OUR FAVORITE BARCELONA DRIVING EXPERIENCES
Is driving one of your passions? Would you like to explore Barcelona by car or riding a motorbike or scooter? Are you a motorsports lover? Then today’s post is for you!
With the easy to drive grid of the Eixample, and some vehicle friendly large avenues such as Diagonal, Paral·lel, the boulevards along the Port Vell and the beaches, Ronda del Mig, the longest urban tunnel in Europe (connecting Plaça Maria Cristina with Plaça Ildefons Cerdà, scenic roads around the Hill of Montjuic and to the top of the Tibidabo Mountain, and 35km (almost 22 miles) of road ring, the city offers plenty of opportunities for leisurely driving – that is if you are not scared of the local traffic and don’t mind getting a bit lost.
Just remember that the speed limit inside the city is usually 50km/h (31 mph) but some sensitive areas are limited to only 20km/h (12.5mph), and in the Ronda de Dalt and Ronda Litoral it’s 80km/h (50mph) with some areas limited to 60km/h (37mph). And avoid the maze of alleys of the Old Town (Raval, Gothic Quarter and Born) because they are mostly pedestrian – La Rambla is also better avoided as it’s forbidden to drive it up, and really slow driving it down).
So ready for some fun? Here are some cool ideas for you, motorsports lovers!
These are our favorite driving activities in Barcelona:
Drive a supercar
How cool would it be to drive a Ferrari along the Barcelona marina? Out of your budget? Maybe not! Drive Me is a company that rents Ferrari and other supercars, and they have a 20 minute ride along the Port Vell marina and up to the Hill of Montjuic to see the city views for less than €100!
Or if you have a larger budget, they have longer city tours, as well as day trips outside of Barcelona. You can even combine the Ferrari ride with a helicopter flight or a sailboat excursion. Not a fan of Ferrari? No problem! They also have Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Porsche and Tesla. An experience you’ll remember your whole life and that will make your Barcelona trip memorable.
Drive a classic Spanish Beetle
When my parents were young, Seat 600 (the Spanish version of beetles) became a very popular car that was affordable for everyone. They’d load it with more people than it is now allowed to carry, plus a trunk full of towels and beach stuff and they’d drive to Castelledefels for a day at the beach with their friends. Sitges was still too far away, as the current tunnel didn’t exist yet.
Now you can have a similar (but safer) vintage experience driving a Beetle around the city. You’ll sure get some envious looks, as they are back in fashion and are considered quite stylish by the local hipsters that can appreciate the good old stuff.
Montmeló racing track
Only 32km (20 miles) North of Barcelona you’ll find a world-class Formule-1 and MotoGP racing track: the Circuit de Catalunya in Montmeló. While there are special bus services there departing from the Estació del Nord on Grand Prix days, getting there any other day can be tricky unless you rent a car.
The R2 suburban trains take you to Montmeló, but from there it’s a 45min walk to the track, unless you can navigate the local bus lines that get you closer (there are instructions in their website, but I found them tricky to understand). The offer guided tours of the track, as well as the opportunity to run a few rounds on a racing car.
Go silly: sightseeing on a go-car
Ready for some laughs? If you have a sense of humor, go explore Barcelona on a go-car. Those “toy-looking” vehicles are fully prepared to take you around and incorporate a GPS and a cheeky audioguide that will be describing the sites you are passing by… and make fun of your driving and your tourist looks.
Driving past the city buses (that will surely look huge from the go-car) and being surrounded by the crazy Barcelona motorbikers zooming past you might be a bit scary… but hey! That’s part of the fun, too! And by the end of the day you’ll have a few funny anecdotes to recall, for sure. They have different rental options depending on the itinerary you choose and how long you want to use it.
Rent a scooter
Did you know that Barcelona is the second city in motorbikes and scooters in Europe? After Rome, of course: we have over 250,000 of them in the city. What means that besides walking and taking subway or buses, that’s the most “local” way to move around! If you want to join the locals, it’s easier than you think!
There are two companies that rent them. If you want to use the scooter to move around freely doing your own thing, Cooltra is your best option offering 125cc vehicles with their own helmet and locker and necessary insurance. If instead you want it as a fun way to do your sightseeing, and specially if you prefer a vintage style, go for Vesping: their 50cc Vespa are available for 3 different itineraries and also come with helmet and locker and GPS with programmed tours.
And BONUS! Here is a museum dedicated to motor sports:
Museums for motor sport lovers
There used to be a Museum of the Motorbikes in the Gothic Quarter, however it closed permanently in 2017 and moved to a village near the Pyrinees called Bassella. However, there’s still one place where motorbike lovers can see some cool unique collection pieces.
At the DissenyHub, the Museum of Design of Barcelona, they have one section dedicated to industrial design or product design, and there you’ll be able to see some cool classic Spanish motorbikes: Montesa, Impala, Derbi, Bultaco and others. Also, in the Hill of Montjuic right next to the Olympic Stadium you’ll find the Museum of Sport, which dedicates a section to Formule-1 racing.
What Barcelona driving experiences would you consider for your trip?
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