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Barcelona Travel Guide

About Barcelona

Modernist buildings, stunning sandy beaches, lovely weather, laid-back people, and scrumptious local food: Barcelona highlights are truly one of a kind! Known as the biggest city on the Mediterranean coast and the second-largest metropolis of Spain after the cosmopolitan Madrid, Barcelona is also the capital of Catalunya, an autonomous community in the North-East of Spain, proud of its traditions, distinctive language, and rich history.

From its founding in the 3rd century BC by Hannibal’s father, the frightful Carthaginian leader, to the Moorish and Bourbon domination, Barcelona has always been able to integrate the old with the new and never lose its dynamic and fervent soul. You can see this in the architecture of the city center, where the squarish and gloomy Medieval churches of El Born stand beside the sumptuous and dainty Baroccan buildings of Placa de Catalunya. A few steps away, the Barrio Gotico entices the city’s visitors with its characteristic narrow streets bordered by artisan laboratories and antics shops. And how to forget about Eixample, home of fashionable stores and stylish cafes; Gracia, edgy and rebellious; La Rambla, the beating heart of the city, with its colorful and noisy market La Boqueria, and Barceloneta, overlooking the sea with its traditional restaurants and trendy nightclubs? 

Of course, you can’t talk about Barcelona without mentioning Antoni Gaudi, the genius of Modernism whose breathtaking and kaleidoscopic installations attract millions of visitors annually. The Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló, Casa Mila, Casa de Les Punxes, and Parc Guell are only a small part of the invaluable legacy he left to the city he lived -and died- for. 

Magical, sunny, colorful, and charming: how can you not fall in love with Barcelona?

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Barcelona, ES
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Best Time To visit

From January to December, every month is good for taking a trip to vibrant and multicolored Barcelona! 

Spring and Fall are ideal for visiting the city calmly and admiring the eccentric colors of Gaudi’s creations without suffering from the heat typical of Summer months. In December, the city becomes a true Winter wonderland, with the joyful Christmas markets in Placa de Catalunya and the adrenaline Ferris wheel and carousels animating the Barceloneta waterfront. Moreover, the temperatures are still pretty mild, especially if compared to other major European cities. 

But it is in Summer that the city truly comes alive, with glamorous parties organized on the terraces of the best sea-view clubs and the majestic light shows held every week at the Font Màgica de Montjuïc, right above Place de Espanya. However, this might not be the right time to visit the city if you can not tolerate excessively high temperatures and noisy crowds. 

Ultimately, there is truly no wrong time to visit Barcelona. It all comes down to personal preference and the vibe you are looking for!

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What to expect

Youthful, dynamic, and glamorous, yet very rooted in its age-old traditions, Barcelona truly knows how to surprise different types of visitors, from party-seekers to families, from foodies to wellness lovers. 

The multi-faceted nature of this Mediterranean city is also reflected in the juxtaposition of ancient buildings and contemporary urbanism, which seem to harmoniously coexist in the old neighborhoods (“barrios”) of La Barceloneta, El Gotic, El Raval, e Sant Pere. Testimony to this is, for example, the 

dazzling cover of colorful mosaics that have been placed over the roof of the historical Santa Caterina market, manufactured by Catalan artisan Toni Cumella in the early 2000s, that seem to naturally integrate with the centuries-old installations of Old Town Barcelona.

Exploring Barcelona is a true joy for the eye and the soul: let yourself get caught by the lively atmosphere of La Rambla, the main artery of the city that connects the magnificent Plaça de Catalunya to the old port, and share the delicious traditional tapas of LaBoqueria with your loved ones. Then, wander through the tangled alleys of El Born, home to a vibrant community of artists, cultural spaces, and museums, such as the prominent Picasso Museum and the MEAM (European Museum of Modern Art).

And don’t forget to visit the most iconic landmarks of the city, most of which carry Gaudi’s unique signature, such as the breathtaking Sagrada Familia, the artist’s unfinished masterpiece, the eclectic Park Guell, from which you can have a bird-eye view of the city, and the mesmerizing Casa Battlo declared in 2005 UNESCO world heritage.

