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Reflections on Barcelona

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I love Barcelona! It's one of my favorite European cities. It has all the beauty, history, architecture and amazing food of many other cities, without the pretentiousness. The people are friendly and won't chastise you if you mispronounce something, but will go out of their way to help you. Barcelona is "comfortable in its own skin;" it's down-to-earth, easy-going and easy to get around. What's not to love? This guide includes my recommendations for adults of any age.

Good for
  • Solo
  • Friends
  • Couples
  • Senior
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Foodie

16 Places

3 City Tips

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Map

16 Places

Casa Mila - La Pedrera

Architectural Buildings, Monuments & Statues, Speciality Museums, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Gothic Quarter (Barri Gotic)

Historic Walking Areas, Neighbourhoods

Oleum

Restaurants

Studio Miramar

Restaurants

4 Gats

Restaurants

Restaurant Brown33

Restaurants

Cerveceria Catalana

Restaurants

Rambla de Catalunya

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Parc Guell

Parks

Poble Espanyol

Speciality Museums

Taverna del Bisbe

Restaurants

El Corte Ingles

Restaurants

Asador de Aranda

Restaurants

Basilica of the Sagrada Familia

Churches & Cathedrals, Points of Interest & Landmarks, Architectural Buildings

BobKatUSA's City Tips

  • Barcelona is deeply proud of its Catalan heritage. I once went to the tourism office to ask for information about Spain and was roundly chastised as I was in Catalunya. I never made that mistake again!
  • In Barcelona, tipping in restaurants is generally restricted to a few euros for a regular lunch or dinner. If you are in an upmarket expensive restaurant, then you should leave a bigger tip of 10-15%, but only if you are very satisfied with the service. It is not necessary to tip in a Barcelona taxi. It is customary to tip tour guides and drivers with 5 to 10 euros from each person in your group, but only if you really enjoyed the tour and felt that the guides did their best to look after you.
  • When I arrive after a long and tiring trip in a different time zone, there's nothing like having your transportation from the airport set in advance with someone greet you at the airport. Consider using Blacklane when you arrive in Barcelona to take you to your hotel or apartment. Blacklane is a worldwide car service that I have found to be reliable, with quality vehicles, and you know what you will pay in advance.
  • Casa Mila - La Pedrera
    Architectural Buildings, Monuments & Statues, Speciality Museums, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    BobKatUSA Says:

    You cannot come to Barcelona and not visit La Pedrera (aka Casa Milá), Gaudí’s amazing apartment building. The rooftop features an astonishing set of architectural sculptures that function as stairwells, ventilation towers and chimneys. https://www.lapedrera.com/en/home

    Good for
    • Must See
    Tips
    • We purchased tickets that allowed us to skip the entrance line and come at any time on any day within a month, and included an audio tour as well as a coffee or other drink in the café. Well worth the few extra euros.
    From the community
    Ranked #9 of 866 things to do in Barcelona
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beautiful place 25/04/2019
    • Interesting building 25/04/2019
    • Casa Mila - La Pedrera
    Address:
    Passeig de Gracia, 92
    08008 Barcelona
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 902 20 21 38
    Price range:
    US$25 - US$25
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    9:00 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.
    Other:
  • Gothic Quarter (Barri Gotic)
    Historic Walking Areas, Neighbourhoods
    See more photos
    BobKatUSA Says:

    The Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter) contains a concentration of medieval Gothic buildings only a few blocks northeast of La Rambla, and is the nucleus of old Barcelona. Great shopping and the most historic architecture dating back to the 13th and 14th centuries.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Stories and Legends of the Gothic Quarter Walking Tour: A definite highlight of our trip. A 2.5+ hour walking tour through the medieval neighborhood, including El Call, which was home to one of Spain’s largest Jewish communities until the 15th century. Only $16 per adult. Our guide, Ana, was phenomenal. http://www.viator.com/tours/Barcelona/Stories-and-Legends-of-the-Gothic-Quarter-Walking-Tour/d562-5574GOTHIC
    • Behind the Catedral de Barcelona on Carrer de Frenería (near Baixada de Santa Clara) is a little souvenir shop that features numerous Caganers in its window. You can hardly get a more Catalan souvenir than this! Dating back to the 17th or 18th century, a Caganer is a traditional figurine depicted in the act of defecation that is placed in nativity sets throughout Catalonia. The traditional figurine is a peasant wearing a red cap with his trousers down showing his backside and defecating. Today, the Caganers feature a host of figures, from the pope, to celebrities to politicians to cartoon characters. We opted for the traditional version; ours sports a Catalan flag as part of his costume.
    • The Barri Gòtic has dozens of wonderful shops – my favorite shopping area of the city for art, ceramics, jewelry…
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 866 things to do in Barcelona
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beautiful but so smelly 25/04/2019
    • An guided tour of the gothic quarter with Runner Bean Tours 25/04/2019
    • Gothic Quarter (Barri Gotic)
    Phone:
    +34 634 53 43 33
    Other:
  • Oleum
    Restaurants (Mediterranean, European, Spanish)
    See more photos
    BobKatUSA Says:

