7 tips on things to do in Barcelona during Mobile World Congress 2018
The halls of the Fira Gran Via will open on February 26 for Mobile World Congress 2018. Over the following four days, attendees will be bombarded with the latest advances in mobile technology, from cutting-edge smartphones to innovative wearables.
It can be overwhelming for first-time attendees, and it can be easy to overlook the majestic city that the Mobile World Congress calls home. One of the world’s most captivating cities, the Catalan capital holds a myriad of experiences that you won’t want to miss.
Here we reveal some lesser-known attractions with tips on things to do in Barcelona during your visit:
1. Tips on things to do in Barcelona: Parc Natural de Collserola
This is very much a hidden gem in Barcelona, offering an unparalleled view of the city. If you need to clear your head after a busy day in the Fira, the Collserola Natural Park is perfect for a refreshing run or energizing bike ride. In addition to offering a variety of flora and fauna to discover, the 8,000-hectare space is full of historical sights worth discovering.
2. Bunkers del Carmel
While not as exclusive and secret as it once was, the dilapidated old military hideout known as Bunkers del Carmel is still a great location to view the sunset with spectacular views over Barcelona. If you have time, join the locals by taking a picnic as the sun goes down over the Catalan capital surrounded by the buildings built during the Spanish Civil War in 1937.
3. Casa Milà
Barcelona is synonymous with the ingenious architect Antoni Gaudí. Parc Quell and the iconic Sagrada Familia are his best-known works. Casa Milà — also commonly known as La Pedrera — is one of Gaudí’s lesser-known gems. Constructed between 1906 and 1910, the residential building is located in the Eixample district and is one of the most famous and impressive buildings of the Modernisme movement.
4. El Raval
El Raval is a cultural hub in the center of Barcelona that is perfect for a night out if you are looking to meet up with colleagues or friends away from the booths and halls of Mobile World Congress. It offers museums, art, food, drink and street life, and has recently started to move away from its grittier past to shift into a more vibrant, established area. Head to the rooftop terrace in the Barceló Raval hotel to enjoy a drink amid an impressive 360-degree view.
5. Parc del Laberint d’Horta
If you need some quiet time after the hustle and bustle of the Fira, then Parc del Laberint d’Horta offers a perfect change of pace. Unlike other public spaces in Barcelona, the park offers a unique mix of mazes, canals and waterfalls. Designed in 1792 by the Italian engineer Domenico Bagutti, the park is dotted with statues inspired by Greek mythology and promises a nice counterpoint to all the technology on show at Mobile World Congress.
Gràcia is a bohemian and stylish neighborhood that lacks the flashy and gaudy aspects of the Ramblas. A mixture of hillside cafes, ethereal parks and superb views of Barcelona, it is easy to see why locals love it here. Plaça del Diamant is the most iconic square in the district, made famous by Catalan author Mercé Rodoreda’s novel of the same name (translated to English as “The Time of the Doves”). The perfect place to get lost amid its small, charming streets, Gràcia offers a more relaxing option while still in the heart of Barcelona.
7. Eat like a local
Going to Barcelona and not eating tapas is like going to New York and not eating a hot dog. In order to get a real sense of how the Catalans eat, you will need to hop from tapas bar to tapas bar, sampling both their signature drinks (such as craft beer, local cider, and, of course, wine) along with a range of hot and cold specialty tapas. You can join one of the many food tours, which offer local insights into the best restaurants to visit in each district.
As you can see from these tips on things to do in Barcelona, you really should take some time away from the smartphones, tablets and wearables, and spend some time exploring the wonderful city that hosts Mobile World Congress.