After a long day under the scorching sun, what’s better than a refreshing glass of Sangria? Even better if sipped on one of the most glamorous rooftops in the city, such as the Sky Bar, located on the terrace of the Grand Hotel Central, or the Terraza Ayre, overlooking the posh Eixample district, at less than 200 meters from the Sagrada Familia.

Barcelona is a cosmopolitan, laid-back, and jovial city, perfect for a relaxing and recharging vacation. However, be sure to stay in the right district: for a premium experience, choose the area nearby Passeig de Gracia, the most elegant and majestic promenade in the city, home to luxury hotels such as the Mandarin Oriental and El Palauet.

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Things to know

Here are a couple of essential things to keep in mind when traveling to Barcelona: 

  • Language: Catalan and Spanish are the official languages spoken in the city. While Catalan is the official language in most offices and schools, the road signs are generally bilingual, and most residents can easily switch between both languages. 
  • Common Sayings: here are a couple of valuable sayings in Catalan that will help you get by in the most common situations. 

Good Morning – Bon dia

Good Afternoon – Bon Tarda

Good Night – Bona nit

Please – Si us plau

Thanks – Gracies or Merci

Nice to meet you – Moit de gust

What’s your name? – Com et dius?

My name is John – Em dic John

Where are you from? – D’on ets?

Do you speak English? – Parla angles?

A table for two, please – Una taula per dos si us plau

Bon appetit! – Bon profit!

The bill please – El comte si us plau

That was delicious! – Estava bonissim!

  • Time Zone: Barcelona is on Central European Time (CET), which is six hours ahead of New York (EST), nine hours ahead of Los Angeles (PDT), and one hour ahead of London (GMT).
  • Currency: Spain belongs to the so-called “Eurozone,” which means that the currency in Barcelona is the Euro (EUR). Although credit cards are accepted in most places nowadays, it’s always a good idea to have cash on hand, especially for purchases in antics shops or typical food markets.
  • Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, and Maestro are widely accepted in most restaurants and shops (to avoid unpleasant surprises, check beforehand the sticker on the front door indicating which cards are accepted).
  • Plugs + Voltage: Barcelona electrical outlets use plug types C (with two round pins) and F (with two round pins and two earth clips on the side). They operate on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.
  • Airports: there is only one major airport in close proximity to the city, El Prat de Llobregat Aeropuerto, from which you can arrive at the city center in less than half an hour by taking either the bus, metro, or taxi. Alternatively, you can fly to Girona and Reus airports, approximately 120 km outside the city but very well connected via transfer services. 
  • Vegetarian and vegan food: Barcelona offers plenty of options for eating delicious and wholesome plant-based food. From the raw and gluten-free lasagna and cannelloni of Potstot to the all-natural and organic menu of RasoTerra, awarded as the best vegetarian restaurant in Spain by Elcomidista. And how to forget the spatial cauliflower head with tahini, aioli sauce, and pomegranate arils from Sesamo Comida Sin Bestias and the decadent vegan cronuts of Chök – The Chocolate Kitchen.
  • Organic Groceries: Biocenter, Woki Organic Market, Veritas, and Organic Market San Joao are some of the best options for organic, km-zero grocery shopping. They all offer a wide variety of products, from fresh fruit and veggies to grass-fed meat, plant-based cheese, and eco-friendly personal hygiene products.
  • Safety: despite being very crowded, Barcelona is generally a safe destination and serious crimes are uncommon. However, as in other major tourist cities, pickpocketers and scammers can be around the corner, especially in the most heavily touristic areas. Make sure to always carry your most valuable belongings close to you and keep an eye on your surroundings. Try also to avoid poorly lit areas and suburban neighborhoods, especially at night time.
  • Opening Hours: most shops in Barcelona are open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. However, some artisanal laboratories and family-owned boutiques may close in the afternoon from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. On the other hand, restaurants generally open from 12 p.m. to 2.30 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 11.30 p.m.
  • Popular Sites: among the most popular sites in Barcelona are Gaudì’s modernist masterpieces, such as the Sagrada Familia, Casa Battlo, and Park Guell, the gothic churches of Basilica de Santa Maria al Mar and the Catedral de la Santa Creu I Santa Eulàlia, the sumptuous Placa de CatalunyaLa Rambla and the vibrant market of La Boqueria. We recommend booking the most popular attractions in advance to avoid long lines and have more time to explore the city freely.
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how to get around

Walking is undoubtedly one of the best ways to fully experience the vibrant and cosmopolitan soul of the city. All the main attractions are relatively close to each other, especially if you stay in the central barrios of L’Eixample, ElBorn, Gracia, and Raval. 

