Bubbling, contrasting, tireless and nocturnal, the soul of Barcelona unveils itself at the Boqueria market, at the counter of a tapas bar and at the Miró foundation, as on the beach of la Barceloneta. From tarmac to beach, here’s a line-up of our Barcelona favourites with a capital B!
Barcelona is the city associated with Gaudi, the capital of Catalonia, the home of the Sagrada Familia… But Barcelona is also an extraordinary town that you should take time to visit whilst staying away from the tourist traps... Just for you, I have picked out my best deals in Barcelona off the beaten track.
A walk in the Raval
Barcelona is first and foremost a town with an artistic soul where everyone expresses themselves in their own way. Particularly in the streets of the Raval. As you go from street to street you can discover all kinds of art here: street art, wall paintings, stencil art and also (and especially) Frank Gehry’s famous Peix. This giant sculpture of a golden fish has become one of the symbols of post-Olympic Barcelona, visible from the beach of Barceloneta and the Port Olímpic.
You can round off this real open air museum with a tour of the MACBA: the Barcelona Museum of Modern Art.
Lose yourself in the Parc del Laberint
The oldest garden in Barcelona, the Parc del Laberint, is the perfect example of iconic gardens, particularly since its expansion by architect Elies Rogent. It’s very pleasant to walk hand in hand in this romantic garden, with its little squares, its trees, its flowerbeds and its magnificent waterfall... 55 hectares of neoclassic vibes and mythological sculptures.
Savour a cerveza in the Gothic quarter
As the cradle of Barcelona’s traditional beer bars, the gothic quarter is full of great places to drink. Start your pub crawl with the Ocaña (Plaça Reial, 13-15), a true landmark of Barcelona’s nightlife. Then head to the El Rabipelao (Carrer de la Mercè, 26), where you can enjoy an excellent mojito for 3 euros 50. Then head to the Sor Rita (Carrer de la Mercè, 27), with its shoes on the ceiling, its pink wigs and Barbie dolls everywhere.
Sample tapas at the Viana
Eating at the Viana is like going to a friend’s house for dinner. As for the menu, the prices are fair and you can enjoy some quirky tapas as well as the famous patatas bravas, among the best in town. My advice: book a table, as it’s a very popular place. However, if you can’t get a table, Barcelona is full of tapas bars…
Carrer del Vidre, 7, in the gothic quarter
Enjoy a Spanish tortilla at the Electricitat bar
At the Electricitat you can also get tapas, but if you are going to this little eatery, don’t miss out on the best Spanish tortillas in town! In a warm and friendly atmosphere, try these typically Spanish moist little potato omelettes, freshly prepared... For only 4 euros!
Carrer de Sant Carles, near Barceloneta beach
Take part in Catalan folklore
There are always events on in Barcelona, so make the most of it by getting a taste of the local folklore! My favourite event in the Catalan capital is the Sonar, in June. During this period the whole town is buzzing. Even if you haven’t got a festival pass, don’t miss the fringe shows in the bars and in the street!
Barcelona by night
Barcelona nights are often wild. As for clubs, the two most famous clubs in Barcelona are the Razzmatazz and the Apolo, which are often overrun with tourists. As for more exclusive clubs, I suggest the Macarena if you’re into electro music. If you prefer hip hop and R’n’B, don’ miss the Otto Sutz.