Good-For-All Romantic Guide to Barcelona
Arts & Culture
Barcelona is the first place I've ever been to in Spain. I went with my husband for our one-year anniversary in April and was so pleasantly surprised by how beautiful the city is. There was really an endless number of things to do, from museums to restaurants to beaches and more that we can keep coming back and cover things we didn't get to see in our initial one-week trip. We did a mix of the things you know about like Sagrada Familia and then less known activities like off the beaten path coffee shops where only locals go and Soho Beach House just outside of Barcelona. We loved this mix off touristy and less touristy things for our trip and I'm sure you will too!
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Where to stay
Hotel Neri Relais & Chateaux
The pick for culture lovers, set in two restored medieval mansions in the Gothic Quarter.
Hotel Casa Fuster
Catalan Modernist-style hotel with luxury rooms and a Mediterranean restaurant.
A boutique hotel located in the heart of Barcelona offering local cuisine, lively entertainment and an impressive rooftop terrace-garden.
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Day 1: Explore the Gothic Quarter
Check-in and then tour the Gothic Quarter, the most romantic and beautiful area of Barcelona, in my humble opinion. Start with coffee at Satan's cafe located in a quiet and beautiful hidden corner near some beautiful architecture which you can check out next. Stroll past bishops bridge ,Archdiocese of Barcelona, Parque de la Ciudadela. If you fancy go shopping at Ziggy Vintage, Chandal, La Comercial and Iriarte Iriarte.
Stop by for lunch at Cal Pep, the most authentic Barcelona meal we had where you don't order they just bring you plate after plate of amazing seafood focused tapas. After an amazing lunch spend the afternoon with a visit to MOCO or the Picasso Museum, conveniently located right next to reach other in the gothic quarter as well. Grab a drink at the Hotel Cólon rooftop to end a busy first day.
Day 2: Gaudi
After day 1 you'll need a morning to relax, enjoy your hotel perks or go visit Soho House Barcelona for breakfast or Brunells coffee for some amazing pastries. Your first activity for the day should be Casa Vicens, Gaudi's first home project and one of the most newly opened Gaudi exhibits in Barcelona. The architecture is incredible and you're starting with Gaudi's earlier work.
Right nearby you'll go to lunch at Botafumiero, an amazing old-school seafood spot. White tablecloths and servers in put together outfits, the place is super authentic and delicious, you will not leave hungry. After your big lunch you'll walk it off to Parc Guell. I highly recommend signing up with a walking tour otherwise you may get lost and not be able to get in because of the number of people who buy tickets in advance. After that, it's time for a long siesta. Grab drinks at Casa Fuster followed by another amazing meal at our favorite restaurant the whole trip Bar Mut. A favorite of many, this is a small local tapas restaurant that you must make reservations at.
Day 3: La Sagrada Familia
By day 3 you've already seen a lot! There's still more to go. Start the morning with Casa Batllo or Casa Mila, two of Gaudi's famous buildings located right across the street from each other. We ended up doing Casa Mila because it was less expensive and a shorter line. Afterwards we found our favorite breakfast spot: Granja Petitbo, serving fresh juices and amazing breakfast entrees. I highly recommend it before going to the major highlight of our trip— La Sagrada Familia. Pictures and words do not do it justice. This is something that is a must see in Barcelona; buy tickets in advance! Grab drinks at Bar-Terraza Ayre Rosellon if you can for some more amazing views of Sagrada Familia afterwards. In the afternoon, hit the beaches/a or hotel rooftop! We preferred the pool scene in Barcelona proper. The beaches were a little disappointing, not that clean and touristy. Outside of Barcelona you'll find some great beach towns only 30 min away if you need some beach time.
Day 4: Montjuïc
Head to another great coffee shop, Federal Cafe before heading to the amazing Miro Museum on top of Montjuïc. The Miro Museum was one of my favorites on our trip, followed by a fun cable car ride to the castle at the top of Montjuic it was a beautiful day. For dinner head to Besta Barcelona, located in a fancier neighborhood, this place is hard to get into as walk-ins so highly recommend reservations in advance, it's worth it!
Need to Know
Looking for more adventure travel inspiration? Check out my Weekend Guide to Upstate New York and See & Be Seen in Miami, Florida.
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