Barcelona is one of the most vibrant cities in Europe. There are always things going on, events, plans and lots of people all year long.
In addition to its history and culture, there are many key places to visit. Local bars, restaurants with excellent gastronomy and amazing people to meet. Many families also come to Barcelona to work, study, do business and start a new life. Are you coming to Barcelona on vacation? Read our recommendations so you don’t miss the best spots and places to visit!
The first thing we all usually do when we arrive in Barcelona is to taste its famous local food, “Tapas”. It’s usually small plates to share. One of our favorite places is located in the mythical Barceloneta and it’s a typical tapas bar that has been open for more than 50 years. The name is Bar Jai-Ca. Although we are talking about gastronomy, we also have to highlight the good service that makes you feel at home and the decoration with walls full of details, the mythical bar, its characteristic chess-style marble tables, it has a very particular aesthetic and friendly atmosphere.
In our first stop we recommend you to try the different Tapas options on the menu. Everything is delicious, but it is worth trying the potato bombs, the croquettes, the bread with tomato, the bravas, the prawns… all with the company of a good vermouth, which is the local drink, a sweet herbal appetizer that goes very well with all food!
Other interesting options to taste tapas are the Bastaix Tapas Bar, right in front of the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar (a beautiful church to visit too). El Bastaix is a small but super cozy bar. Upon entering you will find a decoration with a mixture of stone and wood, which gives it a special touch. It has a bar counter full of vegetables. This place definitely has its magic and its food, drinks and desserts are very good. Catalan cream as a dessert is what goes!
Ciutat Comtal, with more of a restaurant format, is one of our favorites too. With an appropriate decoration and a special bar, they have excellent quality dishes and a very good “Pinchos” (A kind of a small sandwich – skewers) menu for all tastes. In the bar you will be able to see the tapas that are offered. It is a very special place to enjoy a glass of wine and try the skewers and hams that are our recommended places. It is also surrounded by many bars as it is located on Rambla de Catalunya.
A very nice spot to visit linked to gastronomy is also Casa Bonay, which was originally a lodging, but has its wine bar called Bodega Bonay and its cocktail bar called Libertine Cocktail Bar. Two spaces to choose from.
A premium experience is the Boca Grande restaurant located between Rambla de Catalunya and Pasaje de Gràcia, where you can taste hams and classic Spanish meals but with a gourmet twist, and the main courses are seafood and Mediterranean food. The decoration undoubtedly creates a special atmosphere for a dinner without forgetting. They also have their cocktail bar to enjoy a few drinks after dinner in Boca Chica.
Near the Plaza Real, it is also worth highlighting La Fonda restaurant, ideal for having a romantic or family evening. It is an old restaurant specializing in Spanish and Catalan food. Creamy croquettes, fried eggs, carpaccio, crystal prawns and many more options.
If we are looking for bars, a good option may be Bar Paradiso, which is in the ranking of the 50 best bars in the world. Undoubtedly with the best cocktail bar, atmosphere and music. Dr.Stravinsky, is also an excellent option. With signature cocktails and renowned bartenders as guests every night.
Regarding bars for coffee and pastry, Barcelona has many new options. One of our favorites is a somewhat unconventional coffee, called Nudes, to be taken away or to be enjoyed on the spot on a “platform” since it does not have tables. This café offers good variants as well as trendy hot infusions such as matcha, chai, golden milk and healthy smoothies. It is located in El Born and has an excellent vibe.
Good News Coffee is also a site worth visiting as it has a take away format as a “kiosk”. They also sell interesting magazines on design, fashion and culture.
Satan’s Coffee is excellent to start the day with your coffee for breakfast. As well as Honest Greens, which is a restaurant with healthy food of incredible combinations and they have their own cafe inside the place. Highly recommended to visit, go read a book or even work on the computer if you have some pending emails to read!
Baldomero is a very aesthetic spot to taste pastry items such as cakes and croissants. Surrounded by pink walls, in Eixample neighborhood. After this tour of tastes and flavors, it is worth recommending activities and iconic places in Barcelona to visit:
The castles of Montjuïc, surrounded by roses, flowers, a lot of green with incredible bushes and beautiful views of the city. La Sagrada Familia, the temple that is still under construction designed by Gaudí, is considered his masterpiece.
The Parque de la Ciudadela is a gigantic park with fountains and many spaces to explore, very characteristic of Barcelona. Ideal for a picnic if the weather is good and to enjoy with family or friends.
Casa Batlló (UNESCO world heritage), Casa Milá (emblematic modernist building created in Paseo de Gracia), Parc del Forum, are places that you have to plan to visit and reserve your tickets in advance.
The Mercado de la Boquería, located at the Rambla, is a very picturesque and historic market in the city, where they sell all the characteristic products that you can take home or taste on the spot. Every day the market receives a lot of people and also has some small bars inside, which offer very good tapas for a nice experience.
A visit to the museum can also be a lot of fun, so we recommend:
The Moco Museum: Where there are always exhibitions by artists like Banksy, Jean-Michel Basquiat, JR, KAWS, Keith Haring, Jeff Koons, Yayoi Kusama, Andy Warhol, and more, Moco Museum is a boutique modernist museum originally from Amsterdam. Clearly a “different” and avant-garde museum.
The Joan Miró Foundation is a place where the art of Miró and other artists of the 20th and 21st centuries are lived. It is also located in the parks of Montjuïc. The Miles Van Der Rohe Foundation is a marble pavilion where an interesting work by the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is housed.
And also, you cannot miss a visit to the MACBA Museum, Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art.
Last but not least! Beaches. One of the differential factors of Barcelona are its beaches, since you can enjoy the activities of the city at all times, having the opportunity to be on the beach in a few minutes.
The most popular beach is La Barceloneta, as it is almost in the center of the city. It is surrounded by bars and cafes. Our favorite is the Surf house, ideal to enjoy next to the beach.
And if you want more remote beaches without so many people like the popular Barceloneta, you can find beautiful beaches like Sitges (with an incredible little town!) or San Pol de Mar just a few minutes from Barcelona.
We hope you have written down our recommendations for your next visit to Barcelona! And if you fall in love with the city and are considering buying a property, investing in your business or simply want to live in Barcelona, we can help you.