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Barcelona by bike

The city of Barcelona has been a long-time personal favourite of mine, but until recently I’d never combined the Catalan capital’s charms with another personal favourite – my trusty motorcycle.

Well, I decided it was time to put paid to that on a recent trip.

After sorting out my motorcycle insurance through MCN Insurance (I ended up with a pretty good deal, and would recommend the site to any bikers heading abroad) I headed to the Channel Tunnel, then plotted a route through France that’d eventually lead me to Catalunya.

As a veteran of several trips to France I didn’t stop to do all that much in the way of sightseeing while in the country, but those that have been there before will know the drill – plenty of lush countryside and beautiful hills. Those that have never been before? Well, that’s maybe a whole different blog post – you’re missing out!

Pic: Moyan_Brenn/Flickr

Anyway, let’s get to the part you’ll be most interested in. Barcelona is one of the most unique cities in the world, simultaneously managing to juggle historical architecture, modern living and bags of personality with ease.

Assuming that basing myself centrally would make things difficult with regards to keeping my bike safe, I opted to stay in the Gracia district of the city, not too far from Antoni Gaudi’s famous Parc Guell.

From there, I wasn’t too out the way of any major attractions, yet I managed to escape the hustle and bustle of the city centre.

A highlight of the trip for me was my trip down to the seaside Barceloneta district. The seafront motorway presented a pretty stop/start ride, however it’s one of the most picturesque and iconic I’m likely to have. I took the traditional turn off into the famous Las Ramblas district, but despite the legions of scooters and bikes that do so on a daily basis, I wouldn’t recommend it. Simply put it was too busy for me to truly enjoy! Do yourself a favour and park up, then walk it if you fancy seeing everything properly.


An area of the city often neglected by visitors is the Montjuic region. Yes, its Olympic Park is well known, however I’ve got plenty of friends that have visited Barcelona without ever bothering to view its rolling hills.

The road runs right through many of them, and as such it’s a beautiful ride. You might not see all that many iconic sights, but you’ll most definitely enjoy yourself.

No trip to Barcelona is complete without a visit to the iconic Nou Camp – and the good news is that if you’re on two wheels you can do it like a true local. Anyone that’s ever seen the mighty Barcelona FC play will know that scooters and bikes are the preferred choice of locals making a speedy exit after the game.

Well, after doing it I can clarify that it’s a less stressful experience than the metro, although it’s not a bed of roses either! The main danger comes from pedestrian dodging as you’re making your way from the stadium, but once you hit the open road it’s simply full steam ahead.

The metro might be a nightmare after a game at the Nou Camp, but the rest of the time it’s actually a ridiculously efficient service. You can’t take your bike on it, but it’s absolutely ideal for those occasions you fancy leaving it at home.

From my location, I was able to reach the famous Sagrada Familia with little fuss, and there’d be nothing to stop you taking in any of the other sites of the Catalan capital on foot if you preferred. Have a look at a map to see how easy it makes getting around the city.

All in all, visiting Barcelona on bike added a whole new dimension to the experience for me. Even if you’re not a biker I’d be more than happy to recommend the city, but if you are it’s more than worth taking the trip there on two wheels. Even if you’ve never considered it before.

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