For longer distances, we recommend taking advantage of the efficient public transport network, which consists of trams, buses, and the suburban rail service (FGC), all of which are slowly shifting toward clean energy sources.

Similarly, with 11 lines, the metro system is well-served and affordable. Some of the main lines are the L9S – orange, which connects the city to the Prat Airport (both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2), the L1 -red, which runs through the entire city from east to west and stops at places of interest such as the Arc de Triomphe, Plaça Catalunya, and Plaça d’Espanya, and the L2-purple, which stops at the Sagrada Familia and Passeig de Gracia. 

Cruising around the city by bike is another fantastic option: Barcelona boasts a wide network of cycle lanes and several bike rental services. Among the most popular is Donkey Republic: with prices starting from 12 euros a day, you can have full access to the largest fleet of bikes in the city. All you have to do is download the app and pick the closest bike.

Barcelona is a very tourist-friendly city and offers different options for experiencing its vibrant soul to the fullest!

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Where to stay

Pg. de Gràcia, 113, 08008 Barcelona, Spain

Once known as Casa Bonaventura Ferrer, designed by architect Pere Falqués I Urpí in 1906, and today part of Barcelona’s Historical and Artistic Heritage, El Palauet is a luxury hotel that perfectly integrates its  . . . .

modernist nature with the contemporary furniture by Paola Lenti and Ron Arad. The six suites, with inlaid floral ceilings and custom-made Corian bathrooms, relish a superb view over Passeig de Gràcia, Barcelona’s most elegant and majestic promenade, connecting Plaça Catalunya with the Gràcia district. 

Pg. de Gràcia, 38-40, 08007 Barcelona, Spain

Lavish, classic, and elegant: the Mandarin Oriental is heaven for luxury travelers. Located on Passeig de Gràcia, the most exclusive shopping boulevard in the city, overlooking Gaudì’s modernist installations,  . . . . 

all the rooms boast the contemporary touch of Spanish interior designer Patricia Urquiola. At the same time, the gastronomic offer is signed by the world-awarded female chef Carme Ruscalleda. A true gem in the beating heart of the city!

dels Lledó, 7, 08002 Barcelona, Spain

Mercer Hotel Barcelona is a 5-star luxury hotel in the heart of the Barrio Gotico, the picturesque Gothic district in Old Town Barcelona. Looking to the future while respecting the past is the leitmotif of the  . . . .

Mercer,  housed in a group of historic installations -among which is the Roman wall of Ancient Barcino- newly refurbished under the direction of multi-awarded Navarran architect Rafael Moneo. The historical elements are masterfully entangled with the high-tech facilities and the expressionist art by Agustí Puig. The restaurant, overlooking the picturesque Orange Tree Courtyard, offers traditional Catalan dishes revisited by the creative flair of chef Xavier Lahuerta.

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Pg. de Gràcia, 113, 08008 Barcelona, Spain

Located in the heart of L’Eixample, the city’s commercial and cultural circuit, this small boutique hotel boasts 63 spacious rooms, all soundproof and renowned for their elegant, minimalistic design. The Mirror is widely  . . . .  

famous for its eco-friendly practices and the gourmet dining experiences by Michelin star Chef Jordi Cruz.

Plaça Rosa Del Vents 1, Final, Pg. de Joan de Borbó, 08039 Barcelona, Spain

On the waterfront of Barceloneta is the spectacular W Barcelona, the only resort in the city with access to a private beach. Designed by world-renowned architect Ricardo Bofill, all the 473 guestrooms and suites  . . . .

are supplied with premium furniture and enjoy a spectacular view over the Mediterranean Sea. Superior is also the gastronomic offer, with the superb Mediterranean tapas of the SALT Restaurant, the organic and ultra-seasonal cuisine of the recently opened FIRE restaurant, and the glamorous cocktails of the ECLIPSE rooftop bar. One of the best beach resorts in Barcelona! 

