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Picnic areas in Barcelona: gastronomy and leisure, hand in hand

As the weather warms up and summer holidays are on the way, eating behind closed doors may not be at all appetising. Among the wide range of options to enjoy alfresco dining, we’ve identified the latest trend: picnics. Yes, despite what it may seem, baskets and tablecloths placed on the lawn are trending once again in cities such as London, Paris or New York, and now Barcelona Whether in a park, in the hills, on the beach or in a place with the city at its feet, Barcelona offers the possibility of relishing in good food while discovering the most charming corners of the city. In this post we will propose some of the most special places for enjoying a picnic.

Why has the picnic trend taken off?

Sometimes we rack our brains for plans, which are certainly not the most affordable, to get out of the routine and enjoy time with our friends or family, surprise our partner or offer a different team building activity outside of enclosed spaces. However, the best ideas are often those that appear to be simplest, like a delicious picnic in a nice place. Although there is a tendency in Spain to associate picnics with something very basic and unglamorous, in cities such as Paris, London or New York, this tradition has become a chic trend, far removed from the images of shorts, socks with sandals, hand coolers, greasy sandwiches and umbrellas. As proof of this, the big fashion companies have included them in their imaginative ideas: Chanel, Carolina Herrera and Louis Vuitton have not been able to resist designing their famous picnic baskets. This new fashion arises in connection with the tendencies to consume local and quality products. In the case of Barcelona, these can be ham, sausages, pâtés, fresh fruit and a good wine. Initiatives such as PicnicBCN, which delivers baskets with local gourmet products to the most iconic picnic areas in Barcelona, base their success on the special connection that exists between discovering the most beautiful places in a city and enjoying its gastronomy.

Most emblematic picnic areas in Barcelona

Barcelona offers a wide range of places to eat outdoors. There are many that allow you to enjoy the good weather and disconnect from the daily grind by substituting artificial light for natural light —free of noise, beautiful views, the breeze on your face and the smells and colours that nature has to offer us. The first thing that you should consider is what surroundings you prefer for your picnic: the lawn of a park? The sand of a beach? An emblematic location? Whether you’re travelling through or staying in Barcelona, a picnic can be an ideal occasion to enjoy places that we do not usually visit. Below we offer some of the most iconic picnic areas in Barcelona.

The Parc de la Ciutadella, a classic

In the heart of the city we find its main lung: the Parc de la Ciutadella. Located next to the Barcelona zoo and very close to the port area, this spot is characterised by plenty of activity, making it a meeting point for many Barcelonans. The Parc de la Ciutadella has a lot of corners where you can unfold your tablecloth and enjoy the good weather and a tasty meal, often accompanied by pleasant live music.

Park Güell, a look over Barcelona

Located in the highest part of the city, Park Güell is without a doubt one of the icons of Barcelona. Getting lost in its gardens, surrounded by impressive modernist works, and then (or just before) enjoying a picnic with the city at our feet is an unparalleled plan.

Beaches of Barcelona, a perfect combination

There are few better places to enjoy a good picnic than by the sea, something that other picnic-loving European cities cannot offer. In Barcelona, we are lucky to have access to many beaches, some of them well known, like the Barceloneta or Bogatell, while others are tucked away. All are designed for spending a day in the sun, the sand and with a good picnic that goes beyond the sandwich you hastily prepared at home. You can also enjoy a splendid gastronomic evening in the same sand, or if we prefer, on a lawn and in gardens.

Park Güell does not allow picnics in the Monumental Precinct. However, it has several designated areas for eating outdoors with beautiful views of the park and the city.

