I recently took a summer trip to Barcelona and I'm so excited to share all of the amazing things this unique city has to offer!
From breathtaking gothic architecture to the European beach- Barcelona is a city that really has something for everyone. This is city is relatively small, and locals walk almost everywhere so it's the perfect place for folks who love to explore and stumble upon cute gems. I know many of you may be planning a trip to Barcelona soon, so I thought I'd share where I went, as well as some recommendations.
Where To Stay
Ohla Barcelona: I stayed at Ohla Barcelona during my visit here and it was lovely! The rooms were clean and modern, the staff was super accommodating and the location was perfectly situated in the middle of the city - walking distance from great food, shopping and the beaches. The booking could be on the higher end depending on when you choose to stay, but it was worth it since it was pretty much in the center of everything; and the service was top notch. As a bonus, there is a Michelin star restaurant in the hotel: Caelis Restaurant.
Where To Eat
Citizen Cafe: Barcelona's take on modern American dining. Yummy breakfast options and the espresso drinks are great.
Picnic: Although I didn’t have a chance to go here, it was on my list for a great tapas place. Would definitely recommend going to Picnic for breakfast/brunch. Check out the menu- it looks amazing!
Copa Café: A random cafe I stumbled on in Eixample right by the Sagrada Familia - it has the BEST ESPRESSO EVER. Get the Cortado. It is UNREAL.
Bar But: This spot is SUPER cute (and instagrammable). Great for lunch as they have some classic dishes (sandwiches, salads, etc.). Make sure you check out their “Tasting Menu”. It will be listed outside the cafe and is essentially the prix-fixe menu of the day. You get an app, main and dessert for a pretty affordable price and can try a bunch of things.
Barcelona is known for their "Tasting Menus" and most restaurants/cafes will have this option, so make sure to check for it outside or ask when you're seated!
La Luna: This is an AMAZING tapas place. I can't rave enough about this place and the quality of the food. You must go here. Everything on the menu is delicious (it's tapas so luckily you can try a bunch of the dishes), but you'll definitely want to get the duck tapas. La Luna can be a little hard to find, so make sure you have your map out, but it is SO worth it.
Da Greco: This Italian restaurant has a super fancy appearance on the inside, but is actually somewhat affordable. It is another must while in Barcelona. It is INCREDIBLE. You HAVE TO get the white truffle raviolis. I don't usually like truffle because it can be overpowering, but I was in love with this dish and still dream about it. The garlic shrimp linguine is yummy too. If you only order one dish, make sure you get the raviolis- Beyonce & Jay-Z have gone to this restaurant just for this dish.
If you go to Da Greco with someone and you both order a pasta, they will bring you your pasta AND a “side” of the other pasta (which is essentially another full plate) so you can try it for free - score!! Also, get the house red wine - it's super cheap and yummy.
Most restaurants/cafes close at 4pm for siesta and reopen at 8pm so make sure you hit the breakfast/brunch/lunch spots before 4, otherwise you’ll end up eating something not as good just to hold you over. Also, apparently the four cheese pizza anywhere in Barna is disgusting so avoid that.
Ohla Barcelona Rooftop: I stayed here so it was convenient, but I would've came here even if I didn't. They have an amazing rooftop bar/pool with sick views. You can go there anytime, but sunset time is gorgeous. A plus here: there's no cover to get upstairs, like some other rooftop bars in Barcelona! There’s also a wine bar, Vistro49, on the main floor of Ohla that’s good for pre-dinner drinks.
McCarthy’s: Really chill Irish sports bar - good for a Guinness fix. It gets pretty packed at night. Really fun!
Belushi’s: Fun sports bar - great place to watch games.
La Taverna de Barcelona: Another sports bar with great nachos!
The Wild Rover: This is a sports bar all the way down Las Ramblas. I watched the Spain soccer game here and it got really busy. The service is great; we even got a few Irish car bombs for free!
All the nightlife/clubs are down by the beach (Opium etc.). If you know a promoter you’ll be good to get in for free, otherwise it’s about a 20 euro cover. But if you walk down the strip (past the nightclubs) there’s an area of bars and hookah places that have no cover and are REALLY fun. They all have outdoor seating and great music/dancing.
La Sagrada Familia: A beautiful church designed by Antonio Gaudi. We walked the outside perimeter, but you can buy tickets to go in. Tip: buy tix in advance - they get sold out if you look for them the day of.
Tibidabo: Highest point in Barcelona (you’ll have to take a cab here - they drop you off towards the bottom of the hill and you walk up). It is a well known cathedral there, but they also have an amusement park. I went here just to see the cathedral. You can buy a 3,50 euro ticket inside the church that goes all the way to the top, and the view is SO worth it.
Park Guell: I walked around the perimeter which was beautiful. If you want to see the inside, which has Gaudi’s mosaic art installation, you have to buy tickets in advance because it gets sold out for pretty much the whole day. I didn’t think it was necessary to go in, but if you really are keen on seeing Gaudi’s work, you should do it. He also has buildings all around the city that you can see for free (just ask the locals).
Cathedral de Barcelona: Another beautiful church inside a plaza where all the shops and restaurants are located.
Placa de Catalunya: If you're from NY, you'll see- this area reminds me of Washington Sq. Park. A little plaza where you can buy stuff (kinda like China Town- you can def haggle a Spain jersey down and they are pretty damn authentic looking with Adidas tags and everything). They have a fountain show at night that’s also supposed to be cool to see.
Las Ramblas: The main area/strip people say you should check out. It has shops, food, flowers etc. Beware of the pick-pocketers here - it’s very touristy so they’re out to find people and they work in groups... basically don’t talk to anyone if they stop you for directions because they’re just trying to distract you. I had zero issues with pick pocketing, but you just have to be aware and keep your stuff in front of you or wear tight pants lol.
Mercado de Boqueria: The market with local spices and great fresh squeezed juices.
Beach: IMO you can skip it because it’s not as beautiful as beaches in the Caribbean (the sand isn't soft and the water can be very pebbly), but lots of locals spend their time here.
**Tip** You can walk pretty much everywhere, but cabs are super safe and friendly when you need them and subways are really easy to navigate.
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