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6 fun things to do in Barcelona while social distancing

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In the past few months, the way we behave in social situations has changed. We wear masks. We stand 1.5 metres apart. We’ve replaced kisses on the cheek with elbow bumps. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun!

The city may seem quieter than usual due to the lack of tourists, but life in Barcelona hasn’t stopped. We can still enjoy our favourite activities while taking care of each other and respecting social distancing rules.

Whether you’ve been living in Barcelona for a while or just moved here to join one of our courses at ESEI, you’ll find plenty of things to do throughout autumn – in a safe, socially distanced way.

So put on your mask and hit the town!

1. See the graffiti murals at Nau Bostik

Bostik Murals is the first urban art museum in Barcelona. It’s located in Nau Bostik, where gorgeous murals by 20 graffiti artists decorate the exterior spaces. Difusor, the team that curates the project, commissions renowned local and international muralists to bring life to the empty walls.

You can find information about the exhibited murals on the Bostik Murals website. If you want to see them in person, don’t worry – you won’t find them painted over. Unlike the graffiti you find in the streets, the artwork here is carefully preserved. Bostik Murals also hosts occasional events and activities and serves as a ground for learning and experimentation for young artists.

2. Watch online or in-person screening at the Sitges Film Festival

The Sitges film festival, taking place between October 8th and 18th, is the number one fantasy film festival in the world. Since 1968, it has awed spectators with fantasy and horror movies that showcase the latest trends of the genres and the most innovative technologies applied on film sets and in editing rooms.

The festival is organised annually and takes place in several different theatres across Sitges. This year, the in-person screenings will be complemented by online screenings, so fantasy buffs can watch the films from the comfort of their own homes. For both types of tickets, go to the Sitges Film Festival website.

3. Visit out-of-bounds buildings at 48H OpenHouse Barcelona

Every year, Barcelona opens up the door of its off-limits buildings for 48 hours. During the 48H OpenHouse Barcelona festival, you can take a peek inside architectural marvels that are normally closed to the public. It’s a chance to discover the hidden treasures that tourists aren’t allowed to feast their eyes on. This year, the festival will be held on October 24th and 25th.

If you want to join the guided tours and explore hidden spaces across Barcelona and its metropolitan area, check out the programme on the 48H OpenHouse Barcelona website. The organisers are committed to enforcing health and safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-10 at the festival. So just make sure you read the hygiene protocol on the website before you go.

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4. Take a tour of alternative modernist buildings

Most people have been inside the Sagrada Familia and Casa Batllò. But have you ever visited the lesser-known but equally intriguing works of Gaudí and his peers?

Now is a great time to discover modernist architecture that’s off the beaten path. For example, there’s Casa Vicens, the first house Gaudí designed in Barcelona. It’s only been open to the public since 2017, and it reveals a never-seen-before side of Gaudí. Casa Vicens is a jewel in and of itself. It also houses interesting permanent and temporary exhibitions.

Then, there’s Hospital Sant Pau, designed by architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner. Following an extensive restoration programme and the transfer of all healthcare activities to the hospital’s modern wing, the Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site is now open to visitors. Wonder among the fairytale-like Modernist pavilions and take in the architectural beauty of the complex – while keeping a safe distance from other visitors, of course.

5. Walk the coastal path from Vilanova i la Geltrú to Sitges

There’s still time to take advantage of the amazing weather before autumn settles in and the days start to get chillier. So why not go on a hike along the coast of the Mediterranean?

Social distancing is easy on a path like the one that connects the towns of Vilanova i la Geltrú and Sitges. In fact, it’s unlikely that you’ll bump into more than a handful of people.

To find the beginning of the path, take a train from Barcelona to Vilanova and make your way to the beach. The path runs between the train tracks and the sea and offers some of the most beautiful views of the Costa Dorada. There are quite a few picturesque bays on the way where you can stop for a nice picnic. The path is only 6 km, so it shouldn’t take longer than an hour and a half to find yourself in Sitges.

6. Test your grip at a climbing gym

If you’re not much of a rock climber but still like an adventure in a controlled setting, you’ll enjoy the moderate thrills that Barcelona’s climbing gyms have to offer. Jokes aside, climbing gyms are great places to get a good workout in – your forearms and fingers will not thank you.

Wherever you live in Barcelona, there’s a climbing gym not far from your area. Sharma Climbing Gym is located towards Besós, Climbat is near Montjuïc and IndoorWall is in El Clot. Most climbing gyms are currently operating at a limited capacity and require you to reserve a time slot online before you go. Check their websites for information on reservations and health and safety measures.

What are some of your favourite things to do in Barcelona?

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