Barcelona is truly a remarkable city that has inspired countless individuals to dream big. Its rich history, culture, and vibrant spirit have fostered a sense of freedom and creativity among its people. The natural beauty, pleasant climate, along with the presence of good wine, only enhance the allure of it.
When we reminisce about Barcelona, we cannot forget the magical bond between Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé, their exquisite partnership that flourished in the love letter devoted to the city. An equally enchanting tribute to this marvel on the Mediterranean coast is the captivating drama/romance “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” directed by the legendary Woody Allen. As an American director, some argue that his sensibilities are remarkably European, and thus, we cherish every masterpiece he has ever created. We replaced the phrase “Let’s go to Oviedo” with a resounding “Let’s go to Barcelona!” This alteration was not solely for our personal delight. We consider that this trip is a cultural odyssey that holds tremendous significance in shaping the education and soul of every individual.
Barcelona is a highly popular city, often drawing comparisons to Venice due to the sheer number of visitors it attracts. This influx of tourists can sometimes pose challenges for the local residents. As a responsible traveler, it is important to be mindful and respectful of the Barcelonans. When exploring Barna‘s rich cultural heritage, including museums and Park Güell, it is advisable to book tickets in advance and carefully select the optimal time for your visit.
WHERE TO STAY?
Hotel Sofia Barcelona, in The Unbound Collection by Hyatt
Hotel Sofia Barcelona, in The Unbound Collection by Hyatt, represents the pinnacle of sophistication and opulence in the heart of Barcelona. Set on Avenue Diagonal – the main artery that crosses the city, in Les Corts district, next to Pedralbes and a few minutes walk from Pavellons Güell, the Hotel Sofia is undoubtedly one of the safest places to stay in Barcelona.
With its stunning interiors designed by Moem studio, exceptional dining options, and tranquil wellness facilities, this luxurious 5-star establishment is the ultimate choice for discerning travelers seeking a memorable and cosmopolitan city retreat.
Dazzling Sofia circular Bar crowned with a gold-leaf palm redefines a concept of opulent interior
Sofia’s outdoor pool surrounded by lounge sets with a private urban lush garden is a haven in the heat of Barcelona. And the view from the 18th floor suite is just one of the pleasures of staying in this luxurious hotel. Sofia is everything you want her to be, and you will not want to leave her premises.
Address: Pl. Pius XII, 4, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
Room Mate Anna
In Room Mate Anna, you can wake up and go to sleep with one of the most treasured views in the city on the Block of Discord, contrasting buildings by four modernist masters. But Gaudi’s Casa Batllo is the most captivating. Here you may order a glass of Cava and just rejoice. Life is beautiful.
Anna is a modern hotel decorated by the antique expert and interior designer Lorenzo Castillo, who pays his particular tribute to the sea, the sun, tropicals and the Mediterranean. The hotel’s deluxe room is dressed in the iconic Fornasetti clouds black and white, accented with red coral, and shells sculptures; and in the corridor you may find the whimsical composition and scale of Acquario that creates a unique and striking wallcovering, whilst the color palettes retain Fornasetti classicism.
This hotel has exceptional service. Whether you are traveling in a company or alone, you will appreciate their friendly smile. In a foreign city, that’s the warmest hug. From the moment you enter Room Mate Anna, she sets the tone of “home away from home.”
Address: C/ d’Aragó, 271, 08007 Barcelona
WHERE TO EAT?
IMPAR restaurant: Mediterranean Food Flavors with Exotic Ingredients
The IMPAR restaurant at the Hotel Sofia Barcelona is a modern take on traditional Parisian bistros. It is designed by Chilean interior designer Jaime Beriestain, who incorporated contemporary proportions and colors to create a warm and timeless atmosphere.
This is a Catalonian restaurant offering a variety of dishes and cocktails for visitors to enjoy during the day or night in a welcoming environment. There is a nice selection of starters, including guacamole with corn crisp and deep-fried Andalusian-style prawns. For the main course we recommend grilled salmon with sautéed baby carrots, orange sauce and roasted roots, and for classical dish lovers, the Premium hamburger is an excellent choice. Finish your evening in style with the perfect dessert Cheesecake with strawberry ice cream.