The picnic and its connection with the local gastronomy

Picnicking is not just an entertaining plan to break the routine, it’s a very good way to get to know a place better through its scenery and its gastronomy. Why leave a beautiful park and go to the busy terrace to eat tapas when you can taste the best acorn-fed ham with good wine and spectacular views wherever you want and all at once? You can enjoy a picnic with a refreshing gazpacho, truffle-flavoured crisps, Iberian ham, cheese, fruit and even a chocolate delight and a bottle of wine to choose from for less than you would be charged at a busy restaurant, far away from the hustle and bustle, enjoying nature, the sea breeze and the beautiful views

A picnic is also an idea increasingly appreciated by foreign companies coming to Barcelona on an incentive-based trip. A luxurious gourmet basket with the best local products allows them to offer a different leisure activity to their employees. They can strengthen bonds over a pleasant chat while enjoying food from the local cuisine and washing it down with good regional wine.

Other places for a picnic

In Barcelona there are many other places that call for picnics, away from the crowds of the top-visited attractions. We can take advantage of brands like PicnicBCN that deliver gourmet picnics to wherever we want, so we don’t have to worry about anything but enjoying the occasion. Let’s venture below to find some unconventional places and corners for a picnic:

The Carmel bunkers

An anti-aircraft base during the Civil War and later a shelter for the anti-Franco resistance, the Carmel bunkers in the Turó de la Rovira is one of the most impressive vantage points of Barcelona. It’s an ideal place to grab your other half for a romantic picnic accompanied by a magnificent sparkling wine or to get your friends together to share a nice selection of local products and a good beer.

Keep in mind that there are no shaded spaces at the bunkers. Therefore, it is advisable to make the picnic on a cloudy day or when the sun begins to fall.

Montjuïc Mountain

Montjuïc is one of the most historic and magical places in Barcelona. It has ample green spaces and interesting spots where visitors can enjoy a delicious meal with family or friends. Also, there are not many places serving food, so having a picnic delivered is a great idea. Some of the best-known parks on the hill are:

  • Jardins del Mirador: Close to water sources, shaded areas and grass to lay down comfortably after a relaxing stroll. Visitors can enjoy privileged views overlooking the sea, which takes on a beautiful shade at sunset. It is also a very romantic spot that is easily accessible, as it’s located near the Castle of Montjuïc.
  • Mossèn Cinto Verdaguer Gardens: Landscaped gardens that are full of grass and feature an artificial lake. It’s a perfect place to spend a sunny day outdoors in good company with a delicious meal surrounded by nature.
  • Joan Brossa Gardens: What was once an amusement park for more than 30 years is now a large green space covered with typical lush Mediterranean vegetation and dotted with lookouts that offer beautiful views. Just above them there is an esplanade that is accessible from the top with several picnic tables.
  • Botanical Garden: An area of 14 hectares on terrain with a steep slope, similar to a wide amphitheatre. The garden features scenic views over the Llobregat delta and the Olympic Ring, with the Garraf massif and the Collserola and Marina mountains as the backdrop. Between Doctor Font Quer Street and Passeig Olímpic, you’ll find access to a picnic area with ample space for children to play.

Labyrinth of Horta

Located northeast of Barcelona, next to the Ronda de Dalt, the Parc del Laberint is the oldest preserved garden in the city. It was conceived as a neoclassical garden with an Italian touch but ended up being a romantic garden. Before or after strolling along a road flanked by cypresses that leads to the centre, spread out a tablecloth and enjoy a delicious picnic in the area equipped with tables and wooden benches. An ideal plan for families with children.

The park of l’Oreneta

In the neighbourhood of Sarrià, northwest of Barcelona, sits this forested area that connects the city with the Collserola mountain range. It has 17 hectares where you can enjoy nature and avoid breathing the fumes of the cars puttering about the city. It is an excellent environment for a family picnic since it has a playground for kids, table tennis facilities, a pond and even a children’s train that runs on weekends.

It all starts with a good meal

One of the advantages of the picnic is its great versatility and endless options: we can do it for breakfast, lunch, a snack or dinner; surrounded by mountains, on the beach or in a city; and it can include everything from the simplest to the most sophisticated—with a romantic touch, if necessary. With PicnicBCN you only need to decide where you want to eat, then choose the menu. Select from the simple and tasty Picnic Classic to the luxurious Picnic Barcelona, for the most gourmet and special occasions. PicnicBCN prepares the picnic special for each customer and takes it to the place of choice.

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