T R A V E L / C I T Y G U I D E S
Discover our favourite hotels, restaurants, nightlife and things to do in Barcelona right now.
Updated Summer 2017
This insider's city guide has been a long time in the making. We've eaten in countless Barcelona restaurants and visited the latest hotspots. We've also asked the most discerning Barcelona locals we know to share their favourite hangouts – whether brand new or classic institutions. We bring you our hand-picked selection of our favourite addresses in Barcelona.
| Barcelona |
Whether you're looking for the ultimate design hotel, a charming and cosy boutique hotel, or an ultra-cool private apartment, here is our pick of the best places to stay in Barcelona.
1. Sleek & Modern ...
Evocative medieval interiors meet sleek modern luxuries at the Hotel Mercer ...
This ultra-stylish boutique haven captures the rich history of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter. While stone arches, lofty columns and 12th-century paintings speak eloquently of the Mercer’s ancient past, modernist furniture and contemporary artworks add an inspired counterpoint – a theme which continues throughout the 28 compact rooms, where 1st-century stone walls are accented by fascinating archaeological finds. In the central courtyard, the scent of jasmine and orange blossom weaves its spell at dusk, when guests can be found sipping negronis in the low-lit cocktail bar or enjoying fresh oysters and tapas at Le Bouchon. Make sure to visit the plunge pool and cocktail bar on the hotel’s elegant decked rooftop. €€€
Carrer dels Lledó, 7, 08002 Barcelona
mercerbarcelona.com | +34 933 10 74 80
2. Cool Scene ...
A haven of modern design in Barcelona's Eixample district ...
Home to a stunning urban garden, the 72-room Hotel Alma is a powerhouse of modern design. The subtly masculine interiors feature hardwoods, leather and white marble, and sophisticated fingerprint access panels offer a futuristic touch upon gaining entry to your room. Upgrade to a Grand Deluxe room for views overlooking Gaudi’s famous La Pedrera building. Indulge in some high-end shopping along the famous Passeig de Gràcia only moments away, then unwind in the spa or indoor pool before watching the sunset over Barcelona from the hotel’s rooftop deck. Sip homemade limoncello as hundreds of lights sparkle to life in the hotel's gorgeous garden, then enjoy modern Mediterranean cuisine in the low-lit restaurant. €€
Carrer de Mallorca, 271, 08008 Barcelona
almabarcelona.com | +34 932 16 44 90
3. Great Location ...
HOTEL THE SERRAS
One of the city's best boutique hotels nestled on Barcelona's waterfront ...
Nestled on Barcelona’s recently-renovated Port Vell within a 19th-century building which was home to Picasso's first studio, The Serras Hotel is a haven of urban-chic design and warm, attentive service. Inspired by New York loft-living and the industrial materials of Barcelona’s past, designer Eva Martinez features geometric designs, plush velvets, wood and iron-work in the luminous lobby, while inspired contemporary interiors continue with chic mustard couches, charming balconies and a crisp monochrome palette throughout the hotel’s 28 rooms. After a day spent lounging by the rooftop plunge pool, visit the neighbouring El Sueño rooftop lounge bar for live DJ sets, cocktails and Mediterranean views, then savour the Catalan cuisine of Michelin Star chef Marc Gascons at Informal.€€
Passeig de Colom, 9, 08002 Barcelona
hoteltheserrasbarcelona.com | +34 931 69 18 68
4. Peaceful Retreat ...
HOTEL PRIMERO PRIMERA
Escape to this cosy & inviting hidden treasure which exudes the exclusive feel of a British club ...
Situated within the peaceful Tres Torres neighbourhood (only 10 minutes from Barcelona's city centre), the family-owned Primero Primera Hotel & Club is a warm, welcoming boutique hotel with 30 spacious rooms, a well-stocked library and an outdoor swimming pool. The Pérez-Sala family – who has lived on the first floor of the building since 1955 – converted the building into a hotel in 2011, seeking to create a home-away-from-home for guests looking a more personal hotel experience in Barcelona. €€
Carrer del Dr. Carulla, 25, 08017 Barcelona, Espagne
primeroprimera.com | +34 934 17 56 00
5. Rooftop Pool ...
A cosy 5-star design hotel in Barcelona’s historic Barri Gotic district ...