Where to Eat & Drink

Pintor Fortuny, 25 08001, Barcelona

Since 1980, Biocenter has been known as the oldest restaurant in Barcelona, serving vegetarian and vegan cuisine. Offering a salad bar buffet during the day and a-la-carte meals for dinner, Biocenter provides  . . . . 

some of the best food in the city. Famous for its tapas, bowls, burgers, organic juices, beer, and wines, as well as its vegan, gluten-free, and sugar-free desserts, Biocenter is a must-stop. We recommend ordering one of their incredible burgers on a curry or charcoal bun! 

C/ dels Tallers, 74b, 08001 Barcelona, Spain

Tasty + Healthy + Sustainable food: these are the values at the core of Flax&Kale, the first healthy eating chain in Spain to receive the B Corp Certification, one of the highest sustainability standards in Europe. 

With four restaurants in different city districts (Tallers, Trafalgar, Passage, and La Roca Village), the mission of Flax&Kale is to help people eat more sustainably, one meal at a time. 80% of the offer is plant-based, and the remaining 20% contains oily fish. All the dishes are prepared according to specific nutritional guidelines designed to leave the consumer feeling satisfied but energized after the dining experience. In line with the brand’s ambition of helping people eat more sustainably, Flax&Kale products, such as ready-to-eat meals and detox cleansing juices, are sold in every location and some of the best organic stores in the city.

Plaça Sagrada Família, 3, 08013 Barcelona, Spain

Proposed as a healthy slow food concept by Biocenter, Green & Burger is their pioneering approach to gourmet veggie burgers. 

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Pl. Reial, 8, 08002 Barcelona, Spain

Fresh and local products are at the core of Green.Co Healthy Organic Food. A plant-based restaurant chain with the mission of simultaneously offering soul-nourishing dishes designed to be healthy and  . . . .

sustainable, Green.Co offers culinary options for vegetarians and vegans and gluten-free and paleo-friendly options. 

C/ de València, 204, 08011 Barcelona, Spain

Inclusivity is the value at the base of Pötstot’s offer, a gluten-free, vegan, and lactose-free restaurant in the heart of the cosmopolitan district of L’Eixample. Everything is homemade with natural and fresh  . . . .

ingredients, from the vegan cheeses in the raw lasagna to the fragrant gluten-free bread. Interesting is also the drink chart, which includes different types of gluten-free Cervezas (“beers”) and kombuchas, as well as vegan, organic, and natural wines. 

Carrer Palau, 5 08002 Barcelona

In the heart of the old town, Barcelona, is Rasoterra, awarded as the best vegetarian restaurant in Spain by Elcomidista; RasoTerra has recently turned fully plant-based. All the dishes are made with organic,  . . . .

locally-sourced ingredients, and the menu adapts to the seasonal harvest. The wine chart is also remarkable: all the wines are sulfite-free and organic and come from small local producers. 

C/ del Consell de Cent, 401, bajos, 08009 derecha, Barcelona, Spai

Offering an innovative fusion of contemporary Asian/Japanese cuisine, Roots & Rolls is renowned for its signature plant-based sushi, unique combinations of fresh ingredients, and curated atmosphere. 

For an otherworldly experience, we recommend the “El Lago” rolls (made with black quinoa rice, roasted zucchini, sundried tomato, mango & broccoli cream) and the “Geisha rolls” (with avocado maki, heüra tartare, fermented chili sauce, chives & black quinoa rice). A petite Asian paradise, only a stone’s throw from the Sagrada Familia!

Carrer de Sant Antoni Abat, 52, 08001 Barcelona, Spain

Opened in 2008, Sesamo is a small vegetarian restaurant within walking distance from Placa de Catalunya. The atmosphere is cozy and friendly, and the presentation of the dishes, all made with  . . . .

first-quality, natural ingredients, is simply impeccable. The cauliflower head with tahini, green aioli sauce, and the Padron peppers (braised green peppers with paprika flakes) are a must. 

