(updated March 2023)
Barcelona is Catalunya’s capital. A city full of energy and always with great weather (besides the tropical rain and thunder storms during the Summer).
I can never get tired of this city! Especially now that my two best friends Ana and Chico live there and I’ll always have somewhere to crash. There are always different things to do and a lot happening in the city, including a lot of concerts!
Barcelona is a paradise for those who love wandering around in a 50cc motorbike, as the streets and avenues are very well organised. The main brands are eCooltra, Acciona, Yego, and Seat MÓ. You just need a category A driving license to drive it. If you want to ride for free, create an account using my referral codes below (you can click on the codes):
- eCooltra 10€ with the code fmpcb
- Acciona 15min with the code IJK68965
- Yego 15min with the code 78WOFMUNH8
- Seat MÓ 4 free trips of 30mins each with the code HOLA
For those not so adventurous, there are also bikes and electric scooters to rent. The metro and bus work very well, especially during the weekends, when it runs 24h. A single ticket costs 2.40€ but a 10-ticket (T-casual) costs 11.35€. If you are travelling with someone, buying a T-familiar for 10€ (8 trips) is worth it, as it is multi-personal. If you are going to use a lot of public transport, it’s better to purchase a Hola Barcelona Travel Card. You can check all the prices here.
To get to the city centre from the airport, you can either take the Aerobus (return 11,65€) from T1 or T2 or you can take the train R2 only from T2 using a normal public transport ticket, which is much cheaper and as fast (mentioned above, 1 zone is enough). Another option is to install the Free Now (taxi) app with my referral code 9a5fjq96t for a discounted trip, or Cabify with my referral code MAFALDAS64, for 3€ discount in your next 3 rides.
Antoni Gaudí was a catalan architect known for his colourful creations. You can see them all around the city, especially the La Sagrada Familia. This basilica is still under construction since 1882 and is due to be completed by 2026. This building is by far my favourite in Barcelona. You can actually feel all the effort Gaudí has put into it. It is simply fenomenal and worth the visit. You should buy your ticket in advance as it sells out very quickly. You can buy it here. If you know someone living in Barcelona, kindly ask them to buy from the ticket office, which will save you the 5€ online fee. Gaudí’s tomb is located in a small chapel which you can access on the right just next to the exit of the Sagrada Familia and the entrance is free of charge.
Another famous creation from Gaudí it’s Park Guell. Unfortunately it is under renovation and some parts are closed. It costs 10€ to get to the balcony area (it used to be free). The rest of the park can be entered without restriction and free of charge. It’s always worth the visit if you have never been, anyway.
My favourite Gaudí creation is Casa Vicens, which was Gaudí’s first house. It was one of the first buildings in Europe to start with the Modernisme movement. The rooftop is simply beautiful.
La Pedrera was the last private residence designed by the architect before he devoted himself to La Sagrada Familia, and it was built between 1906 and 1912. It took me many trips to Barcelona to visit this building, which I finally did in March 2023. So worth it!
The Palau de la Música Catalana is one of the most beautiful buildings in the city. Designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner in 1908, the modernist building is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with Hospital de Sant Pau. A must-see!
If you are into Art Noveau, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau is the place to go.
My favourite thing to do in Barcelona will always be enjoying some nice tapas and drinks in the afternoon at Plaça del Sol in the neighborhood of Gràcia and then watching the sunset at Bunkers del Carmel. On Friday and Saturday you will see locals doing botellón and listening to music there, enjoying an amazing vibe!
Be sure you explore the city’s most famous street, La Rambla, going from Plaça de Catalunya down to the Columbus Monument. You will pass next to Mercat de Sant Josep de La Boqueria – worth going at the end of the day to get some fresh fruit juices in promotion, otherwise is always very crowded. If you like traditional markets, try Mercat de Sant Antoni, a short 15min walk from La Boqueria. If you want to stop for a drink, try El Bosc de Les Fades, a magical café. Beware of pickpockets in this area. Besides that, Barcelona is a very safe city.
Get lost in the Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter). This is a very typical neighborhood where you can find Barcelona Cathedral (paid entrance), La Casa de l’Ardiaca and the beautiful Pont del Bisbe (Bishop’s Bridge). Don’t forget to stop at the The Kiss of Freedom Wall. Wander through the narrow medieval streets and explore Plaça del Rei, Plaça Sant Jaume, Plaça de Felip Neri and of course the famous Plaça Reial. At night, Plaça Reial transforms itself into a crazy outdoor nightclub!
Barcelona is also full of interesting museums, such as Museu Picasso, Fundació Joan Miró, MNAC: Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, MACBA: Museu d’Art Contemporani, and the most recent Moco Museum, full of modern art and beautiful light instalations (very instagramable!).
La Barceloneta area is a very typical neighborhood where you can find amazing places to eat fresh fish and seafood. Just next to it, you can stroll around the Parc de la Ciutadella, Arc de Triomf and explore one of my favourite neighborhoods, el Born.
Montjuïc hill is also a good idea. There you can visit the Montjuïc Castle and enjoy its breathtaking views, Teatre Grec, Jardins de Mossèn Costa i Llobera (a cactus heaven – free entrance) or go for a swim at Montjuic Municipal Pool, especially in the Summer.
At night you can enjoy the fountain music and light show at the Font Màgica de Montjuïc. Please check the show times here as it varies throughout the year.
One day I wandering around Montjuic when I came across Salts, overlooking the Olympic swimming pool. You can have a drink overlooking the best sunset.
If you enjoy amazing views over the city, visit Tibidabo amusement park and cathedral. The sunset is also very beautiful there!
Barcelona is also famous for its nice beaches. If you want to avoid the crowds, just get one scooter and enjoy Playa de Bogatell. Next to Barcelona there is Costa Brava, famous for its amazing beaches.
Now the most important thing… Where to eat! (with the help of my friend Ana)
Tapas: Ciudad Comtal (my favourite of all, and always worth the wait!), Cervecería Catalana, Bar Galán, Bormuth (outdoor seating), Bar Ramón, Agusto Tapas Bar, and Gasterea in the Gràcia neighbourhood (cash only, my favourite). If you want to go for the best tapas, just head to Carrer de Blai, where you can find La Tasqueta de Blai (1€ pintxos!) and many other cheap places to eat.
Lunch/Dinner: La Mar Salada for the best paella and arroces, Trópico (tropical food), Gonzalez & Co (mexican), Yoüme Sushi, Casa Ametller (bio market), Buenas Migas, Goiko (burgers), The Hip Fish Poke (poke bowls), Chivuo’s (street food), Koku Kitchen (ramen and gyoza), Flax and Kale (vegetarian and vegan friendly), La Muns and Tio Bigodes (argentinian empanadas, perfect for on-the-go).
Barcelona is also known for its rooftops. Here is my friend Chico top 4 rooftops:
- Terraza de Les Indianes, overlooking Barceloneta and the port, with amazing sunset views
- SkyBar (Hotel Iberostar)
- Sercotel Rosellón (overlooking La Sagrada Familia), booking open every Monday for the week
- The Rooftop at Sir Victor Hotel, overlooking La Pedrera
Planning on going out? Here is a list of nice places to go clubbing, recommended by my friend Chico:
Next to the beach: Bestial Beach Club, Funky Buddha, Pacha or Opium (quite touristic but also good).
Diagonal/ Tusset: Bling Bling and Sutton, considered the best clubs in Barcelona but also quite pricey.
For reggaeton: La Fira or Mojito Club
Bars: Plaça Reial
I have been to Barcelona many times and this city never stops to amaze me! I hope to go back soon to discover new places.