Sports Guide for Expats
ll details given here are for Spanish-speaking centers and clubs unless otherwise indicated.
Nova Icària Sports Club
Fitness center – Nova Icària Sports Club – Port Olimpic Nova Icària Sports Club is a public fitness center in the Olimpic Villa in Barcelona (Sant Martí District). Only a hundred meters from the beach, this center was built in 1992 as the gym for the athletes participating in the Olympic Games of Barcelona held in the same year.
Plenty of facilities and long opening hours. Opening times: Monday to Friday from 07.00 to 23.00; Saturday from 08.00 to 23.00; Sunday from 08.00 to 14.00
This Europolis fitness center on C/ Sardenya (there are two branches of Europolis in the greater Barcelona area) has a big fitness area with circuit machines, plenty of activities like yoga and pilates, an indoor pool, steam rooms and sauna, massage and indoor football and basketball court. They even have a restaurant and bar if the healthy atmosphere becomes too much and you need a drink.
This is probably the biggest and best-known chain of gyms in Barcelona. With 14 locations in Barcelona and 1 in the suburb of San Cugat, DIR is popular with all age groups and offers a variety of classes (spin, yoga, pilates, boxing) circuit machines, the latest in fitness equipment (including Power Plate) and an indoor pool (at the Ganduxer location). Most of the locations also offer spa services, the sale of athletic apparel and equipment, and a casual bar offering food and drink. Beware, though, DIR will charge you a fortune for the most sought-after classes, such as pilates.
This upscale gym has a reputation for catering to the snobby set, but in reality, it is not that much more expensive than most other gyms in Barcelona. With three gyms in the city – one exclusively for women, another for men and a co-ed branch, the locations are just as good if you live in the northern part of the city. Arsenal offers beautiful exercise areas, equipment, classes, a swimming pool (all locations), wonderful restaurants and excellent spas and services. And did we forget to mention that the locker rooms are to die for?
Equally posh as Arsenal, but with a less elitist feel (depending upon your location), this is a chain of gyms throughout Spain, with four locations in Barcelona. Just as the other gyms, “Club Metropolitan” offers all of the aforementioned services (which are excellent, by the way) in sleek, modern setups. The feel is a bit of a hotel gym, but in a very nice hotel and with extremely attentive staff.
With two locations in Barcelona and several chains throughout Europe, Holmes Place has been around for a while, successfully. Again, the gyms offer all the services as its competitors, but it is more like a DIR than Arsenal or Metropolitan. You will also find that there are English-speaking staff members and personal trainers, as this chain is highly favored by ex-pats here on corporate assignment. Prices are more or less the same as the DIR chains, but there are fewer locations.
Barcelona’s golf clubs tend to subscribe to the typical membership scenario. Green time is usually accessible for visitors, though booking is almost always necessary. Those turning up on the day expecting to play may find themselves disappointed, so give them a call first.
Sant Vicenc de Montalt Golf Club
C/ Del Balís , 4 Sant Vicenç de Montalt, Barcelona
Tel: +34 937 914 949 Fax: +34 937 911 253
One of the newest golf courses in the Barcelona area, Sant Vicenc de Montalt Golf Club offers up to 18 demanding, undulating and challenging holes. The Sant Vicenc golf course is quite short but you will have the chance to use every club in the bag.
Details: 18 holes, Par 70, 5256m
Facilities: Driving range, Bar and restaurant, Buggy hire, Golf school, Catering for groups.
Location: Sant Vicenc de Montalt (Barcelona), Barcelona 34km
Real Club de Golf El Prat
Plans de Bonvilar, 17 Terrassa, Barcelona
Tel: +34 937 281 000 Fax: +34 937 281010
The Real Club de Golf El Prat was inaugurated in 1954 and was completely rebuilt and relocated in Oct 2001 due to the expansion of Barcelona El Prat airport. The new El Prat Golf Course was designed by Greg Norman and is 45 holes set in beautiful rolling countryside. Visitors are only accepted on request with a letter of introduction from your golf club.
- North Course 18 holes, Par 72, 5933m
- South Course 18 holes, Par 72, 6020m
- 9 holes public
Facilities: El Real Club de Golf El Prat Golf Shop, Driving range, Bar and large restaurant, Coffee and snack bar, Buggy hire, Golf school, Catering for groups.
Location: Terrassa (Barcelona), Barcelona 22kms.
Sitges Terramar Golf Club
Ctra. de las costas y ferrocarril Apdo. Correos, 6 Sitges, Barcelona
Tel: +34 938 940 580 Fax: +34 938 947 051
Situated by the coast just south of the town of Sitges. The microclimate of Sitges permits golf to be played in perfect conditions at any time of the year with beautiful views out over the Mediterranean. It is a flat golf course with few trees. Holes 16, 17, and 18 run alongside the Mediterranean, with beautiful views.
