City Guide to Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona is and will always be one of my favorite cities in Europe – and the world! Having lived in the beachside city myself, I find it has everything I need: plenty of outdoor spaces, friendly people, beaches and excellent restaurants. It is a true moveable feast and the heart of Catalan culture. Here, you can feel the drama and the chiaroscuro from the streets to the art down to the cuisine.
The Fora Difference
Book with Arlette to access exclusive perks and experiences on your trip.
Free upgrades, spa credits and more—we got you
Customized travel planning for your style
Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there
Where to stay
An art lover’s hotel in the heart of the Gothic Quarter, known for its art-covered facade, award-winning restaurant and relaxing rooftop pool.
Hotel Neri Relais & Chateaux
The pick for culture lovers, set in two restored medieval mansions in the Gothic Quarter.
Serras Hotel Barcelona
A supremely welcoming stay in the Gothic Quarter, with rooms overlooking the marina, outrageously comfy beds and a light-flooded restaurant serving creative Catalonian fare.
Unlock these perks by contacting Arlette to book your trip.
Things to do
Arts and sightseeing
Barcelona and Gaudí are inseparable, and the city is filled with many works by this talented artist. Be sure to visit the Casa Batlló on the Passeig de Gràcia, the Casa Milà (la Pedrera), Park Guëll and of course the Sagrada Familia.
If you are in a position to rent a bicycle, this is an excellent way of exploring the city! You can get around by yourself or book a tour at one of the many places in the center. Some areas, such as the Gothic Quarter and el Born, are better explored on foot.
For art lovers, there are many museums to visit in Barcelona, such as the Picasso Museum, the Fundació Joan Miró and the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC). The Museu Marítim de Barcelona and the CosmoCaixa are great places to visit with children.
El Corte Ingles is one of the biggest department store chains in Europe. On Plaza Catalunya, you can find anything from high-end brands to shoes to gourmet ingredients. If you are looking for luxury labels, you are in the right place on the Passeig de Gracia where shops like Armani, Louis Vuitton and Loewe are located.
For a different kind of shopping, just off Las Ramblas you’ll find the Boqueria Market, where you can buy all sorts of food like nuts, sweets, fish and fruit.
In the Gothic Quarter and El Born, the oldest parts of the city, you’ll find lots of smaller shops including many souvenir shops but also antiques, books and unique shops selling accessories and clothing.
A note from Arlette
Book tickets in advance to avoid standing in line.
Eat & drink
Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch
The Egg Lab Brunch: Beautiful brunch place where everything is made from scratch – and you taste it! Specialties include: eggs benedict in different variations and specialty coffees.
Granja Petitbo: Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this cafe has an industrial interior and has a good selection of vegetarian dishes. Specialty: shakshuka.
Flax & Kale: Excellent flexitarian food with a wide selection of breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes. Including juices, coffees and wine.
Eat my trip: One of the best brunches in the city serving pancakes, salads, smoothie bowls and fresh juices. Vegetarian and vegan options are available too.
El Nacional: Not to be missed when visiting Barcelona. El Nacional is a multi-space restaurant in the heart of the city where you can try traditional dishes from the Iberian Peninsula.
Disfrutar: A two Michelin-starred restaurant serving modern Mediterranean cuisine in a stylish and light dining room, featuring plenty of ceramic decor items.
ABaC: This three Michelin-starred restaurant on the outskirts of Barcelona is a once in a lifetime dining experience for people who would like to try something new.
Mr. Porter: Steakhouse which also serves some seafood dishes. The setting is modern and glamorous. Ideal for special occasions.
Gresca: Tiny wine bar that serves excellent dishes to share at affordable prices.
Solange Cocktails & Luxury Spirits: Vintage cocktail bar run by the Pernías – a family of mixologists. Perfect spot for classic cocktails.
Dr. Stravinsky: Step into this cocktail bar with infusing jars and distorted mirrors. Not your ordinary cocktails and they even prepare their own kombucha and kefir.
La Dolce Vitae at Majestic Hotel: Exclusive rooftop bar with stunning views of the city.
Azimuth Rooftop Bar: Located at the Almanac Barcelona just off the Plaza Catalunya, this rooftop bar is the perfect spot for seasonal and crafted cocktails. You can also find a good selection of food here.
Get in touch with Arlette
Reach out to customize and book your own experience. Or, just to chat about travel in general.