19 Sep Things To Do In Barcelona
Things To Do In Barcelona
Barcelona – a city so great it’s had songs written about it. The capital of Catalunya, and a real gem of a European city, this cultural hub is filled with art, history, and great food. But, as with any great city, its sprawling size can make it difficult to navigate your trip, or to plan what to do. So, we’ve created this handy city guide to help you find things to do in Barcelona.
Where to Stay
Grand Hotel Central – A beautiful designed hotel with fantastic views of the Gothic Quarter from its rooftop infinity pool, this is an elegant base for the discerning traveller. Housed in an early 20th century building, but filled with sleek, modern design, it offers the best of both worlds.
Room Mate Carla – A very individual hotel, filled with colourful and stylised rooms, this is a great spot for modern travellers to enjoy the city. Just a five minute walk from Gaudi’s La Perdera and the famous Passeig de Gracia, its central location makes it perfect for exploring Barcelona on foot or by metro.
Eric Vokel Boutique Apartment, Sagrada Familia Suites – These eco-friendly suites are just a stone’s throw from the famous Sagrada Familia and offer boutique design paired with convenience. Each apartment even has its own balcony so you can enjoy the magnificent views that surround it.
Tryp Barcelona Condal Mar Hotel – With a stunning rooftop pool, WiFi throughout and sound-proofed rooms for a great night’s sleep, you can’t go wrong with this stylish hotel. And, at just a short stroll from the beach, it comes complete with an enviable location.
NH Podium – Located in the upscale Eixample neighbourhood, this sleek and modern hotel offers top level accommodation in the heart of the city. You’ll be within walking distance to some of the city’s top attractions including the Arc de Triomf, Gothic Quarter and Las Ramblas.
What To Do
Gaudi Architecture – No trip to Barcelona would be complete without exploring the stunning architecture of the world famous artist, Antoni Gaudi. The city is littered with examples of his works, so it’s best to plan ahead. We recommend not trying to squeeze it all into one day if you can, but spreading it out over two days. Day one – travel first to the outskirts of the city to explore Park Guell, and then head back into the centre to marvel at the glorious Sagrada Familia. Day two should be reserved for wandering around Casa Millo and Casa Batillo – two amazing buildings within walking distance of each other, and designed in his signature style.
Gothic Quarter – Step back in time with a journey around the Gothic Quarter and its stunning historical buildings. With its narrow, cobbled streets and tall, intricate buildings, you’ll enjoy getting lost around here. The area is filled with cafes and tapas bars too, so be sure to spend a lazy day exploring this part of the city.
Flamenco – You can’t visit Barcelona without taking in some traditional flamenco dancing. The most famous spot in the city for this is the Tablao Flamenco Cordobes Barcelona, which always books up fast. Be sure to book this in advance or ask your Lifestyle Manager to do it for you. You can choose to enjoy a pre-show meal for an extra fee, or simply sit back with your free drink and enjoy the show.
La Boqueria Market – Located slap bang in the middle of Las Ramblas, this market truly is foodie heaven. The perfect place to grab some breakfast, lunch or dinner, La Boqueria is filled with delicious Catalan delicacies. If your trousers don’t need loosening when you leave – you haven’t done it right.
Theatre – When you think of Barcelona, you may not think of theatre right away – but this city has some real gems to share with you. El Molino is a fantastic burlesque show housed in a Moulin Rouge style theatre, and even though the show is conducted in Spanish, it’s not difficult to follow if you don’t speak the language. And the Gran Teatre del Liceu has a robust programme of operas, ballets, and performances throughout the year.
Museums – Barcelona has more museums than you could possibly hope to see in one trip, but that means you’ll never run out of things to see here. Our top picks would be Museu Picasso to see Picasso’s early works and how he developed his signature style, Museu d’Historia de la Ciutat to travel back in time and learn about the city’s history and Museu Maritim to journey on the high seas and discover how maritime trade helped to build the city.
Montjuic– Overlooking Barcelona is Montjuic, a natural elevation which used to be a big part of the city’s defences. Now it stands proud as a top tourist attraction, filled with things to see and do. You’ve got a few options for getting there too – you can take the funicular train, the bus or two different cable cars to reach the top. A definite must-see for first time visitors.
Churches – Throughout the city you can find a scattering of amazing churches to explore. From the unfinished Gaudi masterpiece of the Sagrada Familia, to the typical Catalan gothic style of the Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar, there’s something to explore every day of the week. Just remember, these are holy buildings so you won’t always be allowed inside if you’re showing a lot of skin – make sure to pack some appropriate clothes.
