Barcelona is a magical city – a source of inspiration, where the sun shines even in winter, the streets are blown by the fresh sea wind, and in restaurants and cafes, you can serve fragrant paella.
Where to stay?
Photo by Shai Pal
The city is divided into 10 main districts, which has its advantages. There are three central districts most often chosen by tourists:
- Eixample district – the largest district of the city, which is divided into blocks in the form of a grid. If shopping is your passion, you have to choose a hotel in the area. On Passeig de Gracia are all the most famous boutiques. Hotels: The Corner Hotel, El Avenida Palace.
- Barceloneta is a central area located on the seafront. There are always a lot of people (especially during the warm season). Discos, bars, and restaurants work almost around the clock. This area is suitable for those who want to have fun and spend time on the beach. Hotels: W Barcelona, Hotel Arts Barcelona.
- El Born district, if you want to feel the atmosphere of old Barcelona. In addition to designer shops, art galleries, atmospheric bars, and restaurants, there are also the Picasso Museum, Santa Caterina Market, Barcelona’s second-largest market, the Palace of Catalan Music and the 15th-century Gothic Cathedral of Santa Maria del Mar. Hotels: Catalonia Catedral, Olivia Plaza Hotel.
Where to go for breakfast/ lunch/ dinner?
In Barcelona, you can find a huge number of cafes and restaurants.
For breakfast, choose small cafes. But do not expect that in the morning you will eat porridge or eggs. Spaniards have breakfast with a muffle (sandwich) or croissant with coffee. And if sandwiches are delicious everywhere, then the most delicious croissants are in the Hofmann pastry shop.
Photo by Jon Tyson
For lunch or dinner, go to the Carballeira restaurant, which works without interruption, and there you can eat the best black paella in the city. Also, there is a large selection of the freshest seafood and fish. Prices are slightly above average. Other seafood restaurants open all year round and without interruption are the restaurants on the Port Olimpic promenade. They are all about the same, but you can choose La Barca del Salamanca. If you want to eat delicious meat, you have to go to the restaurant Assador de Aranda. This is a chain of restaurants, one of which is located next to Plaza Catalunya, behind the shopping center El Corte Inglés. But if you want to eat not only tasty but also in a very atmospheric place, go to the restaurant, located in the upper part of the city, on Avenida Tibidabo.
A place where you can eat cheaply is a network of restaurants Wok.
Adherents of a healthy lifestyle should pay attention to the restaurant Flax & Kale. Most of the dishes in this restaurant are vegetarian or vegan, but very tasty.
Pizza lovers will enjoy the Nap Antic pizzeria located near the ancient Santa Katerina market on Avenida de Francesc Combó 30.
In general, the most important thing that you should know and remember about the restaurants in Barcelona is that the kitchen does not work all day, but opens for lunch and dinner (except for quite tourist places). The Spaniards eat quite late, the typical lunch begins at 14.00, and dinner at 21.00. Therefore, you can eat from 13.00 to 16.00 and from 20.00 to 24.00. At other times, restaurants can offer snacks and drinks, but not hot food.
What to see? Where to go?
1. Park Guell
Photo by Daniel Corneschi
You should start to explore the sights of Barcelona with the Park Guell because there is something to see. The park is filled with the works of the famous architectural genius Antonio Gaudi. Miracles begin at the entrance, which is decorated with gingerbread houses of bizarre wavy shape, and then more: the famous mosaic lizard – the symbol of Barcelona, the pillared hall, the long parapet-bench of the same winding form – it feels like everything is from another planet. More information here.
2. Gothic Quarter
Photo by Brandon Gurney
Be sure to visit this labyrinth of narrow old streets, located between Las Ramblas and Laietana Street – this is where the true spirit of old Barcelona soars! Besides the fact that you can sit in a cozy cafe or go shopping, this is also a free open-air museum: every building from the XIV-XV centuries is worthy of attention.
3. Montjuic Hill
Photo by Valdemaras D.
Perhaps, all the most interesting sights of Barcelona (well, or most of them) are collected here: the best museums of the city (National Art Museum of Catalonia, Joan Miró Museum, Spanish Village), buildings of the World Exhibition, many parks, gardens (among them botanical, for example, Jardins de Mossen Costa i Llobera) and the famous Magic Fountain. This is an excellent choice for walking. Also, the hill offers a very beautiful view of Barcelona.
4. Old port
Photo by Devin McGloin
Nowadays the Old Port is one of the most favorite places for walking. Besides the fact that this is perhaps the most popular place for shopping in the city, especially from this port start water excursions.