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T+L's Definitive Guide to Barcelona

city,city view,cityscape,landmark

Photo: Gunnar Knechtel

Local Take

Get an insider’s peek at the city from three natives.

Carles Gaig

Chef of the Michelin-starred Restaurant Gaig

Barcelona has everything I could ever want in a city. I buy fresh produce for my restaurants at La Boqueria market, in the old quarter. Xampanyet ($$), in El Born, is my go-to spot for a glass of cava and tapas. (Try the tinned mussels and clams.) When I need inspiration, I go hiking in the Collserola Mountains. They have a wide variety of plants and are only a 30-minute drive north of the city center.

Josep Bohigas

Architect behind El Born museum

Perhaps it’s because I’m an architect, but I like to see Barcelona from above. The Atalaya cabin ride above the city at Tibidabo park is magical. On weekends, I enjoy exploring the Turó de la Rovira (Carr. de Marià Labèrnia), a hilltop park and the site of a civil war antiaircraft battery. For a sky-high meal with 360-degree views, Torre de Alta Mar ($$$$), a restaurant at the top of a tower with a cable-car station to Montjuïc, has a delicious creamy risotto with prawns.

Rosa Esteva

Designer of luxury women’s-wear label Cortana

My new favorite spot to eat is Bar Mut ($$), which serves excellent eggs with shrimp and pine nuts—it’s packed with locals. Another place I love: the backyard terrace of Cafè 1907 ($$$), in Sant Gervasi-la Bonanova. The food is organic, and the vibe is laid-back; it’s like being in a private house. For shopping, I’m a fan of the contemporary jewelry at Magnolia Antic. Nearby is the Pink Peony, where you can get a great massage.

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