Yes, it is that time of the year again! The summer sales are on! My all time favourite destination for sale shopping has to be Barcelona! I usually go with my Mom or some girlfriends with an empty suitcase and come back with it full! Whoops :p But Barcelona is not only about shopping of course. It is a beautiful city with so many places and things to discover. So let me be your guide…
What to see and do
- The first thing that comes to my mind when I think about Barcelona is Park Güell. Overlooking the city, this park is simply stunning. It is one of the major works of artist Gaudi in Barcelona. The houses in the park look like they are made of gingerbread. And those famous benches made of mosaic are just the perfect photo opportunity. Everything is so colourful and so creative. You can definitely spend half a day admiring Gaudi’s work all around the park.
- My favourite area in Barcelona is the Barri Gotic (Gothic Quarter). Over there, the streets look like they are artworks. The buildings are beautiful, you can enjoy the Gothic art in all his splendour. There is another cathedral in this area that is really nice to see. Make sure you have your shoulders covered to be able to visit it.
- The Sagrada Familia cathedral is also really popular amongst people visiting Barcelona. Try to get there early to avoid queuing for hours to get inside. This cathedral is another work of Gaudi and it has been under construction since 1882, so for more than 130 years now! It is a beautiful building and there are so many details to pay attention to whether it is on the inside or on the outside of the cathedral. It is a must see when you visit Barcelona.
- On your way to the beautiful Port of Barcelona and the Barcelonetta beach, you will probably walk along one of the most famous streets of the city; La Rambla. Amongst all the little stalls along La Rambla you will find some mimes, ready to scare you anytime you walk pass them. Their make up is so well done that sometimes you even think they are statues!
- If you like Gaudi’s art, don’t miss Casa Battló and La Pedrera, both located on Passeig de Gràcia. These houses are more a piece of art than a building. It’s really worth the visit. It can be a bit crowded during summer time so to avoid the queues, I would highly recommend to purchase your ticket online. Here is the link for Casa Batlló and the one for La Pedrera.
- If you want some gorgeous views of the city, I totally recommend to go to Montjuic Hill. You can hop on the funicular (cable car) at the Port and it will take you all the way there. If you aren’t scared of heights, that is a really cool way to get there, otherwise, you can just take the metro. Once up the hill, go and visit the Montjuic Castle and learn more about the history of Barcelona throughout the wars.
The Olympic Stadium is also a must see when you are up at Montjuic, it hosted the 1992 Summer Olympics.
On your way down, there are some convenient escalators that will take you all the way to Placa de Espana. This is where the Magic fountain illuminates at night for a magic show.
- If you are in Barcelona on a Sunday, go for a walk in the Park de la Ciutadella, located not far from the Barcelonetta Beach. Over there you will find the beautiful Cascada Fountain, the Arc de Triumph and if you are feeling romantic, you can even go for a little boat ride on the lake. What nicer way to spend a Sunday?
Where to stay
- If like me, you like the Gotic Quarter and love shopping, I recommend you to stay at the Hotel Barcelona Catedral. This hotel has a really convenient and central location. Just right next to the Barcelona Catedral (not the Sagrada Familia), and not far from Placa de Catalunya. There are lots of little streets filled with shop and restaurants around the area.
- If you are more of a beach kind of person, you will love the W Hotel, located right on the Barcelonetta Beach and with amazing views on the ocean and the city!
Where to shop
- The Gothic Quarter is such a nice area to go shopping to. The little streets are so charming and you can find anything from big brands like Zara, Stradivarius to tiny exclusive shops.
- One of the most well known places to shop in Barcelona has to be Placa de Catalunya and Passeig de Gracia. This is shopping heaven! You will find big designers like Dior, Chanel but also some retail stores like H&M, Zara and Sephora, if you are a beauty addict!
- If you are in Barcelona during the warm summer months and would like to cool off a bit, go have a look in the Maremagnum shopping centre, close to the Barcelona Port. Kiko cosmetics has a shop in there as well as the usual H&M,etc.
- If however you are looking for some food, either to eat during your stay or to take back home, make sure you stop at the famous Boqueria market alongside La Rambla. This market is beautiful, filled with vivid colors but it also smells delicious! You basically don’t know where to look at, there is so much food everywhere! Try to get there close to the end of the market as that is when you will find some bargains.
Where to eat
- When I am visiting a country, I always try to experience the local food. And one of my favourite thing to eat in Barcelona are Patatas Bravas! Omg those potatoes are simply delicious! There is no better way to try local Spanish food than going to a Tapas bar. Tapas bar is where Spanish people socialize around food and a glass of wine at the end of the day. Try to go to one that serves tapas at the bar and where you actually pay for your food according to the amount of toothpicks you have in your hands. Try Sagardi BCN Gotic or have a look at this website for some of the best Tapas bar in Barcelona.
- On the side of La Rambla, Placa Reial and its palm trees is a really nice place to have dinner at. This square is filled with delicious restaurants. Make sure you book a table as it can be pretty crowded during summer.
- One restaurant that I found (that has nothing to do with spanish food, I know, but trust me is more than delicious) is a hidden Japanese restaurant called Shunka, located just behind the Hotel Catedral Barcelona in the Gothic Quarter. It is a little bit pricy but if you like Japanese food, you have to try it 🙂
And there it is, your city guide to Barcelona! I hope you enjoyed it and that it will be helpful if you are planning on visiting Barcelona. Don’t hesitate to share your best spots in the city with us in the comments below.