The second most visited city of Spain, Barcelona, is beautiful no matter how you look at it. You can walk around it, sail along its coast, or see it from one of those open-top tourist buses that appear to be in vogue all around the world. You can always admire its many good sides and, unfortunately, have a taste of its bad side.
However, if you want to discover Barcelona in a healthy, ecologic and funny way, I recommend you to explore it by bike. Well, so does the Barcelona City Council. One of the main challenges of the current city plan implemented in Barcelona is to expand the bicycle lane network from 116 kilometres that it had in 2015 to 308 kilometres expected at the end of the mandate (in 2019). With this, they intend to reach the ambitious objective that the 95% of Barcelona’s population can have a bicycle lane within 300 metros from their home.
Let’s bike around Barcelona whistling the nostalgic melody of the Spanish TV series Verano Azul!
How to rent a bike in Barcelona
If you live in Barcelona or you want to visit it often or after a long period to explore it in depth, the best way to do it is by using Bicing, the bicycle rental service for residents.
If you pay an annual fee of 47.15€ (plus 14€ if you want to have access to electric bicycles), you can use the more than 7000 bikes spread in 500 stations all over the city.
With the Bicing card you can enjoy free bicycle rental in periods of 30 minutes. If you use one bike over this time, you have to pay 0.74€ for every 30 minutes up to 2 hours. If you spend over 2 hours without returning the bike, you will have to pay a sanction of 4.49€ per hour. Moreover, if you receive this penalty more than 3 times, your annual card will be cancelled.
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The truth is that if you take a look at the route and at the stations that you will find in it, you can connect periods of 30 minutes with different bikes without having to pay anything.
The only thing that you have to take into account is whether the station that you choose for changing bikes has space for leaving the bike you have and another one for continuing the route.
For further information, you can visit Bicing Barcelona’s website.
However, if you only want to visit Barcelona by bike for a couple of days, we recommend you to rent a bike at any of the many shops and agencies available in the city.
Prices are around 3-6€ per hour or 13-20€ per day.
Possible bicycle routes in Barcelona
Do you want to have the best views over the city without having to pedal too much and without polluting? It is possible.
Start your route from the famous Plaza Cataluña. There you have to take a train that will take you to the high part of the neighbourhood of Sarrià in order to take the famous Funicular de Vallvidrera. Built in 1906, it was renewed in 1998 and now it can carry up to 50 people in each trip. And your bike.
With the help of the funicular you will have reached one of the viewpoints of the beautiful Collserola Park. Enjoy some fresh air in this impressive green space so close to the urban chaos, while you cycle on Camí de Les Aigües, a simple gravel path, for about 4 km.
Then you start a enjoyable descent to the city. Pass through Tibidabo Avenue, enjoy the art nouveau buildings of the neighbourood of Eixample, the charming streets of the legendary Barrio de Gracia, the Sagrada Familia, and continue to the Arc de Triomf and to another of the green areas of Barcelona: Parc de la Ciutadella.
You are already close to the Port Olímpic and the Barceloneta beach, so make a last effort to end your route where any trip must end: facing the sea.
In total, you will have cycled for 20 km in about 4 hours.
The most tourist side of Barcelona
If you like visiting the most tourist areas of the cities, I recommend you to follow a circular route that will make you go back home with a good idea of the best monuments in Barcelona.
You can leave from the Port Olímpic to the interior. Pass through Parc de la Ciutadella and continue to the west, through the Monumental area, until you get to the well-known -and unfinished- work of the genius Gaudí: Sagrada Familia.
From there, go south, in parallel to the sea, until you turn east in Paseo de Gracia, the most known shopping areas in Barcelona and a street in which you can admire other fabulous Gaudí works such as Casa Batlló and La Pedrera – Casa Milà.
Then head to the picturesque part of El Raval and descend to the beautiful and monumental Gothic Quarter of Barcelona. You are very close to the Colon statue now, where you can already see the sea and you can follow the promenade of the port until you reach the sand of La Barceloneta.
You can easily complete this circular route in about 3 hours. You can also do it at night so you can see the city with a different view.
The Green Ring of Barcelona
If you like cycling around and you have time for a leisurely stroll, the Green Ring is the perfect route for discovering Barcelona by bike. The Green Ring combines different kinds of paths and tracks that will take you both through urban areas and through nature areas.
If you start from the Port Olímpic, you will pass through Plaza de España and near the Camp Nou stadium before going up to Collserola Park and to the Tibidabo. This nature stretch in Camí de Les Aigües will take you to Besòs River, which marks the northern limit of Barcelona.
The last kilometres of this route are a nice promenade along the beach. The overall distance is approximately 45 km, with 850 metres of accumulated elevation. Take the hole day to complete it at ease.
You can check the map of the Green Ring of Barcelona.
Where can I change my money for euros?
Even though you won’t need money to enter these museums , you will need euros for moving around Barcelona and around the rest of Spain. For that, Global Exchange has foreign exchange branches at the main airports of more than 20 countries, among them Barcelona El Prat. Check the branches in your country and travel without any worries, always ready to pay anything you need.
And if you are already there and you plan on changing money upon your arrival (or your coming back home), we will make it easier with a 15% on the margin applied to your change at any of the Spanish branches. To benefit from the discount, show this coupon at the branch and start your trip off on the right foot.