What To See
Free Walking Tour
Normally the first thing I do in a city is join a free walking tour - it gives you a real sense of the city and basic guide as to where you might want to explore more of. Sandmanns do a pretty great tour in a lot of different European cities !
Wander the Gothic Quarter
One of my favourite parts of Barcelona was the gothic quarter. Wandering and getting lost in the pedestrianised streets was so much fun - there are loads of independent shops to discover and restaurants to grab a bite at. It's easy to spend a whole afternoon here.
Experience the Gaudi Architecture
You can't come to Barcelona and not go see at least one of Gaudi's masterpieces. You can see the outside of Casa Batlló or Park Guell for free but it's definitely worth it to spend the extra euro to go inside and really experience it. La Sagrada Familla is by far my favourite and the most epic of his works. Although still unfinished (won't be until 2030!), the basilica is magnificent from all angles.
La Barceloneta Neighbourhood
If you're sick of the cultural stuff, head out to the old port of Barcelona and relax at the beach. Heres a quick guide on what to do in this neighbourhood.
Bunkers El Caramel or Mount Tibidabo
No city break is complete without seeing an epic view of the city in my opinion. The best views of Barcelona I've found is at Bunkers El Caramel - read about it here. Alternatives include Mount Tibidao which has a scary but amazing looking theme park. Park Guell also has some beautiful views if you want to tick two things of your to see list at once!
Palau de la Música Catalana
The most beautiful music auditorium. Pretty under the radar so you can visit without being mobbed by a hundred tourists (which you will be at Park Guell FYI!)
We left booking our accommodation to pretty much the very last minute. So everything was overpriced or really gross (Tip: Plan ahead if you want to go between May - August - I know that's kind of common sense, but I was too overconfident). This was actually a blessing in disguise because I would have never booked Casa Gracia otherwise. Although it's a hostel, it really didn't feel like one. Located in the bougie Gracia district, you're surrounded by all the luxury shops and restaurants. The hostel itself is a converted bank and so the decor is really beautiful. Couldn't recommend this place enough!
Eats & Drinks
La Bouqueria Market
Not exactly the most off the beaten path food destination but it's something that shouldn't be missed! Named one of the best food markets in the world, theres an impressive selection of fresh foods - great for a mid afternoon snack and break from exploring.
Flax and Kale
A cool vegetarian restaurant in Raval which is great for a healthy brunch.
Brunch and Cake
I'm not sure what it is about Barcelona, but they do amazing healthy food! This restaurant that does awesome food with a really eclectic style - my chicken sandwich came with a syringe of guacamole!
Bar La Plata
This small corner bar just around the corner from the old port of Barcelona has been serving the same four dishes since 1945. It can really busy though with only four tables
Maka Maka Burger Cafe
Right around the corner from La Barceloneta beach is this burger bar that does simple but delicious food. The vibes are really chilled out and is great to hang out for the day
TIPS: Barcelona dinner times don't really start until 9pm!
If you're staying in Spain for more than 3 days I'd really recommend a day trip from the city. Monserrat Mountain is close by and gives you beautiful look at rural Spain. The coastal town Sites also looks stunning and gives you a real taste of authentic Spanish living.