Things to Do in Barcelona

David Cicconi

Are you coming to Barcelona with your children? Then this marvelous bookshop is the place you want to visit. As well as shelves full of illustrated kids... Read More

Dubbed the “Spanish Armani,” Galician designer Adolfo Dominguez tailors ready-to-wear suits for both men and women. Constructed in brown,... Read More

In my opinion, this is the most influential building in modern Barcelona. Locals used to call it "el supositorio" (the suppository) or even worse things... Read More

Argentine designer Marabís tiny atelier is filled with her handmade patchwork animals; the playful dolls, which have been displayed at the Museu... Read More

The salon is staffed with multilingual, London-trained stylists. Read More

Located on the main floor of the Barceló Raval Hotel in the Raval neighborhood, B Lounge serves tapas and fusion cuisine. The menu contains ... Read More

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

Claim an outdoor table in the folksy Sarrià district’s stalwart bar and try the city’s definitive patatas bravas. Read More

Called “BBB,” this is the festival to go to if you want to dance till dawn. Though it’s of the newest music festivals to arrive to the city, it seems... Read More

What better way to really get to know Barcelona than through its rich culinary culture? In just a few hours, Barcelona Cooking's experienced expert... Read More

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

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... Read More

Ancient Roman walls and Gothic palaces frame the Barri Gòtic's pedestrian streets, which are filled with antiques stores and cafés - all surrounding the... Read More

As well as being one of the most astonishing churches in the world, La Sagrada Familia is a true symbol of Barcelona. The masterpiece of the modernist... Read More

This colorful Grácia store was founded by husband and wife Fabian and Anna, who moved to Barcelona from Paris. Bateau Lune is committed to... Read More

Down a narrow stone alley in Born, near the Cathedral Santa Maria del Mar, designer Beatriz Furest's handbag store is marked only by a simple white flag... Read More

To ease out of a long workday, stylish Barcelonians stop by this polished Eixample town house for Bloody Marys and tumblers of whiskey. In summer, the... Read More

This is one of my favorite shops in town. The owner, Jaime Beriestain, is a fabulous designer and his Barcelona headquarters is this restaurant that... Read More

Enjoy a different perspective of Barcelona from the saddle of a five-speed bike with the help of Biciclot Marítim, a nonprofit bike co-operative... Read More

Situated near the Olympic Port, Bogatell beach provides a more laid-back environment than nearby Barceloneta beach, which is typically packed with... Read More

While the tourists flock to Barceloneta beach, Bogatell tends to be the city beach of choice for locals during the summer months. Why? Maybe because it... Read More

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... Read More

Pick up the sweet-savory pan-con-tomate bonbons from Willy Wonka–like pâtissier Carles Mampel. Read More

In this small town with some of the best beaches in Spain (my favorite is Portlligat), visitors can get a true taste of relaxation. Cadaques was for... Read More

This 14th-century stone palace houses the minimalist dresses and suits of Barcelona designer Julie Sohn (think Jil Sander with an Asian twist), and... Read More

This 100-year-old clothing store stocks a slew of Catalán designers for women and men (including Josep Abril's impeccable linen shirts). Look for... Read More

One main reason to visit the football stadium is for the store, one of the largest in Europe. If you’re an aficionado, bring home a t-shirt of Barcelona... Read More

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

Seize the day (or make that the night), with a typically late supper of Asian-accented Mediterranean fare followed by a spin on the busy dance floor at... Read More

This is the work of the modernist master Josep Puig i Cadafalch, and it's one of the vertices of the (imaginary) triangle formed by this building, the... Read More

The Casa Batlló was finished in 1907 and represents the best example of modernism from the beginning of the 20th century. The influence of the sea (some... Read More

This is my favorite of Antoni Gaudí's works in Barcelona. The Casa Batlló was finished in 1907 and represents the best example of modernism from the... Read More

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

Located on the Ramblas, Casas Internacional is one of Barcelona’s most popular vendors of designer footwear. The store’s inventory is mostly... Read More

Ask a sophisticated Barcelona native where he'll be this weekend, and the answer is often the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB)... Read More

One of the most beautiful museums in town, this arts center occupies a former 17th-century monastery. But there's nothing old-fashioned about the... Read More

Muslim immigration to Barcelona has been growing since the 1980s, and as a result, nore and more Islamic religious sites have opened to accommodate the... Read More

Cereria Subirà claims to be the oldest shop in all of Barcelona, although no one can agree on when exactly it was founded, and it hasn... Read More

If you are interested in Spanish food, you simply must shop at Quílez. Located for over a hundred years in the heart of the city (la Rambla Catalunya),... Read More

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... Read More

The Contemporary Culture Center of Barcelona is one of the city’s most prominent exhibition centers. Located in the Raval district, the CCCB... Read More