IMPAR’s interior, a modern take on traditional Parisian bistros
IMPAR‘s garden is not only beautifully lit in the evening, but it also offers a serene atmosphere for couples. Whether you’re enjoying a drink at the bar or having a cozy dinner, the enchanting ambiance of the garden creates an unforgettable experience.
The terrace and outdoor gardens
Note: IMPAR features an entrance independent to that of the hotel, the space is open to the city and has been designed as a place that is approachable and welcoming to the general public. In addition to its street entrance, you can also access the restaurant from the hotel’s lobby.
Address: Pl. Pius XII, 4, 08028 Barcelona
Dining in the Sky: An Unforgettable Culinary Experience at The Torre d’Alta Mar
An exclusive restaurant situated in the cable car tower 75m above the sea celebrated for the cuisine as well as the 360 degrees spectacular views.
Chef Albert Dolcet‘s passion for signature cuisine, along with his expertise in incorporating new techniques while respecting Barcelona’s culinary traditions, is sure to create an unforgettable dining experience. The blend of modern and Mediterranean flavors is bound to impress even the most discerning palates.
This restaurant has a Michelin Guide recommendation, so we suggest to book your reservation a few days in advance. To fully enjoy the ambiance of the restaurant and make the most of the breathtaking views, arriving a bit before sunset would provide the perfect opportunity to relax, savor a drink, and witness the enchanting sunset unfold before your eyes.
Address: Passeig Joan de Borbó, 88
The Best Japanese Restaurant in Barcelona: Sato ト Tanaka
The name of the restaurant originates from the main chefs: Ryuta Sato and Aki Tanaka. Here, it’s all about the experience – from the counter seating with only 15 seats where every detail is designed to enhance your culinary journey to food preparation from the chef’s board to your plate (omakase). This restaurant has set the bar high when it comes to nigiri.
The restaurant in which guests can feel a true Japanese spirit is designed by Yoshihide Kobanawa and Kaoru Fujii, architecture duo based in Barcelona.
We recommend making a reservation in advance. Mr. Sato is very attentive, and he will explain the menus in Spanish or English.
Address: Carrer del Bruc, 79, Barcelona (Eixample)
The perfect brunch spot: Bar Veraz
Bar Veraz, located within the EDITION Barcelona hotel (designed by Ian Schrager in collaboration with Carlos Ferrater and Lázaro Rosa Violán), serves a la carte breakfast, brunch and affordable dishes that focus on the freshest seasonal ingredients. It has its own separate entrance and is a popular destination with locals and guests alike due to its enormous central bar piece that occupies the double height space.
Address: Av. de Francesc Cambó, 14, 08003 Barcelona
Fine dining with astonishing views over Mediterranean: Enoteca Paco Pérez
Enoteca Paco Pérez, a two Michelin stars restaurant located at Hotel Arts Barcelona, is renowned for its emphasis on fresh, high-quality ingredients sourced from local suppliers, particularly fish and seafood. The chef’s commitment to using seasonal produce is evident in every dish, which bursts with vibrant flavors and colors. The menu is a culinary exploration, featuring a diverse array of Mediterranean-inspired dishes that are executed with precision and creativity. We suggest a wine pairing to get the most out of your tasting menu. Expect some unexpected and inspired choices!
Address: Carrer de la Marina, 19, 21, 08005 Barcelona
WHAT TO SEE?
Barcelona is renowned for its Modernista architecture, with particular emphasis on the work of Antoni Gaudi, often referred to as God’s architect. One cannot possibly imagine a world without the iconic Sagrada Familia, a true architectural marvel. The city also boasts museums dedicated to legendary artists such as: Picasso, Miro, and Dali, each leaving their distinct imprints on the cultural landscape.
