Barcelona is a magnificent city perched on the Mediterranean coast in northeastern Spain. It's a whimsical city with great architecture, unending sunlight, and divine food. The excellent combination of a seaside Mediterranean climate and the excitement of a genuinely cosmopolitan metropolis guarantees that this city remains a top tourism destination.
Please make no mistake, Barcelona is also a city that is passionately protective of its Catalan heritage, including its language and culture, which continue to thrive today. Ask any native if they are 'Spanish,' and many would respond they are first and foremost Catalan.
It's easy to understand why Barcelona has become one of Spain's most multicultural cities. It is the fifth-largest city in Europe and has a great sporting tradition, beaches abounding, and gastronomy that is hard to surpass. When you consider its proximity to the Pyrenees, you have the makings of a magnificent destination.
When visiting Barcelona, there are a few must-see attractions. In our Barcelona travel blog, we offer the top ten things to do in Barcelona:
- Gaudi's works
- Gothic Quarter
- Park Güell
- Sagrada Familia
- La Boqueria Market
- Museo Picasso
- Catalunya National Art Gallery
- The Ramblas
Despite its excellent metro and public transportation infrastructure, Barcelona is best experienced on foot. Much of it is walkable, allowing you to immerse yourself in the local culture and find hidden treasures. Everyone will advise you to go to La Rambla, which is beautiful but quite touristy. Keep your stuff nearby because there are numerous opportunistic pick-pockets in this region. With so many locations to explore, travel to neighbouring neighborhoods for a more authentic experience
If food and wine are your interests on a vacation to Barcelona, you should be prepared to sample some of the world's most legendary cuisines. Discovering cuisine that borders on the sublime at every turn is one of the thrills of touring this city. Avoid tourist traps and follow the advice of locals. If you find a location crowded with talking Catalans, it's probably better than good.
From simple tapas bars to Michelin-starred cuisine, there is great food and drink for every budget. Many of the star chef restaurants are high profile, with worldwide foodies clamouring for a table as part of their pilgrimage to Barcelona. Thus reservations are best made in advance. The remarkable aspect about visiting Barcelona is that even the most unassuming café may surprise you. It's not challenging to locate a delicious supper in this city! Exploring the several beaches of Barceloneta on a bright afternoon and indulging in a snack at any number of xiringuitos, or beach bars is one of the most enjoyable activities.
If you enjoy culinary markets, go to La Boqueria, which is also perhaps Spain's greatest. It is jam-packed with vendors offering fruits and vegetables, meats, fish, shellfish, cheeses, spices, and cereals. Oh, and don't miss out on the fantastic street delicacies available at the stand-up food bars! If you want to try your hand at creating your own lunch, Gastronomic Arts Barcelona offers several culinary experiences for you to try.
What you should also know, like the rest of Spain, the regular hours for most people to dine are far later than in most other parts of the world. Lunch is normally served between 2 and 4 p.m., while supper is served between 10 p.m. and later. Get into the groove and dine like the locals for the best atmosphere and people-watching. Cocktail bars should stay open until 3 a.m. on weekends and 2 a.m. the rest of the week. Most clubs don't open until after midnight and don't close until 5 a.m. or later. Anyone who believes New York is the city that never sleeps hasn't been to this part of Spain, or to Spain in general!