Barcelona is a gorgeous city with lots of history, food, culture, beaches, sunshine and so much more. You can spend weeks here and not even scratch the surface. I feel like I was so busy eating and walking that I missed out on the Art scene of Barcelona, but hopefully there area couple things in here that will guide you on where to eat + what to do. ALSO I am new to the whole travel blog thing SO, I, unfortunately only have some good ol’ iphone photos for this blog, but stay tuned, in the future, as I have a handful of ways I will be upping my travel blog game. In the mean time – here a sweet engagement session I did in the beach neighbourhood of Barcelonetta 🏻 and all the best Barcelona travel tips for you:
This was the last airbnb we stayed in and it was a FREAKING DREAM!!! Comfy beds, clean bathrooms, gorgeous kitchen, cozy living room + netflix and the BEST dining room with a gorgeous view.
Where to eat:
Bar Jai-ca – This was hands down the best meals we had on the entire trip. This is home cooking style tapas style. The atmosphere is cozy and full of locals. There is house wine available for 2 euros, and tapas style plates for 4euro-7euro. Our fave dishes were the meatballs, greek salad, cod fritters, calamari, artichoke chips and grilled veggies. We ate here twice and had 12/10 experience both times.
Zero Nove Cinque – Maybe it is weird to get Italian food in Barcelona but this place had the best Carbonara one has ever tasted. A delicious meal + great service.
Crumbles Cookies – If you find yourself with a sweet tooth after that bomb Italian meal ^, right around the corner is a cookie shopped owned by a young woman. 12/10 cookies.
Faire. Brunch & Drinks – A fresh, delicious, healthy and aesthetically pleasing brunch spot. We ate a lot of brunch in Barcelona and this was definitely our fave. I had the passionfruit chia pudding and my friend had the beet root hummus and avo toast. Both huge + filling portions and full of lots of fresh produce + ingredients.
Murivecchi – I know another Italian restaurant, but ya know that instagram classic pasta porn where they spin the pasta in a big wheel of Parmesan cheese??? Yea…. this place does THAT!!!
La Fabrica – a top rated Barcelona empanada spot
Tio Bigotes Empanadas – Another top rated empanada spot – a heck ya to the knife meat empanada and the humite 😙🤌
Bubar – Okay this place has a bit more of an american style menu but it is done FRESH + WELL. It is tapas style and delicious. We had the mozza sticks, hummus, and the potata bravas with pulled pork.
Billy Brunch – Another delicious brunch menu! I had the eggs benny and my friend had the chicken sandwich. Both hella fresh, great service and nice patio!
365 Cafe – As you walk around Barcelona, you are going to see these sandwich shops with shelves full of fresh sandwiches on mini baguettes. In the gothic quarter, they are a little more common but they are mostly all over the city. This place is your spot for a cheap & bomb meal. These sandwiches are made fresh in the morn and range between 2 euros – 8 euros. A great spot if you are in a budget.
Paisano Bistro – Another hella wonderful Italian spot. We shared the potato croquettes & the burrata pasta for dinner and the tiramisu for dessert. Located right around the corner from the Sagrada Familia and super delicious.
La Bouquerie Market – Okay this place is a damn experience!!! It is full of a lot of different food vendors from fresh fruit/juice/smoothies to homemade dishes to butcher stands to charcuterie cups to nuts + dates, you name it, they’ve got it. And it is ALL sooo delicious. This place is FULL of people and is very chaotic, don’t say I didn’t warn ya!
Santa Catarina Market – This market is much more lowkey. It does not have all the same freshly made food as the Bouquerie Market, but if you are looking for a place to do a good old locals grocery shop, this is your place!
Locals Recommendation on where to eat:
Now the next 2 places, we personally did not eat at, as we aren’t huge sea food lovers (I know… a bummer as a barcelona visitor), but we were recommended these 2 spots from multiple locals. If you are a sea food lover, give er a go!!!
Can Culleretes – an 18th century restaurant with authentic Catalan food
El Xampanyet – Another cozy classic!
What to do:
Walking Tour – Every time I get to a new European, I always search for the free history walking tour. Most cities run a “free” tour but you basically tip in the value of what you believed it was worth. 15-30 euros/person will typically suffice. ANYWAYS, these tours are great because its a free walking tour of the major spots in the city. These tours help me understand the history of where I am and also help me find my grounds so I can find my way around.
Thrift your life away!!! – Barcelona has some DAMN good thrifting. There are shops all over the gothic quarter but my favourite two shops were called Mahalo Vintage and Bogo Vintage. I found some solid retro concert merch + some cute t’s and sweaters.
Sail Boat Ride Airbnb Experience – This was an awesome time! It was a on airbnb experience. We sailed around for 2 hours with a local. They supplied a little charcuterie board, chips and bottomless wine. It was so nice getting out on the water and seeing Barcelona from a different perspective!
Park Guell – Okay this is a Barcelona classic. It is at the top of every tourist list. We made our way up the hill to see Park Guell at sunset but unfortunately we missed the opportunity to get tickets. We saw a brief bit of it from the outside, and trust me, its worth seeing. Just don’t be like us and miss the chance to buy tickets. Buy them online a day or 2 in advance.
