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Hands down my favourite European city. The hustle and bustle of this electric city, coupled with the beach, sun, tapas and sangria…seriously what’s not to love!
I first visited Barcelona 10 years ago, it was actually the first place my boyfriend took me for a mini break, he clearly had good taste and I knew he was a keeper!
Since then I’ve been back to the city three times and now I vow to visit at least once every year, and here’s why…
The city is so varied and caters for everybody whatever your interests. It’s home to some of the most famous museums, football stadiums, clubs, restaurants and hotels…there really is something for everyone.
Choose from the categories listed below to find out more about the things that interest you the most.
This city is one of my soul places, and a place one day I’d like to call home. I hope this post helps other people to find the same connection.
The Picasso museum is a must see. Hidden down one of Barcelona’s little side streets you’ll find it tucked away.
- One of my personal favourite places to eat is in the Square on the outer part of the Barri Gotic district. There are a number of restaurants to choose from, all serving authentic Spanish tapas, and of course Sangria.
- Cecconi’s Italian, a sideline from the premium brand The Soho House Group. If you’re looking for something a little special this place should do the trick, whether its breakfast, lunch or dinner. Also, great for cocktails.
If you want to visit Barcelona and tick everything off that you find in your guidebook – stay here. It’s at the centre of everything and caters for the tourist trade. This part of the city gets extremely busy during summer months.
Imagine narrow medieval streets lined with shops, restaurants, bars and bakeries. True Catalan style.
The alternative part of the city comprising of narrow streets representing some impressive wall art to stare at as you walk endlessly around the artistic district of El Born. You’ll find yourself crossing one of the famous wide junctions every now and then to get across the grid. Laced with coffee shops, small bars and restaurants, this place is definitely suitable for the wandering souls.
- The most famous hotel in Barcelona, the one you’ll find on every post card is the W Hotel. I’ve visited a number of W Hotel’s around the globe and this one does have a special look and feel to it and always has lots going on. If you’re looking for a premium experience then you won’t be disappointed.
- Casa Bonay is a small, quirky hotel in the El Born district. North of the City Centre and a twenty-minute walk into the heart of the city. This hotel has tonnes of character and charm and also comprises an onsite bar and coffee shop – how convenient! #LeanneLoves.
- An open top bus tour will take you to all of the main attractions in Barcelona – if you don’t have a lot of time this is a great way to see a lot of the city and at a great price.
- Las Ramblas
- La Boqueria
- Camp Nou, Barcelona Football Stadium
- Sagrada Familia
- Gaudi House Museum & Park
- Barceloneta Beach
Best time to go
One of the best things about this city is that it really does have it all which makes visiting anytime of the year a great trip. Explore the city in the morning and be relaxing on the beach by the afternoon. This city is buzzing in the Summer months from May – September, with July & August being extremely busy with visiting tourists. My favourite time to visit is in May.
Bars & Clubs: This city is well known for its nightlife whether it’s a typical Spanish bar you’ll find tucked away in one of the many side streets, a luxury hotel or a swanky club you’ll find it here.
Pubs and bars are scattered all across the city across a number of districts depending on the vibe you’re looking for.
The W Hotel offers a variety of bars and restaurants which open to the public and host a number of events throughout the Summer; Bravo24 restaurant, Eclipse rooftop bar on the 26th floor, Wave and W Lounge bars and the Summer Series Wet Deck.
The main club destinations, such as Pacha, Carpe Diem and Opium will be found on the main beach front. During the day some of these hot spot hangouts are accessible from the beach entrance and offer a relaxed, beach bar vibe, some with live music (check travel dates as this is only the case during high season). When the sun goes down you enter through the front entrance on the road and enjoy a great clubbing experience.
Festivals: Barcelona has attracted a number of high profile artists and DJ’s becoming a key city to play in. As a regular festival goer – what’s not to love about choosing to festival here – guaranteed good weather!
Music, Creativity & Technology Festival Sonar started here in 1994 and is now one of the most sought-after festivals in the world. I can honestly say that this festival was one of my all-time favourite experiences. Top tip – check what’s on before booking your full weekend ticket, the city comes alive during Sonar week with what’s referred to as Off Sonar – with DJ’s and live music popping up all over the city, you might find yourself having so much fun that you don’t make it to the actual festival ?
Primavera Sound is a music festival that began as a small, alternative indie festival and is growing bigger in size every year. If its bands that you’re into, listening to your favourite artists and discovering new ones then you should put this festival on the to do list this Summer.
From the top of the W with the view of the city looking over Barceloneta Beach and the Mediterranean Sea. You’ll feel like you’re on top of the world.