Set within a neoclassical palace owned by the first Count of Barcelona, the 74-room Ohla Barcelona blends avant-garde interiors with natural woods, fine textiles and contemporary artworks by artist Frederic Amat. One of the highlights of the hotel is its stunning rooftop pool and Chill-Out Terrace, featuring striking views overlooking the city. Nestled amongst the Mercat Santa Caterina and the Picasso museum, the Ohla Barcelona boasts a fantastic location in Barcelona's historic Gothic Quarter. The Ohla Hotel Group has also opened a fantastic second location in Eixample which is also worth discovering. €€
Via Laietana, 49, 08003 Barcelona
ohlahotel.com | +34 937 377 977
6. Foodie Escape ...
One of the city’s most stylish urban retreats with an award-winning restaurant ...
Situated within the former United States consulate, Barcelona's designer-chic ABaC Restaurant & Hotel is located a 20-minute drive from the city centre, close to Tibidabo mountain. Interior designer Antoni de Moragas brings classic lines and neutral tones of rich creams and off-whites to the hotel’s living spaces. The 15 tastefully-appointed guest rooms offer luxe amenities such as Bang and Olufsen TVs, adjustable lighting schemes and velvet-upholstered chaise lounges. At the ABaC Spa, enjoy a soothing massage treatment, a session in the whirlpool and hammam, or rest on a Cleopatra hammock with heated stones. At the Michelin-starred ABaC restaurant, chef Jordi Cruz presents inventive modern Spanish cuisine. €€
Avenida Tibidabo, 1, 08022 Barcelona
abacbarcelona.com | +39 933 196 600
7. Cosy & Affordable ...
A cool, stylish and affordable design hotel in Barcelona’s up-and-coming Poble Sec district ...
Hotel Brummell is an urban oasis for stylish nomads looking for great value accommodation in Barcelona. A playful, creative spirit reigns throughout Hotel Brummell’s airy interiors, where Sri Lankan artefacts and unique artworks sit alongside funky vending machines stocked with gourmet snacks and wine. In the 20 colourful rooms, luxurious touches abound in heated floors, Malin + Goetz amenities and charming balconies. By day, lounge by the sleek rooftop plunge pool or enjoy a complimentary class in the yoga studio just next door; by night, it’s all about the superb cocktails and internationally-inspired fare of The Brummell Kitchen. €
Nou de la Rambla, 174, 08004 Barcelona
hotelbrummell.com | +34 931 25 86 22
8. Quirky Design ...
A quirky, unique and design-savvy hotel with a genuinely ‘green’ philosophy ...
With the simple ethos that the secret of luxury ‘lies in simplicity’, the Casa Camper hotel embodies a sense of down to earth, understated cool. The hotel's 25 rooms range from the minimalist standard rooms, to the larger suites with in-room living and work spaces. The bedrooms face a quiet backstreet while the private lounge rooms are located across the hall. Owned by Camper, the renowned Spanish footwear brand, the Casa Camper is the perfect choice for design-conscious travellers looking for an eco-chic hotel experience in Barcelona’s central Barri Gòtic district. Shoot some pool in the relaxed Dos Billares Bar before discovering the Michelin-starred cuisine of ex-El Bulli chef, Albert Raurich, at Dos Palillos where authentic Asian fare is served tapas-style. €€€
Calle Elisabets 11, 08001, Barcelona
casacamper.com | +34 933 426 280
9. Budget-Chic Hotels ...
Some affordable Barcelona hotel options include the Chic & Basic Born which has a great location in the hip El Born neighbourhood, the Hotel Pulitzer for its warm and welcoming living spaces, the cool Casa Bonay and the designer-chic Yurbban Trafalgar. €