Bunkers Look out @ Sunset – SO when Park Guell didn’t work out, it led us to this wonderful gem!!! This place is about a 28 min walk from the Park Guell entrance. It is a bit of a hike up (having water is recommended), but it is TOTALLY worth the hike! At the top, is what looks like an abandoned building of some sort. It has graffiti all over it and people have snacks of all kinds, wine and a blanket laid out for ultimate sunset picnic. This spot looks over the entire city and its just gorgeous. Definitely do it one night.
Razzmatazz – This is a club. I, personally, had tickets to see a concert but this is one of the most known clubs in Barca. Google their line up and see what they’ve got going on during your visit!
The Supermercat – When you walk around the city, you are gonna see “mercat” everywhere! It’s their word for grocery store. In the downtown core, kind of near the sea, there is supermercat that is a little too perfect looking, and has a security guard out front. It is the coolest speak easy bar!!! Definitely recommend finding it if you are looking for some interesting night life.
Book a Trip Advisor day trip!! We booked the Three Countries, One Day starting in downtown Barcelona. A bus + tour guide pick you up early in the morning and start heading for the mountains of Spain. We stopped in a tiny little medieval village where we had coffee, the most delicious sweet bread and a little history lesson. We continued on our way where we soon crossed the border into France. We stopped in a little town called Ax Les Thermes which sits right in the Pyrenses mountains. We had lunch, strolled through a little market, sat by a river and had the opportunity to hike to some natural sulphur hot springs but unfortunately ran out of time. We then continued on to the insane little country that is Andorra. This country mostly attracts skiers as that is the main activity to do in this teeny tiny country. There is a strip of duty free shopping + eating but other than that, there is not too much to see. The 360 mountain views are breathtaking but there is not much else to do! After stopping for some mountain photos, a quick lunch and exploration, we hopped back on the bus and headed back to Barcelona. Honestly, this day trip was pretty cool, we saw a whole lot but I will warn anymore with a sensitive belly, this is a very mountainous and bumpy ride. Ya girl was feeling the motion but it was a really great trip. Trip Advisor day trips have hella amounts of value. I always recommend.
If I can make one recommendation, if any, this one is the most important – leave room in your luggage to shop at Casa Gispert 😍 This place is HEAVEN. It is full of all local ingredients, spices, nuts, chocolate, dried fruits, olive oils, olive, etc. It is perfect if you are in need of a gift for someone at home but its also the best place to bring some spanish flavours home with you. Top notch quality and SO reasonably priced. I regret not having more space in my bag to bring literally the whole store home with me.
Take a train to Sitges!!! It’s like 10 euros each way and is the most beautiful (literally jaw dropping) ride between the sea & mountains. I feel like Sitges gets labelled as a ‘day trip’ from Barcelona, but I 100% recommend getting an airbnb and staying for a couple days. This little town is full of great eating, nightlife, beaches, and views. I liked it better than Barcelona. Here are some faves:
Sitges Airbnb – we stayed in the CUTEST place right in the port. It was a 2 min walk to the beach, 2-20 min walk to lots of restaurants and a 20 min walk to the main downtown core. This place was 2 bedrooms with a perfect kitchen + bathroom and the most epic rooftop to sit on (pic below)!! We LOVED staying here and the hosts were so helpful.
Bloom Coffee – a bomb brunch in Sitges! Super cute shop, nice patio, fresh smoothies. Make sure you get the Ham & Cheese pancakes, that shit will change your life!!!
El Cable – This is the place to be all nights of the week as far as vibes go but it also has the best tapas AND 2 euro house wine. Grab a spot at a table, stand at the bar or hang with people on the street. We found ourselves here almost every single night we were there for either or drinks.
Las Vegas Night Club – When we asked out airbnb host where she recommends that we go to dance the night away, we laughed when she said “go to Las Vegas”. No north American wants to head to north American related things when they are in Europe lol. We went anyways obviously, and this place DID NOT DISAPPOINT!!! There was a fabulous man leading some Spanish style choreography that was easy to catch on to. The locals were out and about and you could tell because they knew all the dance moves too. We danced for HOURS and met some really fun people. Also they serve popcorn in da club. 12/10 recommend this spot. Las Vegas is on a little strip of night life so if this isn’t your jam, there are lots of other places to choose from!
El Fornet – I really only stopped in here for a loaf of bread but it was the freshest, fluffiest loaf of bread I ever did see. The pastries and coffee smelt amazing.
Sitges Market – This place is directly next to the Sitges Train station. It is not your typical European market. It is indoors and has just a couple vendors but we picked up a bunch of produce, salads, cheese + meat to make in our airbnb for under 20 euros.
Platja de la Marina d’Aiguadolç – This is just a lil beach with mountain views! It is not the main beach in Sitges. We found ourselves alone there most mornings or at least had very minimal amounts of people. A good spot for a beach day/surf.
La Pastissera – This a bomb lil cafe for sandwiches, coffee, fresh OJ, pastries. It is right across the street from Sitges Train station. It was very tasty.
Tattoos: If you’re anything like me and you like to ink your body instead of buying a classic souvenir, head to Bombay Tattoo Shop and see @emiliana_bombay_tattoo . She replied quickly thru DM and was able to see us same day.
If you have made it this far, I am grateful!!! Hope you enjoyed my Barcelona travel tips!!!