I had the idea for this article when I saw an abandoned, scary looking asylum in the middle of Barcelona. This turned out to be El Centre Penitenciari d'Homes de Barcelona, more on that later. Further inspiration came from a hotel at Montserrat that looks to be the perfect setting for a horror movie. So let’s take a look at the most interesting haunted and abandoned places in Barcelona.
All this came shortly after watching the Insidious & The Conjuring films. My friends and I got to talking about how fun it would be to explore abandoned (and maybe haunted) spots in Barcelona. Thus the idea for a few exciting excursions was borne. I thought it would be fun to write about so you explorers can do the same.
Unexpected Adventures in Barcelona
My friends and I are always looking for new adventures in Barcelona, something different instead of just going to parties. We were all delighted to discover there were so many haunted and abandoned buildings in and around Barcelona to explore. The first place on our list of haunted and abandoned places in Barcelona is…
1. Haunted Hospital in Catalonia: Hospital del Tórax
This place is one of the creepiest on the list. Technically it isn’t in Barcelona, it’s in a beautiful town nearby. But ‘Abandoned and haunted places in Barcelona’ sounds better than: ‘Abandoned & haunted places mostly in Barcelona and a few outside the city as well’. So if you’re looking for truly unique things to do in Barcelona (and near Barcelona) this is a must do!
I spoke to one of Barcelona’s best tour guides, for recommendations or places I might have missed. She gave me a first-hand account of her trip to Hospital del Torax. I usually don’t like to include stories or things that I haven’t experienced myself but her story was pretty cool so I want to include it!
After finishing work early in the morning, she and her friends decided to visit the hospital. Upon arriving they set up a sort of Ouija board and proceeded to go upstairs to the first floor which used to be the children’s section. There was nobody and nothing on either floor so they continued upstairs.
Heading up to the second floor they heard a door slam downstairs (they had investigated thoroughly and nobody was down there) and had left all the doors closed... She remarked that this unusual excursion was during summer, not a blustery winter afternoon which could explain the slamming door.
2. El Centre Penitenciari d'Homes de Barcelona
Opened in June 1904 and in service for 113 years, the prison was not without its controversy. A riot for heroin and more than one major escape (58 prisoners in 1933 and 45 in 1978). Part of the prison has now been converted into a playground. Stories of murder, suicide and more make you think, could there be something paranormal dwelling here?
3. Torre Salvana
Probably the coolest looking place on the list, Torre Salvana
looks very much like an abandoned Game of Thrones set
. The twin towers at the entrance are dwarfed by the tower (Torre) after which this dwelling is named. I think this one is particularly cool not because it’s abandoned or some of the stories that surround it, but its appearance really makes you feel as if you could be traveling back in time. The ruins aren’t exactly untouched as they are covered, pointlessly, by graffiti that some fools decided was a necessary addition. The interesting thing is that you barely notice the graffiti, which is a credit to Torre Salvana.
The towers even have the slits that would be used to keep a lookout on anyone advancing on those inside. The slits would also be used to shoot arrows at the enemy but were also small enough to make it difficult even for Legolas to hit those taking cover inside.
4. Mirador del Semafor
One of the coolest abandoned places to visit in Barcelona can be seen from the plane. As you head over the Balearic Sea and come into Barcelona you will have to look carefully to spot it. Mirador del Semafor isn’t far from Delta del Llobregat and was built way back in 1887. Its purpose was to communicate with nearby Montjuic Castle regarding possible shipwrecks and aid in regulating shipping traffic, like a waterfront traffic warden, if you will.
Not everyone knows about this secret spot, if you’re looking for ‘undiscovered Barcelona’ this is a great spot. I only found it by chance while exploring some less traveled routes just outside Barcelona center.
5. Casino de la Rabassada
To say Casino de la Rabassada has been hammered by the years is an understatement. Built little over 100 years ago, the former hotspot is now a ruin. I don’t mean this as a bad thing, I think it’s a much cooler place to visit now than before. I’ve never understood the appeal of a casino. The games are rigged in favor of the house and if like Cal Lightman (Lie to Me) or Jeff Ma (an inspiration for the movie 21) you do start to win, the casino, much like a kid in the playground, picks up his ball and won’t let you play anymore. So long story short, it’s better to visit now than back in 1899 when it was built.