It’s all about interior design at this store in the Eixample neighborhood. Housed in a striking historical building, Corium sells all the... Read More

For one-stop shopping, Corte Ingles sells everything from maternity wear to marcona almonds. Located on the main square of Plaza Catalunya, this... Read More

Flowy 1970's vintage caftans and cocktail dresses share the racks with Cucharada's own line of handmade leather bags and accessories. Read More

Following the success of their popular El Born boutique, designers Custodio and David Dalmau opened a second shop in the Barri Gòtic, which... Read More

If you’re visiting Barcelona when temperatures are warm, this is the unbeatable choice. The city's beaches are clean and well preserved, with huge... Read More

Discos Castelló is an independent record store located in the Raval neighborhood. Established in the 1930’s, the shop is one of the oldest... Read More

This is, hands down, the most classic watering hole in Barcelona. Full of journalists, writers, and old-school city characters, Dry Martini in the city... Read More

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.... Read More

This is the most historically relevant of all of Barcelona's neighborhoods—not to mention the most beautiful to visit. Most of the buildings here are... Read More

This is the most historically relevant of all Barcelona’s neighborhoods. Most of the buildings here are centuries old and have no elevators; many... Read More

For a truly fun night out in Barcelona, I recommend a visit to El Born—the city's oldest neighborhood, but, paradoxically, the one with the youngest... Read More

One of my favorite gatherings in Barcelona, El Grec Festival stages most of its plays and concerts outdoors, at various venues in the month of July. It... Read More

Though largely gentrified thanks to the arrival of the Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona and attendant galleries, the former slum of El Raval... Read More

Since 1897, Els Quatre Gats (“The Four Cats”) has served many purposes: pub, café, hostel, cabaret, and restaurant. Located on the... Read More

Founded by Javier Serra in 1987, En Línea Barcelona is one of the city’s most prestigious furniture and interior design stores. The store... Read More

This beautiful Neo-Gothic church in the very center of Barcelona, built between 1882 and 1885, offers mass every day. The best thing about it is its... Read More

This unassuming shop stocks exquisite Italian leather goods: buttery-soft black flats from Pompeii and bags from the Sicilian line Bid Hand Made. Read More

Stock up on buttery bread loaves studded with dried fruits and nuts. Read More

Pick up spinach-and-pine-nut coca (Catalan pizza) at this old-fashioned bakery. Read More

With its high ceilings, arches, and airy passages, this innovative building houses the world's largest collection of Miró's work plus British art... Read More

The Tàpies foundation is an incredible red brick building (an early example of Catalan Modernist architecture from the 1880s) that features the works of... Read More

Set in a former basement car-repair shop, the loftlike gallery showcases cutting-edge international and Spanish artists such as local painter Miguel... Read More

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... Read More

Contemporary art dealer Natalia Foguet has been showing the work of emerging international artists for over a decade. Read More

This famed farmers’ and fishmongers’ market in the Sant Gervasi district offers shoppers everything from fresh asparagus and eggs to filet... Read More

This is my favorite city in Catalonia, for both historical and gastronomical reasons. It’s just an hour away from Barcelona (you can take the high-speed... Read More

This is the perfect neighborhood to walk around with kids. There are no cars around, it's full of beautiful squares crowded with students, and there are... Read More

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... Read More

Originating as a collection of rare perfume bottles, this small shop now specializes in vintage couture garments and accessories dating from the... Read More

Considered the finest example of Catalan Modernist architecture, this 600-year-old former hospital is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The result of... Read More

Probably Barcelona’s biggest secret in terms of festivals, In-Edit is a music documentary event that puts together the best of the genre. Every late... Read More

The legendary jazz club has hosted everyone from Ella and Chet to budding greats such as the Charlie Hunter trio. After the headliners, the intimate... Read More

Its location alone makes this music club a must-visit for Barcelona night owls. It’s located in the Plaça Real, a place seemingly loved by visitors ... Read More

Few people know about Barcelona's botanical gardens, situated on the beautiful hillside of Montjuïc. Although they are just a stone's throw from the... Read More

This gorgeous natural space is located in one of the city's most genteel neighborhoods: Pedralbes. This is the “noble” part of Barcelona and you can... Read More

The well-edited boutique for men and women is stocked with the greatest runway hits from, among many others, Valentino, Alexander McQueen, and Jean-Paul... Read More

Vintage jewelry in a museum-like setting. Read More

A biannual literature festival that looks at Spanish-language art, film, poetry, and books. Read More

Urbanized after 1860, L'Eixample (the Expansion) is now the city's main shopping district and the world's top repository of Art Nouveau architecture. Read More

This market hardly needs an introduction; La Boqueria has been chosen again and again, in all kinds of surveys, as the best market in the world. The... Read More

This is one the most beautiful seaside communities in Catalonia. Take a train in Plaça Catalonia (one of the ones heading to Massanet or Calella) and... Read More

