If you are planning a trip to sunny Barcelona, you’ll most likely want to have a rough idea of what to do while you are there. We were lucky to spend a long weekend in this vibrant city and decided to put together the best places to visit on a three to four day trip to Barna.
Barcelona is a stunning city but it’s not as big as many of you would think it is. All the main attractions seem to be relatively close from each other. So if you stay in the central area you’ll end up being at a very short distance from most of Gaudi’s buildings, cool restaurants and even the beach!
Start the day early and rock up to Sagrada Familia by the crack of dawn. If you want to enjoy this ongoing work of art without the annoying crowds, you must go before 8am so by the time everyone starts coming you’ll be done and ready for the next stop.
Only 20 minutes away by train from Sagrada Famila, you will find the majestic Palau de la Musica Catalana; a place that a lot of people miss due to not getting tickets in advance as the guided tours are limited. This tour is the only way to get in; you can book the tickets online even before getting to Barcelona.
Before stopping for a little break pay a cheeky visit to the famous Arc de Triomf. You can spend a little while walking around the arch, checking out the numerous details in the sculptures and motifs.
Our trip was in June and the city can get pretty hot after lunchtime, so we decided to have some beach time as well. Instead of going to the crowded Barceloneta we ended up checking out the quirky Garraf Beach, only 30 minutes away from the city by train. This beach keeps intact the spirit of the old coast villages that used to live from fishing.
One of the major works of Gaudi in the city is the beautiful Park Guell. Even at 7.45am you will still find a small queue at the entrance. So once again, we will suggest you to go early.. This fairytale place offers you wonderful views of the city where you can enjoy an unforgettable green walk surrounded by the modernist’s artwork.
While in the neighborhood, visit Bunkers del Carmel. These are said to be one of the best-kept secrets in Barcelona offering the best view if the city.
At dusk, locals and tourists gather together to watch the sun set over the city while playing music, eating and drinking but mostly taking in the magnificent views.
AM: Bunkers del Carmel round two! Yes, this place deserves a second visit. Show up early and enjoy sunrise with a view. This time, no crowds, just you and the city.
PM: Gaudi galore! Enjoy Casa Batllo and La Pedrera, both located in the heart of the city, only a five-minute walk down Passeig de Gràcia from each other.
WHERE TO EAT
El Sortidor: Best patatas bravas in town and a genuine ambiance in one of the oldest locations opened to date in the city.
Caravelle: Best hipster brunch in town!
Xurreria San Roman: One of the best artisan doughnuts in town open since 1969.
El Chiringuito de Garraf: mediteranian and artisan cuisine next to the beach.
Yurbban Trafalgar Barcelona: Considered one of the top 5 terraces in Barcelona by Lonely Planet, it's perfect for many things, but enjoying vermouth at the weekend and relaxing in its chill-out area is one of the best.
Terraza Martínez: offering beautiful views, and amazing Paellas. Sitting on top of Montjuic and enjoying the views there’s no better place to enjoy Paella than at the Terrace of Martínez.
El Nacional: the first restaurant in Barcelona with different areas where we can try traditional recipes from around the Iberian Peninsula, prepared with high quality produce in a unique environment.
Vinitus Barcelona: the menu contains the usual tapas items. The best part is how fast this amazing food comes to you. We have never been served so quick!
WHAT NOT TO MISS
✓ Pa amb tomaquet: Bread rubbed with garlic, tomato, olive oil and a pinch of salt in that very same order.
✓ Escalivada: Eggplant and Bell Peppers cooked in ashes served with a generous amount of olive oil are the ingredients of this perfect pairing to Pa amb Tomaquet.
✓ Tortilla Espanola/de patatas: It is an omelette made with eggs and potatoes, sometimes also with onion and/or chives or garlic; fried in oil and often served cold as an appetizer
✓ Churros con chocolate: a fried-dough pastry based snack.
✓ Patatas Bravas: white potatoes that have been cut into irregular cubes of about two centimetres, then fried in oil and served warm with a sauce such as a spicy tomato sauce or an aioli.