Details: 18 holes, Par 72, Length 5880m
Facilities: Terramar Golf Shop, Driving range, Bar and large restaurant, Coffee and snack bar, Buggy hire, Golf school, Catering for groups.
Location: Sitges (Barcelona) Barcelona 37km Tarragona 60km
Llavaneres Golf Club – Barcelona
Cami de Golf, s/n localidad Sant Andreu de Llavaneres 08392 Barcelona
Tel 93 792 60 50
Designed by the renowned Fred Hawtree & Ramón Espinosa and founded in 1945, Llavaneres is one of the oldest private golf clubs in Catalunya. Initially built as a 9 hole course, it has been extended and new facilities have been added. This is a charming course that is not very long. Ideally suited to high handicappers.
Details: 18 holes, Par 70, Length 5029m
Facilities: Bar and Restaurant, Pro-shop, Driving Range and practice areas, Caddy Master, Golf School, Game room and TV room
Location: Sant Andreu de Llavaneres, El Meresme. Barcelona 34kms (25 minutes)
St Cugat Golf Club
C/ Villa, s/n San Cugat del Vallés 08190 Barcelona
Tel. 936 74 39 08
St Cugat was founded in 1914 and is the oldest course in Catalunya. It was built by English workers who were also working the Barcelona-St Cugat railway. Each hole has its own name, in line with British tradition. The beauty of this course is marked by the perfection of its greens, tees, fairways and bunkers.
Details: 18 holes + 3, Par 68, Length 5211m
Location: St Cugat (Barcelona) Barcelona 20kms
Tennis is a massively popular sport in Barcelona, thanks in part to the number of top Spanish professionals, like Rafael Nadal. The premier tennis club in the city (where you must be a member) is the Reial Club de Tenis Barcelona, located in Pedrables. Membership here is extremely expensive at several thousand euros. The second-most-popular and exclusive club for tennis (and polo) is the Real Club de Polo, which is also members-only and just as steep in terms of membership costs.
The good news, however, is that there are tennis clubs/courts throughout the city where non-members can play for a fee (just paying for court time). Two of the more well-known clubs include Val d’Hebron and Pompea, near Montjuic. Typically more popular, as it has both a mixture of green (hard) and clay courts, Val d’Hebron games are €21 per hour for clay courts and €13 for a hard court. Pompea is slightly cheaper at €12 an hour, however, there are only clay courts and fewer of them.
A list of tennis clubs in and around Barcelona (non-member clubs specified)
Club Tennis Barcino
Address: Pl Narcisa Freixas, 2*3
District: Sarrià-Sant Gervasi
Club Tennis Horta 1912
Address: C Campoamor, 66
Club Tennis La Salut
Address: C Mare de Déu de la Salut, 75
Club Tennis Vall Parc
Address: Ctra Sant Cugat, 97
Club Turó David Lloyd
Address: Av Diagonal, 673-685
District: Les Corts
Reial Club de Tenis Barcelona
Address: C Bosch i Gimpera, 5*13
District: Les Corts
Centre Municipal Tenis Vall D’Hebron (membership not required)
Passeig Vall D’Hebron, 178-196
District: Vall D’Hebron
Telephone:934 276 500
Reial Societat Tennis Pompeia (membership not required)
Address: Camí Foixarda, 2*4
Tennis Municipal de Montjuïc (membership not required)
Address: C Foixarda, 2*4
Club de Tenis Andres Gimeno (membership not required)
Address: Autovía de Castelldefels km. 17.5
Telephone: 936 652 300
Tenis Pineda Gava (membership not required)
Address: C-31 Km 184, 330 Sortida Gava
Telephone: 936 330 643
Real Club de Polo de Barcelona
Address: Avinguda Doctor Marañón, 17
District: Les Corts
Telephone: 933 640 499
There is a very strong chance that you won´t need to use a public swimming pool in Barcelona if you live anywhere but the very center of the city. Catalunyans love their pools and almost every apartment complex has one, while it is quite rare to find a suburban home without at least a small in-ground pool.
Public swimming pools are around, although you may need to be a paying member of the gym that owns it to have access. In any case, entry tends to be expensive and you may be better off simply heading to the beach.
Piscina Can Caralleu
Esports 8, Sarriá Tel. 93 203 7874
Open mid June- mid Sept daily 9am-4pm; Adult €10.30; Child €4.40
Complex Esportiu Municipal Banys Sebasti
Pl del Mar s/n Te.l.93 221 0010
Mon-Sat & holidays 7am-10pm, Sun 8am-7pm; Adult: €10.10 Child under 3: €3.10; Child 4-10 €5.85
Europolis Ca n’Arimon
A large outdoor swimming pool with grass, shade and kiddy pool outside Barcelona. The sports centre, easily accessible by train from Barcelona, also has a restaurant, cafe and picnic tables.
