Sants train station is the biggest train station in Barcelona with local, regional and high-speed trains (AVE) passing through it each day. Instead of waiting for your train inside and twiddling your thumbs for hours, here are a few ideas on what there is to see and do close to Sants Station.
Parque de la España Industrial
If the sun is shining and you’ve got a few minutes to spare before your train arrives, head to Parque de la España Industrial. The good news is that you don’t have to go far as it’s right next to Sants train station. Named after a big textile factory of the same name, España Industrial, it is based on the elements water, wind and fire. The park is a great place to go with kids as there is the big iron dragon complete with slide and in the summer kids enjoy playing in the pool.
Related Article: Where to grab a cheap bite next to Sants train station
Parque Joan Miró
Joan Miró Park is close to Plaza España and has more green space than Parque de la España Industrial. The main feature of the park is Joan Miró’s whopping 22-metre-high sculpture Dona i Ocell (Woman and Bird), although you have to use your imagination a bit! The park has different areas including a children’s play area, pergolas and grassy areas to lie in the sun and enjoy a picnic.
Biblioteca Pública Joan Miró
At the edge of the Parque Joan Miró is the Joan Miró Public Library. Although not one of the biggest libraries in Barcelona it offers a nice and quiet place to read a book. The library is separated into two areas, the children’s section and the adult’s section, with a reading corridor in between the two.
Centro Comercial Las Arenas
Formerly a bullring, Las Arenas was transformed into a shopping centre which opened in 2011. A perfect spot to get those last minute souvenirs or gifts with over 100 shops to explore. Plus if you’re feeling peckish there’s a supermarket and a food court on the lower level. There’s even a cinema and from the top floor, you get a great view over Plaza España.
About a 15-minute walk from Sants train station is Plaza España, another main transport hub with the metro and FGC train station right underneath it. The square was built as part of the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition along with the Torres Valencianas, MNAC and the Magic Fountain. An impressive fountain dominates the centre of Plaza España which represents the country of Spain including its seas and rivers.
As you make your way from Plaza España you are greeted by two Venetian towers which will look awfully familiar, if you have ever been to Venice. The towers were modeled on the bell-tower of St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice and are each 47m high. Originally they were open to the public with a viewing gallery, but now they are both closed. The only time they are open is part of the 48h Open House BCN event. We highly recommend it to get a unique view of Montjuic!
Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya or MNAC is the national museum of Catalan art. The building itself is worth a visit. It is parked right on top of Montjuic hill which gives you a great view of the city. There are escalators up to the top for the lazy amongst us. The museum has an extensive collection with over a thousand years of art packed away, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to see it all.
Related Article: MNAC – Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya
The Magic Fountain
During the day it is a pretty impressive fountain, but it’s at night when the magic comes to life, or so to speak. Built in 1929 for the International Exposition, every weekend it offers a free light show with music and water which attracts hundreds of tourists. There are also spectacular displays during New Years and La Mercé, with amazing fireworks.
Now you have no excuse to be bored whilst waiting for that train. Where’s your favourite place to go near Sants train station? Let us know and comment below!
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* Main photo by Yannig Van de Wouwer via Visualhunt