Barcelona

Bicycles in Barcelona

A bicycle is a perfect way to explore Barcelona. If you have your own I highly recommend using it to explore around the beach areas, the pedestrianised Gothic Quarter, and even as far out as La Sagrada Familia. There are lots of bike stands where you can secure bikes. There are several companies renting bikes also.

Parking and free camping in Barcelona

Parking isn’t as big a problem in Barcelona as you might think. However crime is high here, so choose your spot well. A lot of streets, even close to the centre of the city have free parking. Equally many streets have metered parking.
Behind the beaches:
For a spot close to town try behind the beaches, east of the main activity, where small vehicles can park in the free bays that are provided. Keep valuables out of sight. Discreet free camping is possible here for smaller vehicles, although it could be noisy. Further east are a number of large dirt car parks, but all have height restrictions, but low height panel vans should be fine. It is a bit of a walk back to town though, great if you have a bike.
Montjuic: Montjuic is a high hill overlooking the city. There is lots of parking here, most of it shaded by trees. It’s a 20 minute walk into town, although it takes twice as long coming back as the hill is very steep. There is a metro stop here though, so you can be downtown within minutes. Head for the Jardins de Mossen Jacint Verdaguer gardens, or for the Castell de Montjuic, then look around for places to park. There are quite a few level shaded areas. This area is suitable for large vehicles. Smaller vehicles can park closer to town, further down the hill, and on the street of the metro stop, by heading towards Jardin de Miramar.
Eastern edge of the beaches: Whilst cycling along the beachfront I saw a sign for motorhome parking. I followed the signs, passing lots of car parks with high restrictions, before the road merged into the main road. I couldn’t see any area suitable for motorhomes. If you know where this is please let me know.

  1. Barcelona Motorhome Break In
    I also got burgled in Barcelona, coming back from Ibiza in 2010. I drove around for more than an hour looking for a safe spot, I settled upon a busy, very well lit spot near the marina, with hundreds of people walking past the parking area, with cars crawling nose to tail on the other side of the van, a busy 24 hour McDonalds directly across the road and a police station within view. I thought we’d found the perfect spot with a break in being likely impossible, due to the aforementioned and the fact the van was alarmed, yet within 30 mins of leaving the van I came back to fine it ransacked! I thought and said there and then that it must be almost impossible to avoid a break in for a foreign motorhome in Barcelona, we reported the matter to the Police but they showed very little interest or concern. A night in the Hilton followed as my travelling partner was too scared to sleep in the van afterwards.

    Very best of luck to any motor homers risking a stay in Barcelona.

    Reply

  2. Stay out of Barcelona
    We also got burgled – parked on a road behind the beaches in north-east during a short beach walk. They smashed the window on the drivers side during the day and stole all our suitcases with clothes – fortunately I was reading your warnings here before and we had all our valuables with us. Thanks mate 🙂

    Reply

  3. DavidPenhaligon January 25, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    Campervans in Barcelona
    I have been robbed several times in Barcelona and several more attempted. The two favourites for vans seem to be distraction – someone bangs on the van and then a second person grabs what they can and runs while you are looking to see what the noise is about, and puncturing a tyre and then the same result.These two types are done in daylight, in busy streets, even with police within a few yards. The less common but still quite frequent method is a straightforward break in via window or forced locks. I have experienced all of these personally.

    My advice on Barcelona for vans is forget it! If you are desperate to go there in a van keep your doors and windows locked when driving. Do not get out of the van immediately if you get a punctured tyre or someone does something to attract your attention, wait a few minutes and the prospective thieves will disappear. Do not park in sidestreets or on Montjuic and leave the van unattended.

    David

    Reply

  4. Parking and free camping in Barcelona
    We parked at the top of Montjuic last month opposite the Olympic stadium and got burgled! No damage, not even a broken lock – but camcorder, Playstation, iPod, smartphone and a bag of make-up(!) all stolen.

    Reply

    1. What keys!
      Maybe you would have been better locking it up before you went on your way!!

      Reply

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