C/ de Jovellanos, 2, 08001 Barcelona, Spain

Almost 35 years of history for one of the first fully-vegetarian restaurants in Barcelona, born from the pioneering intuition of Chef Teresa Carles Borràs. The food offering is deeply influenced by traditional  . . . .

and familiar Catalan cuisine, reimagined naturally and much healthier. For a romantic and intimate dining experience, we recommend the curry polenta cake with pumpkin, grilled portobello, green asparagus, and poached egg and the walnut cake with iced fig mousse and hot chocolate. Simply delightful!

C/ d’Enric Granados, 135, 08008 Barcelona, Spain

Flexitarian and healthy bowls made with 100% organic, natural, local, and seasonal ingredients. Bon also offers fresh juices, drooling plant-based treats, and comforting soups. Open 8.30 a.m to 5.30 p.m. . . . .

from Monday to Friday.  

Rambla de Catalunya 3. 08007 Barcelona

For one of the poshest salad and bowls restaurants in the city, head to Honest Greens. Four locations (Rambla Catalunya, Tuset, Born, and Avinguda Diagonal). Born from the intuition of Christopher Fuchs, Rasmus B.,  . . . .

and Benjamin Bensoussan, three entrepreneurs and food lovers, the mission of Honest Greens is encouraging people to “eat real food.” This means all the ingredients used in Honest Green’s dishes are sustainably farmed, organic, unprocessed, and free of artificial preservatives, additives, or refined sugars. Although the restaurants are not fully vegan, more than 90% of the meals are plant-based, veggies are the stars of all meals, and animal proteins are ethically sourced. But Honest Greens is more than just a regular salad bar: it’s also the perfect place for a rejuvenating Sunday brunch or a quick -and lovely- afternoon break. Try a decadent slice of Cauliflower Mocha Brownie to replenish your body and soul! 

C/ d’Enric Granados, 153, 08008 Barcelona, Spain

Salads, bowls, plant-based treats, superfood lattes, and cold-pressed juices are the heart of Green and Berry’s culinary offer, a cozy coffee shop a few steps away from the Diagonal, the main artery of the city. 

All the products are 100% natural and made with km-zero ingredients, and the emphasis is placed on sustainability and love for the animals and the Planet. Honorable mention goes to the exquisite, sugar-free vegan red velvet cake with cashew cream.

Organic Coffee + Tea

Carrer de Bruniquer, 9, Local 5, 08012 Barcelona, Spain

A small organic coffee shop was born as a Fair Trade platform. The name Ecolectia comes from the Latin word “Collecta,” which means “harvest,” prefixed by the double “e” of Equitable and Environmentally-friendly. 

Ecolectia is the right place to enjoy a good cup of organic Arabica coffee, made with coffee beans sourced with full respect for the environmental and social fabric of the production place. Discover the vast offer of fair-trade, organic coffees and teas on the Ecolectia website.

Passatge Sert, 12, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

Born in 2014 from the intuition of National Barista Champion Jordi Mestre, Nomad is one of the best coffee shops in Barcelona. The shop is located in the historical neighborhood of ElBorn, just a few  . . . .

steps away from Barceloneta. All the beans are domestically roasted and can be purchased directly in-store or on the Nomad website. Organic and naturally-sourced options are available as well.

Organic Wine + Spirits

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La Violeta Bar

Carrer del baluard 58, 08003 Barcelona Spain

In the heart of vibrant Barceloneta is La Violeta Bar, a “slow food tapered.” With an impressive selection of organic, unfiltered, and biodynamic wines, La Violeta is the place to be for an unforgettable aperitif  . . . . 

overlooking the sea. 

Masia Can Balta, S/N, 08796 Pacs del Penedès, Barcelona, Spain

Less than an hour from Barcelona is Parés Baltà, an organic and biodynamic winery founded in 1790. The winemaking process follows a holistic approach to agriculture that puts the protection of biodiversity   . . . . 

and the love for the land at the forefront of the winemaking process. Among the gems of Parés Baltà are the MicroCuvée wines, characterized by their elegance, character, and finesse, and the Origin wines, young, fresh, and fruity. Visits to the winery can be booked on the winery’s website. 

C/ de Còrsega, 209, 08036 Barcelona, Spain

Venivinum is an agency specializing in organizing tours in wineries near Barcelona. Using the most sustainable means of transport (train, electric bicycles, electric or hybrid cars), Venivinum takes you to the region’s  . . . .

best eco-conscious wineries, renowned for producing natural, biodynamic, and organic wines. To book a tour, visit the Venivium website.