A Catalonia-born graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology, in New York City, Helena Garriga has worked for the likes of Moschino and Jean Paul... Read More

Since opening in the early 1940's, this espadrilles emporium has sold a colorful variety of Catalonia's classic sandals - perfect for strolling city... Read More

This is another Gaudí masterpiece and the last one he made for civilian use. It’s at the top of the Passeig de Gracia and is also called Casa Milà after... Read More

Gaudí's architectural works are scattered throughout the city. A highlight is this church, his unfinished symphony of modernist high notes. Read More

As well as being one of the most astonishing churches in the world, La Sagrada Familia is a true symbol of Barcelona. The masterpiece of the modernist... Read More

One of my favorite parks in the city is this one; it has both a beautiful maze and Barcelona’s oldest (18th-century) planned garden. The park is a sort... Read More

This is my favorite bookshop in Barcelona. It’s not a franchise, it’s not big, and you won't find it unless you're looking for it; but its selection,... Read More

This street is so famous that it even has its own verb in Spanish: ramblejar. “Rambling” in Barcelona means to wander up and down Las Ramblas on foot... Read More

This bookshop defines itself in a very funny way: as "the bookshop specializing in books." You can find poetry, essays, and lots of work from small... Read More

If you're after a one-stop fiesta, you'll find it here: Six separate spaces, including an open kitchen, a dining room, a casual café, a terrace... Read More

From slouchy, oversize carryalls to soft leather purses in the store's signature abanico (fan) shape, bags from Lupo are a Barcelona staple. Read More

Another place that is mandatory for hearing live music in Barcelona. When it comes to celebrities and well-heeled locals, this venue is the coolest in... Read More

This high-end club in Eixample Esquerra is full of beautiful faces, and well-known for being the main spot to see local celebrities. Luz de gas is known... Read More

This crimson-walled shop stocks Delgado's signature black and ivory separates and knits. Read More

If you are a fan of history (and architecture), you must visit this neighborhood. This is where the “new Barcelona” had its beginnings in the middle of... Read More

Barcelona’s museum of contemporary art, housed in a building created by star architect Richard Meier in 1995, is home to a great collection of European... Read More

Sit on the steps of the palatial National Museum of Art (MNAC) and watch the "magic" fountain put on a spectacular display of music, water acrobatics,... Read More

One of my favorite family activities in Barcelona is bringing the kids along to the city’s markets. It’s a learning experience, because we always find... Read More

One of Spain’s oldest and largest markets, the Mercat de la Boqueria is located just off La Rambla in a cavernous, iron-framed hall. Originating... Read More

This market hardly needs an introduction; La Boqueria has been chosen again and again, in all kinds of surveys, as the best market in the world. The... Read More

This is my favorite market in the whole city, and the best one if you want buy food for a fair price. The neighborhood is full of young people, which... Read More

This market is far from the city center and, as a result, is generally only visited by locals. That’s why the prices are so low, even if you have access... Read More

Sant Antoni is not a classical food market. But on Sundays, you have a good chance of finding all kinds of second hand goods here (from sport... Read More

This is possibly the most beautiful market in Barcelona—at least from the exterior, thanks to the colorfully painted waves of its rooftop. The inside is... Read More

Every Thursday, the Plaça Nova, at the base of the massive 15th-century Catedral de Barcelona, the city’s most famous edifice (not counting... Read More

One of my favorite museums in Catalonia, the MNAC (which stands for National Museum of Catalan Art) recently more than doubled its collection of Spanish... Read More

Catalonia's big art players - the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, the Fundació Joan Miró, CaixaForum, and the Mies van der Rohe... Read More

This is a mountain that shares a strong connection with the Catalan soul. There are many mystical legends about this place (for example, the Nazis once... Read More

Owner Maka Abraham travels the world collecting jewelry from near (chunky cuffs and earrings designed by Barcelona silversmiths) and far (antique gold... Read More

This store carries its own brand of sneakers, which are very popular in Barcelona. The shoes (sport shoes, mostly) have good, stylish design and... Read More

Catering to the city’s fashionable set, Muntaner 385 is an upscale men’s clothing store that stocks designer garments and accessories in an... Read More

The Raval district's futuristic, all-white museum designed by Richard Meier looks like something out of The Jetsons and contains a world-class... Read More

A collection of five monuments and museums that tells—and shows—the story behind Barcelona's rich history.... Read More

Journey up to the Parc de Monjuïc to see the work of Picasso's Barcelona contemporaries at the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya. Read More

There can be a long wait to get in, but it's worth it, if only to see the extensive collection of portraits by the artist when he was a young man. Chart... Read More

This incredible treasure trove of works by the modern-art master is likely the only one that Picasso was directly involved with. It was opened in 1963... Read More

