1. Indulge in the local cuisine. What better way to start off this list than with authentic Spanish food! Jamon, paella, fideua, sangria, need we say more? Hit the local spots and enjoy the best of Spain through your palate! Because…
2. It’s all about tapas, tapas, tapas! Dexter and I vowed we’d have as much tapas we can while in Spain. During our 5-day trip in Barcelona, we came up with a quick rundown of our highly recommended tapas spots. (Links on the bottom page for full restaurant reviews!)
Cal Pep. There will be a queue but it will be worth it! Order the peppers and cuttlefish with chickpeas. Their seafood is over-the-top amazing. Match everything with wine and shots and you’re all good.
Bodega 1900. Get a glass of vermouth and have a go on their tapas selection starting at 30 euros. With Albert Adria running the kitchen, you'll never go wrong at Bodega.
Telefèric Restaurant. Look for Vohn and ask to make you a strong white sangria. Order foie caramelizado con confitura which won Best Tapa in Barcelona 2013. Mouthwatering and super savoury, it was our fave!
3. Take a walking tour at Barri Gotic and head to La Rambla. Almost in every city we visit, we book walking tours to simply orient ourselves with its history and culture. We booked a walking tour with Free Walking Tours Barcelona and toured the Gothic Quarter.
After a nearly 2-hour marathon, we went to La Rambla, famous for its tree-lined pedestrian mall. Although intensely packed with crowds of tourists and locals, it’s definitely a must-see while in Barcelona.
4. ...then stop at La Boqueria Market for a late lunch. Near the end of the 1.2 kilometre street of La Rambla is La Boqueria Market. Here we enjoyed 1.50 euros fruit smoothies, seafood, and more tapas. It’s everything you’ll expect a famous market to be - busy, crowded, full of life, and of course a vast selection of food.
5. Spend an afternoon in the beach at Barceloneta. We were blessed with sunny skies during our trip and had the luxury of lounging on the beach with mojitos. W Hotel can be seen from afar while on the other side is Frank Gehry’s Peix.
It would be best to book tickets beforehand online to avoid the long queues. Sagrada Família offers access to its towers with amazing views of the city; while Parc Güell’s Monumental Zone is charged with an extra fee but certainly a must-see. Audio guides or guided tours are available.
7. More Gaudi along Passeig de Gràcia: Casa Batlló and Casa Milà. Passeig de Gràcia is one of Barcelona’s major avenues and also a hotspot for luxury shopping. Here we also stopped by Gaudí’s Casa Batlló and Casa Milà. We only visited Casa Batlló and with an entrance fee of €22.50 it was more than worth it. Gaudí’s work is simply impressive and most peculiar, combining ‘functional with aesthetic, symbolic with practical.’
8. Have we mentioned chocolate con churros?
9. Walk to wherever your feet can take you. Although we took the metro and cab (Barcelona’s version of Uber is called Hailo) several times while in the city, nothing beats exploring Barcelona on foot.
Our AirBnb was situated in a district called Eixample, where the streets follow a grid pattern crossed by avenues and square blocks with the corners cut off. Street after street after street, Barcelona’s amazing street level follows this insanely beautiful geographical pattern.
10. Leave the city and spend a day in Montserrat. An hour train journey from Barcelona, Montserrat has always been one of the places I’ve dreamed of seeing. The serrated mountains were nothing short of grand and the cable car ride on the way up and back is such a treat for any traveler.
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