When it comes to fitness, there are some people who have the discipline to just wake up, get their workout out of the way, and then feel wonderful and productive the rest of the day. Then there are some who hit the snooze button five times, eventually roll out of bed and cannot function until they have their coffee; needless to say those who fall under this category don’t have the same discipline as those in the first, and often group workouts are best. Then there are those who absolutely detest working out, and would prefer to play sports for hours than go on a boring run. I have found options for all three of those categories here in Barcelona, all of which are completely FREE.
Category 1: The Disciplined Runners
Barceloneta Boardwalk- This trail is where one can find the fittest people in Barcelona flaunting their beach bodies running along this 4.5k trail. Needless to say, the waterfront view makes it a picturesque run and helps you to forget that you’re exercising in about 30C weather. The best times of day to run on this trail are sunrise and sunset, not only because of the beautiful scenery, but because during the daytime the path is congested with oblivious cyclists, pedestrians and skaters.
Diagonal- This is one of my personal favorites for running because DiR has provided markers every 200 meters along this path. From Fransesc Macia to the Cervantes Garden is about a 5k, so a round trip run is 10k. It is an easy run, and the Cervantes Garden is an ideal spot to stretch and breathe the aroma of hundreds of flowers planted throughout.
Montjuic- The path around Montjuic and Placa Espanya is about a total of 7.2km and can give you free access to one of the best views in Barcelona. Starting at Placa Espanya by the huge roundabout, this trail will take you around Poble Espanya, Castel de Montjuic, the Palau Nacional, and past the Magic Fountain, all of which are extremely famous landmarks in Barcelona.
Category 2: The Not-so-Disciplined Group Exercisers
24FIT Camp– I found this wonderful group by using the MeetUp app on my phone. This 100% free fitness class has become part of my Saturday routine, which starts at 11 am meeting in Ciutadella Park by the fountain. There is usually a group of about 20-30 international participants, ready to complete the High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts provided by the bilingual instructors.
Barcelona Casual Runners- This is another group that I found using the MeetUp app on my phone, and although it is not a group workout, it is a group run, which makes the tasking challenge MUCH more bearable. On Monday’s they normally run around Montjuic, there is always a runner’s weekly meetup which can be anywhere from 6-10km depending on your preference, and then there is the occasional 20km run for the dedicated fanatics.
Category 3: The Team-Oriented Exercisers
Beach Volleyball- Every Saturday since I moved to Barcelona I have been going to Porto Olimpico to play vo
lleyball. I go with friends, but when I first moved here I would just ask to join in games that had already been started with the free nets set up on the beach. Not only is beach volleyball extremely competitive and a great form of exercise, it is perfect for meeting new people.
La Foixarda– This is one of my favorite spots in Barcelona! This is a relatively hidden spot where locals bring their own gear and climb on the free outdoor rock walls. It is right by Placa Espanya, specifically Montjuic, and you can go to either climb the walls or boulder inside the tunnel. You can climb at your own risk completely free without harness, ropes or climbing shoes (which I have seen), or you can rent gear from and go with friends.