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C/ d’Aribau, 177, 08036 Barcelona, Spain

The best Catalan wines in downtown Barcelona: from sparkling to red bottles, Vins & Co offers a rich selection of wines and spirits, most of which are organic, unfiltered, and natural. Tastings and sommelier  . . . .

experiences are organized monthly in the shop for a comprehensive understanding of the Catalan enogastronomic culture.

Organic Markets

Carrer del Comte d’Urgell, 114, 08011 Barcelona, Spain

Organic food and more: the organic market Comte D’Urgell, in the central barrio of El Raval, is the heaven of all eco-conscious buyers, selling all things natural and sustainably-produced, from vegan and cruelty-free  . . . .

makeup products to homemade baked goods and bulk products such as grains, nuts, and seeds. 

Pg. de St. Joan, 46, 08010 Barcelona, Spain

Open every day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., the Sant Joan Organic Market is located in the central Passeig de Sant Joan, only a few steps away from Gaudì’s modernist masterpieces Casa Milà and Casa Batllo. 

The market comprises a butcher shop selling grass-fed, sustainably-sourced meat, an organic grocery shop, and a bakery with several plant-based and gluten-free options. 

Vegans-Bio-Barcelona

Vegans & Bio

Av. Diagonal, 329, 08009 Barcelona, Spain

Previously known as Ecocentre Supermarket Vegan, Vegans & Bio is a bio/organic store offering a large selection of plant-based milk, mock meat, burgers, frozen meals, plant-based treats, and drinks. 

You can also find environmentally-friendly household supplies, personal hygiene products, and cruelty-free makeup here. All products are also available on the Vegans & Bio website. 

WELLNESS

Passeig de Picasso, 22, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

A place where time does not exist, in Old Town Barcelona: AIRE is a modern-day temple where it is possible to detach from mundane occurrences and reconnect with our purest self. Built inside an  . . . .

old warehouse, AIRE offers different experiences, from thermal baths to body massages and aromatherapy rituals. 

Carrer del Comte d’Urgell, 107, 08011 Barcelona, Spain

Imbued by the quintessential French joy de vivre (love for life), Le Patio Spa is a vibey wellness center offering luxurious facials, heavenly massages, and personalized body treatments. In addition, we recommend trying  . . . . 

the hammam, a ritual that involves passing through 3 rooms where the temperature gradually cools. A rejuvenating experience for the mind and body!

C/ del Comerç, 13, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

An oasis of peace and self-discovery in the heart of the Gothic barrio. The center offers classes suitable for different levels and yoga styles, from Vinyasa Flow Yoga to Hatha Yoga, D-Gravity Yoga, and even face yoga. 

For a next-level experience, we recommend trying the Hatha Yoga masterclass with live cello music.

What To Experience

Carrer de Manso, 52, 08015 Barcelona, Spain

A trip to Barcelona is complete with trying the typical Spanish tapas. These small appetizers can be served either cold or hot and are generally made with locally-sourced ingredients. Patats bravas, tortilla (a sort  . . . 

of egg frittata) with potatoes and onions, pan amb tomaca (bread with fresh tomatoes), croquetas de cocido (croquettes filled with béchamel and minced meat or ham), and buñoles de bacalao (fried codfish patties) are only some of the most traditional Catalan tapas, generally accompanied by a refreshing glass of Sangria. For a quintessential Catalan experience, we recommend stopping by La Bodega d’en Rafael, in the neighborhood of Sant Antoni, or at the Bar Bodega L’Electricitat, in the fishermen’s barrio of Barceloneta and getting inspired by the house’s culinary offerings.

Park Güell, Ctra. del Carmel, 23A, 08013 Barcelona, Spain

The installations of Antoni Gaudí, the master of Modernism, have profoundly molded the landscape of Barcelona, transforming it into the vibrant and chameleonic city we all know today. A tour of  . . . .

Gaudì’s masterwork must include the majestic Sagrada Familia, the kaleidoscopic Park Guell, and the extravagant Casa Batllo, Casa de Les Punxes, and Casa Mila, whose bright colors and edgy architectures intersperse the elegant and sumptuous buildings of l’Eixample.

