Image by Tracy Gilbert
This expansive park outdoes itself in terms of things to see and do, but also manages not to skimp on lovely fountains, interesting plants and lots of shaded nooks and crannies to easily while away an afternoon.
Given its many attractions and central location to the north-east of the city centre, the park is understandably busy, and fills with Barcelona locals and tourists every day. This makes it an ideal spot to indulge in a spot of people-watching, however due to its immense size it never feels over-crowded and there is almost always a free bench or patch of grass in sight.
• People wilting from the heat tend to flop down on the first available benches they find as they enter the park from the Barri Gotic so the further east one heads in the park, toward the Catalan parliament, the shadier spots and more secluded benches are revealed
• The Cascada Fountain, with its golden chariot and vivid green water doesn’t get any less spectacular on repeated viewings, and is ringed by many shady benches on which to sit and admire the view
• Along with the Geology and Zoology Museums and the Zoo, the woolly mammoth statue and playground ensure the park has enough to occupy even the most energetic and enthusiastic children
• The Zoology Museum, as well as housing a large, permanent collection has a sizable exhibition space on the ground floor. The exhibitions especially are innovative and engaging, and as tickets for them can be purchased independently from the main collection, they are well worth visiting even if you would avoid the permanent exhibits, having see enough taxidermy in your life already
• As you may imagine, the cafes within the park are reasonably pricey, so it's well-worth bringing your own picnic