An insider guide
Thriving with rich cultural heritage, there’s no doubt that Barcelona falls high up on our list of top travel destinations – and millions of yearly visitors’ too. The Catalan capital forms a unique fusion of the quaint with the surreal, marked by its visually impactful old Gothic Quarter interwoven with the fruits of Gaudi’s architectural influence and striking views of his eccentric aesthetic.
We couldn’t help but round up a few of our favourite spots to whet your appetite, both culturally and gastronomically (we’ve got a great tapas place up our sleeves).
Where to stop for a read
Jardins de Rubió i Lluch – Hospital, 56, 08001
Not quite the typical tourist activity but then again, we wouldn't take ourselves for conventional travellers. If you’re searching for a quiet spot to wander, relax and even read, put Jardins de Rubió i Lluch on your agenda. Enchanting in its simplicity and abundantly dotted with vibrant orange trees, you’ll be sure to enjoy this local recluse just a step away from the winding streets of Barcelona.
Where to eat tapas
Sensi Gourmet Tapas – Carrer de Milans, 4, 08002
Going to Barcelona and not tasting tapas is like going to Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tour – or eating a croissant for that matter. Essentially, it’s a necessary pastime when you’re in town. That’s where Sensi Gourmet Tapas come in. Tucked away in the Gothic Quarter of town, with a cuisine that, as the name suggests, is a delight to the senses, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better local eatery to enjoy your patatas bravas in.
Where to rest
Grand Hotel Central – Via Laietana, 30, 08003
While you’re in the Gothic Quarter, take a ten-minute stroll along the Via Laietana to find yourself at the revamped 1920s building that is the Grand Hotel Central. Enjoy a cocktail on the rooftop terrace whilst peering over expansive panoramic views of the city and when you’re done, rest your head in what will soon become a luxurious home away from home.
Where to look
Fundació Joan Miró – Parc de Montjuïc, s/n, 08038
Designed by Miró himself, the Fundació – opened to the public in 1975 – is a hub in which the latest in avant-garde contemporary art is displayed alongside Miró's own work:
“The collection of paintings, drawings, sculptures and works on paper displayed at the Fundació is one of the most comprehensive selections of Miró’s œuvre, offering a thorough overview of all the stages of his life and career”.
Where to brunch
Flax&Kale – Carrer dels Tallers, 74b, 08001
Developed by restaurateur Teresa Carles, Flax&Kale makes brunch an intriguing gastronomical feast and a nutritional refresh. 80% of the meals are plant-based, and Teresa’s very own cold-pressed juices or plant-based milks are always on hand for that extra vitamin kick. And while you’ll be sure to come across the familiar eggs Benedict or two, each dish is a delicate balance of humble and adventurous – we’d recommend the savoury pancakes.
Where to meet and greet
LA BOQUERIA – LA RAMBLA, 91, 08001
Dating back to 1217 and located within Las Ramblas, La Boqueria is not only a special experience for your tastebuds, but gives you a true taste of the colourful hustle and bustle of one of Barcelona’s most popular food markets. Go here for a meet and greet to grab a quick bite to eat, soak up the energetic atmosphere and buy some fresh ingredients to go.
Where to walk
W BARCELONA – PLACA DE LA ROSA DELS VENTS, 1, FINAL PASSEIG DE JOAN DE BORBÓ, 08039
Designed by architect Ricardo Bofill, the W Barcelona is an impressive and grand piece of architecture in its own right from all angles. We’d recommend taking a sandy walk along the Barceloneta beachfront to marvel at its view from afar until finally walking your way up to the 473-room hotel up close. Maybe follow up with the opportunity to step inside and dine with an envied view of the city.