10. Apartment Rental ...
EL PALAUET LIVING
This is our favourite private apartment to rent in Barcelona. Set within a five-story palatial mansion built in 1906 on the prestigious Passeig de Gràcia, choose between six exquisite Moderniste two-bedroom apartments designed by architect Pere Falqués. €€€
Passeig de Gràcia, 113, 08008 Barcelona
elpalauet.com | +34 932 18 00 50
Average Price of a Double Room: € = Around €100 or less; €€ = Around €200; €€€ = > €300
| BARCELONA |
Whether you're looking for a fabulous foodie dining spot, the city's best classic tapas bar, or a see-and-be-seen dining spot, here is our pick of the best places to eat in Barcelona right now.
1. Wow Factor! ...
Chef Albert Adrià lets his imagination run wild at this one-of-a-kind culinary destination ...
One of the most hotly-anticipated restaurant openings of 2017, Enigma is a gastronomic wonderland straight from the imagination of visionary Spanish chef, Albert Adrià. As secretive as it is elusive, the Enigma experience begins when diners are given a secret code to gain entry to Enigma via an electronic keypad. Once inside, an epic culinary odyssey awaits, where over 40 dishes may include pea teardrops with frozen caviar, hibiscus tea with freeze-dried wild strawberries, or goat belly with pomegranate. Divided into seven futuristic spaces, Enigma's spectacular interiors feature colour-changing cloud-like ceilings, resin walls and space-age silvers – an immersive setting for one of the most innovative gastronomic experiences in the world.
Carrer de Sepúlveda, 38-40, 08015 Barcelona
2. Creative Tapas ...
TICKETS TAPAS BAR
An unforgettable creative tapas experience like no other ...
World famous Spanish chefs, Albert and Ferran Adria (ex-El Bulli) have stretched the boundaries of their imaginations at Tickets Tapas Bar, where the boldly colourful, playful setting will make you feel as though you’ve fallen within a gastronomic Alice in Wonderland. Obsessed with sourcing the finest ingredients in Spain, Adrià gives free-rein to creativity is given free-reign throughout Tickets' frequently-changing menu. Enjoy “Traditional” tapas such as premium sliced Jamón ibérico, anchovies and pan con tomate (bread with tomato and garlic); along with deconstructed “Modern” tapas such as ravioli liquido filled with Payoyo cheese, and perfectly formed liquid olives. To finish, enter the fun-filled “Dessert” bar to enjoy out-of-this-world desserts such as warm ‘Buñuelos’ pastry balls with molten chocolate interiors. Bookings are accepted online through their website. €€
Avenida del Paraŀlel, 164, 08015 Barcelona
es.bcn50.or | +34 932 92 42 54
3. Fresh Seafood ...
A superb seafood restaurant nestled on a quiet laneway in El Born ...
Restaurant Estimar is an award-winning, family-run restaurant headed by Andalusian chef Rafael Zafra, who blends his love of seafood with his serious culinary skills gained during his time at el Bulli. At the heart of Zafra’s menu lies the freshest seafood sourced from the historic Port of Roses, where the artistically presented plates may include crayfish carpaccio with caramelised onions, or Andalusian squid served with squid ink mayonnaise. Estimar is both sophisticated yet unpretentious, and boasts a stylish design featuring romantic stone arches paired with chic Nordic furnishings and cushioned banquettes. Zafra’s open kitchen takes centre stage at this intimate Barcelona foodie hotspot. €€
Sant Antoni dels Sombrerers 3, 08003, Barcelona
restaurantestimar.com | + 34 93 268 91 97
4. Traditional Tapas Bars …
Bodega 1900 marks another hotspot by the world-famous Adrià brothers, whose growing collection of Barcelona hits includes Tickets, Pakta, Hoja Santa and Niño Viejo. With jamon and salami hanging from the ceiling, bottles of vermouth lining the walls and a handful of marble-topped tables, Bodega 1900 channels the traditional vermouth bars of yesteryear, while offering a small menu of exquisitely-crafted plates such as calamari with kimchi sauce, spicy pork rinds, and sweet peas with mushrooms and morcilla. €€
Carrer de Tamarit, 91, 08015 Barcelona
bodega1900.com | +34 933 25 26 59
BAR DEL PLA
Nestled within the mediaeval streets of Barcelona's trendy El Born neighbourhood, Bar del Pla serves a tempting menu of creative and traditional tapas in an intimate, lively setting. Decorated with colourful tiled floors, arched ceilings and hanging jamon, the tapas bar serves soul-satisfying dishes such as crispy oxtail with foie gras, squid and ink croquettes and classic patatas bravas, accompanied by an excellent wine list. This unassuming local tapas bar is one of our favourite places to enjoy tapas in Barcelona. €
Montcada Street nº 2, 08003 Barcelona
bardelpla.cat | +34 932 68 30 03
5. Modern Tapas Bars …
Traditional Spanish tapas is given an inventive, modern twist at these top tapas bars ...
At Mont Bar, the constantly reinvented menu is inspired by the freshest seasonal produce, sourced directly from the Mont Bar farm in the lush Aran Valley. Served in a sleek modern setting in monochrome and natural woods, Bar Mont’s immaculate small plates are accompanied by a wine list with over 250 varietals. Chef Albert Ventura is the talent behind Coure, a sleek modern tapas bar with shimmering gold curtains, a long wooden countertop and an open kitchen where the chef works his magic. Home to one of Barcelona’s hottest chefs, La Mundana sees Alain Guiard giving traditional Spanish tapas an innovative Japanese spin with the help of his robata grill. Try the pork carpaccio with cherry tomato confit, or ox beef tacos with avocado and apple, as you unwind with a glass of vermouth on the patio. At Suculent, you'll find a relaxed, split-level bistro setting and ex-el Bulli chef Antonio Romero combining contemporary techniques with classic flavours, such as steak tartare served over grilled bone marrow, squid with grilled foie gras, or oyster ceviche. €€
6. Creative Peruvian-Japanese ...
Refined and creative Peruvian-Japanese cuisine arrives in Barcelona ...
Earning its first Michelin Star in 2014, Pakta marks another hit by the world-famous chefs and brothers, Ferran and Albert Adrià. In the kitchen, Peruvian chef Jorge Muñoz is joined by Japanese-born Kyoko li to create Barcelona’s first Nikkei experience – a fusion of Peruvian and Japanese cuisine. Superb tasting menus feature sushi and ceviche, augmented by ingenious creations such as tempura prawn head served on a bed of smoking pine, while relaxed interiors blend the vibrant colours of Peru with immaculate Japanese lines. €€
Calle Lleida, 5, 08004 Barcelona
pakta.es | +34 936 24 01 77
7. Molecular Tapas ...
A culinary sensation by a trio of ex-elBulli chefs ...
Celebrated Spanish chefs Mateu Casañas, Oriol Castro and Eduard Xatruch first met while working at the world-famous Spanish restaurant, elBulli, then went on to open their own restaurant, Compartir, in the beautiful seaside town of Cadaqués. Now, they bring their world-class culinary pedigree to Barcelona at the one Michelin-starred Disfrutar, an award-winning restaurant which offers wildly creative, avant-garde tasting menus of up to 30 courses, which reinterpret the flavours of the Mediterranean in a daring, fun and modern way. Enjoy a front row view of the kitchen action as you discover one of Barcelona’s most exciting gastronomy dining experiences. €€€€
Carrer de Villarroel, 163, 08036 Barcelona
en.disfrutarbarcelona.com | +34 933 48 68 96
8. Beachfront Paella ...
EL XIRINGUITO DE ESCRIBA
A casual beachfront eatery serving the best seafood paella in Barcelona ...
Famous for serving the finest paella in the city, Xiringuito Escribà is a Barcelona institution by the renowned Escribà family, whose flagship bakery has nestled on La Rambla for over 100 years. An enviable seafront location offers picture-perfect sea views from the large covered terrace, where guests sip sangria while savouring the celebrated house speciality - Escribà Paella, with prawns, langoustines, mussels, clams, cuttlefish and monkfish. Don’t miss the chance to try one of the exquisite desserts, crafted at the family’s famous bakery. €
Avenida del Litoral, 62, 08005 Barcelona
xiringuitoescriba.com | +34 932 21 07 29
9. Japanese ...
The sophisticated flavours of Japan combine with locally-sourced Mediterranean ingredients ...
Koy Shunka is the second smash-hit Japanese restaurant by talented chef/owner, Hideki Matsuhisa. The sleek, minimalist interiors are modelled after an upscale Izakaya den, where the cubed-shaped dining space wraps around a frenetic, high-paced open kitchen that places diners in the heart of the action. The team of chefs are meticulous craftsmen who roast, poach and steam all manner of exotic ingredients in front of you, ranging from an extensive a la carte menu of sushi, sashimi and robata grilled meats, to the more adventurous daily-changing tasting menu of highly refined, innovative and exquisite Japanese flavours. Bookings essential. €€
Calle Copons, 7, 08002 Barcelona
koyshunka.com | 34 934 12 79 39
10. Mexican Cuisine ...
You'll be transported to Mexico when dining at these fabulous eateries ...
Having showcased their skills at the world-famous restaurant el Bulli, celebrated chefs Albert Adrià and Paco Méndez pay tribute to Mexican street food at Niño Viejo, their colourful urban taqueria. Begin your Mexican adventure with a smoky mezcal or tequila shot before sharing delectable small plates of ceviche, signature guacamole, quesadilla and tacos. For dessert, the margarita-flavoured macaron pairs perfectly with coffee. At sister-restaurant Hoja Santa next door, Mendez crafts an exquisite tasting menu of avant-garde Mexican creations. €€
Avenida de Mistral, 54, 08015 Barcelona
ninoviejo.es | +34 933 48 21 94
11. Best Food Markets ...
Don't miss these legendary Barcelona food markets ...
The action-packed, bustling Mercat de La Boqueria is one of the city's most renowned food markets on Las Ramblas – make sure to eat at Bar Pinotxo and El Quim. Another favourite local food market is the Mercat de Santa Caterina, where you'll find the spacious Cuines Santa Caterina tapas bar. €
Average Price of a Main Meal: € = Less than €10; €€ = Around €20; €€€ = More than €30
| BARCELONA |
Whether you're looking for a see-and-be-seen party spot, a classic wine bar, or a late-night music club, here is our pick of the best nightlife places in Barcelona right now.
1. Wow Factor!
Discover a multitude of stylish public spaces to suit any mood and occasion. Perched high above the city on the 26th floor is the trendy Eclipse rooftop bar; the ground floor W Lounge is equally as cool; and the Miami-style outdoor WET pool terrace has a playful party vibe. €€
Plaça de la Rosa dels Vents, 1, 08039 Barcelona
w-barcelona.com | +34 932 95 28 00
2. Cocktail Bars ...
One of the best cocktail bars in Barcelona, Dry Martini lures connoisseurs into cosy, dimly-lit interiors for carefully-crafted cocktails. There’s a distinctly understated 1920’s vibe here, where the tailored gentlemen behind the bar mix and shake superb classic cocktails. €€
Aribau, 162 - 166, 08036 Barcelona
drymartinibcn.com | +34 932 175 072
3. Secret Speakeasy ...
Discover one of Barcelona's most hidden cocktail bars.
Pass beyond the queue of people dining at the counter of local sandwich shop Pastrami Bar, enter through the nondescript refrigerator door, and Barcelona’s coolest speakeasy will be revealed within. At El Paradiso, award-winning mixologist Giacomo Giannotti crafts elaborate cocktail creations served in treasure chests or beneath smoke-filled bell jars, accompanied by the cool sounds of live DJ sets. Our secret tip? Make sure to discover the hidden speakeasy within this speakeasy...
