The capital of Catalonia is a vibrant city with beautiful architecture, delicious food, and rich culture. What I love about Barcelona is how laid back, yet urban it is. Surrounded by design from Miro to Gaudi, it’s worth multiple visits for exploring. It’s one of my favorite places and I’m always drawn back.
Hey agency is a colorful branding studio in Barcelona. They recently opened Hey Shop, where you can buy prints and design pieces created by the studio, as well as vintage design books (which all fall within their bold geometric aesthetic). Bonus they also have coffee!
Sagrada Família, is a large unfinished Roman Catholic minor basilica, created by Antoni Gaudí. Started in 1882 it’s been a work in progress for over a century. The saturated light coming through the rainbow stained-glass windows is truly amazing, and looks different depending on time the time of day. The first time I went to Barcelona I waited too late to get tickets and they had sold out - I’d definitely recommend purchasing in advance so you don’t miss out.
A whimsical park comprised of Gaudí’s tiled mosaics and architecture. After a bit of a hike you end up with panoramic views of Barcelona. For an additional fee you can tour the pink Casa Museu Gaudí, where Gaudí lived for 19 years. Tip: stop at La Torreta del Parc Güell (right outside of the entrance) to buy some water and spanish sandwiches to bring along for the hike… you’ll need snacks! Or, after your hike, grab some tapas at Cafe Flanders, not too far from the park.
Another modernist building designed by Gaudi, also called La Pedrera. This one is a private residence featuring an undulating stone facade and a stepped roof covered in winding stairwells and decorative chimneys. The roof feels like it’s from another world.
Located in the Gothic Quarter the Picasso museum houses the largest permanent collection of Picasso’s work, including a lot of his earlier works - even some of his lesser known ceramics. The building is comprised of five adjoining medieval palaces, and is half of the appeal - especially the court yard and the tropical palms.
My favorite museum in Barcelona! The museum has a huge range of Miró’s work; paintings, sculptures, and beautiful oversized wall tapestries. I loved seeing Miró’s vision through multiple mediums. Located on top of Montjuic hill, there’s also a sculpture pool in a courtyard overlooking the city, with a few chairs for relaxing and taking in the view.
FOOD + DRINK
Super fresh tapas, with a focus on seafood. So fresh, some of the clams (on ice and under the bar) appear to still be living! Delicious food + wine… I highly recommend the black pepper beef filet, and profiteroles for dessert. Ask for a seat at the bar so you can see all the tapas as they come out of the kitchen.
Simple, yet beautiful, healthy food in an adorable pink and flower-filled restaurant. They’re known for brunch (and can have a long wait for a table) and the food is pretty… like covered in edible flowers and garnished with colorful fruits, pretty. Their fresh smoothies and juices are a welcome detox after consuming a ton of charcuterie and wine.
Café Flanders is nothing fancy, and that’s what I love about it. It’s a cafe near Park Guell in the Gracia neighborhood and it’s in a cute little square that’s great for eating a casual lunch while watching the locals. I randomly went here with some friends right after we landed (while waiting to check into our AirBnB) and it was one of my favorite meals on the trip. We ordered one of each of the tapas to share. All were delicious but the burger was one of my top 3 burgers ever. For less than 6 euro! I always go back here, even if it’s a bit out of the way from where I’m staying.
A cute little Aussie-style café with delicious brunch (so many options!) and charming window seating in the Sant Antoni neighborhood.
Can Dendê is a small brunch bar in El Poblenou neighborhood.... a bit off the beaten path but worth it. Everything on the menu looks delicious, it’s a great place to go with a friend and share a few things. My first time there I was lucky enough to see Dendê, the owner’s adorable pup. It’s also a quick 15 minute walk to the beach from here!
Case Gracias is hotel with a vintage bank turned basement bar. The vault has been turned into a small wine cellar, and they have DJs spinning every few nights. Great vibes and cute decor (check out the donkey shaped sink).
A beachside cafe/bar with outdoor seating practically in the sand. I love this place, not for the food but for the location and the sangria…. get the whole pitcher with a side of patatas braves and enjoy the shade.
There’s a beach in Barcelona, and it’s ok, but you can take a quick train ride to Sitges for a nicer/less urban beach experience. The train takes about 40 minutes from the city, and once you get off you can stop at an adorable market with hand-painted tiles and stock up on snacks. After spending the day in the sun go to Pic Nic for dinner and drinks on the boardwalk before hopping back on the train back to the city.
A few of my favorite places to shop are: Casa Natura for modern/Scandinavian kitchen wares, home goods, design books, and beauty items. There are a few other nice home goods stores near the location on Diagonal, including Pilma. Two things I love when traveling are 1. checking out the local pharmacies and 2. grocery stores. At a pharmacy you can get great deals on french skincare, including Caudalie, Embryolisse, Nuxe, and other brands that are almost twice the price in the U.S. Spanish grocery stores are great for stocking up on saffron, olives, olive oil, Tinto de Verano and wine.