Gracia District Barcelona, Spain

Gracia is an elegant and quiet residential district located at the end of the homonymous Passeig de Gràcia, guarded, on the North, by the kaleidoscopic Park Guell and far from the noise of the most touristy attractions. 

Loved by the locals for its authentic and out-of-the-time vibe, Gracia is the place to be for a relaxing aperitivo, a therapeutic shopping spree, or to relish the unique atmosphere of one of the most peaceful facets of the city.

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La Rambla, 91, 08001 Barcelona Spain

La Boqueria is Barcelona’s most famous and oldest market in the historical barrio El Raval, a few steps away from la Rambla. This animated market offers various fresh and colorful fruits and vegetables, vibrant  . . . .

smoothies, locally-produced meat and fish, and Catalunian cheeses. The market is open every day from 8 a.m. to 8.30 p.m. 

La Rambla 51-59,Barcelona

Long 1.4 km, La Rambla is Barcelona’s beating heart, with thousands of tourists and locals walking daily on its wavy-patterned tiles, reminiscent of sea waves. The charm of this beautiful tree-lined avenue,  . . . .

connecting the luxurious Plaça de Catalunya with the animated Port Vell, lies in its buildings’ vibrant colors, musicians, mimes, caricaturists, fortune-tellers, and florists that animate this lively street. But, as with any other crowded place, watch out for the ubiquitous pickpockets and scammers. 

Barri Gotic Barcelona Spain between La Rambla and Via Laietana

Located right in the center of the old city (‘Ciutat Vella’) of Barcelona, the Barri Gòtic is a maze of tiny streets winding their way between Placa de Reial, with its Moorish atmosphere and Placa de la Catedral,  . . . . 

dominated by the gothic Catedral de la Santa Creu I Santa Eulàlia. The Gothic Barrio is characterized by perfectly preserved middle-aged buildings, artisanal laboratories, and antique shops. Visiting the Barri Gòtic is like traveling back in time!

C/ de Montcada, 15-23, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

The Picasso Museum, located in the El Born barrio, represents a great starting point for delving deeper into the formative years of the Spanish painter Pablo Picasso (from the early paintings to the so-called  . . . . 

Blue Period), with more than 4,251 works that make up the permanent collection. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions. For more information, visit the Picasso Museum website. 

Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.

This green hill overlooking the city is home to some of Barcelona’s most intriguing attractions, such as the luxurious Jardì Botanico (botanical garden) with more than 1,500 different species of plants and trees  . . . . 

from all over the world, the Olympic stadium, the Montjuic Castle, a military fortress dating back to 1640, and the Font màgica. This latter was built in 1929 for the Universal Exhibition, and every evening becomes the theater for an incredible show of music, water acrobatics, and light. Montjuïc can be reached in less than ten minutes from the metro station of Plaça d’Espanya..

Day Trips

Girona, Catalonia, Spain, sits between Barcelona and Costa Brava

Less than 1.30 hours from Barcelona is Girona, a picturesque Medieval city located on the Onyar River’s banks, close to France’s northeastern border. This city is famous for its historic center surrounded by  . . . .

walls (Barri Vell) and the Roman archeological remains of the Força Vella fortress. We recommended walking along the Passeig Arqueològic, a promenade that follows the medieval walls of the old town, and admiring the colorful “leaning” houses (pen jades) reflected in the dark waters of the river, which have owed the city the nickname of Petita Florència (little Florence). The city is easy to reach by car or train, departing from Barcelona’s Sants Station. 

Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain

Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tarragona is an ancient Roman colony on the Northeastern coast of Spain. Among the must-sees are the Roman ruins, with the perfectly preserved Colosseum and Forum, . . . . 

the Templar church of Santa Maria del Miracle, and the Romanic cathedral. The city is also renowned for its culinary offering, which includes the paella marinara (rice with seafood), the rose at (a mixture of boiled rice and fish), and the videos rose at (a concoction of seafood and noodles). The train is the fastest and easiest way to get to Tarragona from Barcelona. In less than 1.30 hours, you can get to the city by taking the Barcelona-Alicante railway line, accessible from Barcelona’s Sants station. 

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