Blog Barcelona Travel
Barcelona is a breathtaking city that is perfectly poised on the Mediterranean coast in the northeast of Spain. It’s a city full of whimsy, incredible architecture, endless sunshine, and heavenly food. The ideal mix of a coastal Mediterranean climate combined with the buzz of a truly international city ensures that this city endures as a prime travel destination. Read our Barcelona Blog Travel guide.
Beautiful Barcelona - Blog Travel
Barcelona is a breathtaking city that is perfectly poised on the Mediterranean coast in the northeast of Spain. It’s a city full of whimsy, incredible architecture, endless sunshine, and heavenly food. The ideal mix of a coastal Mediterranean climate combined with the buzz of a truly international city ensures that this city endures as a prime travel destination.
Make no mistake, Barcelona is also a city that is fiercely protective of its Catalonian history, which includes its own language and culture that thrive to this day. Ask any local if they are ‘Spanish’ and many will say they are proudly Catalan first and foremost.
It’s not hard to see why Barcelona has become perhaps the most cosmopolitan city in Spain. The fifth-largest city in Europe, it also boasts a rich sporting heritage, beaches galore, and food that takes some beating. Factor in close proximity to the Pyrenees and you have all the makings for a divine destination.
There are some absolute must-sees when you choose to visit Barcelona. In our blog for Barcelona travel we recommend you the top 10 things to do in Barcelona:
- Gaudi work
- Gothic Quarter
- Sagrada Família
- Park Güell
- Amazing Tapas at La Boqueria Market
- The Museo Picasso
- Catalunya National Art Gallery
- Fashion Shopping
- Las Ramblas (although is touristy it is an emblematic place to visit)
Not least the mind-blowing architectural works of wonder that came from the mind of the incomparable Gaudi. Barcelona is the home of Modernisme, a distinctly local take on the art nouveau movement.
Besides undulating design, this is architecture at its most colourful and fanciful. The Passeig de Gràcia is the place to be to witness La Pedrera and the whimsical Casa Batlló. To take it all in it’s worth taking a boutique tour to really get under the skin of Gaudi. Bespoke 5 or 8-hour tours will unlock the magic behind his greatest achievements which will of course encompass his unfinished masterpiece that is the Sagrada Família.
Despite having a brilliant metro and public transport system, Barcelona is a city to be explored on foot. Much of it is walkable allowing you to absorb the local culture and discover hidden gems. Everyone will tell you to visit and walk along La Rambla, which is worth a look but very touristy. There are many opportunistic pick-pockets in this area so keep your belongings close. With so many other areas to discover head to other neighbourhoods for something more authentic.
One area that works exceptionally well at providing history and discovery alike is the famed Gothic Quarter or Barri Gòtic. You know how everyone says that in Venice you will get lost despite your best efforts with a map? The same can be said for this historical quarter in the city. The astounding Gothic Cathedral is surrounded by medieval streets that weave and link unpredictably making it one of the most charming areas. You’ll get lost, but discover some wonders along the way. If you find something interesting, better to check it out then and there as you may not find it again if you try! Prefer not to get lost? There are bespoke tours for the Gothic Quarter too.
If food and wine are what you’re after on a trip to Barcelona, you should be prepared to enjoy some of the most epic cuisines in the world. One of the joys of exploring this city is discovering food that borders on the divine at every turn. Avoid places that look touristy and let the locals guide you. If you see a place packed with chattering Catalonians, chances are it’s better than good.
From humble tapas bars to Michelin-starred fare you will find spectacular food and drink at every price point. Fancier fare is best booked in advance, as many of the starry chef restaurants are high profile with global foodies clamouring for a reservation as part of their pilgrimage to Barcelona. The best part of visiting Barcelona is that even the most unsuspecting eatery can wow your senses. It’s not hard to find a great meal in this city! One of the nicest things to do is explore the myriad beaches of Barceloneta on a sunny afternoon and indulge in grabbing a bite at any number of xiringuitos, or beach bars.
If you love food markets, head to La Boqueria which also happens to be arguably Spain’s best. Packed with stalls selling fruit and vegetables, meats, fish, seafood, cheeses, spices and grains it has it all. Oh and don’t bypass the stand-up food bars for some brilliant street foods on offer! The market has tours and cooking classes available if you prefer to try your hand at making lunch yourself.
What you may need to know before your trip is that like the rest of Spain, the normal times that most people eat is decidedly later than most places in the world. People can typically go for lunch anywhere from 2 - 4 pm, and dinner tends to be 10 pm and even later. Get into the swing of things and dine like the locals for the most atmosphere and even better people-watching. Expect cocktail bars to be open until 3am on weekends and 2 am the rest of the week. Most clubs don’t open until Midnight and go on until 5am or later. Anyone who thinks New York is the city that never sleeps hasn’t been to this corner of Spain, or Spain at all for that matter!
If art is more your thing, you’ll be spoiled for choice in Barcelona. The Museo Picasso and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA) coexist alongside the Museu de Miró, the Catalunya National Art Gallery (MNAC), and the Museu del Modernisme Català.
One day trip worth making is to head to Montserrat to experience breathtaking views and see the mountain-top monastery, just 40km afield of the city. Rich with Roman history and stunning architecture, it also offers hiking trails in and around the monastery for those who like to stay active and outdoorsy.
Cities like Barcelona are a rare find offering up the best of a truly standout and fiercely independent culture combined with exceptional culinary treats, lively nightlife, and the glorious Mediterranean climate.
What’s not to love?