The Casa Batlló is the result of the renovation of a building at number 43, Passeig de Gracia. In 1904, a textile industrialist Josep Batlló y Casanovas asked Antoni Gaudi to update his Barcelona home, built in 1877. Gaudi designed everything in the spaces he created—not just the architecture, but the furnishings, lights, and even the door hardware.
Casa Batlló transports you to an alien-yet-familiar world with its abstract references to nature and the sea.
Address: Pg. de Gràcia, 43, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
Book your visit: Turisme de Barcelona
La Pedrera or Casa Milà, Gaudi‘s final private residence, is a striking architectural marvel with a facade that evokes various emotions, including coastal cliffs and Montserrat’s mist-shrouded peaks. Gaudi’s genius extended beyond architecture, as he also excelled in furniture design, interior decoration, and landscaping. His multifaceted talents allowed him to create cohesive and harmonious spaces that transcended traditional boundaries. Casa Mila stands as a testament to his visionary approach, captivating artists and inspiring a young American filmmaker to create iconic characters like Darth Vader and his Storm Troopers, which menacing helmets are based on the chimneys of this remarkable building.
Address: Pg. de Gràcia, 92, 08008 Barcelona, Spain
Book your visit: Turisme de Barcelona
Park Güell is located in La Salut, a neighborhood in the Gràcia district of Barcelona. With urbanization in mind, Count Eusebi Güell assigned the design of the park to Antoni Gaudí . The park was built from 1900 to 1914 and was officially opened as a public park in 1926. In 1984, UNESCO declared the park a World Heritage Site under “Works of Antoni Gaudí”.
In the design of Park Güell, Gaudí unleashed all his architectonic genius and put to practice much of his innovative structural solutions that would become the symbol of his organic style, and that would culminate in the creation of the Sagrada Família.
Website: Guided tour of the Park Güell
La Sagrada Familia
The church of the Sagrada Familia is Spain’s most visited landmark and was inscribed on the World Heritage list in 2005. It is Gaudi’s most important and ambitious work. It’s the cathedral where construction started in 1882 and never really finished. Theoretically it seems Barcelona‘s iconic Sagrada Familia has a finish date: 2026, the centenary of Gaudí’s death.
Website: Guided tour of the Sagrada Família
Gran Gala Flamenco at Palau de la Música Catalana
Barcelona’s heart beats to music. Music is everywhere… on the streets, in flamenco bars, and clubs. This passion reaches its crescendo in the Palace of Catalan Music, where Gran Gala Flamenco will take you on a voyage through all that you can imagined in this art form: Castanets, Dress Train Sweeps, Fans, Precious and Sensual Costumes; all along with original music. The Artistic Director is the acclaimed guitarist, Juan Gomez Chicuelo, who has accompanied renowned artists, such as Enrique Morente, Miguel Poveda, and Duquenque or El Cigala.
Gran Gala Flamenco is a production of Barcelona y Flamenco, the most important flamenco producer, known for its grand spectacles, namely, Opera y Flamenco and Guitarra y Flamenco. This wonderful combination is the reason for their 18 years of uninterrupted programming.
Address: C/ Palau de la Música, 4, 08003 Barcelona
Opened in 1963, the “Picasso Museum” not only showcases some of the painter’s earliest works, but it aims to show the strong, emotional bond Picasso had with the city, which was key in discovering, developing and shaping his artistic skills.
Right in the heart of the Born district, just a stone’s throw from the Picasso Museum is the Moco Museum. It’s inside the Palau de Cervelló, a beautiful building built in the fifteenth century as a residence of noble families. Here, the ancient architecture of the palace and modern art emphasize each other.
It is an independent museum with a wide range of inspiring modern, contemporary, and street art. Moco exhibits Jean-Michel Basquiat, Banksy, KAWS, Keith Haring, Damien Hirst, Yayoi Kusama, Hayden Kays, David LaChapelle, Guillermo Lorca, Takashi Murakami, Nick Thomm, Andy Warhol, Studio Irma, and so many more!
