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European City Breaks: Barcelona Cycle route

Catalonia's capital is a pretty special city: beautifully quirky architecture, tantalising tapas, a handful of fantastic beaches, and year-round sunshine to enjoy it all. 

Kate's cycle route takes in many of Barcelona's most famous monuments while sticking to largely flat parts of the city. For anyone looking to get some hill sprints in there are also plenty of opportunities to detour up into the rolling earth that surrounds the city. 

 Sagrada Familia barcelona

 Quick Facts


Sagrada Familia, Parc Güell, Barceloneta beach


27km (loop) 


Flat tarmac roads and cycle paths. Some busy roads. 



Year-round. Barcelona enjoys lots of sunny days so the main difference winter-summer is the temperature (and number of other tourists)

How to get there

Regular, and cheap, flights to Barcelona-El Prat airport. Quick metro and trains into the centre. 

Which bike

Donkey Republic have loads of bike rental docks across the city, where you can hire a bike for 12 euros a day. Pick a bike up at Plaça de Espagna and drop it back off at the Maritime Museum for this ride


Escape the throng of pedestrians along Las Ramblas and hop in the saddle for an alternative tour of the city


The Cycle Route 

barcelona cycle ride map

Hire a bike next to the Plaça de Espagna and set off northwest in the direction of Barça's famous ground. From there, get onto the Diagonal before heading up a gentle incline to Gaudí's famous Parc Güell. Drop the bikes off for a quick look round this iconic park. Most of it is free to wander round but, if you want to see the highlights you'll need to buy a ticket for the 'monumental core'. Access is limited to just a few hundred people per timeslot, so buy your ticket online in advance if you want to skip the queue. 

Parc Güell barcelona

From Parc Güell, enjoy a leisurely downhill section to Gaudí's most incredible (and still unfinished) Sagrada Familia. The church has been under construction for the last 136 years and is still some way off completion, but is breath-takingly stunning as a building and the stained-glass windows cast all the colours of the rainbow into the main chamber. Tickets are again timed and need to be booked online in advance so it's worth getting hold of these before you set off. 

barcelona inside Sagrada Familia

From here, get back on the Diagonal and head to the coast! Wiggle your way along the promenade for a couple of miles - maybe drop the bikes off at the Barceloneta Donkey Republic station and have a cooling dip - before heading into the beautiful Ciutadella gardens and through the narrow winding streets of the Barrio Gotico. 

Complete the tour with a pass of one final Gaudí building (Palau Güell) before dropping the bikes off at the Maritime Museum. 

And if all that's helped you to work up a big appetite? Jump on the metro and head to Ciutat Comtal for some fantastic tapas and jugs of sangría. 


 Download the GPX

A whistle stop tour of Barcelona on two-wheels! This make a perfect first day loop - stretch your legs after your travelling and scope out the city and its sights.