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Barcelona Travel Guide & Tips

Discover Barcelona: Your Journey Begins Here

Welcome to Barcelona, a city that captured my heart with its perfect blend of history, culture, and infectious energy. My initial visit was so incredible that I couldn’t resist booking another trip within the same year. Barcelona isn’t just about its breathtaking landmarks and rich heritage; it’s a place where there’s always something to see and do, no matter what time of day it is!

From exploring the stunning architecture to immersing yourself in the vibrant local culture, Barcelona offers the best mix of experiences to please every traveler. And let’s not forget about the food and drinks – indulging in Spanish cuisine is an absolute must-do while you’re here. Whether you’re indulging in classic tapas or enjoying cocktails at a trendy rooftop bar with panoramic city views, Barcelona’s culinary scene is sure to leave you craving more. As we navigate the city together, I’ll be your trusted guide, sharing my personal recommendations on everything from where to stay to the best places to eat and how to get around. With my insider tips, you’re guaranteed to have an unforgettable experience in Barcelona.

So, pack your bags, prepare to immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Barcelona, and let’s embark on an unforgettable adventure together. ¡Vamos!

Where To Stay?

Kimpton Vividora Barcelona and InterContinental Barcelona both offer amazing experiences, each catering to different preferences. Whether you’re seeking trendy boutique charm or refined luxury, both hotels provide a fantastic base for exploring the city. Even though they are on a higher budget, they have made our stay in the city and experience exceptional and were both worth the price.

Kimpton Vividora Barcelona

kimpton vividora rooftop bar review

Pros:

  1. Prime Location: Situated in the heart of Barcelona’s historic Gothic Quarter, Kimpton Vividora offers easy access to main attractions and activities.
  2. Rooftop Bar & Swimming Pool: Perfect for evening drinks & relax after the day of exploring the city. Patatas Bravas in Kimpton rooftop restaurant, were one of the best ones we’ve had during our stay!
  3. Social Hour: At 5 pm you can go down to reception for 1 hour of free snacks, soft drinks, beer and house wine for all hotel guests. This is a perk not everyone is aware of, and certainly the one we’ve enjoyed!

Cons:

  1. Noise Levels: Due to its central location, noise from the bustling streets below may be audible in some rooms, particularly during peak hours. If you get easily distracted by street noise, make sure to request room on higher floor in your booking!

Intercontinental Barcelona

intercontinental hotel barcelona review

Pros:

  1. Luxurious Accommodations: InterContinental Barcelona offers spacious and elegant room. The neighbourhood might not be as appealing as Kimpton’s Vividora, but you are still surrounded by pleasant views.
  2. Great Dining: The hotel features a range of dining options, including a Michelin-starred restaurant, and continental breakfast with great choices.
  3. Rooftop Pool & Bar: One of my favourite spots where you can spend the whole day, dipping in the pool, admiring the views & sipping on cocktails. The pool beds had a lot more luxurious feeling & entire rooftop vibe instantly makes you relaxed!

Cons:

  1. Distance from City Center: While located in a prime area, the hotel is situated slightly away from the main tourist attractions, requiring longer walks or using public transport to get to the city center.

What To Do?

Besides the famous landmarks like La Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, Casa Batllo, and La Rambla that you’ll find in every guidebook, I found some other spots in Barcelona that I really loved and should be a must when you visiting the city:

Magic Fountain of Montjuic
Address: Pl. de Carles Buïgas, Sants-Montjuïc, 08038

The Magic Fountain of Montjuic in Barcelona is an absolute must-see for visitors to the city. This iconic attraction mesmerizes spectators with its stunning water and light displays set to music. Situated in the heart of Montjuic, the fountain offers a great experience that is both enchanting and unforgettable. The area around is truly beautiful, offering stunning view of the city.

magic fountains barcelona review

The Carmel Bunkers
Address: Carrer de Marià Labèrnia, s/n, Horta-Guinardó, 08032

The Carmel Bunkers in Barcelona is a hidden gem that offering breathtaking panoramic views of the city. Situated slightly away from the city center in the hills of Carmel, this former defense bunker provides a unique vantage point from which to admire Barcelona’s skyline.  Whether you’re watching the sunrise or sunset, the Carmel Bunkers promise a serene and unforgettable experience.

Pro Tip – Make sure to take some snacks, drinks and a blanket and head there to watch the sunset. The best and most convenient way to get there will be by cab.

barcelona carmel bunker

Ciutadella Park
Address: Passeig de Picasso, 21, Ciutat Vella, 08003

Whether you’re strolling along its winding paths, picnicking on the grass, or admiring the majestic fountain, Ciutadella Park is a beautiful and relaxing place to visit. One special thing about the park is the parrots that live there, you can often hear and see them around. You can also have a unique opportunity to feed them, but make sure to bring nuts or some fruits! 

barcelona park parrots

Telefèric de Montjuïc Cable Car
Address: Avinguda Miramar, 30, Sants-Montjuïc, 08038

The Telefèric de Montjuïc Cable Car in Barcelona offers a scenic ride with panoramic views of the city. As you ascend to the top of Montjuïc Hill, you’ll be treated to stunning view of Barcelona’s skyline, the Mediterranean Sea, and beyond. You could also use an opportunity to discover the castle on the top of the hill. The cable car journey is both exhilarating and relaxing, providing a unique perspective of the city’s landmarks and surrounding natural beauty. I would recommend taking the ride after visiting Magic Fountains, as both attractions are nearby each other.

barcelona cable car review

Where To Eat & Drink?

