Barcelona is an amazing place, there is not really any other word to describe it other than amazing. I have lived in this stunning city for almost 2 years and I recently went back to soak in the beautiful atmosphere.
In this post, find out what to do, see and eat in Barcelona when you find yourself in this glorious Catalan city for three days!
Things to do & see
There is a lot to do in and around Barcelona, but I will focus on what to do within the city. If you’ve never been in Barca, I believe that the best way to discover the city is by just wandering around and getting lost in the city. But in case you want to be sure that you don’t miss anythings, then read the following tips:
Walking around in Gracia
I used to live in the Gracia neighborhood, and it’s my favorite area of the city. Just take a stroll around the area, meandering through small streets and alleys, take a look at all the hipster cafes and boutiques and soak in the local atmosphere. Also by night there is a great atmosphere, with children playing, dogs running around and adults chitchatting!
Stroll around Gotico and Born
In Gotico you will find stunning buildings and cathedrals, small alleys and lots of tourists as well. Nevertheless, it’s definitely not to be missed if this is your first time in Barcelona! (Avoid the overly crowdy, touristy and just straight up annoying Ramblas). Then, head to Born, which is the district right next to Gotico, where you will find loads of boutiques and hipster cafes and restaurants.
Marvel at Gaudi Architecture
Of course, you can’t come to Barcelona and not see Gaudi’s amazing buildings and architectural style. Whether it’s Parc Guell or visiting the Sagrada Familia, it’s definitely worth it to see some of his masterpieces. Make sure to buy entrance tickets beforehand though, because these things can become very crowded and it’s just easier to buy your ticket online and zip past the long queues.
Shop til you drop
Barcelona is definitely a great shopping city, with flagship stores from Zara among other big Spanish brands located in the city centre. If you’re looking for some smaller boutiques, try your luck in Gracia, where there are plenty of cute boutiques.
Chill on the beach
In the summertime, it’s of course a must to relax on the beach in Barcelona! A word of advice: in the summer, try to avoid the busy beaches of Barceloneta and instead go to the best further east. It will still be crowded, but not as crowded as in the touristic melting pot of Barceloneta. Even better: take the train either to the east or to the south and hop off after 30 minutes to find a nice beach that is not dominated by tourists.
Sip Sangria and Wine at rooftop bars
Barcelona is also famous for its’ rooftop bars, and many of them have a lovely view over Barcelona. There are a LOT of nice rooftops, so there’s plenty of choices. Some that I’ve been to and liked are: The Serras Hotel Barcelona, Hotel 1898, Majestic Hotel & Spa and Barcelo Raval.
Visit Museums on Sunday for free
Museums in Barcelona are free on Sundays, so if you are into artsy stuff, then this is the day to go! Of course, you can also expect it to be slightly more crowdy during the weekends.
Take the train up to Tibidabo
Take the train up to Tibidabo, which is a little place on top of a mountain. You can actually see it when you’re in Barcelona, as there is a castle on top of the mountain, which from far away looks like a Disney castle, which is also lit up at night. At Tibidabo, you have a gorgeous view on Barcelona, and it’s really nice to walk around a bit. There’s even a small amusement park!
On a rainy day: Spa day at Aire de Barcelona
This is definitely my favorite spa in the world (not that I have been to many, but anyways). These are baths situated underground, so it feels you’re in an ancient bathhouse. You also get served some delicious mint tea and for two hours you can just relax and enjoy the hot baths and atmosphere.
What to eat
Food is abundant in Barcelona; there is so much to eat, and you can find nice restaurants and cafe’s literally around every corner. It would be impossible to list all the great places, and even in my two years of living in Barcelona, I haven’t even tried a quarter of restaurants in Barcelona. Nevertheless, here are some top picks from my side:
Tapas: Paco Meralgo
This is a great tapas place, and although it is slightly more expensive than other options, it definitely is worth it! You should definitely try the Jamon Iberico, patatas bravas and the croquettas; so delicious!
Italian: Pappa e Citti
Pappa e Citti is a Sardinian restaurant located in the heart of Gracia. It’s a very cozy and small place, so be sure to reserve a table beforehand. They serve amazing Sardinian cuisine, and if you don’t have an idea what that is, than I suggest you give it a try!
Pizza: Napoletani Restaurant
For excellent and authentic Napolitan pizza, head to Napoletani Restaurant. Their pizza is really good, so if you feel like an authentic Italian pizza, then this is the place to go. It’s recommended to book beforehand.
For awesome and creative sushi head to Kibuka in Gracia. They don’t take reservations so make sure you are on time (meaning before 8PM, because the Spanish dinner time is between 9 and 10PM). Kibuka is one of my all-time favorite sushi places in Barcelona, and it’s also decently priced. If you find yourself in the area of Gracia, definitely have a look at Kibuka!
Vegetarian/Vegan: Flax & Kale
If you are Vegetarian or Vegan, or you just like creative and healthy food, then Flax & Kale is the place for you. Not only do they serve delicious and colorful dishes, the restaurant also has a really nice terrace and they also serve great brunch.
Brunch: Can Dende
There are a lot of great brunch places in Barcelona, but if I would have to pick one it would definitely be Can Dende, located in Poble Nou. They have amazing brunch dishes, some favorites are the brunch standard eggs benedict, and they also have an awesome French toast! I think it’s actually the best french toast I ever had, and I’m not kidding.
Coffee: Onna Cafe
For really good specialty coffee head to Onna cafe, which is located near the beginning of Passeig de Gracia. It’s a small and simple cafe, and the coffee they make is absolutely amazing. Also try their lovely cheesecake, which is the creamiest cheesecake I’ve ever tasted.
I hope this post has been helpful for your trip to Barcelona! If you have any comments/suggestions don’t hesitate to mention it in the comment section below 🙂 Also check out my Guide to Barcelona for even more tips!