Barceloneta– A triangular split of land that juts out into the sea and is lined with a beautiful, sandy beach – this is the perfect place to spend a lazy day recovering from all your sightseeing adventures. Once the home of fisherman, it is now the sparkling, tourist jewel of the city.
Where To Eat
Bar Celta – One of the city’s best no-frills tapas bars, Bar Celta specialises in traditional Catalan cuisine, which means lots of tasty seafood dishes to enjoy. They even serve a delicious Galician white wine in the traditional ceramic cups.
El Portalon – Housed in a converted barn that dates back to the 1800’s, this quaint and historical little restaurant is great for enjoying a taste of old Barcelona. The atmosphere alone makes this a wonderful spot for dinner, but the delicious food and wide range of dishes don’t hurt either.
Mosquito – Tapas, but with an Asian twist, this is a great spot for a relaxed and tasty meal. The exotic flavours, paired with the traditional tavern feel of the building, make this a rather unique dining experience.
Bar Pinotxo – Arguably the best tapas bar inside the famous La Boquiera market, and maybe even in the whole of Barcelona. This informal eating spot is well known for its delicious and traditional food, served up with a smile by chef and owner Juaninto.
Cal Pep – Serving up some of the freshest seafood in town, this restaurant has an ever changing menu – all dependant on what the tide brings in for them. While they do have some remaining staples, you’re better off asking the staff for their daily specials to really get the most from this eatery.
Can Culleretes – One of the oldest restaurants in Barcelona, Can Culleretes is filled with history – literally. The walls are plastered with picture after picture of famous faces who have visited the eatery, alongside beautiful paintings depicting life in a time gone by. You can enjoy simplistic and traditional food here, paired with a great atmosphere and friendly staff – a must see.
Alkima – Michelin starred and home to some incredibly inventive and delectable dishes, this is a great spot for foodie travellers to enjoy. With an impeccable decor and top class food, we can’t find a thing to fault here.
Els Quatre Gats – One of the city’s more well known spots, while not overly expensive, you will need to book this one in advance. A true, bohemian style cafe, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back in time when famous artists roamed the streets and downed coffee in spots just like this.
Set Portes – Over 175 years old, this is the home of authentic Catalan cuisine. Housed in the Portics d’en Xifre, an architecturally stunning edifice, it was the first building in Barcelona to have running water, and was even the subject of the first photograph ever taken in Spain.
Bosc de les fades – Yes, it is quite touristy, but we still love it here. The bar is decked out like a fairytale grotto, complete with fairy figurines and tree trunk furniture. A great spot for families and big kids alike.
Manchester – Get a little taste of home in this dark little bar in El Raval. The perfect watering hole for fans of the Manchester rock scene, the drinks prices are also a lot more wallet friendly than many bars in this tourist city.
Dry Martini – A more high class drinks option, serving martini’s in a hundred different forms, and complete with bow tied bartenders and antique furniture. But, this place is far from stuffy – expect to see a younger crowd here sipping fancy cocktails and sharing hushed conversations.
See The Museums For Free – If you want to keep an eye on your spending while in this great city, all those museum entry fees can soon add up. Avoid them all together by planning your trip to coincide with free entry days. Many of Barcelona’s museums offer free admission every Sunday afternoon, and the biggest three (MNAC, CCCB, and the Picasso Museum) offer this on the first Sunday of every month.
Advance Booking – If you plan on visiting any of the Gaudi sites in the city, you need to book your tickets in advance. On the day queues can stretch for hours, especially in peak tourist times. Your Lifestyle Manager will be able to organise all of this for you with just a simple phone call, so you don’t need to worry about a thing.
The Bunkers – Want to see the best views of the city? Then you need to find your way to the famous Bunkers. Just ask in any hotel for directions. Take a small picnic and sit and watch the sunset for the perfect Barcelona evening.
Palao Alto Market – Held the first weekend of every month, this market is home to an eclectic mixture of stalls. You’ll find everything from organic food, to street style clothes, to handmade jewellery. A great place to snag great bargains and individual gifts for friends and family back home.
Day Trips – Barcelona is great, but you’ve also got some amazing day trips within easy reach of the city. Our two top picks would be Girona and Montserrat. Both offer amazing sights and stunning architecture, and are just a train ride away from the city itself.
Keys Lifestyle Concierge has access to some amazing deals for a wide range of hotels and activities across the city. To find out how you can enjoy the best European destinations with a free membership, contact Keys Concierge today.