Sarrià - Sant Gervasi: A Neighborhood Guide

Our resident's guide to getting to know Sarrià and Sant Gervasi, Barcelona

Jun 22, 2023
Tibidabo mountain outside barcelonaTibidabo mountain outside barcelona

Sarrià-Sant Gervasi is a fairly residential district in northwest Barcelona. It’s known for a high standard of living, with the highest per capita income, and lowest unemployment rate, of Barcelona’s ten districts. Sarrià was once a separate village, and still retains that feel today. The narrow streets, low-rise buildings, and traditional high street remind you of typical small towns in Spain.

It's a very well connected district. If you planning a trip away, you can be on one of the main highways out of the city in minutes. Despite that, you’re still barely half an hour from the city center by public transport, and even less on a bicycle. Sarrià-Sant Gervasi maintains the convenience of a central area, while being a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of downtown Barcelona. If here on vacation, or for a bit longer, our resident’s guide can help make the most of your stay. Read on for the best things to do and see in this delightful neighborhood.

Old building with lots of arches

What to do in Sarrià - Sant Gervasi

Go for a Stroll

These picturesque neighborhoods are wonderful places to explore on foot, and you’ll find plenty of great places to stop at as you wander around. Carrer Major de Sarriá is one of the highlights of the district. This charming street winds up through Sarrià, and is lined with bars, restaurants, and shops- some luxury, some artisan. The street is bookended by two plazas. In Plaça de Sarrià, at the top, is the church of Sant Vincenç, and various terraces. Plaça d’Artós, at the bottom, has a children’s playground, as well as its fair share of wining and dining options.

Stop by the Cultural Highlights

At some point it’s worth giving some direction to your meanderings. Sarrià and Sant Gervasi have some fascinating buildings of note to take a look at, with some of the highlights being:

Gaudí's Bellesguard

A striking, modernist building, designed by famous Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. Constructed on the site of a medieval castle, Gaudí incorporated some of the original walls and structures into his design, giving the building a unique blend of medieval and modernist styles. The interior is just as impressive, with gorgeous stone and tile work, intricate carvings, and stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Bellesguard is a relatively lesser-known work of Gaudí, but a beautiful and original example of his distinctive style.

Tiled pole known at Gaudí's bellegard

Fundació Vila Casas

A contemporary art museum, including over 2,500 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, photography, and video installations. Many are by Catalan artists from the 20th and 21st centuries, although the collection also includes works by artists from other parts of Spain, and around the world.

Monestir de Pedralbes

A Gothic-style monastery, notable for its architecture. The church is particularly striking, with its tall nave, and colorful stained-glass windows. The monastery also features a beautiful cloister, and a garden with several fountains, providing a quiet retreat from the busy city. There is also a museum that showcases their collection of religious art and artifacts.

View of monastery peldrables from the inside

Relax in the Parks

As more tranquil, leafy neighborhoods, Sarrià and Sant Gervasi have some excellent green spaces to unwind in. Parc del Turó is a beautiful park, on a hill, which offers magnificent views of the surrounding city, down to the Mediterranean. Home to a wide variety of plant and animal life, including oak trees, Mediterranean pines, and several species of birds. There are several walking and hiking trails throughout the park, as well as picnic areas, a playground, and the Mirador de Vallvidrera- a large terrace and lookout point.

The Jardins de la Tamarita is another stunning little escape. A typical mediterranean garden, with cypress and olive trees surrounded by gorgeous flowerbeds. The sculptures and fountains add to its artistic beauty, and help make these gardens a lovely place for an afternoon stroll.

Statue of a woman in the gardens of Sarria

Exercise the Mind

Cosmocaixa Science Museum is one of the best places in the whole city to spend a few hours. The impressive building contains a wide range of exhibits and activities, related to science, technology, and nature. 

Cosmo Caixa building outside

The standout is the "Flooded Forest", which recreates the environment of a rainforest and features a large aquarium with a variety of aquatic species. Visitors can walk through the exhibit on a suspended walkway, or view from underwater, and observe the plants and animals that live in this unique ecosystem.

Another popular exhibit is the "Touch, Touch!" area, designed to allow visitors to interact with different materials and textures to learn about the sense of touch. The museum has a planetarium, a geology exhibit, and a section dedicated to the human body. There are also temporary exhibits and events throughout the year, including workshops, lectures, and hands-on activities for visitors of all ages.