One of the best things about the city is how many great local restaurants there are with tasty food and drinks. Whether you want traditional tapas or a good brunch spot, Barcelona has lots of incredible and one of the kind choices. Some of them became my absolute favorites, and I am confident you will enjoy them as much as I did.

Brunch Spots: 

Morning Glory & Carvelle are both popular brunch spot known for its vibrant atmosphere and delicious food. Located in the heart of the city, they offer a diverse menu featuring classic brunch favorites with a creative, spanish twist. From fluffy pancakes and hearty breakfast burritos to refreshing smoothie bowls and artisanal coffee, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. With its stylish decor and friendly service, they are perfect place to start your day off right in Barcelona!

best brunch places in barcelona
Left: Morning Glory / Right: Carvelle

Carvelle
Address: C/ del Pintor Fortuny, 31, Ciutat Vella

Morning Glory Coffee & Brunch
Address: Carrer de la Riereta, 15, Ciutat Vella

Tapas & Cocktails:

La Alcoba Azul
Address: C/ de Salomó ben Adret, 14, Ciutat Vella, 08002

La Alcoba Azul is a true hidden gem and holds a special place in my heart. Although it may not boast the brightest lights or flashiest decor, this charming spot never fails to delight. From their signature sangria to an incredible selection of tapas, every offering at La Alcoba Azul is crafted with care and passion. With its intimate ambiance and attentive service, this cozy haven promises a truly unforgettable experience. For an evening of relaxation and enjoyment in Barcelona, there’s no better destination than La Alcoba Azul.

Somnia
Address: Carrer de Montserrat, 13, Ciutat Vella, 08001

This is an essential destination for your visit, and I’m confident you’ve never encountered anything quite like it. Every cocktail is an experience, and the circus-themed decor adds an enchanting touch to your visit. As if that weren’t enough, there’s also a magician circulating among the tables, entertaining guests with card and mind tricks. Being here truly feels like stepping into a magical realm and you won’t regret it!

somnia cocktail bar barcelona review

Where To Shop?

Although we didn’t prioritize shopping, I couldn’t resist popping into stores that caught my eye, particularly those with jewelry and fashion. During our time in Barcelona, we stumbled upon three Spanish brands that I always recommend to my friends & family visiting the city. Here are the stores worth yours visit:

It’s Miele Jewelry
Address: Carrer d’Avinyó, 38, Ciutat Vella, 08002

Barcelona born & based brand full off affordable  handmade 925 sterling pieces of jewelry, plated in 18k gold. The designs are minimalistic and easy to pair with everyday looks. I am never leaving this store empty handed and can confirm that some of my rings are already lasting more than two years.

Website – https://www.itsmiel.com/en/

Rosana de la Riva
Address: Carrer del Pi, 8, Ciutat Vella, 08002

Another amazing handmade jewelry brand form Barcelona, with origins in 1898. The designs of Rosanna handmade Jewelry draw inspiration from the vibrant colors and textures found in nature. I have fallen in love with their collection of statement necklaces, and came back from my trip with two, which I wear until today.

Website – https://rosannadelariva.com/en/ 

Sans & Sans Tea
Address: C. de l’Argenteria, 59, Ciutat Vella, 08003

Sans & Sans Tea is a Barcelona-based boutique known for its premium selection of teas sourced from around the globe. Offering a diverse range of high-quality loose-leaf teas, including black, green, white, and herbal varieties. White Satin and Equalibro are a must to try!

Website – https://sansisans.com/en/sans/

When is The Best Time To Visit Barcelona?

I’ve visited the city twice—once in April and once in June. Without a doubt, both of these times were great, but experiencing summer in Barcelona is truly special. Aside from the amazing weather, the city comes alive in the summer months. While the heat can be intense and walking around the city may be challenging, during my June trip, I enjoyed balancing sightseeing with dining and drinking in the evenings, swimming by the pool in the afternoons, and exploring Barcelona’s beauty during the day. April was ideal for visiting tourist spots without standing in long queues and high temperatures.

If you’re keen to explore the city extensively and see as much as possible, I recommend visiting between March and May or September and October.

However, if your ideal trip involves savoring drinks in rooftop bars, partying, swimming in poolside settings with stunning city views, and focusing mainly on visiting key monuments, then summer is the perfect time to visit Barcelona—you won’t be disappointed.

What Was a Miss?

Beaches: This might stir some debate, but I’d advise against visiting the beaches in Barcelona. Firstly, they tend to be excessively crowded, and secondly, the beach atmosphere didn’t feel safe. If you’re seeking relief from the heat, opt for a hotel with a swimming pool instead, and reserve beach exploration for destinations outside the city.

Public Transport: While public transportation offers convenience for navigating the city, we found greater joy in exploring Barcelona on foot. If possible, rely on your own two feet; not only does it afford you the opportunity to stumbleupon hidden gems, but it also provides a more intimate and authentic experience of the city.

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