10 Non-touristy Things To Do In Barcelona, Spain - Updated 2023

Anne Marie
Anne Marie 
| 5 min read

There are some things every visitor to Barcelona has on their list: visit the awe-inspiring Sagrada Familia Church, climb the steps of the colorful Parc Guell, and maybe even dance in a club until the sun rises. However, if you’re looking for some activities that are a little more unconventional, Barcelona has plenty of options! Live like the locals do by cooking traditional Spanish meals, biking around historic neighborhoods, or enjoying activities out on the water. Read on for 10 of the best, non-touristy activities in Barcelona!

1. Three-hour bike tour and tapas tasting (from USD 40.65)

non-touristy things to do in barcelona | three-hour bike tour and tapas tasting

One of the best ways to explore Barcelona is on a bike. Another great way is to experience its traditional cuisine. This bike tour that ends with eating delicious tapas by the sea is the perfect way to see and taste Barcelona like a local! The three-hour guided tour goes through the Gothic Quarter, one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods. You’ll be right up and close to the beautiful architecture and Mediterranean ambiance and you will be able to cover more ground than on foot. Plus, the knowledgeable guides provide interesting information about the history and culture of Barcelona. The tour ends at a tapas restaurant by the sea, with four tapas and a drink included per person! There is no better end to an invigorating bike tour of the city.

Barcelona Tapas 3-Hour Bike Tour

Duration: 3.0 hour

154 reviews

2. Catalan cuisine cooking class (from USD 481.34)

non-touristy things to do in barcelona | catalan cuisine cooking class

Catalan cuisine is without a doubt one of the primary reasons to visit Barcelona. While it can be satisfying to simply indulge in the delicious food options, why not go a step further and learn to make it yourself? This three-hour cooking class will take participants to popular markets where they will get the food for their recipes. Then, they will head to the home of the chef and have a hands-on cooking class! Learning authentic Spanish recipes and techniques is an unforgettable experience and one that you will be able to put to use when you’ve returned home.

Market to Fork: Market Tour and Private Cooking Class

Duration: 4.5 hour

37 reviews

3. Paddle surfing off on Barcelona beach (from USD 17.11)

non-touristy things to do in barcelona | paddle surfing off on barcelona beach

Barcelona’s oceanfront location means that at least one water activity should be on your itinerary. Try your hand at paddle surfing, a challenging and fun activity! This one-hour session is perfect for both beginners to the sport and those who are more experienced. Equipment and instruction are both included, and you’ll have access to changing rooms and lockers so you don’t have to worry about going back to your accommodation before and after. Enjoy the beautiful sea breezes and views of the city skyline in a whole new way.

Barcelona 1-Hour Paddle Surfing

Duration: 1.0 hour

34 reviews

4. Blue Anchor boat trip (from USD 43.0)

It’s no secret that the Mediterranean can be hot, especially when you spend most of the day sightseeing. One of the best ways to cool off is by going out to see, like on this 90-minute boat trip that gives you the opportunity to swim and snorkel! The speedboat leaves from the Olympic Port as long as the weather is permitting. It goes out into the ocean far enough that you can see beautiful sights of Barcelona from a distance. Participants can swim or even snorkel and get fantastic views of the Mediterranean seabed!

Barcelona: Blue Anchor Swimming Boat Trip

Duration: 90 minutes

2 reviews

5. Collserola Natural Park hike (from USD 25.51)

non-touristy things to do in barcelona | collserola natural park hike

In a crowded urban environment like Barcelona, it can be nice to escape from the city streets and get out into nature. On this hiking excursion, you’ll get to take the trails through beautiful Collserola Natural Park and experience some of the natural beauty of Spain! The forests of the park feel peaceful and secluded and you might even see some local wildlife. Hikers will be rewarded by stunning views over Barcelona and a new perspective of the city. You’ll also enjoy seeing the old amusement park on Tibidabo hill and the church of the same name.

Barcelona: La Collserola Park Guided Hiking Tour

Duration: 2.5 hour

6. Sailing experience with light brunch on the sea (from USD 82.97)

sailing experience with light brunch on the sea

There’s nothing better than seeing a new city and learning a new skill while you’re traveling! On this sailing tour, you will get to experience the beauty of Barcelona from the sea while learning sailing techniques too. This sailboat tour lasts about two hours, during which you can try your hand at sailing and take refreshing dips in the Mediterranean Sea. The boat is luxurious and the tour includes a light brunch, so you’ll feel like you’re having a truly special experience!

Barcelona: Mediterranean Coastline Sailing with Breakfast

Duration: 2 hour

23 reviews

7. Jet Ski and Segway adventure (from USD 74.0)

Explore the land and the sea on two exciting methods of transportation: a Segway and a Jet Ski! This one and a half hour adventure include 20 minutes of Jet Ski use, where you can bounce in the waves with the beautiful Barcelona skyline as your backdrop. You can ride the Jet Ski alone or with a partner if desired. Once back on land, hop on a Segway for a guided tour of the landmarks of Barcelona’s coast! Your informative guides will provide both instruction and safety tips for the vehicles as well as interesting facts about the city.

Barcelona: Jet Ski and Segway Adventure

Duration: 1.5 hours

8. Fishing tour along the Barcelona coast (from USD 647.0)

fishing tour along the barcelona coast

Barcelona’s proximity to the ocean means that fishing is a huge part of the culture and a popular activity. Whether you’re a fishing aficionado or you want to try it out for the first time, a trip on this four-hour fishing excursion is a great way to spend a day! The trip takes place on a motorboat captained by a professional skipper. They will lead you to the best fishing spots off of Barcelona and provide instruction for less experienced fishers. If you’re successful, there is even a restaurant at the port that will cook your catch for you!

Fishing Tour in Barcelona - Along the Coast

Duration: 4 hour

1 review

9. Minute flotation tank experience (from USD 46.0)

Barcelona is a thrilling and bustling city. It can be easy to get caught up in all of the sightseeing there is to do and forget to leave yourself time to relax. Make sure you have some down time on your trip and get the opportunity to try a brand new experience, by booking a session in a flotation tank! During this 50-minute session, you will enter a flotation tank filled with warm water and soothing Epsom salts. You may choose to close the door of the tank or leave it open and select calming music or silence — you’ll have complete control to make it a relaxing session. Leave feeling refreshed, calm, and ready to take on the rest of your vacation!

Barcelona: 50-Minute Floatation Tank Experience

Duration: 1 hour

4 reviews

10. Sea kayaking in Barcelona (from USD 30.0)

There are so many options for water activities around Barcelona that it’s easy to find something suitable for everyone! If you like the idea of boating and getting a little bit of aerobic exercise, consider trying out this sea kayaking excursion. Up to two people can share an open-topped sea kayak, and they’ll be provided with all the equipment they need as well as insurance. Enjoy the lovely sea breeze, the stunning skyline, and a fun and challenging activity all at once!

Kayak Rental

Duration: 1 hour

A city for experiences new and old!

Barcelona is one of those cities where new and old are balanced beautifully. Traditional architecture sits beside modern skyscrapers. Ancient art is shown next to contemporary pieces. It’s wonderful to see the popular sights of this beautiful city, but it’s also great to try something new and unconventional too! Pick one or two activities from this list and make your trip to Barcelona unlike anyone else’s.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our Privacy Policy for more information on how we use your data

Anne-Marie works in publishing by day and aspires to travel as much as she can. While she has not yet seen the whole world, she's eager to learn and write about it!

 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore Barcelona
Good things are meant to be shared!