Steeped in world renowned art, culture, and history, Barcelona’s charms are well known. Located in the Catalonia region of Spain, this beautiful metropolis by the Balearic Sea has managed to captivate travellers with generous pours of wine, spoonfuls of paella and its gorgeous architecture.
Making this dynamic city your next travel destination? Here’s our four-day itinerary that covers whimsical works of art, bars and eateries, as well as soccer matches and musical performances.
Begin the trip with the cultural elements that embody Barcelona's unwavering energy – its architecture. Avoid the tourist horde with a morning visit to Casa Batlló by Catalan architect and designer Antoni Gaudí. Situated in one of the major avenues, the UNESCO World Heritage Site with a fantasy marine-inspired façade stands as one of the best examples of Art Nouveau style. Expect endless photo opportunities at each corner – from floral exteriors, skeleton-like balconies, a roof that resembles scales, as well as gorgeous interiors adorned with stained glass, and ergonomic shapes.
Refuel after with addictive wood-fired gourmet pizzas at Parking Pizza, just 20 minutes away on foot. This viral spot has become a favourite among the locals, partly due to its authentic taste, affordability, and tempting ingredients like burrata and black truffle.
Spotify Camp Nou
Walk off those post-lunch calories at Casa Milà, also known as La Pedrera in Catalan. Translating to ‘stone quarry’, this structure is named after its limestone exterior. Besides admiring the curved terraces and sculptured chimneys from downstairs, head to the roof terrace for picturesque views of the city. Make a pitstop at jungle-themed brasserie and steakhouse La Selva for premium dry-aged steaks. Accompany your early dinner with their curated wine selection featuring rich reds, delicate whites, as well as sangrias. For a roaring end to your first day, catch an enthralling live soccer match at Spotify Camp Nou, home to the Spanish soccer club FC Barcelona. Keep a lookout on their website to book your tickets for live matches, as well as immersive stadium tours.
Mercado de La Boqueria
Move to the beat of Barcelona on your second day, packed with history, shopping, music and drool-worthy grub. Kick off with specialty coffee and a hearty brunch at the famed TheEggLab, before heading to the trendy Gothic Quarter. Within the streets of this district lies a hidden gem that most travellers miss out on their first trip, Plaça de Sant Felip Neri. The quaint square gets its name from the Baroque church of Saint Philip Neri and has a tragic history where it was bombed during the Spanish Civil War. The impact of the bombing is still visible.
Once you’ve worked up an appetite, cruise over to Mercado de La Boqueria, the city’s oldest market, to load up on goodies like patatas bravas and hamburgers from food stalls. Thereafter, it’s a stroll to Plaça de Catalunya & Passeig de Gràcia, host to international and local brands for some good old retail therapy. Alternatively, music lovers can spend their evening at Palau de la Música Catalana. Take in the detailed interiors of the building through guided tours, or experience a captivating music performance part of their regular programming.
Palau de la Música Catalana
Wrap up your day at Bar Marsella, an unassuming spot for dinner and drinks. Almost two hundred years old, this icon is just as much part of Barcelona’s history, having been frequented by the likes of Hemingway, Picasso, Dalí, and more recently, pop artist Rosalia. A must-try here is the absinthe, which comes at a friendly cost of just around €5.
Basilica de la Sagrada Familia & Parc Güell
Start your day by visiting Parc Güell, another masterpiece by Antoni Gaudí. At the park, you’ll encounter mosaic-covered structures, unique vibrant designs, and stunning viewpoints. To soak in Catalan culture and savour its traditional delicacies, there’s no place better than Can Punyetes, which has made its mark in the nation since 1981. Try their paella, tapas, grilled meats and house wines for a holistic experience.
Tapas at Can Punyetes
The city’s most iconic landmark, Basilica de la Sagrada Familia has got to be included in any itinerary. This Catholic church has been under construction for more than 140 years and construction continues till today to bring Antoni Gaudí’s vision to life. Download the mobile application before you head down for tickets, history, and a nifty audiobook that you can listen to while marvelling at the intricacies of the unfinished basilica.
Reward yourself with drinks and dinner at Bodega Celler Miquel, just a 10 minutes’ walk away. Pair local specialties like Escalivada (roasted vegetables), Calçots (grilled spring onions) and or Crema Catalana (traditional Catalan dessert) with a great selection of Catalan wines and vermouth. If you’re up for it, keep the good vibes rolling at Razzmatazz, one of the city's most famous nightclubs. Groove the night away to live music, local acts, DJ sets, and a variety of music genres across multiple rooms.
Moco Museum Barcelona
Your last day in Barcelona is epic with amazing picture opportunities, beginning at Arco de Triunfo de Barcelona, constructed with red bricks and featuring a series of friezes. Continue your journey by walking over to Moco Museum Barcelona. The independent museum sports a wide range of inspiring modern, contemporary, and street art all under one roof. Its hallways are home to treasures by artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat, Banksy, KAWS, Keith Haring, Yayoi Kusama, and many more.
For lunch, dine like a local at La Cova Fumada, a no-signboard eatery frequented by locals for its unmatched tapas and fresh seafood delights since 1944. The star dish here is La Bomba, a deep-meatball with mashed potatoes, aïoli and spicy sauce. For the rest of the afternoon, embrace the local siesta culture and spend some quality time at the Barceloneta Beach, before heading down for pre-dinner drinks at Paradiso. Crowned The World’s Best bar in 2022, this speakeasy-style spot is known for its creative take on cocktails with evoking themes. Enjoy your last night in Barcelona with a mouth-watering dinner at Restaurant Casa Delfín, a traditional Catalan restaurant known for its seafood and classic Mediterranean dishes.
As you walk away from the capital of Spain’s Catalonia region with plenty of memories and experiences, get a taste of the Spanish way of living by embarking on day trips from Barcelona. On our bucket list next are nearby towns and destinations like Montserrat, Sitges and Girona.
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