This month called for a visit to Catalonia’s capital in search of some vitals: sun, food, and culture and, with its gleaming reviews, it’s no surprise that Barcelona offered just that and more.
To say that the city is steeped in beauty doesn’t quite do it justice. From quaint cafés and eateries to Gaudi’s Neo-Gothic buildings and the plethora of shops that are scattered in between, Barcelona has something for everyone.
We’ve compiled a list of some of our top recommendations and tips when visiting this glorious city. Be sure to check out number three!
1. Get your hotel right.
As obvious as this seems, it’s easy to be too hasty when searching for somewhere to stay for what is for most people just a short city break or a weekend getaway. Barcelona has some amazing hotels to offer, but what is charming and quaint to one, is stifling and small to another. If space is high on your list try the Renaissance Fira Hotel in the Business District or the popular W Hotel that sits right on the beach front. Or if you’re looking for somewhere small and friendly, try the Hotel Duquesa de Cardona.
2. Marvel at Fontcuberta’s ‘Kiss of Freedom’
Comprised of candid moments offered by the public in response to artist Fontcuberta’s advertisement asking for photographic contributions, this mosaic is made up of small images that share intimate moments of freedom, happiness, and love. A real must see for art lovers and romantics alike.
3. Dine and Pamper at El Nacional
Food glorious food! A solid recommendation by locals and tourists, El Nacional offers a real culinary experience inspired by traditional recipes and comprised of four restaurants each offering something different. From succulents meats to fresh fish, tapas and rice, and finally deli, you’re bound to find something you love. Or if food isn’t on the agenda, wet your whistle at one of their four bars specialising in wine, cava, cocktails or beer. Most importantly, make sure you soak up the buzz and energy around you and enjoy the Art Deco inspired décor – the pamper room is a real focal point.
4. Venture down to Placa Reial
Placa Reial has remained a hub of energy for years due to homing some of Barcelona’s popular night clubs and for its proximity to the festivals that take place in September. Beyond that, it’s a beautiful square full of restaurants and a popular spot for buskers – not to mention its distinct colonial charm: think yellow buildings, billowing palms, and wooden shutters
5. Wander through Barcelona La Boqueiria market
Situated along the city’s busiest promenade, this small open market offers great food in a buzzing atmosphere. They have lots of things to offer, from fresh fish to roasted nuts and freshly made smoothies, Le Boqueria market offers food both for the home and ready-to-eat. If you have time to dine there, try El Quim de la Boqueria: a seafood and Mediterranean restaurant situated just at the front of the market that always fills its seats – a real favourite with tourists.
6. Laze at Sant Marti Beach
Summer in Barcelona is one of the key things that makes it so special. With its beautiful beaches, you can easily have a city break and a beach holiday rolled into one.
7. Visit Park Guell
Commissioned by Eusebi Guell, Park Guell has become a landmark for those wanting to see renowned architect Antoni Gaudi’s work and was officially declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1984. Although you can find his work scattered throughout much of Barcelona, Park Guell brings his distinctive style into one location with bright mosaics and undulating buildings.
8. See the Sagrada Familia
A must see for anyone visiting Barcelona, the Sagrada Familia, although not completed, was one of Gaudi’s most ambitious designs and remains one of the most distinct Roman Catholic churches worldwide – so much so that it has been consecrated as a minor basilica.