boat in Port Vell at Sunset

Learn to cook paella

Barcelona is a foodie-paradise, but why not try being the chef for the day yourself? Paella is a classic Catalan dish, and one of Spain’s most famous dishes. We recommend joining a cooking class to master this delicious rice dish.

Make it a fun day out with your friends and family, so you can all go home knowing how to cook likes pros! Some courses include a trip to the market to see where all the fresh ingredients are coming from, too.

Learn how to make paella in Barcelona
Seafood paella

Related Read: Cheap Tapas Bars in Barcelona

Take a Segway tour of the city

Forget a boring walking tour of Barcelona, up your sight-seeing game and hop on a Segway around the city! This is definitely one of the more unique things to do in Barcelona.

A tour guide will train you how to use the Segway, so there’s no dramatic falls in front of the Sagrada Familia! Then zoom round Gaudí’s city, learning about all the most fantastic landmarks and sights as you go.

Unique things to do in Barcelona - go on segway tour
Segway tour along the seafront

Ride on the oldest amusement park in Spain

Tibidabo can be seen from all over Barcelona, up on the Collserola Ridge Mountains. It was first established over 100 years ago, making it the oldest amusement park in Spain. But don’t worry, the rides aren’t originals!

Get your camera ready for some breathtaking views of the entire city at your feet. Tibidabo is great for any age, as there’s a variety of attractions to suit everybody. We recommend a trip on the big wheel, though be wary if you have a fear of heights!

Here’s a few other great spots with the best views in Barcelona!

Unique things to do in Barcelona
The view of Barcelona from Tibidabo

Take a yoga lesson on a paddle board

If you want to take your fitness skills to the next level, this is the activity for you. Stand up paddle surf combined with yoga lessons can be super challenging, but such fun! If you already practice yoga, and love the beach, this is a great way to combine the two.

Head out on the waters with your instructor and group, basking in the beautiful sunshine. Stand up paddle yoga reinforces your balance and stability, great practice for any budding surfers too.

Sup yoga in Barcelona
Stand up paddle yoga class with SupYoga, via @supyogacat

These are just a few of the most unique things to do in Barcelona – check out our Barcelona activity guide for more of the touristy things to do in Barcelona.


Unique Things to do in Madrid on a Sunday

Looking for a typical Sunday in Madrid? A Madrid Sunday is all about getting out onto the city streets, enjoying some delicious food, a good coffee, and taking in the sights and sounds of the city.

There is so much more to Madrid than El Prado and the bullfights – here are my top favourite things to do in Madrid on a Sunday.

Unique things to do in Madrid, Spain
El Retiro Park, Madrid, Spain

Unique Things to do in Madrid on a Sunday

1. Stroll through El Retiro park with thousands of Madrilenos, watching bands perform, boats on the pond, and clowns making balloon animals.

2. Visit the terrace lookout of the Circulo de Bellas Artes building for a view of the city skyline and the Gran Via, Madrid’s main street (admission to the rooftop is 1 Euro).

3. Enjoy tapas and beer at one of the sunny outdoor tapas cafés in the La Latina quarter.

4. Sip a beer under an incredibly blue Madrid sky at one of several restaurants with tables set up inside the Plaza Mayor, Madrid’s main square.

5. Dunk “churros” into a thick, sweet chocolate drink at La Chocolateria de San Gines, one of Madrid’s most popular chocolate bars just off the Calle Arenal pedestrian mall.

6. Take in the buskers and musicians along with thousands of Madrilenos on the Puerta del Sol plaza then join them as they amble along the Calle Arenal pedestrian mall towards the Opera House.

7. Savour a coffee and watch the elegantly dressed Madrilenos stroll by at the outdoor patio of Café Gijon a few blocks north of El Prado museum on the Passeo de Recoletos.

8. Take in the sunset view of Madrid while enjoying a light snack or a glass of wine at the glass enclosed rooftop restaurant on top of the department store El Corte Ingles on Gran Via near the Callao metro stop.

9. Stand shoulder to shoulder with the locals drinking draft beer and enjoying inexpensive tapas at the Almeria tapas bar in the La Latina quarter. (P.S. if you LOVE tapas and are heading to Barcelona any time soon, check out these cheap tapas bars in Barcelona).

10. Wander around the newly refurbished, glass enclosed Mercado de San Miguel, the oldest in Madrid, and visit the food stalls while sipping wine and sampling thin slivers of Spain’s famous Pata Negra ham.

Things to do in Madrid on a Sunday
Things to do in Madrid on a Sunday

Madrid Sunday Markets

Love exploring markets? Then why not spend your Sunday checking out these Madrid Sunday Markets.

El Rastro

El Rastro is one of the biggest outdoor markets in Spain and has been a weekly tradition for over 400 years. There are over 1,000 vendors offering everything from antiques to furniture, artwork and clothing.

Location: Calle de la Ribera de Curtidores, 28005 Madrid, Spain

Opening hours: it is open every Sunday in Madrid from 9am to 3pm.

Mercado de Motores

This beautiful vintage thrifting market is held every second weekend of the every month. It includes handmade clothing, live music and delicious food. What makes it even more special is that it’s located inside an old train station!

Location: Museo del Ferrocarril, Paseo de las Delicias, 61, 28045 Madrid, Spain

Opening hours: it is open every second Sunday in Madrid from 11am to 10pm (visit their website to confirm dates).

Madrid Sunday shopping hours

Sunday is generally the day of rest in Spain, with many shops remaining closed on a Sunday. However, as more foreigners move into the city you’ll find that there are a few shops open on a Sunday (though, with limited opening hours).

Supermarkets and department stores are usually open all day on Sundays, from 10am to 9pm. In the city centre, you’ll often find small food or souvenir shops open a Sunday.

Check out these other places to visit in Madrid.