Spain’s second city and the capital of Catalonia, Barcelona is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe and for good reason - it is where history, culture and glorious sunshine come together to ensure an unforgettable time for visitors. While it is packed during the tourist season, Barcelona is big enough and has enough quirky little cafes and restaurants to make you feel as if you’ve found your own little niche. We highly rate Barcelona and think it should be on your list of destinations to visit!
Where to go
Marvel at Antoni Gaudi’s masterpiece, the cathedral of La Sagrada Familia. Wander the laneways of the Gothic Quarter. Walk the length of La Rambla, stopping for a cool drink every so often. Shop for a bargain in the famous market, La Boqueria. Catch an opera at the Liceu. Get to know a modern genius at Museu Picasso. Explore some of the medieval churches, monasteries and castles surrounding the city. Find yourself a lively bar with lively music to while away an evening.
Food & Drink
Cuisine in Catalonia, like across much of Northern Spain, features a lot of tomato, a lot of beans and lots of grilled vegetables. Paella is big here, and sausage is also found in a lot of dishes. To eat like a local, try Can Solé (C/Sant Carles 4, 08003), where paella is a specialty, or for something a little different, try Cinc Sentits (C/Aribau 58, 08011). They only serve fixed menus, but what they do to everyday Spanish staples is truly astounding.
Barcelona has a thriving nightlife scene, propelled by the nocturnal proclivities of the Spanish. Dress up for Boadas (C/Tallers 1, 08001), a Barcelona institution that harks back to a bygone era. For those who like a dance, Club Mix (C/Comerç 21, 08003) offers a rotating menu of house and funk, but with an extensive lounge bar for when it’s time to cool your heels.
Where to stay
Primero Primera, on the outskirts of Barcelona, is a gorgeous, family-run hotel with stylish interiors and a hands-on approach to service. Hotel Urbisol might be an hour from the centre of Barcelona, but it has excellent transport links and a stunning view of the Pyrenees, in addition to a pool, spa and excellent childcare for families.
How to get there
Ryanair, Easyjet, British Airways and Monarch fly to Barcelona daily.