Until my recent trip, I hadn’t been to Barcelona for over 12 years. I remember vaguely being taken around the city en famille, doing a whistle stop tour of all of the Gaudi sights, but besides that, I can’t remember a lot. So it was so amazing to go back with Ed recently to discover it all over again, wander along the beaches, get lost in the charming backstreets, eat more patatas bravas than you’d think possible, and revel in the delights of plentiful local cava. Barcelona is the most beautiful city — charming, characterful, walkable and varied — hence it’s scored highly in my favourite cities list. In fact, since we got back, I’ve raved about it to anyone who’ll listen. We spent 4 days in the city, split between two different hotels, and though spent a lot of time skateboarding (him, not me – obviously) (Barcelona is one of the best cities in the world for skateboarding if you didn’t know!), we got to see a whole lot of the city too. Read on for my city guide…
Though a little way from the city centre, Park Güell is a definite must-see when in Barcelona. Right at the top of a hill, up here you get the best view of the city and can see right out across the city, to the beach and beyond. It's beautiful. The park itself is a gorgeous place to walk around with lots of shady spots for those hot summer days, but obviously it's all of Gaudi's colourful mosaics and whimsical buildings that are the real attraction. Though you can walk around the park for free, you have to pay (and queue) to see Gaudi's work up close. It's worth buying tickets online which have set time slots so to limit your time queueing. On your way back in to the city centre, enjoy wandering through the Gràcia neighbourhood, which has a sleepy vibe but some cool little bars.
Visit Mercado de La Boqueria, an undercover food market right off of Les Ramblas which is wonderfully bright and beautiful (and very, very BUSY).
After walking along the beach, stop for a few drinks in La Barceloneta. Early evening, these backstreets buzz.
Eat at Flax & Kale: an Instagram-famous cafe in Barcelona, which serves up the most wonderfully wholesome, healthy looking dishes. We didn't get chance to eat here but I so wish we did because boy, it looks so fresh and delicious.
Wander through Sant Antoni, a laid back neighbourhood which is growing cooler and cooler every day.
Do like the trendy young locals and knock back a few Estrellas in the open-front bars along Carrer de Joaquín Costa, a popular street in the El Raval neighbourhood.
If you're in the market for a slap up dinner, we enjoyed the most incredible tasting menu at Krèsios BCN in the Mercer Hotel.