Explore Barcelona - An Exclusive Guide
A perfect day in... Barcelona, Spain
This vibrant beachfront city offers a refreshing combination of laidback Mediterranean living and bustling cosmopolitan energy, with world-renowned architecture, historic neighborhoods and buzzing tapas bars just waiting to be explored.
What to see in Barcelona
Antoni Gaudí is one of Spain’s most celebrated architects, famed for his fantastical buildings that came to embody the Catalan Modernista movement – and a visit to some of his most famous creations is a must for any trip to Barcelona. Start off with his best-known work, the soaring spires of the unfinished basilica of the Sagrada Família, which has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Next, hop on the Metro to Park Güell. Set on top of a hill with magnificent views over the city, it’s a magical outdoor wonderland filled with giant mosaic-tiled salamanders, undulating walls and tree-shaped columns. It’s the finest example of Gaudí’s more playful side, where he explores the relationship between nature and architecture.
For more spectacular vistas, take the funicular up to the top of the pine-forested mountain of Tibidabo. From here you can look out over all of Barcelona, taking in the higgledy-piggledy cluster of buildings stretching down to the sea. While you’re there, pay a visit to the old-fashioned funfair, where you’ll find a ferris wheel as well as the Museu d’Autòmats, with its automated puppets dating as far back as 1880.
What to do in Barcelona
Let yourself fall under the spell of Barcelona’s enchanting Gothic Quarter, where you can happily wile away hours wandering through the narrow, cobblestoned streets. Start in Plaça Nova, with a visit to Barcelona Cathedral and the remains of the Roman wall, before moving on to Plaça de Sant Jaume, where City Hall and Barcelona’s political hub, the Palau de la Generalitat, stand face to face. Soak up the city’s medieval past in Plaça del Rei, just a few metres away.
Sit down for a drink at Els Quatre Gats – this legendary Art Nouveau-style café was one of Pablo Picasso’s favourite haunts, and the artist even hosted his first solo exhibition here – before heading to nearby Calle Avinyó for a spot of shopping, where the streets are lined with boutiques selling everything from hand-stitched leatherwear to vintage clothes. Stop off at La Manual Alpargatera for a pair of authentic Catalan espadrilles – the shop made the world’s first pair in 1940 and counts Jack Nicholson, Ralph Lauren and Michael Douglas among its clients.
What to eat in Barcelona
From buzzy tapas bars to fresh seafood dishes, Barcelona serves some of the most exciting cuisine in Spain. For a lively introduction to the food scene, pay a visit to La Boquería, the city’s famous market, just off La Rambla, where you’ll find stalls selling rainbow displays of fruit and vegetables as well as local delicacies such as jamón (dry-cured ham). For more traditional treats, go to Granja M. Viader around the corner, famed for serving up the best crema catalana in the city. This quintessential Catalan dessert is made with cinnamon and lemon-infused milk with a crisp burnt sugar top, and can trace its roots back to the Middle Ages.
For beachside dining, head to stylish Pez Vela in Barceloneta, which has a lively terrace with stellar sea views. The paellas are the star of the show here, packed full of prawns, clams and lobster. Arrive hungry, as the portions are vast.
For more information, go to barcelonaturisme.com.
This article has been written for review purposes only and does not suggest sponsorship or endorsement of AARDY by the trademark owner.
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