If you’re looking to travel to a new city with unique architecture, impressive beaches and a bustling culinary scene, look no further than Barcelona. We created the ultimate neighborhood guide to help you choose where to eat, sleep and explore during your Spanish adventure.
For the sightseer
El Born is located in the heart of Barcelona and has numerous historic landmarks making it the ideal location for avid sightseers. This neighborhood is home to Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar, a cathedral dating back to 1384 and the only standing church in purely Catalan Gothic style. If museums are more your style, then Museu Picasso is also a popular attraction in this area, showcasing more than 4,000 pieces of Picasso’s work.
After a packed day full of sightseeing, what better way to relax than grabbing a drink in the neighborhood? Paradiso is one of the area’s most unique speakeasies and should be your top pick for a night on the town. They make a wide array of cocktails – from smokey to sweet – all of which are served in eccentric ways.
For the beach lover
Located directly next to the ocean, this is the place to be if you’re a true beach lover. Known for its fresh seafood restaurants, busy marina and modern W Hotel, there is so much to see and do in this neighborhood. Barceloneta Beach is the most famous beach in the city and boasts oceanfront restaurants and bars serving traditional-style tapas and cava, such as Meson Barceloneta.
The Marina Port Vell is a must-see when touring this part of the city. Take a walk along the water to view superyachts and catamarans. Then head inland and take a stroll to Parc de la Ciutadella, known for its various sculptures made by Antoni Gaudi and other Catalan artists.
For the history enthusiast
Barri Gòtic, or in English, The Gothic Quarter, is the oldest neighborhood in Barcelona. It dates back to the Roman era when it was known as the settlement of Barcino. There are still many ancient remains to see here, such as the original Roman wall. If you want to learn more about the history of Barcelona, you have Museu d’Història de la Ciutat close by, which houses the largest Roman excavation site outside of Rome.
The Catedral de Barcelona is also a famous historic landmark that you can’t miss. Buy tickets to take a tour of the inside or just walk around the surrounding area to admire the breathtaking views.
If all this history makes you hungry, pop into Bo de B, a small sandwich shop known for its mouthwatering patatas bravas (spicy potatoes) and make-your-own sandwiches. If you’re a true historian, make a reservation at Els 4Gats, a restaurant dating back to 1897 and the meeting point for Barcelona’s most famous figures like Picasso and Ramon Casas.
For the shopaholic
L’Eixample offers all things luxury, from designer stores and boutiques to elegant hotels and fine-dining restaurants. Passeig de Gràcia is the hub of high-end shops and the most expensive street in the city. Here, you’ll find stores like Rolex, Louis Vuitton and Dior.
Did you even travel to L’Eixample if you didn’t see one of Antoni Gaudi’s masterpieces? Casa Mila (La Pedrera) is known as one of the most iconic pieces of civic architecture and was declared a World Heritage Site in 1984 by UNESCO. Buy tickets to the La Pedrera Night Experience, an immersive night tour that takes you into the mind of Gaudi. And of course, don’t forget about La Sagrada Familia. Take a seat on the benches outside or book a tour and take in the beauty of one of the most interesting monuments in the world.
Once you’re done shopping and admiring Gaudi’s work, visit Tadem Cocktail Bar, offering custom-made cocktails with an old-fashioned twist.
Vamos a Barcelona
No matter what neighborhood you visit or what tapas restaurant you fall in love with, make sure your Spanish getaway is protected with Faye.