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.
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.
The Gothic cloister is one of the city's most tranquil spots.
This 14th-century stone palace houses the minimalist dresses and suits of Barcelona designer Julie Sohn (think Jil Sander with an Asian twist), and narrowly cut men's wear from Danish haberdashers Sand, as well as travel bags from France's sleek Lexon. Don't miss the courtyard café.
Dubbed the “Spanish Armani,” Galician designer Adolfo Dominguez tailors ready-to-wear suits for both men and women. Constructed in brown, khaki, and orange earth tones, the designer uses sustainable practices and organic materials.
Located on the Ramblas, Casas Internacional is one of Barcelona’s most popular vendors of designer footwear. The store’s inventory is mostly Italian and includes styles for both men and women.
Following the success of their popular El Born boutique, designers Custodio and David Dalmau opened a second shop in the Barri Gòtic, which carries their flamboyant men's and women's lines.
The stand is full of cotton napkins of all colors and sizes.