Subscribe to newsletter !
My Barcelona Favourites
For those who have already asked me: “What is there to do in Barcelona?” and ”What are your favourite places in Barcelona?”, this article won’t teach you anything new. I must have visited this city more than 20 times in the past few years and I always end up in the same places. You’re going to tell me that I’m so not original, but I’ve tried countless different restaurants, bars, neighbourhoods, and nothing could dethrone the recommendations I’m going to give you below. Whether you’re a foodie, a fashionista, or a party animal, you’ll discover some must-see spots in this article!
Okay, I know what you’re thinking – how original of me to say that two tapas bars are part of my favourite restaurants. But hey, that’s what you want to eat in Barcelona, right? That and drink sangria? (Don’t worry, I included my recommendation for the best sangria below.) The first restaurant I want to share with you is the Vinitus. Don’t be surprised by the lineup outside the door at dinnertime. Believe me, the food is worth the wait. Prices are very reasonable, and the atmosphere is super fun (probably because there are so many people eating there). It’s the perfect place to go with your group of friends. You have to try the classic patatas bravas and grilled octopus – they’re both fabulous!
The second place is probably one of the best restaurants I’ve ever been to: Sensi Mezzanine. First of all, it’s in one of my favourite Barcelona neighbourhoods (the Gothic Quarter), and it’s located a little outside of the tourist area, so the atmosphere is more intimate. It’s a bit more expensive than my previous recommendation, but it’s worth every euro you’ll spend. Please, do me a favour (and do yourself a favour at the same time) by trying the warm mushroom cream with poached egg and truffle oil (I know you’re already salivating), as well as the fresh ravioli with truffle (if you can’t tell, I’m obsessed with truffle). Sweet Jesus, I’m sighing in pleasure just by thinking about it! Anyways, thanks to me, you already have two evenings where you don’t have to worry about where to eat! You’re welcome.
For the first bar I wanted to talk about, I wasn’t sure whether it belonged in the restaurant or bar category. I go there mainly for their sangria in the afternoon, but I also can’t help ordering their hummus when I go… so you’re killing two birds with one stone at Lobo, which is located near the Sagrada Familia. It’s the ideal place to take a break in the afternoon, quench your thirst, and satisfy your craving for a post-lunch snack. Most importantly, they have one of the best sangrias in Barcelona. Whether you order the white or the red, you won’t be disappointed.
And since we’re talking about the Sagrada Familia, a bar that I love for happy hour is the Ayre Hotel Rosellón’s. Located on the 8th floor, you have the most stunning view of the city and the Sagrada Familia.
Now for your evening drinks, if you’re feeling glam, I suggest the W Barcelona hotel bar located on the beach. It’s the perfect place to watch the sunset or grab a drink while admiring the view (I say one drink here, but everyone has their own budget). However, I recommend glancing at the dress code on their website before going. I learned the hard way that flip-flops were not accepted… If you’re in a party mood, I recommend starting your evening at Lime House. Their mojitos are perfect… and misleading. Two mojitos and you’re good to go for the whole night. After that, if you have any energy left over, head to the Opium Club where you can dance the night away!
I definitely don’t love to shop, but if I’m in Barcelona and it’s raining (my only reason to go shopping, because on those days, I can’t go to the beach), you can find me at Pull&Bear and Bershka. My two favourite stores that are unfortunately only in Europe, so I make sure to stock up for the upcoming season when I’m there. If you don’t go to Europe often and want to torture yourself a little, go see what they have on their website. You’ll either cry or book a plane ticket to go raid their stores.
By now, you probably know that I’m not the biggest fan of tourist traps and historical sights, but when I brought my sister with me to Barcelona, she really wanted to visit the Sagrada Familia. I told her that she could go without me while I waited and walked around the city. Even though I had never visited it, it just didn’t interest me. She insisted and bought me a ticket anyways. Seriously, I can’t thank her enough today. It’s so impressive and beautiful. I could have spent hours walking around admiring the architecture, stained glass, paintings… everything was just WOW! I recommend buying your ticket online before going to save yourself some time.
Another place I love that’s not a classic Barcelona attraction is the Tibidabo mountain. At the top, you’ll find a cathedral and an amusement park. It’s another perfect spot to get a panoramic view of the city and the sunset.
The last activity that I recommend for a small nature escape not far from the city centre is the Montserrat. It’s a mountain with a monastery on one of its peaks, where you can hike and climb its rock faces.
Depending on your level of fitness and how much time you have, you can choose which hiking trail is best for you. I recommend bringing a lunch, small snacks, and most importantly, your water bottle!
With all of the above, I think you’ll have enough to do for two to three days in the beautiful city of Barcelona. Most importantly, make sure to take the time to just immerse yourself in the city and wander the streets with an Estrella beer in hand (take advantage of the fact that in Europe, you can drink in the streets!).