You come for the sights, and you stay for the food. Barcelona is a destination for those wanting to get right into the thick of unique dining, arts, and a bit of late night fun at a tapas bar (or discotech). The liveliness of the city seems to be around the clock, no matter where you are. It’s easy to get lost through the winding streets, and easy to lose the hours in the placas.
Where and What in Barcelona: City Guide
Where to Stay in Barcelona
- Cotton House Barcelona: This is where we stayed in Barcelona, with a central location to most sights, it truly is one of those “special” gems. I’d put it at the top of my list for best hotels to date, with every corner considered, and incredibly comfortable. It’s worth every penny.
- Margot House Barcelona: This would be my second choice, and in the running for equally as great at the Cotton House. Nine rooms, and on the Paseo de Gracias, this hotel is a dream of intimacy and aesthetics.
- Praktik Rambla: This all things old world, with intricate details on the wall, and beautiful open rooms. Won’t break the bank, but still give an elevated experience to Barcelona.
Where to Eat in Barcelona
- El Nacional: This large building features an array of eating opportunities like a Beer Bar, Wine Bar, Oyster Bar, and four restaurants, all in one beautiful space.
- El Quim de la Boqueria: You’ll find yourself getting lost through the indefinite stalls of food, but waste no time and head straight to El Quim for their signature dish: baby squid over two fried eggs. I could of eaten this dish every day for lunch.
- Tickets Bar: My biggest regret, not being able to eat here. It requires reservations months in advance, or you can luckily score on the day of by calling in. The food is inventive, and rated one of the top in the world time and time again.
- Disfrutar Barcelona: An avant-garde restaurant, that is primarily influenced by Mediterranean flavors, and features a coursed meal.
- Bar Mut: A wine bar, and classic tapas done well — ideal for an elevated classic experience.
- Flax & Kale: trendy amongst the university students, and alike, this eatery is probably the healthiest option in the city, with fresh ingredients, some vegetarian, and healthy dishes.
- Granja M. Viader: tasty bakery for the sweet tooth.
- El Xampanyet: Locally owned, this cava bar is a local’s gem.
What to Do/See in Barcelona
- All things Gaudí: like Park Güell, La Sagrada Familia, and Casa Batlló
- FC Barcelona match
- Museu Picasso
- Hang out in Placa Reial
- Eat your way through La Boqueria Mercat
- Explore the Gothic Quarter
- Hop on/Hop off bus on the West Route to see the classics around the city
- Sunset by the W Hotel or from their Skybar
- A night of dancing at Sala Apolo
- Take a dip in the Mediterranean waters via the Barcelona beaches
Where to Drink Coffee in Barcelona
- Nomad Coffee
- Milky way Coffee & Bar
- Satan’s Coffee Corner
- Cafe Cometa
- La Esquina
- SKYE Coffee Co.
PS — Are You Booking a Trip Soon? Use My Booking Checklist!
These are the sites I use most to book my own trips. Using the links below is a great way to support Bon Traveler’s travel journalism at no extra cost to you. If you need help organizing your itinerary, get my free travel itinerary template here.
1. Book Your Flights
Use Skyscanner to find the best flights. It searches 100s of airlines and websites across the globe to ensure you’re not missing out on any route options or deals.
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Use Booking.com for hotels and guest houses. They have the biggest inventory and consistently offer the best rates.
3. Book Your Tours & Experiences
4. Book Your Car
Use Discover Cars or Rentalcars.com to find the best car rental deals. I recommend comparing rental agency reviews on Google to ensure you are booking with the best company in that destination, as the reviews are often more accurate than the car rental search engines.
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Get a Priority Pass membership to gain access to 1,400+ VIP lounges and airport experiences worldwide. The Priority Pass app is the first thing I check when I have a layover. I’ve been a member for over a decade, and having a comfortable place to relax before and between flights makes air travel so much more enjoyable.
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I never leave the country without travel insurance. It provides comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong (ie. illness, injury, theft, and cancelations, etc.). I use it frequently for my travels to stay protected.
My favorite companies that offer the best coverage and rates are: