Welcome to "The Globetrotter’s 10,” a recurring series where we give you a list of activities that you must try whenever you happen to stop by the featured city. The segment is designed to take you through an array of experiences that's sure to make your trip memorable.
Come with us as we take you through 10 things to do, see and experience in Barcelona, Spain, the capital of Catalonia. This city, in one word, is charming. You get a taste of a modern city, olden day Europe, world-class art, mountains and beaches all in one place. Barcelona is vibrant, stylish, laid back, welcoming and full of emotion. With a wide range of architectural styles, paired with bright and colourful facades, an excellent range of shopping and bountiful artistic finds, tourists are sure to have a blast! On top of that there is no shortage of mouth-watering culinary finds -- from fine dining to street food! The mixture of Spanish and Catalan traditions and cultures is one of kind, which makes Barcelona that much more flavourful, interesting and complex.
This food market is known worldwide. Its vibrant atmosphere is infectious. Let the many aromas from the numerous food stalls tempt you and sweep you off your feet. Be sure to traverse and munch your way through each nook and cranny of the Boqueria, on more than one occacion! Enjoy!
Asador de Aranda
This is a meat eaters paradise. The lamb and beef in particular are exquisite – cooked to perfection. We recommend the branch in Mount Tibidabo!
To experience what Disfrutar has to offer is a must. These three chefs (Mateu Casanas, Oriol Castro and Eduard Xatruch) are absolutely innovative, daring and talented. Be prepared for a long meal -- one option is over 20 courses (small courses)! The entire experience is a culinary journey that is worth taking.
Las Ramblas is famous for its hustle and bustle. If you do not deal well with crowds then perhaps you should avoid this area as it is jam packed with people. However the vibe is electrifying as there is so much going on. From street peddlers trying to sell you little toys, restaurants, bars, clubs, shows and food stalls, Las Ramblas has it all. The centre of Las Ramblas is for foot traffic only. You really get a feel of the city while walking here but be sure to keep your bag zipped and to watch your belongings. Further along, as you walk down Las Ramblas towards the Barri Gotic, somewhere along the way take a left and enter Placa Real. This quaint square is walled in by a building with beautiful archways and lined with trees. There are often market stalls where vendors sell unique finds and collectors items, while cafes and restaurants cater to their many diners. At night the square takes on a new personality and is just as picturesque.
This is the oldest area of Barcelona, which is incredibly charming. You will know that you are in the old quarters because the streets start to change. From smooth paved, wide sidewalks, you will notice that the streets will narrow and become cobble stoned. What once was a grid system, will become curvy. Every corner and building in el Barri Gotic has much more of a story to tell. The streets are still lined with restaurants, bars and shoppes – most of which seem quite picturesque. You absolutely need to walk through and get lost here in order to absorb the atmosphere.
Passeig de Gracia: shopping and dining
This is the more expensive part of town as streets are peppered with high end couture and designer stores. The streets are wide while the sidewalks very roomy, well lit and tree-lined. You can easily walk the entire Passeig de Gracia and then find yourself in the Barri Gotic (which you should do, it is gorgeous walk). While in Passeig de Gracia though, make a stop at the rooftop of Hotel Majestic for drinks and then make your way to El Nacional for dinner! El Nacional is a complex that houses several restaurant concepts and is designed oh so chicly. For lunch, try El Principal and sit in the courtyard, out back. Their food will not disappoint!
This is a non-car zone that is much less touristy than Las Ramblas. There are cafes and stores where you can unwind and enjoy the rustle of the trees, which line this quaint passageway.
Placa del Rei
In the gothic quarters, find your way to the Barcelona Cathedral, which is right near Placa del Rei. The Barcelona Cathedral is majestic and intricately design – worth a visit! The Placa del Rei is where royals and famous explorers used to meet so to speak – it certainly has a rich historical past. Today it is now a beautiful square that is not packed with tourists. You can even catch some talented street artists perform while you sit at a quaint café. Here, there is also a historical museum that you can visit.
Parc de la Ciutadella
This park is lush and is home to a large stunning fountain system. Explore the grounds and make your way to the fountain for gorgeous photo opportunities. This park is right beside Barcelona’s Arc de Triomf, which is made from brick! Behind the arc is a wide promenade, lined with trees, which makes for an excellent pathway for a stroll.
Beaches and Seafood
There are several beautiful beaches that are all within walking distance of the city’s many busy bustling streets. After walking through the Barri Gotic you will be greeted by the sea. There is an endless supply of excellent restaurants around the beachfront. The many docked boats and yachts make for postcard-esque picture taking and add to the charming ambience. If you would like to eat some top notch, incredibly fresh seafood and exquisite paella, at a restaurant near the sea, visit El Cangrejo Loco.