Barcelona is one of those places that you HAVE to visit. In this instance, my husband had never been and I’d only ever frequented the bustling Spanish city with work.
With our first wedding anniversary fast approaching and two plane tickets up for grabs, it seemed like a no brainer. So, off we went – bags packed, guide book in hand and a few Euros in the bank.
So without further adieu, here is my round-up of the places we visited based on our own research and recommendations from others. I’ll section this over two posts as there’s a whole heap of photos to share with you.
We didn’t get round to seeing everything (including Gaudi’s hugely famous Parc Guell – poor form on our behalf) but there’s plenty of tips and honest advice (that’s what we like!) on how to have the best time in this beautiful city.
First up – food, glorious food! Plus some of the best locally-recommended cocktail bars that will have you signing up for a Barcelona residency in no time at all.
CAFES, RESTAURANTS & BARS
Bar Cañete – Tucked away on a side street off La Rambla, we were told to go there by one of the lovely staff members at Soho House and it didn’t disappoint. Booking is advised but we chanced it and bagged an early table that was needed back at 9.30pm (us Brits like to eat early!) The best way to describe this place is very posh tapas. The most desired seats are up at the bar watching the chefs work their magic in the open kitchen but we were seated in another room that was only accessible via the kitchen – equally as fun! Carrer de la Unió, 17, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
Bistrot Levante – A great breakfast/lunch/dinner spot in the Gothic Quarter which is worlds away from the tapas tourist traps. It has a beautiful and simple design aesthetic with a limited menu that is all home-made and carefully thought out. Highly recommend! Placeta de Manuel Ribé, 1, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Terraza Martinez – High above the city skyline you will find this wonderful partly open-air restaurant with views across the ocean specialising in seafood and paella. Make sure you book your table ahead for a meal as there’s no bar for those seeking out the perfect spot for a quick sundowner. This place has all the vibes of an Ibiza beach club sans sticky sunbeds and accompanying yacht bunnies. Ctra. de Miramar, 38, 08038 Barcelona, Spain
Malamén – Hands down, our favourite meal! Located in the rising district of Poble-Sec which boasts the city’s cheapest (but very hipster) bars, you will find this foodie hotspot. Think pretty 70s decor, intimate setting and a cuisine influenced by the hometowns of its three founders from Spain, Venezuela and Sweden. Carrer de Blai, 53, 08004 Barcelona, Spain
33 By Santi Ortiz – Recommended by the guys from Malamen, this cocktail bar is a real game-changer. The creative cocktail list is skilfully prepared by Santi (it’s practically a work of art). The entrance is easy to miss (we walked past a few times) as it’s a relatively unmarked door with blacked out windows but well worth the find if you have a taste for the Old-Fashioned. Av. de Mistral, 33, 08015 Barcelona, Spain
Sant Agustina – We came across this beautiful place as we walked through El Born / La Ribera en route to Sagrada Familia. Set amongst exposed stone walls, the central bar had lots of little tables dotted around it, this place was popular! The staff were friendly and our only regret was having just eaten as the food looked so good, we had a glass of wine and carried on with our travels. Plaça de Sant Agustí Vell, 9, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
La Squisita – A great stop (with rave reviews) on the outskirts of the Gothic Quarter if you’re craving gelato. Grab a scoop or two and be prepared to get lost amongst the pretty backstreets. Carrer de la Boqueria, 6, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Hemingway – A fantastic gin and cocktail bar with a speakeasy philosophy. Their motto is shake, drink, repeat! – My kind of place! Carrer de Muntaner, 114, 08036 Barcelona, Spain
Arenal – A pretty beachside restaurant with outdoor decking overlooking the Med. Open during the winter months with outdoor heaters. Passeig Marítim La Barceloneta, s/n, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Sol Y Sombra – A lively cocktail bar where every drink is treated like a work of art. Rambla del Raval, 39, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
Collage – You know you’re onto something promising when the city’s best bar-tenders all go to drink in one bar. It’s cozy but worth a visit to this artistic space. Carrer dels Consellers, 1, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
33 by Santi Ortiz
Coming up in my next post! Everything you need to see and do including the street for the cheapest drinks in Barcelona, a secret spot to unwind and where to seek out the best gothic architecture.
Check back very soon!