Often overshadowed by the larger and more touristy Madrid, Barcelona is a fantastic city in its own right and should absolutely be part of any trip to Spain.

If you’re planning a trip to Barcelona, you may be overwhelmed by all the city has to offer. To help you find your way, we’ve put together this guide to our favorite places to eat, drink, and see in Barcelona.

Neighborhoods and Where to Stay

  • Gracia – A cool neighborhood where we stayed. Also within walking distance of the beaches and many other attractions.
  • Eixample – A beautiful area with wide boulevards, a bit more centrally located than Gracia.
  • Gothic Quarter – The historic, oldest part of Barcelona. Great if you want to be in the heart of it, but it’s a bit more touristy than the previous two neighborhoods.

Where to Eat

  • NAP – A brick oven pizza place with a great lunch special.
  • Pizza Circus – Huge pizza slices and quick service at very affordable prices.
  • Micaela Pizzeria – A cute pizzeria and bakery serving slices.
  • The Quick Greek – Great place for breakfast, serving Greek yogurt with honey, granola, and fresh fruit.
  • Chivuo’s – One of Trav’s favorite places in Barcelona. They serve “slow street food,” including fantastic sandwiches, potatoes, and craft beer on tap.
  • Foc I Oli – Another excellent sandwich place.
  • Bo de B – A very cheap sandwich place, though it can get rather busy.
  • Thali Indian Food – A cute Indian restaurant serving very spicy curry.
  • Restaurant Petra – A locals’ spot with a really good lunch special (menu of the day).
  • Cafés El Magnifico – A craft coffee place serving very good brews.
  • La Flauta – A nice tapas place with great wine and unbelievably good desserts.
  • Restaurant Blavis – One of the best meals we’ve had in a long time. You definitely need a reservation (book well in advance if you can).
  • Boldú – A bakery serving amazing doughnuts. Get the doughnut holes.
  • Amorino – A decent gelato place (and the only one we got to try during our trip since we visited in winter).

Where to Drink

  • BierCaB – The craft beer mecca of Barcelona, with lots of rare beers from both Europe and the U.S.
  • Cerveceria La Mes Petita – A very tiny craft beer bar pouring some excellent brews.
  • BlackLab Brewhouse – A brewery and taproom with a large outdoor patio.
  • Garage Brewing Co. – Another very good craft brewery, known for their IPA.
  • El Vaso de Oro – Not the best beer in Barcelona, but it’s worth going for the local atmosphere.
  • SlowMov – The best coffee Heather had in Barcelona (though be aware that they don’t have food).
  • Onna Coffee – A cool spot serving both coffee and sandwiches.
  • Roast Club Cafe – A cute, locally run coffee shop. Not as good as the previous two recommendations, but still worth a visit.

Barcelona Activities

  • Gaudí House Museum – This museum celebrates the life of one of the world’s most famous architects (whose buildings you can see throughout Barcelona).
  • Gaudí Walking Tour – There are many of these available in Barcelona, and they’re a great way to take in all the famous buildings that Gaudí designed.
  • Sagrada Familia – This iconic, Gaudí-designed church has been under construction since 1882, and it’s absolutely breathtaking.
  • Park Guell – An unusual housing development designed by Gaudi. We recommend booking your tickets online, as the admission process is somewhat strange.
  • Barcelona Street Style Tour – Barcelona has excellent street art, and this tour is a great way to take it all in.
  • Plaça del Sol – Located in Gracia, this plaza is a great place to take in the culture of the city and escape from the tourists.
  • Plaça Reial – A gorgeous place to relax, wander around, and have a drink.
  • La Rambla – A pedestrian-only street that’s fun to walk around. Also lots of shopping in this area if you’re into that (although it can get pretty touristy).
  • Estadi Olímpic – A well-preserved Olympic stadium that’s still in use (and free to visit). You can either hike or take the funicular to reach it. Even if you don’t care about sports, it’s worth it for the views.
  • Camp Nou – A fun place to watch a soccer match.
  • Go to the beach – Barcelona has great beaches that are located right in the city.

Destination Map

Want to see all of our favorite Barcelona destinations on a map that you can access from your phone? We’ve pinned each location mentioned in this guide on the Google Map below:

Final Thoughts

Barcelona blew us away with the fantastic food, surprisingly good craft beer, and easygoing lifestyle. We’ll definitely be back (hopefully in summer so we can enjoy the beaches and gelato).

We hope this guide helps you plan your Barcelona trip, and we’re excited to see what you discover!

If you’re traveling to Barcelona, we HIGHLY recommend getting travel insurance. We’ve used World Nomads since 2013 and love it. Click here to get World Nomads travel insurance – don’t leave home without it!

Prefer listening to reading? Check out the accompanying podcast episode.

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