In entering the Palau de Cervelló you may find the enormous Kaws sculpture titled Final Days, carved in afrormosia, a historic African wood known for spiritual energy. We particularly liked Takashi Murakami and his exotic artwork Pink River with Japanese and Western influences.
Antoni Gaudí, took Modernism to the next level, and far beyond. Of the nine UNESCO World Heritage sites in Barcelona, Gaudí is responsible for seven of them. Casa Vicens is the first residence designed by this architectural revolutionary. Unlike anything built before, Gaudí fused Moorish and oriental styles with eclectic materials to create the foundations of a new architectural language.
Website: Visit Gaudí’s first house
Just of La Rambla, step through the arches of Güell Palace, Antoni Gaudí’s first commission from his patron Eusebi Güell in 1885. Here tree-like basement pillars and rooftop chimney pots were indication of things to come.
Address: C/ Nou de la Rambla, 3-5, 08001 Barcelona
Sant Pau Hospital
This former hospital is an Art Nouveau masterpiece and now functions as a famous museum and arts venue. It was built by legendary Modernist architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, who also designed Palau de la Musica Catalanna. In 1997 it was declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It has all the features of Catalan Art Nouveau—ornate domes, stained glass windows, intricate mosaics, monumental pillars. The modernist pavilions are surrounded by gardens and connected by a network of underground tunnels. If ever a hospital could treat patients just via aesthetics, it was this one.
National Art Museum of Catalonia
From Plaça d’Espanya, climb the steps to National Palace, the home of the National Art Museum of Catalonia. Visiting the museum you can see the best collection of Romanesque mural painting in the world and the most representative artists of Catalan Modernism, such as Gaudí or Casas. Gothic art, great European Renaissance and Baroque painters, for example Tiziano or Velázquez, and the collection of photography, complete the collection. The National Palace sits on the slopes of Montjuic, a broad hill laced with trails, gardens and historic treasures.
Joan Miró Foundation
The Fundació Joan Miró is a museum of modern art honoring Joan Miró located on the hill called Montjuïc. You can discover and explore Miró’s and other artists’ work. There is a new photography exhibition by Joaquim Gomis curated by Martina Millà- selection of photographs taken in 1968 that document a walk around the streets of Barcelona where Pablo Picasso lived, studied, worked and socialised between 1895 and 1904.
WHERE TO SHOP?
Passeig de Gràcia
While wandering around Passeig de Gràcia, you will stumble across an array of luxury brands, designer boutiques, and upscale fashion houses including: Hermès, Chanel, Dior, Saint Laurent, Bvlgari, Gucci, Versace, Kenzo, Max Mara, Fendi, Celine, Ermenegildo Zegna, Burberry, and Prada. Here, you’ll also find high-end Spanish brand Loewe, as well Santa Eulalia, the multi-brand luxury fashion store for men and women. Start from Plaça de Catalunya and work your way up to Avinguda Diagonal or the other way around.
Founded in 1992 by twin brothers, Iñaki and Aitor Muñoz, Ailanto is known for its color combinations and its geometric shapes, as well as for being the inspiration behind avant-garde and contemporary artistic movements.
Address: C. d’Enric Granados, 46, 08008 Barcelona
El Corte Inglés
There are El Corte Inglés department stores throughout Barcelona. However, if you wish to experience its largest and most traditional store, head to Plaça de Catalunya. For a quick lunch break there is a restaurant at the ninth floor La Plaça Gastro Mercat, which has lovely views of the famous square below.
The best vintage shop is Le Swing Vintage.
Address: C. dels Lledó, 6, 08002 Barcelona
Casa Le Swing where you can find vintage furniture, clothes, fashion books and international magazines.
Address: C. dels Lledó, 17, 08002 Barcelona
We want to give a special thanks to Visit Barcelona who informed us about all the important exhibitions that were taking place during our visit and helped us in getting to know the city and its heritage.
Vukota Brajovic and Vesna Filipovic for Fashionela