It’s hard not to fall in love with Barcelona: the laidback beach, fantastic cuisine, eccentric architecture, stylish crowd, and if you’re a fan of football… a kick-ass team. And even if it’s one of the most visited cities in Europe, it has not lost its cool factor. Well, with the sunshine, siesta and sangria – what’s not to like, right?
The mad genius of Antoni Gaudi is synonymous with the glories of this artistic city. Walk around the chic district of Eixample and visit the extraordinary works of Gaudi.
You won’t miss the undulating façade of Casa Mila (also known as La Pedrera) or the unique Casa Batllo splashed with bright colours. And of course, a trip to Barcelona is incomplete without visiting Gaudi’s most famous works – the vast basilica of La Sagrada Familia and the quirky Park Guell.
History, Culture, and the Beach
Barcelona has so many neighbourhoods to check out! In the heart of the Old City is the Gothic Quarter (El Barri Gotic). Ditch the map and explore the well-organised labyrinth. Art lovers should also go to Museu Picasso de Barcelona which houses an extensive art collection by Picasso. The art nouveau Palau de la Musica Catalana is also worth a visit for its opulent auditorium.
When you’re ready to take a break from all the walking, find your way to La Barceloneta, and join the locals at the beach. The neighbourhood is filled with beachside dining options. Remember, you’re on “siesta time”. Listen to the sound of the waves (or music), dip your toes in the sand, and enjoy a glass of sangria.
More Tapas, Paella, Vino Please
When it comes to tapas bars, there’s nothing quite like Tickets. This hip establishment is ALWAYS full. So plan ahead and make reservation months in advance. For a more casual vibe, Quimet & Quimet is a great option for a quick bite.
There’s also the famous Mercado de la Boqueria just off of busy La Rambla. It can get quite touristy, but dining in a food market is a must in Spain!
When the guilt suddenly kicks in, and you’re ready to hit the pause button on the pig-out sesh, there’s always Flax & Kale. This trendy restaurant/café offers a wide array of healthy food option including veggie raw and a number of oily fish dishes.
From upscale to hip, budget-friendly hotels, you will have plenty of options in Barcelona. In a city filled with architectural wonders, it’s only appropriate to stay in a design hotel such as Hotel Omm.
This function-driven creation of Juli Capella is perfectly located in Eixample. Make sure to take some time to chill at the rooftop terrace, which affords an amazing view of Casa Mila and the Sagrada Familia.
Located in the Gothic Quarter and overlooking the Mediterranean Sea is artsy The Serras. The spacious rooms with balconies offer a fantastic view of the trendy Barcelona neighbourhood. The cool hotel boasts world-class amenities and personal service for a truly memorable experience, all within the walls of Picasso’s first studio.
If you’re on a budget, consider one of the Praktik properties in the city; and each property has its distinct characteristic. Praktik Bakery is perfect for those who love waking up to the smell of freshly baked bread. Praktik Rambla is located in a property steeped in history. And if you love the vino, make sure to book your stay at Praktik Vinoteca.
If you want to stay relatively active, but don’t want to walk the length of Passeig de Gracia, explore the city on two wheels. There are a couple of bike rental mobile apps such as Bicing and DropByke that you can download.