Exquisite food, rich history, mesmerizing architecture, and a vibrant culture, these are the four things that perfectly sum up Barcelona. As one of the biggest, most vibrant cities in Spain, Barcelona boasts a colorful and exuberant culture. If you are looking to experience Spain, but still want a big city feel, Barcelona is a perfect choice – historic, European charm with a diverse and modern big city feel. Here are the top 10 things The Colibri Collective recommends you do in Barcelona:
1. Sagrada Familia: More than just another “old church” to look at in Europe, the Sagrada Familia is an architectural marvel that is truly magnificent. Being under construction for over 136 years, with a projected completion date of 2026, this UNESCO World Heritage designated site is something that you need to see in person, pictures truly don’t do it justice. The audio tour is highly recommended, it is easy to follow and gives you great insight about the process and vision of architect Antoni Gaudí. You’ll also learn about small details that can go unseen.
2. Casa Batlló: Another Gaudi building, this home is unique, eccentric and will leave you wanting to explore more. Gaudi had an affinity for using nature as his inspiration and it becomes truly evident at Casa Batlló. With multiple levels and endless rooms to explore you will feel like you have walked into a fantasyland. We recommend that you take this tour at night just for the views both of and from the terrace.
3. La Boqueria: The smells, sights, and sounds that this market produces transport you into a totally different place and time. From tapas, fresh juices and fruit, to candies and other goods, La Boquería offers something for everyone. Visit this market for a quick lunch or light breakfast. If you are staying at an Airbnb, this is a great little place to stock up on snacks and other goods for the duration of your visit.
4. Poble Espanyol: Spain is a big and diverse country. Every region boasts a unique history, architecture style and even traditions. An open-air architectural museum built for the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition, the museum consists of full-scale buildings, which recreate Spanish villages. This is a great way to “experience” and “discover” the culture, traditions, scenery, folklore and gastronomy of the different regions of Spain through five immersive experiences. You can also purchase unique items and admire live the work of artisans who work with different materials, including glass, leather, textiles, ceramics and jewelry, and much more!
5. Eat and Drink at El Nacional: A multi-zone culinary establishment, where each of the sections has its own unique characteristics and offering. This space creates different experiences within the same restaurant. With four restaurants and four bars to choose from everyone’s palette will be surely satisfied. From a meat restaurant, to fish, tapas and rice all the way to a fast deli restaurant. If its libations you’re after this is the place to go. El Nacional has four distinct bars that specialize on a specific offering: beer, wine, cava and cocktails. This and more is what makes El Nacional a place worth visiting.
6. Take a Stroll in the Barrio Gótico: The Barrio Gótico – Gothic Quarter – dates back over 2,000 years and is the center of the old city of Barcelona. This barrio is like stepping back several thousand years into time. From the cobblestone streets, the medical buildings, and charming shops and restaurants, you can easily spend hours getting lost exploring the endless corridors that lead to different places.
7. Explore El Born: This neighborhood has quickly become one of the trendiest and fashionable areas of Barcelona. Hosting endless local shops, restaurants and museums, El Born is a great area to experience Barcelona’s culture. We highly recommend visiting the Picasso museum and Pastisseria Hoffman for some amazing croissants.
8. Casa Mila – La Pedrera: Another one of Gaudí’s marvels, this building which was commissioned by the Mila family which was to be used as an apartment building. Now open for the public to visit, Casa Milà was designed by Gaudí to mimic nature – from forms, shapes and materials the entire space is an ode from Gaudi to nature. The terrace is also incredibly unique, stepping into this space feels surreal and as if you’re stepping into a totally different world. Visiting this space allows you to learn more about Gaudí and his vision for architecture one other aspect of La Pedrera is that is has been set up as a foundation to help underprivileged youth reach success through education.
9. Shopping on Paseo de la Gracia: If shopping is your thing, Paseo de la Gràcia is the place. Endless shops line both sides of the boulevard. From high-end shopping to fast fashion shops, this is the place to make all your shopping dreams a reality.
10. Have a drink in the bathroom at Boca Chica: Located in the heart of Barcelona’s Eixample and inside the Boca Grande restaurant, Boca Chica is a trendy, unique and elegant place to have an amazing craft cocktail. The décor in this place is spectacular, you will surely be turning your head constantly from all there is to look at. The best part of this hidden gem is the bathroom. Walking downstairs, you begin to hear the music get louder. As you turn the corner you expect a normal bathroom, but you’re met with an open area with tables, couches and piano surrounding the sink. To one side of is a hallway which actually has individual bathroom rooms away from the main area. Here you can sit and enjoy a drink amongst some awesome décor and props.