Spiral walkway with tree growing in the center in the Cosmo Caixa

Exercise the Body

Being a little away from the city means space is a little easier to come by up here. As a result, Sarrià - Sant Gervasi has a wealth of sports facilities and is one of the best places in Barcelona for sport. Many of the city’s soccer fields are here, and if you’d like to try something typically Spanish- why not give padel a go? Played on a walled-in tennis court, with a hard racket, padel is a bit of a tennis/squash hybrid. Instantly accessible, and great fun, padel is a great way to meet people while you keep fit. There’s also that beer in the sun afterwards to think about. There are various places to play, such as Artós Sports Club in Sarrià.

People playing padel on an outdoor court

Climb Barcelona’s Summit

We’ve saved the best till last. Tibidabo is a mountain, and the backdrop of the city. At its peak is a stunning church, Sacred Heart. Atop the church sits Barcelona’s Christ the Redeemer, looking down over the city. Behind Tibidabo is the largest metropolitan park in the world, stretching over 8,000 hectares- Parc Natural del Collserola. The park clearly extends beyond these neighborhoods, but Sarrià - Sant Gervasi is the gateway, and where to catch the funicular railway to climb up (or walk, if you’re feeling athletic). 

Amusement park rides atop a hill looking down at a view from Tibidabo

Once there you can marvel at the views over Barcelona, and if that’s not enough, you can climb to the top of Collserola Tower for an even higher viewpoint. After that head over to Tibidabo Amusement park, with its roller coasters, Ferris wheel, haunted house, and more. This is of course more fun if you have kids with you. But it’s worth walking around even if you don’t, thanks to its cool, retro feel- some of the rides are over 100 years old!

The church, or Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor, is extraordinary. You can see the outside and the inside, including the crypt, for free. It’s also possible to take the elevator up to the top for €3. It’s well worth doing this or Collserola Tower, but you probably don’t need to do both. With the Tibidabo checklist complete, time to head for Collserola park. 

Sacred heart church in the collsorolla mountains

The hiking trails throughout Collserola are fantastic, and thanks to the weather here, are great to enjoy pretty much all year round. As well as wondering round on foot, you can bring bikes, have picnics, or find one of the parks many great restaurants, and put all those calories back on. If you don’t fancy climbing back up the hill when you finish, you can keep walking down to one of the surrounding towns, such as Molins de Rei, or Sant Cugat. These are lovely places to explore, or stop for refreshment, they offer regular trains back to Barcelona.

View of the lush mountains from atop a peak in collsorola

Where to eat and drink in Sarrià - Sant Gervasi

This neighborhood has a diverse culinary scene, but is best known for it’s upscale bars and restaurants. You can find a great variety, from traditional Catalan cuisine to international options. Here are some of our residents’ highlights to make time for while you’re here:

La Venta

This restaurant in Sant Gervasi serves traditional Catalan cuisine, including grilled meat, fish, and paella. The venue itself is gorgeous. With plenty of terrace space, you get great views over the city.

Barra Alta

A more contemporary take on Spanish, and other Mediterranean cuisine. In Sarrià’s Barra Alta they serve delicious food in a chic, modern setting.

Pinhan Café

It’s easy to mistake Pinhan for a standard park cafe, thanks to its location in the stunning Parc del Turó. However, thanks to the Spanish and Turkish owners, this place serves up a wonderful mix of these two gastronomic powerhouses.


In case you ever have your fill of haute cuisine, and just feel like a tasty burger, this chain of restaurants sell some of the juiciest, and most delicious, in all Barcelona. One of them is here in Sarrià.


Barcelona is awash with Japanese restaurants, and this one in Sant Gervasi is one of the very best. A creation of experimental Japanese chef, Ryuta Sato, Sensato is a classy venue, which serves extraordinary sushi, among other delectable offerings.


Mirablau is a panoramic restaurant and cocktail bar in Sant Gervasi which overlooks the whole city. Specialising in Catalan tapas, this place is a taste of the highlife, both literally and figuratively.


From high to low. This basement bar in Sarrià’s high street draws a younger crowd for its live sport, pub games, and loud music. Can get pretty lively in the evenings.

Otto Zutz

If you’re looking to take the night further, Otto Zutz is the main club in the area. Plays commercial music, specializing in hip hop, R&B, and Reggaetón.

Where to stay in Sarrià - Sant Gervasi

Beautiful apartment outdoor terrace

Most of the hotels are more toward central Barcelona, but this district does have options if you’re looking to stay short term. If you’re here for longer though, Ukio can help. We have top quality apartments all over the city, to rent from one month up to eleven. This includes over a dozen in Sarrià - Sant Gervasi, and all are fully furnished so they feel like home from day one.

Once you’ve found your spot, we hope our guide helps you to enjoy your time in this delightful neighborhood to the fullest. If you make it through even half of our list, you’ll no doubt find out how easy a city Barcelona is to fall in love with. Have a safe trip, and we’ll see you soon- Fins ara!