Barcelona is the bustling beach paradise that sits high on many wish lists for a good reason. The Spanish architecture runs rampant in this high-fashion metropolitan that melds the chilled beach aesthetic with cultural flair to create a colourful and vibrant atmosphere, especially as the evening draws in. Here are some amazing spots to shoot in Barcelona:
There are actually multiple amazing places to shoot here, so I decided to put it all together for those up for a walk with their cameras. Starting on the east end of the boardwalk, which seems far out but really isn’t, you can start your photo adventure on golden sands and open waters, as the most unobstructed views can be found in the surfers haven away from the public bathing beaches. As you head west toward the main city (just look toward the skyscrapers and walk along the pavement in that direction), you will pass multiple free-standing beach cafes each with their own Malibu-like theme. These little beach stands were actually inspired by the wave of 90’s ‘surfer dude’ stereotypes and still maintain their somewhat cheesy theme. Think along the lines of the boardwalk in Jaws, or Baywatch. The little lifeguard stations are spaced evenly along the sands too, in beautiful hues of blue and red and white.
Continue walking, and you will come to the whimsical L’estel Ferit, a permanent art exhibit on the shores. The piece is a teetering tower of blocks that look as if they will all at any second. The silhouette looks amazing at sunrise and sunset when the colours of the sky melt around it, but has an industrial feel during the daytime.
As you continue west, you will come to the harbour. Here you will find rows and rows of beautiful yachts and fishing boats among the palm tree lined boardwalk that is still home to original historical buildings that have been converted into shops, cafes and venue the Soho House Barcelona. The harbour will eventually widen out into the port where you will find cruise ships docked for the day, and the sky tram tracks which stretch across it. Take a ride up in one of these to have epic views of the water and ships, and save yourself the climb up the hillside to the Montjuic fortress.
A castle fortress dating back to the 1600’s, this building affords panoramic views of both the city and the water as it used to serve as a military base. Now a municipal building in the former Olympic complex, the castle is surrounded by lily-filled ponds and water features, a moat, and a hilly park that houses a courtyard coffee shop and restaurant with city views as well. The patrons here tend to be more fashionable as it is a rather expensive place, but it is common to see bridal shoots in progress as the area is stunning.
Centred around the gothic churches of Barcelona in the old Las Ramblas district, this warren of narrow streets harkens to the past. Put away the map and dive in, as many of the churches don’t charge entry, and the stained glass windows, massive chandeliers and quiet courtyards provide an oasis away from the bustle of the city.
The walk out of the city toward this park is itself a photo opportunity, but the famous mosaic art housed in this small park is worth the uphill trek. Take in the almost Disney-like feel of the whimsical buildings and wander into the mind of Barcelona’s favourite artist. If you can get in around sunset, head up to the rooftop courtyard and see the most comprehensive and breathtaking view of the city from above.
Barcelona is definitely a photogenic city, and while these are my absolute favourite spots, there are many more if you take the time to wander. The district of El Born shows a wealthier side of the residents, and there are multiple botanical gardens scattered along the seaside that fill with locals and especially students in their time off. These areas come alive with musicians and performers in the evening and the experience of floating along with the vibe of the city is unmatched. It is not uncommon to see couples dance before heading out for tapas to one of the markets or restaurants. Even these restaurants tend to be art hubs as they are repurposed villas and homes that retain the interior design of their previous use. The markets, too, have colorful bouquets of fruits, desserts and people, so keep your camera ready when you dance with Barcelona.