    Restaurante Oleum in MNAC: We dined here after attending a flamenco show at Tablao De Carmen on the first night the restaurant opened for the season – we were their first patrons of the year. The views are spectacular and the creative, Mediterranean and Catalan food is even better. It is situated in the old Throne Room of the Palau Nacional, from where the King Alfonso XIII inaugurated the International Exposition of 1929.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Couples
    Tips
    • The steak was outstanding as was the Viña Pomal Centenario Crianza wine from Rioja.
    From the community
    Ranked #1,582 of 8,970 restaurants in Barcelona
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Superior Customer Service 24/04/2019
    • Terrific lunch 21/04/2019
    • Oleum
    Address:
    Palau Nacional, Parc De Montjuic, S/n
    Museu Nacional D'Art De Catalunya
    08038 Barcelona
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 932 89 06 79
    Price range:
    US$28 - US$56
    Hours:
    Tue - Sun
    12:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
    Fri - Sat
    8:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
    Other:
  • Studio Miramar
    Restaurants (Mediterranean, European, Spanish, Contemporary)
    See more photos
    BobKatUSA Says:

    We had lunch in this restaurant at the five-star Hotel Miramar then relaxed in the hotel lobby, with its spectacular views, before heading to Poble Espanyol. http://www.hotelmiramarbarcelona.com/en/restaurante-forestier

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Couples
    • Luxury Traveller
    Tips
    • It was one of our more expensive meals of the trip, but well worth it. Our selections included croquettes and a warm salad with “camagroc” mushrooms as starters. Main course selections were stewed rice with prawns; turbot with broad beans, ham and celeriac; Asian noodles stir fried with vegetables and enoki mushrooms; and chicken supreme flavored with wheat. All accompanied by a delicious bottle of Catalan wine): Més Que Paraules, which is a blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Picapoll.
    From the community
    Ranked #1,734 of 8,970 restaurants in Barcelona
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Excellent 10/03/2019
    • Great place for quite meal 06/08/2018
    • Studio Miramar
    Address:
    Plaza Carlos Ibanez 3
    08038 Barcelona
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 932 81 16 00
    Price range:
    US$28 - US$90
    Other:
  • 4 Gats
    Restaurants (Mediterranean, European, Spanish)
    See more photos
    BobKatUSA Says:

    Opened in 1897 and inspired by Le Chat Noir from Paris. In 1899, at age 17, Picasso became a regular patron and had his first exhibition here. We went for lunch before a walking tour. T

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • he menu del día was 16€ for a starter, main course, dessert and wine. Beautiful space that was restored in 1991. http://4gats.com/en/
    From the community
    Ranked #1,933 of 8,970 restaurants in Barcelona
    • John and Geraldine in Barcelona 24/04/2019
    • History, but not for Breakfast 24/04/2019
    • 4 Gats
    Address:
    Carrer de Montsio, 3
    08002 Barcelona
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 933 02 41 40
    Hours:
    Thu
    8:00 a.m. - 1:00 a.m.
    Fri - Wed
    8:00 a.m. - 12:00 a.m.
    Other:
  • Restaurant Brown33
    Restaurants (Italian, Spanish)
    See more photos
    BobKatUSA Says:

    Shopping in Eixample and in need of some sustenance, try Restaurant Brown33. Great art, great Mediterranean/Italian food in a beautifully decorated and vibrant space – what’s not to like?! On the corner, just a few doors from Gaudí’s Casa Batlló. http://brown33.com/en/brown33/

