Travel around the most literary, cinematographic and secret Barcelona

Spring marks the arrival of Sant Jordi’s Day, an excellent excuse to discover (or rediscover) different literary and poetic settings in Barcelona. Walk through our city and move around with public transport feeling like a character from a novel!

Panoramic view of the Plaça Reial of Barcelona

Barcelona can boast of being a Mediterranean city and, at the same time, cosmopolitan, as well as historic and avant-garde. It is also undoubtedly a literary city par excellence. Countless writers have helped to immortalise Barcelona, offering more or less accurate portraits of its streets, customs and people.

Mercè Rodoreda published "La plaça del Diamant" in 1962, considered to be a classic of post-war Catalan literature. With Ildefonso Falcones' "L' Esglèsia del Mar" we were able to experience the life of Arnau Estanyol in 14th century Barcelona. And we should not forget Eduardo Mendoza with "La ciutat dels prodigis", a novel about the evolution of Barcelona between the universal expositions of 1888 and 1929.

In Barcelona, verses also allude to the walls of its alleyways, the water of its fountains, the greenery of its gardens, and many other places waiting to be found by the gaze of those who seek inspiration. If you want to follow the footsteps of great Catalan poets through time to relive their experiences in the places where they left their mark, you can take the route from Sant Gervasi to the Gothic Quarter with Joan Maragall, visit Ciutat Vella with Joan Salvat Papasseit, discover the Sarrià district of J.V. Foix and, of course, you cannot miss the gardens of Montjuïc dedicated to Mossèn Cinto Verdaguer, Joan Brossa and Miquel Costa i Llobera.

“Monument to the book” by Joan Brossa and Josep Pla-Narbona
View of a terrace of a bar in a square in the Born neighborhood
Mural in tribute to Mercè Rodoreda in Les Corts neighborhood

The curiosities and secrets of Barcelona

In addition to the titles and authors best-known for the links between their works and the city, we would like to recommend some books about hidden secrets and unique features of Barcelona that you'll enjoy discovering. Did you know that there is a replica of the Statute of Liberty that welcomes us at the entrance of the first public library built in the 19th century? Or that the best gin and tonic in the world is made at a cocktail bar down a little alleyway between Rambla Catalunya and Passeig de Gràcia? Want to know more? Read on!

Barcelona, a film city

It is no secret that our city is a great film set, but sometimes the locations go unnoticed because the film narrative requires it. The film and tourism expert Eugeni Osácar, in his book ‘Barcelona, a city of film’ unmasks these spaces of the city, chosen for big Hollywood productions. It presents routes that allow us to travel around the city as through we were watching a film: strolling through the real-life settings of major national and international feature films.

In addition, for the most curious among us, it also offers anecdotes and personal details about the actors who have visited us. Maybe you'll end up falling in love in the same place as Scarlett Johansson, who knows!

View of the interior of a TMB bus

"Secret Barcelona. Volume III "

Human beings are curious by nature and the Barcelona journalist and writer Xavi Casinos is well aware of this. For this reason, he has just published “Barcelona Secreta III” which follows on from“Barcelona Secreta. Volum II (2020)”, “Barcelona Secreta (2019)” and “Barcelona. Històries, curiositats i misteris (2016)” (2016) "[Barcelona. Stories, curiosities and mysteries], in which he offers 60 more amazing stories about the city.

Some of the stories are anecdotes and curious facts published between 2014 and 2016 in the ‘Secret Barcelona’ section of the digital edition of La Vanguardia: from secret tunnels to unexploded bombs, to cyclists and farmers on the capitals of Art Nouveau columns.

If you didn't know that there is a hidden Cobi in a Gaudí chimney or that Barcelona hides the remains of the last Templar knights, then this is the ideal reading list for you this Sant Jordi!


Looking for a special plan?

And while we're on the subject... Do you have plans to celebrate Sant Jordi? Come to the Montjuïc Cable Car from 22 to 24 April and with the purchase of a round-trip adult ticket you can access accompanied by up to 4 children under 12 years old who will go up for free! Enjoy privileged views with the best company!

Celebrate the Barcelona Bus Network Centenary with us! Visit also our book-trucks, at Jardinets de Gràcia and Passeig Lluís Companys (Arc de Triomf) in Barcelona.

Also, check out all the activities that the city of Barcelona has to offer you this day!

Decoration on a door lintel
Close-up of a bicycle with Sant Felip Neri square in the background of the picture
Chimneys of Palau Güell, on Carrer Nou de la Rambla