From the hustle and bustle of La Rambla to the Magic Fountains in the district of Montjuïc and the beach at Barceloneta, Barcelona is my favourite European city. It has everything — the shops, the beach, the nightlife, the culture and the amazing food. Not to mention the weather.
Back in May I was lucky enough to fly back for a second year running in order to watch the Formula One Grand Prix (more to come in another post shortly). This time we stayed in the Silken Diagonal Hotel off the popular Avenue Diagonal which is perfect if you’re after great places to eat, drink and shop (there’s a Zara literally right outside the hotel) all on your doorstep. What’s more, there’s a tube station a minute’s walk from the hotel, and popular attractions such as Arc de Triomf and Sagrada Familia are around 20 minutes walk, although you can easily take the tube if you forgot to pack sensible footwear!
While I could rabbit on and on about every bit of my trip, even I’d send myself to sleep just writing it, so any questions feel free to pop a comment in the box below or email me. Instead I’m going to simply list my top 10 highlights and things you must try when visiting this amazing city. Enjoy!
Top 10 Things to Do In Barcelona:
1. Visit the Magic Fountains at Montjuïc. You can find out more information on times for the show here.
2. Take a shopping trip down La Rambla.
3. Sip a cocktail on one of the many rooftop bars across the city. Whether you’re staying in a hotel with a bar on the roof (our hotel this year had a beautiful one, which also hosted parties around the pool with a DJ on Thursday and Saturday nights) or whether you pay a visit to one of the many hotels that do, sharing a bottle of wine or sipping a cocktail with a great view is the perfect way to end an evening — or just get one started!
4. Hit the beach. Soooo anyone who knows me will know that my ideal holiday is somewhere hot, on the beach, and with a drink in my hand. Luckily, this city is located on the coast and a trip to Barceloneta beach is an absolute must! You also can’t really miss it — it’s right next to the W Hotel which is in itself a pretty awesome attraction. Only downside is that being a public beach you do get the hoards of locals trying to sell you junk.
5. Try out the nightlife. Pacha, Opium, La Terrrazza and Sala Razzmatazz are all a must!
6. Catch a game at Camp Nou. Even if you’re not a big ‘footie’ fan (and I totally fit into that category), it’s a pretty great atmosphere to witness, and these supports are seriously passionate. Of you’re after an electric atmosphere, this is an experience not to be missed.
7. Bask in the culture. Barcelona is brimming with museums, and it’s a pretty big shame not to take in a few during your stay. Museu Picasso is a favourite with a permanent collection of pieces. The National Museum is also simply breathtaking. If contemporary works are more your thing, Barcelona has tonnes of that too, and MACBA should be top of your list.
8. Check out the architecture. One word: Gaudi. Seriously, the buildings in this city are so beautiful. From Sagrada Familia to Casa Batlló apartments, Park Güell and the areas around the Gothic Quarter, you’ll easily find yourself wandering the streets for hours.
9. Picnic in the Parc de la Ciutadella. Pull up a pew by the lake and grab a spot of lunch watching the world go by, take a walk around the beautiful 70-acre grounds, and even take a trip to the on-site zoo. Even better, walk up the park and you’ll reach Arc de Triomf!
10. Head to the mountains. Barcelona is pretty lucky to have city, beach and mountains all in one. The mountains surrounding the city have more to offer than a great hike, too. Mount Tibidabo has a great amusement park at the top, as well as a gorgeous fairytale-like church at the summit, and Montserrat has a monastery for the Benedictine monks.