The best time to come here is on a Sunday, mid to late afternoon, when the park is full of casual performers – musicians, jugglers, makeshift slackline walkers who have tied their line to a tree, and some even trying to do all these things at once. It’s also a great place for families and friends to just relax and picnic in the sun. In the way of activities there’s a playground, rowboat rentals for paddling around the small lake and the Barcelona Zoo.
Noteworthy sites include Cascada Monumental – a large and ornate waterfall and lake; the early modernist Castle of Three Dragons, which houses the Museum of Zoology; the Parliament of Catalonia; the atmospheric cast iron and glass Hivernacle greenhouse; and what we can assume to be a life-sized statue of a mammoth.
Parc de la Ciutadella sits next to El Born, a trendy neighbourhood with lots of great boutiques, galleries and bars on its winding streets. It’s an ideal location: it has the medieval ambience of the neighbouring Gothic Quarter and a bit of the local vibe of also neighbouring Barceloneta.