Rera Palau 4, Barcelona
paradiso.cat | +34 933 60 72 22
4. Trendy Scene ...
ROCA BAR & LA TERRAZZA
5. Wine Bar ...
LA VINYA DEL SENYOR
This is one of Barcelona’s most charming alfresco wine bars. Choose from over 300 Spanish and imported wines, then take a seat on the outdoor terrace to capitalise on La Vinya del Senyor’s enviable location, where a vibrant square in Barcelona’s Barri Gòtic district overlooks the Santa Maria del Mar Cathedral. €
Plaza Santa Maria, 5, 08003 Barcelona
No Website | +34 933 10 33 79
6. Cava Bar ...
Hidden away in a cobblestone laneway in the Barri Gòtic district, you’ll find everyone from trendy hipsters to aging locals crammed into this historic cava bar. Specialising in great local cava sparkling wine sold by the bottle, this vibrant bar also serves Spanish wine and delicious tapas bites. €
Carrer de Montcada, 22, 08003 Barcelona
No Website | +34 933 19 70 03
7. Late-Night Club ...
Oozing sophisticated glamour from its enviable location on the Barcelona seafront, CDLC will lure you into a den of exotic luxury, where wooden carvings and seated Buddhas sit alongside scantily clad performers suspended in neon-lit hoops. €€
Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta, 32, 08003 Barcelona
cdlcbarcelona.com | +34 932 24 04 70
8. Live Music ...
Located in an old theatre near the Ramblas, concert hall and club Sala Apolo brings the retro atmosphere and decor of the 1980s back to Barcelona, making this a trendy indie favourite on the city’s nightlife circuit. €€
Carrer Nou de la Rambla, 113, 08004 Barcelona
sala-apolo.com | +34 934 41 40 01
Average Price of a Drink: € = Less than €10; €€ = Around €20; €€€ = More than €30
SEE + DO
| BARCELONA |
Don't miss these incredible Barcelona museums, art galleries and cultural landmarks.
Museums & Galleries ...
Set within a series of beautiful medieval palaces, Museu Picasso offers visitors the chance to explore one of the world’s largest collections of Picasso's work, featuring over 3,500 original pieces. Nestled on the Montjuic hillside, the Fundacio Joan Miro exhibits the artist’s bold, colourful works in an airy, spacious setting set amidst green lawns punctuated with sculptural works. Built in 1975 under the direction of Josep Lluís Sert - a friend of Miro - this private institution promotes contemporary art while chiefly celebrating the artists’ life work. We also love visiting the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA) which showcases an extensive collection of modern art from the mid-20th century onwards, focusing mainly upon Spanish and Catalan post WWII artists.
Iconic Landmarks ...
A UNESCO world heritage site and one of the best known examples of Catalan Modernism, Antoni Gaudi’s famous Sagrada Familia is an awe-inspiring landmark which has been under construction since 1882. Climb the vaulted towers for superb views of Barcelona. The gothic Cathedral de Barcelona was built over three centuries (1298 0 1450) and rests on the site of ancient places of worship including a Roman temple, a Visigothic church and a Romanesque cathedral. Casa Museu Gaudi is where iconic Barcelona artist Antoni Gaudi lived for twenty years until his death in 1926. Located in the grounds of the Parc Güell, the residence was converted into a museum in 1963 and is worth visiting during your time in Barcelona.
Sightseeing Tours ...
The Barcelona Bus Turistic sightseeing bus tour is one of the best ways to explore this vast city in a short period of time. You can choose between several different routes which will take you around the city’s best sights in around 2 hours, where you can leisurely hop-on and off. For the best aerial views in the city, take a ride on the Teleferic de Montjuic scenic cable car.
Football Mania ...
Catalan locals maintain a fiery, passionate love affair with soccer. The Barcelona Football Stadium is the 3rd largest football stadium in the world, with an impressive capacity of 99,000 people. Whether you're a football fan or not, you'll never forget watching a live football game at this state-of-the-art stadium.
OTHER IDEAS ...
| BARCELONA |
Looking for other ideas in Barcelona? Don't miss these Travel Inspiration articles ...
O U R O T H E R C I T Y G U I D E S . . .