Barcelona

Barcelona Travel Guide

At the center of Barcelona’s old city lies the Gothic Quarter, a maze of narrow medieval streets packed with intriguing shops and cafés surrounding the Cathedral de la Seu, which is composed of Roman ruins and Gothic structures. Architecture buffs can’t miss Antoni Gaudí’s modernist structures, like Casa Batlló, La Pedrera, Park Güell, and his masterpiece, the still-unfinished Sagrada Familia. Gaudí’s genius is represented in every imposing structure and whimsical detail of his constructions.
A walk down La Rambla is an unparalleled way to absorb the city’s energy. This tree-lined pedestrian street starts near Plaça de Catalunya and ends at Rambla de Mar, by the water. Find newsstands, souvenir kiosks, street performers and sidewalk cafés along La Rambla, and stop at La Boquería, a magnificent food market, for a bite to eat.
Head to Plaça d’Espanya, a grand square built the 1929 International Exhibition, to be welcomed by the Venetian Towers. Nearby, the Font Mágica de Montjuïc provides a beautiful spectacle of dancing fountains, lights and music in the evenings with the Palau Nacional in the background. For soccer fans, taking a tour of Camp Nou, home of Barcelona FC, is a must. You’ll never run out of things to do in Barcelona.

A colorful fishermen's quarter, the laid-back Barceloneta is lined with seafood restaurants and lovely beaches.

A five-story dance school in the Sants-Montjuïc district, Ball Centre provides dance instruction in several different styles.

Nibble on plump pistachios and Marcona almonds roasted at the 1850’s shop.

Though largely gentrified thanks to the arrival of the Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona and attendant galleries, the former slum of El Raval maintains a lively, global vibe.

Red awnings branded with a large “CH” mark the entrance to this Eixample district shop, which sells fashions from eponymous designer Carolina Herrera.

Founded by Javier Serra in 1987, En Línea Barcelona is one of the city’s most prestigious furniture and interior design stores. The store sells items from such high end designers as Knoll, Louis Poulsen, and Maxalto.

Founded in 1999 by the husband and wife design duo Xavi Gali and Cris Roca, this Barcelona boutique stocks fur, silk, cashmere, and leather pieces. Garments hang from racks inset throughout this minimalist showroom, which only produces 50-60 pieces annually.

Owner Maka Abraham travels the world collecting jewelry from near (chunky cuffs and earrings designed by Barcelona silversmiths) and far (antique gold and silver from India and Rajasthan). Abraham's own necklaces and bracelets are cast in pure silver or crafted from glass.

Since opening in the early 1940's, this espadrilles emporium has sold a colorful variety of Catalonia's classic sandals - perfect for strolling city streets in style. Stripes, solids, embroidered, wedge-heeled: this 72-year-old Barri Gòtic cobbler makes all manner of espadrilles.

Considered the finest example of Catalan Modernist architecture, this 600-year-old former hospital is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The result of six small hospitals merging together in 1401, the original complex was rebuilt to meet the demands of modern medicine in 1902.

The principal venue for opera, concerts, and dance since 1847, the hall reopened in 1999 after a major fire and is now one of the most technologically and acoustically advanced theaters in Europe.

An important fixture in the Barcelona arts scene, Sala Beckett was founded by the Teatro Fronterizo group, which was highly influenced by Irish playwright Samuel Beckett.

Two spacious floors house Midcentury Modern furniture and lighting, plus glass objets d'art. Look for curvaceous wooden chairs by Danish designer Hans Wegner.

What to Expect: Located partly on a peninsula near the old-but-still-working harbor in the traditional fisherman’s quarter of town, this three-quarter-mile-long family- and tourist-friendly beach was once a funky, working-class area with to-die-for seafood restaurants.

Style-conscious men can find shoes, handbags, and accessories from labels like Jil Sander, Balenciaga, and Comme des Garçons at this guy-centric shop.