Barcelona will forever be one of my favorite cities. The good vibes, relaxed lifestyle, and exciting passion rings throughout the city. Although, this is a large city with a lot of people, I promise if you truly take in the culture then you will love it just as much as I do! I hope this guide leads you to a great trip. Enjoy!
I’ve visiting Barcelona five times and have always stayed in an airBnB. I enjoy being in busiest parts of the city, although it can be loud at night. Eixample, Gothic, and El Born are my favorite areas to stay in. Check out TripAdvisor and airBnB to find the right lodging fit for your visit.
Places to See and Activities:
- Sagrada Familia Church – This is an unfinished Roman Catholic Church and it is a must- see! Pay to go inside and go early.
- Magic Fountain – Beautiful fountain that often has light shows.
- Picasso Muesuem – One of the most extensive collections of artworks by the 20th century Spanish artist, Pablo Picasso.
- Labyrinth – Historical garden with a famous maze.
- Casa Batillo/Casa Mila – Gaudi did not like straight lines so the buildings are very trippy and cool. Both are located on Passieg de Gracia. You can go inside and on the roof of Casa Batillo. It is incredible at sunset.
- Parc Ciudatella – Beautiful, famous park in Barcelona. Spanish for park of “cities” because it is very large. The zoo is here and you can rent row boats. Check out the famous golden statue/fountain of Zeus inside.
- Parc Guell – Currently under a bit of reconstruction. Still go, as this park has incredible views of Barcelona.
- La Boqueria – Open air market on Las Ramblas. It has the freshest, most delicious food. Another cool open air market is Palo Alto.
- Las Ramblas – A very touristy street in Barcelona, yet fun to walk down to people watch and see the street performers. Pickpocketing is common here so be aware and keep your bag in front of you.
- Barceloneta – The beach! This is the largest beach in Barcelona and very fun.
- Gothic District/Passieg del Born – Explore the gothic district, especially Passieg del born. It’s a super cute area with a ton of great restaurants and stores.
- Cathedral de Barcelona – Build in 1298, this Cathedral is truly stunning. It is in the Gothic District. Have a glass of wine on the rooftop of the hotel across the street to enjoy the views at sunset.
Get ready to switch up your typical eating schedule while in Spain. All of your meals will be pushed back a few hours (if you eat like a local) and a few may be added! In Spain, most people eat 4-5 times a day. Desayuno (breakfast) is usually a coffee at home with a pastry. Almuerzo (mid-morning snack) around 10:30am is a light meal of a bocadillo (baguette sandwhich). La Comida (lunch) around 1 or 2 pm consists of traditional tapas and wine. Often this is viewed as the main meal of the day and many restaurants offer a nice fixed 3 course menu at a very reasonable price. Merienda (afternoon snack) consisting of a light sweet snack or meat and cheese plate. La Cena (dinner) usually beginning after 9 pm and consisting of more tapas and drinks.
- Bormuth – Incredible tapas place with no-nonsense. It is an affordable, fun spot in El Born.
- Casa Lolea – An adorable family owned Tapas restaurant in El Born. If you don’t have a reservation, they do have a community table!
- Da Greco – Great Italian food. I recommend the Gnocchi!
- Barraca – If you are craving paella then this is your place!
- Flax&Kale – For a healthy escape, go here for a meal! So many amazing vegan options, and some fish. The watermelon app is a must.
- Cervesería Catalana – One of the best tapas restaurant in Barcelona. Very popular with the locals.
- Bo de B – Amazing sandwich shop with fresh ingredients at a cheap price. Make sure to get picante and pesto sauces. I recommend taking your sandwich to go and eating it on the Barcelona beach!
- Bar Del Pla – Great tapa restaurant with so many options. You will see both tourists and locals here.
- Chök – The chocolate kitchen. Big fan of the cronuts here. Located in the Gothic area.
- Brunch and Cake – Amazing brunch and so cute! Go here.
- El Nacional – A Tapas Food Hall. I’ve had great yet also so-so experiences here. It is definitely worth the visit, at least for wine and apps! Close to a lot of shopping, as well.
- Demasié – A wonderful cake shop. Try the cinnamon rolls! In the El Born area near Arc de Triomf.
- Espit Chupitos – You will never forget your trip to this shot bar! It is one of the most famous bars in Barcelona with hundreds of shots, many of which the bartenders light on fire. I dare you to have a friend take the Monica Lewinsky shot!
- George Paynes – An Irish- themed pub. Imagine buckets of beer, football games and karaoke. If that’s what you are looking for then this place is perfect.
- La Cerveceria – Near George Paynes. Local spot with affordable drinks and cheaper food.
- Bar Marsella – Absinthe bar that is 200 years old in El Raval. Great cocktails. You must-try the absinthe! Forewarning, it’s near the red light district so you might be hassled a little.
- Boca Chica – Another good cocktail bar in the Eixample area.
- Dow Jones – The famous stock market bar. The drink prices change depending on the “stock market” so if a lot of people order a certain drink then it gets more expensive. When the stock market crashes the prices are super cheap! This is a good spot to pregame at.
- Ovella Negra – A huge beer hall in a mega warehouse (two locations). Beer towers and large wooden lunch tables. Young crowd so know what you are walking into. A really fun time if you are looking to watch some futbol games and drinks a lot of beer.
- Dr. Stravinsky – A classy contrast from the prior. Grab a cocktails here, located in El Born.
- Le Cyrano– Make sure to get here early. This is a good spot to pregame at because you make your own drinks!
- Casa Almirall – Vermouth in El Raval. Cool woodwork and atmosphere.
- Opium Mar – Thursday nights. Definitely one of my favorite and nicer clubs in Barcelona. It is right on the beach. Stays open until 6 am with good DJ’s. Stricter dress code.
- W ECLIPSE– Lounge at the W hotel. Unreal views from the top. Deﬁnitely go here at least once, it is so worth it. Warning that it is more exclusive than other clubs and drinks are more expensive.
- Broadbar – Great spot on Wednesday nights.
- CDLC– Carpe Diem Lounge Club is a really nice, more mellow lounge next to Opium and Shoko. It’s a good spot to go before Opium or check it out during the day. It is fun to lay on the large opium beds while enjoying sushi and sangria. The patio is really cool and it’s on the beach.
- Sutton – Good any night Thursday-Sunday. It is a nicer, local club full of Europeans. There is a strict dress code here and it reminds me of a Vegas or Miami club. Definitely a fun spot.
- Loco Lunes – Monday nights. Wild, young crowd.
- Easy to get to other cities from Barcelona. Use skyscanner.com to find a cheap option. We flew to Ibiza from Barcelona for $17.
- Bring warm clothes for Jan, Feb, mid- March.
- Keep your bag on you at all times, Barcelona is the pick-pocket capital of the world and if you’re not paying attention you will get pick pocketed.
- Public transportation is easy. Use the T-10 metro passes (10 rides) or you can walk almost everywhere. Barcelona also has Uber.
- It can be very loud at night if you are staying in the city. Bring headphones, whitenoise app, etc.
Thanks for adventure along!