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Best of Barcelona

Cutting-edge cuisine, high design, and cool style in Catalonia’s buzzy seaside metropolis.
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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Duration: Multiple days

Overview:  Barcelona is Europe at its most dynamic and compelling, full of boundary-pushing food, art, and style, but grounded in centuries of... more »

Tips:  While Pinotxo deservedly gets the tourist traffic, serious breakfast buffs-vendors, foodies, the city’s top chefs-gather at El Quim de... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Almacén Marab

Argentine designer Marabís tiny atelier is filled with her handmade patchwork animals; the playful dolls, which have been displayed at the Museu d’Art Contemporani, appeal to both toddlers and adults.

Address:
30 Carrer dels Flassaders
Barcelona
Spain

Phone:
34-68-618-7645

2. Bar Raval

Slide into a leather booth at this watering hole and you’ll be immersed in the chatty camaraderie of the professors, writers, artists, and theater types who live nearby in the streets surrounding the Meseu d’Art Contemporani.

Address:
19 Carrer del Doctor Dou
Barcelona
Spain

Phone:
34-93-302-4133

To ease out of a long workday, stylish Barcelonians stop by this polished Eixample town house for Bloody Marys and tumblers of whiskey. In summer, the large terrace is also a draw.

Address:
3 Passatge Mercader
Barcelona
Spain

Phone:
34-93-215-9088

4. Bomba Bar Cova Fumada

The past lives on at this historic haunt where actual fishermen order up salt-cod croquettes at a tatty old marble counter. Twenty dollars buys grilled sardines, terrific bacalao fritters, and bomba, a crisp meat-and-mashed-potato cannonball doused in an explosively fiery sauce.

Address:
56 Baluard, Palau de Mar building
Barcelona
Spain

Phone:
... More

Hot cocoa goes haute at this sleek shop and café part-owned by Ferran Adrià’s pastry-chef brother, Albert. Dark and dense, the liquid easily qualifies as an alternative energy source. The chocolate-smeared tostada might be overkill, but have it anyway.

Address:
292 Consell de Cent
Barcelona
Spain

Phone:
34-93-272-0833

This 14th-century stone palace houses the minimalist dresses and suits of Barcelona designer Julie Sohn (think Jil Sander with an Asian twist), and narrowly cut men’s wear from Danish haberdashers Sand, as well as travel bags from France’s sleek Lexon. Don’t miss the courtyard café.

Address:
21 Carrer dels Flassaders
Barcelona
Spain

... More

7. Camisería Pons

This 100-year-old clothing store stocks a slew of Catalán designers for women and men (including Josep Abril’s impeccable linen shirts). Look for the reduced-price off-season racks in the back.

Address:
49 Gran de Gracia
Barcelona
Spain

Phone:
34-93-217-7292

With tables at the edge of the beach and views out into the Mediterranean, this popular, family-run seafood and rice specialist dating from the late 1960s ranks high on any short list of Barceloneta dining spots. The outdoor terrace covered by sail-like white canvas umbrellas functions from May to October, or whenever weather permits. The wild ... More

9. Casa Batlló

Join the Gaudi gawkers in front of the architect’s surreal Casa Batlló.

Address:
43 Passeig de Gracia
Barcelona
Spain

Phone:
34-93-216-0306

10. Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona

Ask a sophisticated Barcelona native where he’ll be this weekend, and the answer is often the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB). Since it opened in 1994 inside a gorgeously rehabilitated 18th-century hospice in the Raval neighborhood, the CCCB has become a cultural guidepost fro the city, hosting prominent festivals and... More

Known for its namesake drink—arguably the best in Europe—L’Eixample’s Dry Martini has all the trappings of a classic film-noir set: emerald-green leather banquettes, white-jacketed waiters, and plenty of intrigue.

Address:
162-166 Aribau
Barcelona
Spain

Phone:
34-93-217-5080

Pastry pioneer Jordi Butrón keeps his cool gray, 30-seat, minimalist atelier packed with fans of his all-dessert three- and five-course tasting menus. Expect inspired sweet-savory flavor combos: pear “crackling” and fennel shoots; or chocolate, smoked-tea, and yogurt ice cream. The chef’s dessert pairings feature sweet wines from Spain’s... More

13. Estro

This unassuming shop stocks exquisite Italian leather goods: buttery-soft black flats from Pompeii and bags from the Sicilian line Bid Hand Made.

Address:
33 bajo Carrer Dels Flassaders
Barcelona
Spain

Phone:
34-93-310-4077

This meringue-white L’Eixample storefront belongs to Rafa Peña, the 32-year-old current leader of Spain’s bistronomic movement. Reservations are in high demand, and with good reason with dishes like “souffléed” egg with cured ham cream. “I set my lunch menu only after placing morning calls to suppliers to see what’s on sale,” Pe... More

Stay in this tower of blue glass and steel that rises 44 stories in Vila Olímpica (the Olympic Port) with stunning views of the city, water, and Frank Gehry’s Fish sculpture. Some Catalonians find American architect Bruce Graham’s ambitious design a bit too, well, American for their tastes, but visitors will welcome the many amenities,... More

Hotel Banys Orientals Location is this hip boutique hotel’s trump card—you’re right on the edge of El Born, Barcelona’s trendiest neighborhood, and within walking distance of dozens of fantastic bars, shops, and restaurants as well as the Museu Picasso and the Catedral de la Seu. The 43 rooms may not be spacious, but they are spotless and have... More

17. Hotel Casa Fuster

The hotel is the last Art Nouveau hotel still in operation in Barcelona. The 96 plush guestrooms are done up in shades of café con leche in this 1908 landmark building, the last designed by Lluis Domènech i Montaner. Book one of the east-facing rooms that look down the Passeig de Gràcia and let in ample morning sun.

