Things to do in Barcelona
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.
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.
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.
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.
Gaudí's architectural works are scattered throughout the city. A highlight is this church, his unfinished symphony of modernist high notes.
The word naftalina translates to naphthalene, the active ingredient in mothballs. The name seems almost unfitting of this store in the Grácia neighborhood. The trendy retailer stands out from the surrounding shops with its selection of handmade, designer women’s clothing.
A well-curated collection of products for tots—playful floral-print suitcases; custom furniture—are hand-picked by French émigrée Murielle Bressan.
With more than 30 years of experience in the jewelry industry, Carmina Rotger is Barcelona’s top authority on accessories, and her shop is a go-to destination for the finest in designer baubles.
Catalonia's big art players - the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, the Fundació Joan Miró, CaixaForum, and the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion - are concentrated on Montjuïc, a small mountain overlooking the port.
Working in metals such as brushed 18-karat gold and oxidized silver, jeweler Enric Majoral creates chic, versatile pieces that can be dressed both up and down.
What used to be the heart of the city (El Born) and the waterfront district (La Ribera) is now Born-Ribera, a haven for hip taverns, boisterous restaurants, Renaissance palaces, and cultural icons such as the Museu Picasso.
This dark and industrial bar is located on El Raval's most happening bar-lined street.
The unique space at Ras, constructed from concrete and cast iron, serves a three-fold purpose: it is part exhibition space, part bookstore, and part gallery.