Barcelona Travel Guide

12:16:00 PM

Welcome to the first in a new series of travel guides! I look forward to sharing all my personal favorite places to wander, explore, and of course, have a snack. 

Find my full guide to Barcelona after the jump. 


Hike or take the funicular up to this hilltop neighborhood of Barcelona. When you arrive, you can choose from several activities like wandering through the historic Castell de Montjuïc or visiting Fundacio Joan Miro. You can also head to the courtyard in front of the Miramar Hotel for some good people watching and beautiful views of the city. Since you've hiked up an appetite, be sure to wander down to La Tasqueta de Blai after Montjuïc for a few rounds of pintxos.

Barcelona Cooking
Located on La Rambla, Barcelona Cooking is a great way to get your bearings in the city, especially if eating well is at the top of your agenda. We did this class with executive chef Cándido on our first day in town. The lesson begins with a shopping trip to the Boqueria, Barcelona's most famous market. We were told "If you can't find what you need at the Boqueria you better go home and change your recipe." Here you learn the layout of the market, where to find local produce, and how to pick the best quality seafood. The lesson itself is a great way to meet people, add authentic Spanish recipes to your repertoire and drink lots of Albariño. 
+34 931.191.986 | La Rambla 58

Sagrada Familia
Buy tickets online to avoid the hours-long lines to see this magnificent church. Designed by Catalunya's favorite architect, Antoni Gaudi, the cathedral's construction is not expected to be complete for another 20-some years. Read up on the architecture and back story before you go, or download this audio guide app and bring it with you (headphones too!) to hear about what you're seeing. 

Park Güell
Incredible park also designed by, who else, Antoni Gaudi. Walk the gardens, caves, and intricately mosaicked open spaces for impressive views of the entire city. Wait until after 6:00 PM for free access to all areas of the park. Otherwise, you'll have to pay. 

Barcelona City Museum/MUHBA Plaça del Rei
Visit this museum to understand Barcelona's ties to Roman history. This museum has an underground area where Roman ruins have been unearthed, including a wine factory and laundry facility. Free entrance on the first Sunday of the month and after 3:00 PM all Sundays. 
+34 932.562.100 | Plaça del Rei


Satan's Coffee Corner
An out of this world coffee shop in the Barri Gotic. This place has some edge and grit. Graphic art prints adorn the walls and intriguing publications adorn the shelves. Order a cortado (and maybe a donut), grab one of those publications and settle in for a few minutes. 
+34 666.222.599 | Carrer de lArc de Sant Ramon del Call 11

Nomad Coffee
A beautiful minimalist coffee shop in an greenery-laden alley in the center of Barcelona. They roast all their own beans and will suggest the best roast for your preferred beverage and palette. Go for a cortado here too. 
+34 679.656.953 | Passatge de Sert 12


La Cañete
There are two La Cañetes on the same street in L'Eixample. I recommend the one with the blue awning for some delicious pop-in tapas. Sit at the bar and watch as your pan con tomate is prepared. Compare notes to what you learned in cooking school. After that, you should probably explore the red awning version too.
+34 932.703.458 | Carrer de la Unió 17

Café Viena
As you enjoy a stroll down La Rambla, pop into this easy-to-miss cafe for a ham sandwich and a beer. But don't just order any ham sandwich, make sure to ask for the flauta d’ibéric d.o. jabugo and you will not be disappointed. Iberian ham from the local, acorn-fed black pigs is nestled into a perfectly crunchy and skinny baguette, and this my friends, is yet another example that life's simple pleasures are the best pleasures. 
+34 933.171.492 | La Rambla 115

Passadís del Pep
Tucked away in a corridor, Passadís del Pep is a restaurant with no menu, serving fresh, simply prepared seafood. You'll be greeted with a bottle of cava (always welcome) and probably also a plate of cured ham. Plate by plate you'll sample the best the sea has to offer, including several rounds of different shrimp and crawfish. Stand-outs for us were the tiny clams and the cañaillas (little sea snails). Make a reservation.
+34 933.101.021 | Pla del Palau 2

El Laurel
This Argentine restaurant in El Raval serves some seriously delicious empanadas. Order a few of these home made hand pies and a salad for an quick and inexpensive dinner.
+34 933.256.292 | Carrer Floridablanca 140

Koku Kitchen
Absolutely delicious ramen is served up at this hip kitchen. Koku's ramen is the perfect blustery/rainy day dinner: hearty and full of flavor. They also serve some interesting micro brews if you are looking for a departure from the typical Spanish beer varieties. 
+34 933.156.411 | Calle Carabassa 19


Ohla Boutique Bar at Ohla Hotel
Ohla is truly a next level cocktail bar. The award winning drinks are not cheap, but they are so exquisite and unique that it doesn't even matter. Ian had the 5 Drop Ritual and I tried the Mediterranean Treasure Box and The Perfect Martini. I am certain that you will not be disappointed no matter what you order.
+34 933.415.050 | Via Laietana 49

La Perla de Oro
This is a great little bar in L'Eixample. Come here mid afternoon for a glass of wine, a plate of tapas and light conversation. Then hop across the street to La Cañete for more snacks, because you might as well make an afternoon of it.
+34 934.570.640 | Calle Bailèn 115

Foxy Bar
Come to this bar in El Raval to drink homemade Catalan vermouth with Spanish hipsters and catch a fútbol match. 
+34 931.806.004 | Carrer de la Riera Alta 59

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