Ferrocarril, 80-84 Tel. 93 570 60 97
08100, Mollet del Vallès
Open: Summer weekdays 11am-7pm. Summer weekends 10am-7pm
Complex Esportiu Pau Negre
Open air swimming pool in Gracia during the summer months. 8 lanes covered in the winter.
Ramiro de Maeztu 25-27 Tel. 93 213 43 44
Open 1st June to 30th September 8.15am-9pm (Sundays until 3.15pm).
Complex Esportiu Guinardó
Av. Mare de Déu de Montserrat, 136-140 Tel. 93 436 4746
Open Jun 2nd – Aug 31st. Mon-Fri 11am to 5pm. Sat-Sun until 7pm.
Entrance €3.90 weekdays; €4.40 weekends
Llac de Can Dragó
A huge sports complex that features a large pool with shallow areas for children to swim. Although located in a not-so-attractive industrial zone in Nou Barris, the pool area itself has grass and shade.
Rosselló i Porcel, 7-11 Tel. 93 276 1080
Adult: €4.90; Child 6-14 yrs: €2.65; reduced rate for under 5’s (weekend ratess: €6.25 adults /€4.30 child
Open until 7.30pm
As well as yoga classes run by your local gym, there are yoga studios dotted around Barcelona that specialize in all disciplines of yoga. Here are some of the most highly recommended:
Ashtanga Veda Center
Address: Plaça del Bonsuccés, 7, Barcelona, Spain, 08001
Yoga studio Barcelona
Address: Plaça de la Universitat, 4, Barcelona, Spain, 08007
Purple Ashtanga – Offers yoga on the beach
Yoga on the beach – as the name suggests, also offers yoga on the beach
Address: Carretera del Carmel
Essence Barcelona Yoga and Pilates Centre – Multilingual: all instructors speak English, Catalon and Spanish, with some speaking French, Swedish, and/or German)
Address: Carrer de Caballero, 87, Barcelona, Spain, 08029
Centro Koan – A wonderfully zen yoga center in the northern part of the city, that offers classes in a variety of styles, as well as pilates and Ayurveda and massage services.
Address: Calle Mandri, 13
Happy Yoga – Chain of 7 yoga centers throughout the city that offer classes in a variety of styles, meditation classes, and professor training.
Address: Check the website for the different locations
Telephone: Each center has a different phone number – please check website to obtain number for center you are interested in.
Email: Different email contacts for each center
Almost all football clubs in Barcelona are Spanish-speaking. If you are comfortable enough speaking the language, the best place to start is the website that functions as a single portal for all neighborhood football clubs. Their front page has a handy map that indicates exactly where each one is located, meaning that you won´t need to trawl around clubs trying to find the one that covers your region.
The next best option for English-speaking ex-pats is the Barcelona International Football League (http://www.bifl.info/), started 12 years ago by a group of English teachers who weren’t satisfied with just watching the sport and wanted to have a regular game themselves at the weekends. It has since developed into a highly competitive tournament with a proper rulebook and 18 teams (11 a side), attracting a thoroughly mixed bag of international amateur players. Many teams carry the names of a sponsor, with the majority being the Irish/ English pubs in Barcelona. For those interested in joining, the best thing to do is to post a message on the “new players” section of their website, regularly checked by the team captains (http://www.bifl.info/newplayers.php). If you’re any good don’t sell yourself short, word from the top is that nobody is likely to take much interest if you “want to have the occasional kick about to work off that beer belly”. It may be an amateur league, but it’s taken seriously enough to have a rigorous selection process and each team has its hopes of bring the Cup home at the end of the season.
Rocòdrom LA FOIXARDA – Outdoor climbing (not for beginners, and bring your own gear. Free to use)
Address: Camí de la Foixarda, Barcelona, Spain, 08038
Fess LaSalle Climbing Wall – Indoor Wall owned by Fess LaSalle fitness center
Address: Carrer del Lluçanes 41, Barcelona, Spain, 08022
Climbat – Indoor climbing center. More than 600 square meters of climbing walls (muros de escalada)
Address: Carrer del Moianés 19, Barcelona, Barcelona, 08014
Palacio de Hielo – ice skating rink
Address: Calle d’Arístides Maillol 12, Barcelona, Spain, 08028
Gel Skating Club & Ice Rink Barcelona
Address: Roger de Flor 168, Eixample
Activ Natura Adventure Park – Activities like rope challenges, paintball, touch ball, horse or donkey rental, mountain bikes, climbing challenges, archery, woodland courses, quad bikes and paintball.
Address: Camí de la Riera, Santa Susanna, 08398
Anigami Aventura – 4×4 off-road excursions combined with climbing, abseiling, or kayaking. Cultural tours can also be arranged included trips to hermitages, medieval villages, castles, monasteries, and prehistoric caves.
Address: Passeig de Sant Joan 75, Manlleu, Spain, 08560