The casino/hotel was an extremely grand looking place in the early 1900s. The long, curved staircase looks like something out of a movie, Scarface or the type of mansion James Bond would need to break into. So much so that now it is used as a film location.
6. Gaudi Metro Station (The most exclusive Instagram spot in Barcelona)
This one is for all you art lovers! One of the most famous artists ever, Gaudi, played a huge role in shaping Barcelona. From the structures, he helped create to bringing tourists to the city even years after his death. Due in part to his work with famous sites such as Parc Guell and Sagrada Familia.
A lesser known spot that makes its way onto our list is Gaudi Metro Station (I think you’ll agree Sagrada Familia is anything but deserted). Gaudi’s Metro stop was built back in 1968 but a change in plans meant Sagrada Familia stop was used instead.
Unlike some other places on our list, Metro stop Gaudi wouldn’t exactly fit criteria for secret things to do in Barcelona. I thought it was so cool when I heard about it but all my Catalan friends said it was old news. You can see Gaudi Metro stop in a flash if you’re traveling between Sagrada Familia and Sant Pau/Dos de Maig stops but you’ll have to have a quick eye!
***Tip for a great Instagram photo spot in Barcelona***
Whether you want to enjoy something not many other people have or you’re desperate to upload something different to your Instagram, metro stop Gaudi is the place for you. But you’ll need a quick camera. A snapshot of Gaudi's Metro stop would be something not many other people have!
As far as hauntings go, over the years Gaudi’s Metro stop has been reported to have had mysterious people waiting on the station platform despite the train never stopping there… Could it be the man himself waiting for his train that will never come?
No, he’s dead and gone. Now onto the next spot!
Urban exploration in Barcelona
One of the downsides to Barcelona is that there is very little outdoor space in the form of parks and truly free outdoor places to run and play. Before anyone comments with the same old contradictions, I need to be clear about a few places:
- Ciutadella Parc isn’t a park, it's more ‘gardens’, very pleasant but there isn’t much free space.
- Parc Guell is beautiful, but it's full of tourists and sellers.
- Parc de Collserola is far outside the city.
So you do have to travel a while to find some great outdoor spaces in Barcelona. If you are into urban exploration you could head to nearby Sitges and check out number seven on our list. The abandoned water park!
7. L'Aquatic Paradis - The abandoned water park in Sitges
You have to be careful as the police don’t exactly like that people continue to visit the abandoned water park. The one in Sitges became a popular spot for skaters and photographers for a while until the police decided these groups needed to be chased off so they could use it as a training facility.
Although what they’re training for I don’t know, the police in Barcelona have a well-deserved reputation for only getting involved in punitive matters such as drinking in the street while theft and sexual assault receive little to no police attention. Maybe they’re practicing their own skate moves… Who knows!
8. Hotel Colonia Puig (One of the Wartime relics of Barcelona)
Hotel Colonia Puig is located close to the famous monastery of Montserrat and back in the early 20th century, it was a luxurious hotel. You can’t book a room anymore as its abandoned (of course it is or it wouldn’t be on our list!). Hotel Colonia Puig has the beautiful backdrop of Montserrat mountain behind it giving you amazing views… Or at least, the wounded soldiers staying here during the civil war had great views.
Nowadays you can visit and explore the remains of the hotel but I would advise against spending the night!
9. La Mussara (Off the beaten path)
The next place on our list of haunted places near Barcelona is La Mussara. Not simply an abandoned building, La Mussara is an abandoned town!
If you were dropped into La Mussara you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in Chernobyl on a sunny day. Hardly any people walking around. Many buildings and other structures were long ago taken by the flora that grows here.
That’s it for our list of haunted and abandoned places in Barcelona. I hope you decide to take visit a few of these spots on your visit to Barcelona. Partaking in alternative trips means your experience will be markedly different to most. Or have you already been to some of them? I’d be very interested to hear what your experience was like and especially from anyone who has some other places I wasn’t able to include on the list!
Sagrada Familia Tour with Priority Access