    Good for
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Friends
    • Couples
    Tips
    • Love the pizza!
    From the community
    Ranked #0 of 0 restaurants in
    • Beautiful decor and interesting menu but huge disappointment 01/01/2016
    • Excellent and tasty Spanish / Italian food & very friendly service 28/12/2015
    • Restaurant Brown33
    Address:
    Passeig de Gracia, 33
    08007 Barcelona
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 934 67 52 47
    Price range:
    US$17 - US$34
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    12:00 p.m. - 11:30 p.m.
  • Cerveceria Catalana
    Restaurants (Mediterranean, European, Spanish)
    See more photos
    BobKatUSA Says:

    Just a few steps from Rambla de Catalunya, this restaurant had the best tapas of the trip!

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Tapas. Tapas. Tapas. Did I mention the tapas?
    From the community
    Ranked #476 of 8,970 restaurants in Barcelona
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Old time favorite 25/04/2019
    • Visited 23/04/2019
    • Cerveceria Catalana
    Address:
    Carrer de Mallorca, 236
    08008 Barcelona
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 932 16 03 68
    Price range:
    US$0 - US$20
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    8:00 a.m. - 1:30 a.m.
    Sat - Sun
    9:00 a.m. - 1:30 a.m.
    Other:
  • Rambla de Catalunya
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    BobKatUSA Says:

    An extension of the tawdry, but more famous, La Rambla. This section has up-market shops with tree-lined streets, teeming with sidewalk cafés. Great window shopping and people watching.

    Good for
    • Shopping Fanatic
    Tips
    • Check out the following nearby shops: Dos i Una: Small gift shop that specializes in selling “made-in-Barcelona” items. Tiger at Roselló 247: Fun store we stumbled across with colorful, whimsical gifts. (There are other Tiger shops in the city.) Vinçon: Features modern Spanish design for the home.
    From the community
    Ranked #80 of 866 things to do in Barcelona
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Attractive Rambla de Catalunia 21/04/2019
    • Beautiful walk 19/03/2019
    • Rambla de Catalunya
    Address:
    Rambla de Catalunya
    Barcelona
    Spain
    Other:
  • Parc Guell
    Parks
    See more photos
    BobKatUSA Says:

    his park, designed by Antonio Gaudí, is the most famous park in Barcelona and has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Originally conceived to be a 60-plot estate to the north of the city, it features winding pathways that intertwine nature with the whimsy and fantasy that typify Gaudí’s work. It is particularly noted for his breathtaking use of mosaic techniques.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Must See
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • We took the hop-on hop-off bus to Parc Güell. It’s an uphill climb to get to the site, though there are escalators for the steepest part. It’s a nice walk up the hill with beautiful vistas, though anyone with limited mobility will want to consider taking a cab to the gate. We did not purchase tickets in advance and, unlike our past visit, we were issued tickets for an hour after we arrived. Due to the late hour and lines to get in, we were unable to visit the Casa-Museu Gaudí, where he lived for 20 years. So you will want to visit in the morning or no later than mid-afternoon.
    From the community
    Ranked #12 of 866 things to do in Barcelona
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Lovely walk 25/04/2019
    • Book tickets at least a week before 25/04/2019
    • Parc Guell
    Address:
    Carrer d'Olot, 5
    08024 Barcelona
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 934 09 18 31
    Price range:
    US$5,000 - US$5,000
    Other:
  • Poble Espanyol
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    BobKatUSA Says:

