Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Ultimate Travel Guide for Barcelona, Spain (+All the Best Eats!)

An urban city with intricate architecture and an amazing beach. Barcelona has it all! I will be perfectly honest, I was very skeptical upon my first day in the city because it wasn't exactly what I envisioned. By the time our last day rolled around, I was wishing we had more time to explore different areas. 

I fell in love with the beach area - it felt like I was in California but surrounded by Spanish food. This incredible place has so much to offer, and I'm here to share the best things to do, places to stay and ALL the eats! 

Where To Stay

During our time in Barcelona, we stayed at the Room Mate Carla Hotel. Lantz had stayed at this hotel during his last trip to Spain in 2015, and he recommended we stay there this visit. The hotel has a very modern vibe with colorful rooms and bathrooms! They offer a wonderful restaurant and bar with meal options every day. The bed was AMAZING - like probably the most comfortable one I've slept in. And somehow or another, they managed to make the hallways smell incredible. If you stay here you'll see what I mean! We loved this hotel location because it was walking distance to most of the areas we wanted to visit, including Sagrada Familia, Passeig de Gracia, Las Ramblas, La Boqueria Mercat and more! 

Now comes the fun part - all of the spots you need to visit. We packed in as much as we could during our four days in Barcelona, and I still feel like we could've missed some great places! Here's some of our favorites:

Areas To Visit

Las Ramblas - this wide street is always populated with street vendors, lined with restaurants and shopping, and a neat view for walking down towards the water. NOTE: Keep an eye on your belongings in this area as it is a pickpocket zone during the high season.

Casa Batlló - this building is a beautiful piece of architecture designed by Antoni Gaudí. His works of art are famous throughout Barcelona, and true treasures of the city.

Passeig de Gracia - if Barcelona had it's own "Main Street" this would be it! There are hundreds of stores and restaurants including designer names and locally-owned shops. We would end up walking on this street almost every day as a reference point. You'll actually be able to see Casa Batlló walking down the sidewalk.

Sagrada Familia - there are seriously no words to describe how incredible this church is. To give you some perspective, it's been under construction for more than 100 years. Another gem designed by Gaudí, the city is following his exact design for the structure piece by piece. The landmark is set to be completed between 2026 and 2028. 

Placa de Catalunya - otherwise known as "Pigeon City" (at least that's what I called it). This open courtyard in Barcelona is always full of people, entertainers and an abundance of pigeons. It's a tranquil area to take a seat and people watch for a while.

Things To Do

Spend the afternoon in Park Guell - it's a colorful wonderland with an incredible view of the entire city. Make sure to reserve tickets online ahead of time for the Monumental Zone! 

Go shopping at La Boqueria Mercat - okay... we actually did this everyday and multiple times in some cases. This market is full of fresh meats, fruits, candies, fish and breads. IT IS INCREDIBLE. Lantz and I would go every morning to buy 2-4 fresh fruit smoothies that were super inexpensive. My favorite flavor of them all was the blackberry coconut.

Watch the sunset on the W Barcelona outdoor patio with a cocktail - this is something that we almost didn't do, but it's where my love for the city started to develop! 

Watch the Magic Fountains at night - THIS was the spot where I looked out over the city of Barcelona and became obsessed. My recommendation is: grab a pizza and some beers, walk all the way up the steps and park yourself on the outlook where you can watch the fountains and soak in the view (pizza and beer is allowed here, btw). 

Explore the Barcelona seaside area - the boats and restaurants are enough to keep you entertained alone! There's always live music and the view is beautiful.

And now comes the best part... THE EATS.

Where To Eat

9 Nine - we ate here our first night in the city and had some of the best tapas and grilled sea bass! Their fixed menu is reasonable and the portion sizes are well worth it! 

La Muscleria - order the Parmesan muscles. Just do it.

Brunch and Cake - probably the most incredible breakfast spread I've ever had. I.e. An acai bowl IN A PINEAPPLE and some of the freshest fruit imaginable.

Ciudad Condal - great place for tapas any day of the week!

La Boqueria Mercat - enough said.

La Tagliatella - when that pizza craving hits after a long day of walking... this is the place to go.

Moma Beach Bar - such a cute spot right on the water! 

Bo de B - sandwich heaven for a day when you're on-the-go.

Do yourself one favor - ask the locals where the best paella is near you and GET IT. FYI: Thursdays are recognized as the popular day of the week for paella to be eaten at restaurants.

9 Nine

Brunch & Cake

It's so easy to get lost in this incredible city! The handiest thing we did was get a map from our hotel reception, which listed every photo-worthy spot and the best areas to visit. When in doubt, trust the locals! They are your best source for any information you may need.

Looking back at these pictures makes me so nostalgic, but I know I'll be back in the sunny city sometime again!

There's a glass of wine and tapas waiting for me somewhere on the beach.

x, B


  1. I would love to spend a month in these cities and just explore!

    xx, Danielle | Pineapple & Prosecco

  2. Oh my gosh how amazing was this trip?! Everything looks so gorgeous and now I want to go!

  3. So, so, so beautiful! And all of the food YUM yes please!

    xo Laura Leigh

  4. Wow the buildings in Barcelona are breathtaking!! And the food .. YUM!!!!

    How 2 Wear It []

  5. This is so magical. It looks like you had a great trip!

  6. i am dyingggggg to go to Barcelona! Bookmarking this post - it looks amazing!

    xx Rebecca //

  7. It looks so pretty there!!! I love all of the pictures you took.

  8. Isn't Sagrada Familia the most because church ever?! I couldn't believe how stunning it was, it was my favorite part! I hope to go back to Spain to explore more, those places to eat sound delicious!

  9. We loooooove Barcelona for the architecture and lifestyle!

  10. Great city guide and beautiful photos! Barcelona is so beautiful!

  11. I have not been back there in a long time. Your post makes me want to take a trip right away.


  12. Fantastic city guide! And, umm, are those skull & crossbones and egg-shaped gummies? I'm totally in for that!

  13. I've yet to go to Spain, but its definitely in my bucket list. I love me some Gaudi architecture


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