The dreaminess and colour of this city lies in the detail. There’s a vibrancy in the architecture, a cosmopolitan footprint in its soul and a glorious foodie scene at its core.
For those with hunger pangs, this is everything you need to know for mealtimes; lunch service is usually from 1.30pm to 4pm and dinner is 8.30pm to 11pm. Stores close for lunchtime siesta from 2pm to 5pm.
The best way to discover Barcelona is by foot. Catching a cab or metro is fine, but we say explore your heart out so you don’t miss the laneways that are peppered all over the city. Free bikes from Free Bikes Barcelona are also perfect to explore this Spanish town.
Along the beachfront boardwalk is a priceless view of Barcelona. We highly recommend perching along the window and watching the sun set over the Mediterranean with an espresso martini in hand. The spectacular views are well worth the prices of the beverages, and there is no other view like it. Just a note; while the W is well known for its stylish and trendy hotels across the world, this one does seem a little dated and run down.
W Barcelona | Plaça Rosa dels Vents, 1, 08039 Barcelona, Spain
If you have time for only one sightseeing adventure, this should be it. Sagrada Família was designed by Antoni Gaudi and is a breathtaking Spanish icon. Under construction for over a century, this Catholic cathedral is a place of worship but also a centre of spirituality.
Sagrada Familia | Carrer de Mallorca, 401, 08013 Barcelona
Obviously, tapas is the national edible treasure of Spain. Tucked away down windy corners and secret cobbled streets are cozy and charming food establishments, offering these delicious Mediterranean appetizers to tide you over until main meal time. Tantarantana was a favourite local of ours, and we ordered jamón ibérico bellota (50gr) con pan de cristal con tomate, la croqueta de pollo rustido and of course a glass of juicy Spanish wine. The staff here are cute and friendly, the atmosphere is pure Spanish and the interior is adorable. You can walk through those french doors right through to the other side of the restaurant which features a local designer outdoor market.
Tantarantana 24 |Carrer d’en Tantarantana, 24, 08003 | T +34 93 268 24 10
Mercat Princessa Tapa Market
Set in the most bohemian part of Barcelona is a well known food court. Before your mind drifts to token burger and fast food chains, Mercat Princessa Tapa Market has seventeen varied culinary offerings with beautiful shared dining space. Fresh, quality food amongst the modern and hip, this is a must do.
Mercat Princessa Tapa Market | Carrer dels Flassaders, 21, 08003 Barcelona
Cafe El Magnifico
Specialty boutique coffee stores are beginning to pop up throughout Barcelona, where cold drip has truly taken off. As we were visiting in the peak of summer (hey 35 degrees), Cafe El Magnifico was a welcome discovery to feed our iced latte addiction. Thank goodness Spain has stepped up their coffee game and dropped UHT milk (unlike the rest of Europe). Coffee is good in Barca, get on it.
El Magnifico | Carrer de l’Argenteria, 64, 08003 Barcelona | +34 933 19 39 75
If you are hankering for the best brunch in town, weave your way through the streets of Barcelona and discover Caravelle. We had some excellent coffee and crunchy muesli with yogurt. The staff went above and beyond. There seems to be a new wave of modern American/Australian style cafes opening up with a Spanish twist, creating hip and happening hangouts. When we move to Barcelona one day (wish list), Caravelle will be our daily haunt.
Caravelle | Fortuny, 31, 08001 Barcelona | + 34 933 17 98 92
La Bouqueria is a foodie’s dream. Dubbed one of the best markets in the world, this is where chefs, tourists and locals come to worship the gastronomic pleasures on offer. Colourful and vibrant, La Bouqueria has a variety of delicious restaurants, while workshops and demonstrations are promoted daily. Or if you’re like us, you can discover the simple pleasure in the weekly shop.
La Bouqueria | La Rambla
The Box Bar
One of many hidden treasures to be found tucked away down a winding street, The Box Bar has an amusing and fun vibe. Staff are brilliant and take great care in their service, while the beverages come cold and crisp. Small and quaint, it’s the perfect pitstop for pre-drinks before partying. Please note the hotdog sign. Hilarious.
The Box Bar | Carrer d’En Gignàs 3008002 Barcelona Espagne
On the hit list:
COBM: Chido One Bar Mexicano