Diagonal Mar Park: Mixing urban space with natural niches

While New York City has its enormous Central Park, Barcelona has a number of smaller parks scattered around the city. Diagonal Mar Park, inaugurated in 2002, is one of the city's largest in its vast network of public parks.

Catalán architect Enric Miralles designed Diagonal Mar Park as an open space that acts as a link, a gateway, between the city and the Mediterranean.

It symbolizes a tree that was born from the sea and that branches out into an open hand, representing the different paths that we humans walk throughout our lives.

The park rose up from barren concrete that once was the home to a foundry. As Barcelona grew and developed, city leadership wanted to create a link between Barcelona's ever-expanding sandy shores with beach farther to the north.

Diagonal Mar Park sprang from this plan. The park is a favorite attraction for all types of Barceloneses.

Vast networks of winding steel pipes criss-crossed by wire cables and huge tiled flower pots, many of which are suspended in mid-air, support a growing fabric of symbolic vines in Diagonal Mar Park.

Scattered beneath these undulating structures are individual seats perfect for contemplating your ice cream, the drifting clouds or your children playing in one of the park's unique playgrounds such as the "Magic Mountain" with its huge slides of different shapes and sizes.

Architect Enric Miralles wasn't a slave to concrete, though. He incorporated a lake into the park's design. The lake plays a significant role in the flora and fauna that strengthen the pulse of Diagonal Mar's natural heartbeat.

Rosewood trees offer shade to wearied visitors. Poplars line the banks, standing in happy harmony with holm oaks, eucalyptus trees pines and olive trees.

The park also is home to a variety of palm trees hailing from the Canary Islands, China, California and the Mediterranean.

  • Diagonal Mar Park is the second largest park in Barcelona.
  • The park's oldest tree is Canary Island dragon tree, which is about 150 years old.
  • The Dragon Tree was transported from the Canary Islands.
  • A time capsule buried beneath the park's sprawl includes newspapers, a calendar and a sustainability pledge signed by the city and the construction companies who contributed to the Diagonal Mar redevelopment.

Visitors making their way through one of the may entrances to the Diagonal Park.
Visitors making their way through one of the may entrances to Diagonal Mar Park.

Opening Hours for Diagonal Mar Park:

Date Opening Times
Daily Daily from 10 a.m. to sunset

Diagonal Mar Park Location & Contact Information:

  • Diagonal Mar Park address: Carrer Llull, 362
  • How to get to Diagonal Mar Park: Take the yellow metro line to the "Selva de Mar" stop. The park is five-minute walk north on Avenida Diagonal.