Located in Spain’s Catalonia region, Barcelona is known for being a vibrant, cosmopolitan city that has a strong focus on art and architecture. Considered to be one of the most culturally rich of Spanish cities, Barcelona has successfully managed to maintain its unique heritage, which makes it a true joy to explore.
Where to Stay
Barcelona boasts a number of stunning luxury hotels, giving visitors plenty to choose from when it comes to accommodation. For those seeking something quite opulent, the El Palace Hotel Barcelona is worth considering, as this neo-classical structure, which used to be a Ritz, features ornate décor, a discreet old-school concierge, a Mayan-themed spa, and a spacious pool on the roof. On the more modern side of the scale is The Serras, which is stylish and bright, while the5rooms is cozy and intimate, but still indulgently decadent.
Where to Eat
The cuisine of Catalonia is truly spectacular, and there are many restaurants that serve up authentic local dishes. Freixa Tradicio is where you will find dishes such as pig’s trotters with pine nuts, and cuttlefish with artichokes, while Leku is a restaurant that takes authentic dishes to innovative new levels, offering a menu full of tasty surprises, as well as the best suckling pig in the city. Can Sole is one of the best paella restaurants in the city, and while it may be slightly more upmarket than the majority, the attention to detail is definitely impressive. On the more casual side is Bar Pinotxo, which has always been one of the most popular counter bars at the Boqueria Market. This establishment has been running for over 70 years now, and does not offer a menu, instead cooking up daily specials that usually run out quite early in the day.
Things to Do
While Barcelona is quite a large city, it is definitely worth taking some time to explore parts of it on foot, as you are likely to stumble upon many treasures that you may have otherwise missed. The city is dotted with spectacular architecture, many of which were designed by Antoni Gaudi, from the world-famous Sagrada Familia to the fairy-tale atmosphere of Park Guell. For those that want to check out some museums, Barcelona is home to one of the largest museums in the world, the Fundacio Joan Miro, amongst many others, from the Museu Picasso to the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art. If the sun is shining, it is also worth paying a visit to one of the beaches in Barcelona. With over 4km of coastline, each of these sandy stretches offers quite a different experience, and a number of these areas also turn into pulsating nightlife spots once the sun goes down. When it comes to shopping, Barcelona is home to a few big-name high street brands, such as Zara and Mango, but the Spanish are known for their style, meaning that stopping off at a few local boutiques will likely reward you with some fabulous finds.
A captivating seaside city with fairy-tale architecture, a rich culture and plenty to see and do, Barcelona is always a joy to explore, no matter when in the year you choose to visit. From sandy beaches to an abundance of history, the diversity of Barcelona will appeal to just about everyone, and, after your first visit, it is likely that you will soon be planning to return.