Last updated on September 22, 2016
The Donkey Republic bike rental app makes it quicker, easier and cheaper than ever to rent a bike and explore Barcelona’s 200 km of designated cycle paths, leafy parks, world-class architecture and sandy beach boardwalks.
I’ve been a cycling fanatic since the first moment I learnt to ride without stabilisers.
I remember the sense of freedom I felt when I could suddenly explore my home town by myself, that constant sense of adventure and discovery. And that’s how I still feel about cycling, that it’s a source of joy and freedom.
As far as I’m concerned there really is no better way to explore a new city.
About Donkey Republic Bikes
Revolutionising the way we rent bikes, Donkey Republic allows you to find a rental bike near you and book it with your phone – all you need is the Donkey app!
Once you’ve set up your account and paid for your Donkey, you can use your phone to unlock your bike and hop on and off as you wish.
It’s cheap and eco-friendly, and definitely the most fun way to get around Barcelona.
How it Works
Picking Up My Donkey
My nearest bike was on the Gaudi-centric Passeig de Gracia, one of my very favourite streets in Barcelona, and after a few swipes and taps on my phone I was cruising down the cycle lane to some of the most beautiful buildings in Barcelona.
My bike looked beautiful in the sun, her bright orange frame glowing against the blue sky like an orangutan, so I decided to name her “Tang”.
Stopping at Antoni Gaudi’s La Pedrera
Not a straight line in sight, Gaudi’s Casa Milá, or “La Pedrera” as it’s better known, is well worth a pitstop. Book a “skip the line” experience and you can go straight in to see its curvaceous design and enjoy the epic city views from the roof.
Taking Snaps at Gaudi’s Casa Batlló
With its seashell-like facade and dragon-scaled roof, Casa Batlló is perhaps the most colourful of Gaudi’s Modernist masterpieces. Definitely one of my favourite pieces of architecture!
The nature-inspired detailing continues inside and is also worth a visit, even if you’re not really interested in architecture. Again, make sure to get a “skip the line” entry ticket and you won’t have to line up with the hundreds of other people who want experience it for themselves.
Rolling Through the Old Town
Barcelona is a relatively compact city, perfect for exploring by bike, and I soon found myself in the heart of the Gothic Quarter, where I stopped at the cathedral before cruising over to the ancient Born barrio.
Pitstops in Paradise
Similarly to traditional Danish bikes, my Donkey was fitted with a U-lock and a hefty chain, so I wasn’t even slightly worried about leaving it locked up outside of my apartment overnight.
Early the next morning I unlocked it with my phone and peddled off into the rising sun. Sticking entirely to the cycle paths, I realised just how easy it is to get around Barcelona on a bike.
Surrounded by cycling commuters, I rolled down towards the bohemian Raval neighbourhood, stopping to soak up the atmosphere and take some snaps of the bizarre cat statue.
To the Beach for Breakfast
The sun rose quickly, but I felt cooled by the breeze that kissed my skin as I biked along the boardwalk.
I stopped to pick up a chocolate croissant – fresh and puffy and sweet and lovely – from the legendary Baluard Bakery in Barceloneta and a cup of black coffee from the bar next door.
It was early and the beach was quiet but for runners, hungry seagulls and chit-chatting street cleaners.
I found a spot in the shade of a palm-tree and sat on a bench to have my breakfast and soak up the views.
A Gentle Cruise to La Sagrada Familia
It was getting hot, but the breeze cooled me as I cycled, so I kept cycling.
I hugged the boardwalk and followed a cycle path up the palm-lined Carrer de Marina towards Gaudi’s seminal masterpiece, La Sagrada Familia. I definitely recommend going inside this fantastical building, but be sure to buy the “skip the line ticket” so you don’t have to wait hours to get in!
The the cranes came into sight first, followed by the towers that seem to spear the sky like a giant sandcastle.
The beauty of cycling is that it’s quick, easy and cheap. And now, thanks to technology and progressive companies like Donkey Republic, it’s even quicker to find and rent bikes in world-class cities like Barcelona.
Needless to say, Barcelona is the perfect city to explore by bike and I can’t think of a quicker and easier way to rent a bike than with the Donkey Republic app.
Hopefully we’ll see more ventures like this springing up around the world and making our cities cleaner, safer and more environmentally friendly.
This is the future.
Make it Happen
Price: Around €10 for 24 hours.