    his Spanish village (poble in Catalan) comprises full-scale replicas of buildings from regions throughout Spain that was created for the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition. The concept was to create an an open-air architectural museum. Today, the 117 buildings contain boutiques that carry items made in Spain, artisans (e.g., glass blowers, embroidery, ceramics, and textiles), food shops and restaurants.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • A ticket to El Tablao de Carmen (below) provides entrance into the village for a few hours prior to the show. Poble Espanyol makes for a fun shopping experience with numerous options and the satisfaction of knowing everything is “hecho in España.” One of my favorite purchases of the trip was a broach made from recycled Nespresso “k” cups for 10€ by Olivia Cavallé at the shop Ganxet i Moda. http://www.poble-espanyol.com/en
    From the community
    Ranked #197 of 866 things to do in Barcelona
    • Expensive 24/04/2019
    • Weird: almost no flower displays in a flower festival & charging you to go shopping? 22/04/2019
    • Poble Espanyol
    Address:
    Av Francesc Ferrer i Guardia, 13
    08038 Barcelona
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 935 08 63 00
    Price range:
    US$18 - US$18
    Hours:
    Sun
    9:00 a.m. - 12:00 a.m.
    Mon
    9:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
    Tue - Thu
    9:00 a.m. - 12:00 a.m.
    Fri
    9:00 a.m. - 3:00 a.m.
    Sat
    9:00 a.m. - 4:00 a.m.
    Other:
  • Taverna del Bisbe
    Restaurants (Mediterranean, European, Spanish)
    See more photos
    BobKatUSA Says:

    We had a good, early dinner here after a walking tour. Not the most memorable dinner, but still quite good on the Plaça Nova.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Don't go out of your way for this restaurant, but if you're in the area and hungry it is a good option.
    From the community
    Ranked #4,939 of 8,970 restaurants in Barcelona
    • Good ambience and food 20/04/2019
    • Good food 17/04/2019
    • Taverna del Bisbe
    Address:
    Av. Cathedral 6-8
    Near the Cathedral
    08002 Barcelona
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 933 19 18 19
    Price range:
    US$25 - US$100
    Hours:
    Sun - Thu
    7:00 a.m. - 1:00 a.m.
    Fri - Sat
    7:00 a.m. - 1:30 a.m.
    Other:
  • El Corte Ingles
    Restaurants (Mediterranean, Spanish)
    See more photos
    BobKatUSA Says:

    The reason we went to this huge department store was for the view. We also had lunch in the restaurant, which was adequate, but not great, before getting on the hop-on hop-off bus. You can come up just to see the view without dining. The two restaurants (there’s also a self-service cafe) are on 9th floor of the store (accessible from the elevators).

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • The best view is from the restaurant. Of course, you can also buy just about anything you might need on the lower floors.
    From the community
    Ranked #1,016 of 8,970 restaurants in Barcelona
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Grocery store service was poor. 18/04/2019
    • So Different than Shopping at Home 13/04/2019
    • El Corte Ingles
    Address:
    Plaza de Cataluya, 14
    08007 Barcelona
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 933 06 38 00
    Hours:
    Mon - Sat
    10:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
    Other:
  • Asador de Aranda
    Restaurants (Mediterranean, Spanish, Grill)
    See more photos
    BobKatUSA Says:

    This restaurant is famous for it's roasted lamb and has two locations.

    Good for
    • Couples
    • Senior
    Tips
    • Recommend dining at to the location on Tibidabo, not the one in Eixample.
    From the community
    Ranked #1,091 of 8,970 restaurants in Barcelona
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Cochinillo and Cuarto de Asado 06/04/2019
    • So so pricey food 23/03/2019
    • Asador de Aranda
    Address:
    Calle Pau Claris 70
    08010 Barcelona
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 933 42 55 77
    Price range:
    US$39 - US$56
    Hours:
    Sun - Thu
    1:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
    Fri - Sat
    1:00 p.m. - 11:30 p.m.
    Other:
  • Basilica of the Sagrada Familia
    Churches & Cathedrals, Points of Interest & Landmarks, Architectural Buildings
    See more photos
    BobKatUSA Says:

    This is Gaudí's most famous, and surreal, creation. He started work on the cathedral in 1883 and never lived to see its completion. It is, in fact, still being built today. It is unlike anything else you will ever see and it is a "must see."

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • There are numerous stalls selling all manner of souvenirs (many made in China, so check labels) and handmade crafts and art. We bought three incredible original mixed-media pieces from Jaume Mulet that feature different images of La Pedrera, for only 70€ apiece – far less than the framing is costing us!
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 866 things to do in Barcelona
    • Beautiful at sunset 25/04/2019
    • One of a kind! 25/04/2019
    • Basilica of the Sagrada Familia
    Address:
    Carrer de Mallorca, 401
    08013 Barcelona
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 932 08 04 14
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    9:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
    Other:
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