Sports & Activities

Barcelona’s warm Mediterranean climate leaves the avid sportsman or amateur enthusiast utterly spoilt for choice. With hot summers and mild sunny winters, bad weather is rarely a viably reason for avoiding sport. What the city lacks in green, open spaces, it makes up for in beach and mountain pursuits. During the summer months, water sports along the coast are very popular and in the winter, residents make a beeline for the mountains to enjoy snow sports. The city’s residents have an inclination towards extreme sports as well. Internationally, the city has made a name for itself as one of the extreme sports capitals of the world, with sky diving, caving, canyoning, bungee jumping and diving all within easy reach.

The diversity of inner city activities and sports facilities are just as extensive. Wherever you live, a gym, health club, swimming pool, community centre, fitness class or sports team will always be nearby. Gyms are of a high standard but membership is usually required; this is certainly the case for health clubs and country clubs. Municipal sports centres (known as polideportivos / poliesportius or centros deportivos / centres esportius) often offer a 'pay and play' system as well as formal memberships. When summer arrives, gyms become significantly less busy (especially those without an outdoor swimming pool) as members flock to the beach or nearby mountain areas such as Montserrat.

The city’s reputation as an artistic and cultural centre is justified by the huge number of courses and exhibitions. Classes and team sports are a good way of meeting new people, especially if you don't speak Spanish or Catalan. www.aprendemas.com is a good website for general information on academic courses in subjects like photography. If you’re looking for a sports team or a social group made up of fellow foreigners, try magazines such as Barcelona Metropolitan (www.barcelonametropolitan.com) and other English-language publications. Lifestyle Barcelona (www.lifestylebarcelona.com, 93 270 20 48) also organise one-off sports activities and cultural events. Finally, for sports club listings around the city, the Ajuntament categorise all clubs by sport on their website, www.bcn.es.

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