Address:
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18. Hotel Claris

The highlight here is not the service (if you check out during prime time, you may learn a few Catalan obscenities from the harried staff)—rather, inexplicably, it’s a second-floor museum of Egyptian artifacts and the Andy Warhol portraits in the East 47 restaurant. A small but sleek rooftop pool accessible by futuristic glass elevators proves... More

19. Hotel Neri

An intimate 18th-century palace that blends old-world romance with funky Catalan chic in medieval Barri Gotic, the neighborhood where Picasso lived, studied, and painted many of his Blue Period canvases. Dine on wild-mushroom risotto at the hotel’s velvet swathed restaurant. Stay for breakfast served on the rooftop terrace.

Address:
5 Sant Sever
... More

With its clean lines and unpretentious look, Juli Capella’s Hotel Omm projects an incandescent warmth. The interiors, created by Sandra Tarruella and Isabel López, set pale woods in bright, airy rooms against moody, barely lit hallways and stylish lobby areas. The tour de force is the façade, a series of undulating limestone waves... More

A favorite haunt of the literary set, this retro 1970’s-era restaurant and bar7—note the fantasy-forest décor—prides itself on classic (and generously poured) cocktails, and excellent wine list, and keeping the party going until the city’s mandatory 3 a.m. closing time.

Address:
22 Granada del Penedes
Barcelona
Spain

Phone:
34-93-218-7536

The legendary jazz club has hosted everyone from Ella and Chet to budding greats such as the Charlie Hunter trio. After the headliners, the intimate cellar saloon turns into a club spinning R&B and hip-hop.

Address:
17 Placa Reial
Barcelona
Spain

Phone:
34-93-319-1789

23. La Báscula

Part industrial-looking art gallery, part cooperatively run, vegetarian-friendly café (try the house-made spinach ravioli), La Báscula has one of the city’s most idyllic sun-filled dining rooms.

Address:
30 bis Carrer dels Flassaders
Barcelona
Spain

Phone:
34-93-319-9866

Since opening in the early 1940’s, this espadrilles emporium has sold a colorful variety of Catalonia’s classic sandals—perfect for strolling city streets in style.

Address:
7 Carrer Avinyó
Barcelona
Spain

Phone:
34-93-301-0172

El Bulli-trained chef Roger Martínez takes rice on a global adventure at his Eixample spot. Can’t choose between the classic Catalán rabbit rice and a new-wave risotto? Kick off your meal with some terrific tapitas, followed by the well-priced arroz tasting menu.

Address:
16 Sagués
Barcelona
Spain

Phone:
34-93-240-5912

26. La Sagrada Familia

Gaudí’s architectural works are scattered throughout the city. A highlight is this church, his unfinished symphony of modernist high notes.
Created by the editors of T+L for Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Address:
401 Carrer Mallorca
Barcelona
Spain

Phone:
34-93-207-3031

27. Lupo

From slouchy, oversize carryalls to soft leather purses in the store’s signature abanico (fan) shape, bags from Lupo are a Barcelona staple.

Address:
257 Carrer de Mallorca
Barcelona
Spain

Phone:
34-93-487-8050

28. Majoral

Working in metals such as brushed 18-karat gold and oxidized silver, jeweler Enric Majoral creates chic, versatile pieces that can be dressed both up and down.

Address:
66 Carrer Argenteria
Barcelona
Spain

Phone:
34-93-310-1373

The Market Hotel is conveniently located at the border of L’Eixample and El Raval. Set in an early-20th-century town house with four-poster beds and Indian teak furniture, this affordable option is a great value.

Address:
10 Passatge Sant Antoni Abad
Barcelona
Spain

Phone:
34-93-325-1205

30. Me

The quiet dining room in L’Eixample experiments with a cuisine at the intersection of Vietnam, New Orleans, and Catalonia. The result: lamb carpaccio topped with caramelized ginger and green-apple relish, and dorado steamed in a banana leaf with coconut milk.

Address:
162 Paris
Barcelona
Spain

Phone:
34-93-419-4933

31. Moo

The ever-creative Roca brothers have made the Zen-like restaurant in the Hotel Omm a local favorite for haute Catalan cuisine (think, slow-cooked baby goat in a rosemary honey glaze).

Address:
265 Carrer Rosselló, Hotel Omm
Barcelona
Spain

Phone:
34-93-445-4000

32. Moska

Owner Maka Abraham travels the world collecting jewelry from near (chunky cuffs and earrings designed by Barcelona silversmiths) and far (antique gold and silver from India and Rajasthan). Abraham’s own necklaces and bracelets are cast in pure silver or crafted from glass.

Address:
42 Carrer dels Flassaders
Barcelona
Spain

Phone:
34-93-310-1701

33. Palau de la Música Catalana

The concert hall, designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner (a contemporary of Antoni Gaudí) and inaugurated in 1908, explodes with vibrant color and ornamentation. After a restoration and the addition of a chamber music hall, the Petit Palau, the building is newly resplendent. The intimate auditorium glows beneath stained-glass... More

34. Tapaç 24

Just off Passeig de Gracia, the city’s Art Nouveau shopping street, Tapaç 24 is great for a breakfast of bocadillos (sandwiches) and cafe con leche. Dashing chef Carles Abellan is Barcelona’s top egg guy, go early for brunch or hold off for late-night meals of fried duck eggs with wild mushrooms.

Address:
269 Carrer de la Diputació
... More

35. Vinçon

Design aficionados will appreciate the two-storied Vinçon. It carries furniture and decorative objects for every room—except the bedroom; that’s around the corner at spin-off shop Tinçon.

Address:
96 Passeig de Gràcia
Barcelona
Spain

Phone:
34-93-215-6050