If I could pick one word to describe Barcelona, it would be rebellious. The fight for sovereignty from Spain runs deep in the Catalan culture and has created a unique pride among the people of BCN. I would even argue that Gaudi himself, and the architectural feat he achieved in this vibrant city, is markedly rebellious. This fiery identity makes Barcelona feel a little cheeky in all the right ways.
This was my second short visit to the city, and I’m sure it won’t be my last. And while I wouldn’t say that I’d necessarily go out of my way to visit Barcelona again, I wouldn’t
Things to Do
La Sagrada Familia. A must. Book tickets in advance to see the inside of one of the world’s great masterpieces. You can book tickets here. I suggest only paying for the entrance and skip adding on one of the towers. The view is great, sure. But wouldn’t you rather go to a rooftop nearby where you can see La Sagrada Familia in the skyline instead while you enjoy a cocktail? Plus the winding stairs to get down are nauseating.
Park Guell. A must. I’m pretty sure you can’t even say you went to Barcelona if you don’t go to Park Guell. Book tickets ahead of time here for your stroll through Gaudi’s prized park to save hours of waiting in line.
Tapas. More specifically eat tapas at Bar Cañete, one of the better restaurants I’ve had the pleasure of dining at. Most specifically, get the lobster croquettes & the gazpacho. Make reservations ahead of time, here. I suggest getting a table for
Enjoy a creative libation at Dr. Stravinskys. This mixology haven is perhaps one of my favorite bars in the world.
Rooftop Cocktails. If what you’re after is a gorgeous photo backdrop, head to Hotel Colon rooftop or H10 Madison. If you’re more looking for a rooftop scene, then check out the live music and wrap around deck at Hotel 1989.
Mercado de la Boqueria. Bonus is that you can also cross off ‘walk Las Ramblas’ during your visit to the market. I’d plan to visit the market for lunch, you can fill up by browsing the stands (like Matt’s favorite – the meat and cheese cone) or post up at one of the food stalls for fresh oysters & grilled octupus.
Embrace the tourism and get lost in the Gothic Quarter. Eat gelato, go shopping, pop into a bar for some sangria, repeat.
Tour some of Gaudi’s works. Casa Vicens, Casa Milà, Casa Batlló, etc. I’ve never taken the time to book tours inside any of these infamous structures, but if the outside details are any indication of what splendor the inside holds, I can only presume it is nothing short of remarkable.
Stroll the Beach. Are the beaches in Barcelona anything to write home about? Not particularly. Do they have a few oceanside restaurants and bars worth checking out in the summer? You bet. The new Soho House is my best recommendation for beachside lounging and lunch.
Visit the Gran Teatre del Liceu, the Opera House. The best option would be to buy tickets to see a show. But if you’re just after the quintessential Barcelona colorful columns photo for the gram, you can buy a ticket to tour the building and learn more about the architecture. We were short on time so didn’t get an opportunity to go inside on this trip, but I’ve heard it’s breathtaking.
Museums. Barcelona is home to a Miró foundation museum & a Picasso museum
Where to Stay
We stayed at the H10 Mimosa. The area was a bit off the beaten tourist path, in a good way. The hotel offers a lovely little retreat from the overstimulating pulse of the city center (onslaught of tourists), and there are views of one of
Other hotels I really love in Barcelona:
Cottonhouse: Every detail of this boutique hotel is artfully decorated. While there is a rooftop, they’re unfortunately pool-less.
H10 Madison: great location and rooftop, but you’ll need a suite upgrade to feel comfortable in their closet-sized rooms.
Hotel 1898 has a 360 rooftop view and pool with nightly live music for sunset. The hotel is charming and sophisticated.
Hotel Colon: The spa and rooftop view is breathtaking, rooms are renovated and ok,
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