It was not my first time to Barcelona, but this trip was the first time I felt like I really had the chance to sink my teeth into the city and I have a new appreciation for it! From the incredible food, laid-back Spanish lifestyle, it’s easy to find why this seaside Spanish city continually tops travel lists.
Even though there is no Uber in Barcelona, getting around the city is still easy. Barcelona is quite walkable and there are more than enough cabs zipping by that hailing one was never an issue. There are also more than enough rental bikes and scooters for a fun alternative and a great way to see the city. We stuck to the Gothic Quarter as it’s close to the beach and nearly all the restaurants we wanted to visit were walkable from there.
Pinchos, tapas, paella, and all the patatas bravas.. we really ate our way through Barcelona. There were still quite a few spots on our list that we didn’t get to check out, but more the reason to visit again.. soon! Dinner is notoriously late in Barcelona, so make reservations around 9:30-10:30. Also, be wary of the Spanish siesta, which means some stores close from 2-4pm. That messed up one or two of the things we had planned to do one day. I actually didn’t have one glass of Spanish sangria while there, which some might amount to a travesty. The last time I was in Madrid, I got hooked on a drink called “tinto de verano” (summer wine). It’s pretty much a red wine spritzer with lemon. It’s so light and refreshing and not as sweet as sangria. Below is a list of recommendations:
- Bo de B – Favorite sandwich in the world! Amazing sandwiches with so many fillings & options to choose from. Great value for money and the perfect place to pick up a quick lunch – or late-night! And only 4 euros!
- *Llamber – Probably the best gnocchi I’ve ever had. And I had just traveled from Italy!
- Picnic – Great for breakfast or brunch with some fun vegan/vegetarian options!
- Casa Ràfols – Gorgeous and historic Spanish tapas restaurant that used to be a hardware store with a restaurant in the basement. in 2013, the hardware store closed and the restaurant opened in its place!
- *Satan’s Coffee Co. – Some of the best coffee in Barcelona. At the bottom of the boutique hotel Casa Bonay.
- *El Chigre – Located right in the center of the Gothic Quarter, the ambiance is so great here. Enjoy vermouth or cider as well as some traditional Catalonian tapas!
- *Anita Flow – Brett and I stumbled upon this as we happened to be walking near. Features a diverse and large menu and we loved nearly everything we ordered!
- Boca Grande – This Mediterranean spot is seafood-heavy with a great terrace in the back! And be sure to check out the bathroom!
- Disfrutrar – One of the Top 50 restaurants in the world. we made reservations here but ended up not eating here as a typical meal here is over two hours (with a minimum 19 courses!) but will be dining here next time!
- Tickets – Sophisticated takes on classic tapas in a relaxed space, plus an inventive dessert room.
- Cecconi’s – at Soho House Barcelona! It’s the same Cecconi’s as in LA & NY and has some solid Italian food!
- Xurreria – Great churros!
- *Cal Pep – Legendary tapas. The line can get quite long and there might be quite a few tourists, but the food is worth the wait! I went at an off-time
- El Exampanyet – very casual and local tapas bar
- Bar del Pla – Great traditional tapas in a casual hole in the wall atmosphere
- Bar Colombo – Cute and casual spot for patio drinks near the beach!
- Chiringuito on the Terrace – The rooftop bar of the Casa Bonay hotel
- Paradiso – Cocktail bar
- Ovella Negra (The Black Sheep) – Best sangria in a hole-in-the wall bar
- Park Güell – Large park that was designed by and features mosaic-covered buildings by Gaudi. Be sure to purchase tickets online as it will save you time in line (and the heat!) It is 15 minutes north of the beach.
- See the iconic, unfinished La Sagrada Familia – a Gaudi-designed church that is infamous for still being under construction – started in the 1880s!
- Las Ramblas – Famous tree-lined pedestrian area – be sure to hide your wallet & phone as it is known for pick-pocketers!
- Gothic Quarter – this is where I spent most of my time! It’s the oldest and most charming part of the city and close to the beach!
- Picasso Museum
- Trait Store
- Shop around for furniture at KETTAL
- The Outpost
- Check out Gaudi’s masterpieces:
Have you been to Barcelona lately!? Let me know your favorite sites to see and if you have a favorite tapas restaurant that wasn’t on my list. I’m always open to suggestions!!