The word naftalina translates to naphthalene, the active ingredient in mothballs. The name seems almost unfitting of this store in the Grácia... Read More

This very small, very secretive bookshop carries only noir literature from all over the world. The owner is an enthusiast of the genre, and if you ask,... Read More

This bookstore makes you feel like a reader even before you've entered. I love their selection, the look of the shop (it's always crowded but quiet,... Read More

A well-curated collection of products for tots—playful floral-print suitcases; custom furniture—are hand-picked by French émigr... Read More

Antxón Gómez launched this legendary club in the 1980's. Read More

This very young, very hyperactive club in Eixample Esquerra is crowded almost every night with a loyal clientele. Music is usually R&B and hip-hop,... Read More

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

Known for his discerning eye, art and antiques dealer Albert Martğ Palau just opened a gallery of rare prints by Spain's modern and old masters,... Read More

This is one the most beautiful music auditoriums in the world. Strangely enough, it’s not very well known (maybe because it’s not in plain sight), but... Read More

This is one the most beautiful music auditoriums in the world. Strangely enough, it’s not very well known (maybe because it’s not in plain sight), but... Read More

Paperam is a paper shop located in the Raval neighborhood less than a five-minute walk from La Boqueria market. The store sells a variety of colorful... Read More

This is probably the best-loved park for local joggers, so head here if you're the sort of traveler who brings your running shoes with you. It's set in... Read More

This is probably the best-loved park for local joggers, so head here if you’re the sort of traveler who brings your running shoes with you. It’s set in... Read More

Picnic around the saltwater swimming pool overlooking the Mediterranean. Read More

This is one of the most popular parks in the country. Created by the renowned architect Antoni Gaudí between 1900 and 1914, it has been a protected... Read More

Created by Barcelona's most famous architect Antoni Gaudí between 1900 and 1914, Park Güell was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1984. The park... Read More

This is the main street in Barcelona for shopping. It stretches for a mile and is full of (expensive) shops and restaurants; it’s also where almost all... Read More

Originally designed and built by German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for the 1929 International Exposition, the Pabellon Mies van der Rohe is... Read More

The hillside neighborhood of Pedralbes, in northwestern Barcelona, is full of 19th- and early-20th-century mansions (built by textile barons and... Read More

The Gothic cloister is one of the city's most tranquil spots. Read More

There can be a long wait to get in, but it's worth it, if only to see the extensive collection of portraits by the artist when he was a young man. Chart... Read More

Every Thursday, the Plaça de la Seu at the base of the massive 15th-century cathedral—the most famous edifice in Barcelona (not counting... Read More

The Plaça Reial, with its fading Neoclassical façades and Antoni Gaudí lampposts, is a lovely oasis, just a few steps from bustling... Read More

Considered one of the top music festivals in the world, Primavera launched in 2001 as a sort of experimental event for performing rock and pop bands. ... Read More

This recommendation is of special importance for wine lovers. Twenty years ago, El Priorat produced wines but was never considered an important region... Read More

The polished-concrete and cast-iron décor is as slick as the collection of coffee-table books and architectural tomes at the experimental... Read More

When it comes to indie music, this is the most famous venue in town. The club first opened its doors in 1973 under the name Zeleste, but in 2000, after... Read More

This record store is a personal favorite of mine. It carries thousands of records in all kinds of music styles, all in a very old-school, grass-roots... Read More

This building needs no introduction from me; this is masterpiece of Antonin Gaudí is one of the most famous churches in the world. The new chapel is so... Read More

This club, which has been a staple of Barcelona’s music scene for 25 years, is a classic for those who love to listen and dance. With two floors hosting... Read More

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

My first recommendation is for those who wish to see the real state of fashion in Barcelona. This shop (which opened in 1843—before the advent of brands... Read More

This beautiful church devoted to the Virgin Mary is the best representation of Catalan Gothic acrhitecture in Barcelona. This basilica is also known as... Read More

This is one the tiniest venues you’ll ever see anywhere and that’s precisely why it’s worth the visit. A lot of local bands play here, knowing that it’s... Read More

One of the oldest synagogues  in Europe, this site is now known as Shlomo Ben Adret. First built in the 6th century and rebuilt eight centuries... Read More

Murt is one the most famous fashion designers in Barcelona, and her shops are a good place to purchase something local and elegant at the same time.... Read More

I know there’s a kind of fear of soccer games outside Europe, but the stadiums in Barcelona are safer than the streets (and that’s saying something).... Read More

CCCB's most glamorous event, this electronic music and art festival draws more than 80,000 people each June - rave-happy twentysomethings and classical... Read More

The most important electronic music festival in the world, Sonar began in the rave heyday of 1994 in order to explore and spread love of techno and... Read More

There’s no lingerie (or underwear, all for women) in Barcelona that compares to what they make at TCN. Its designer, Toton Comella, is a legend whose... Read More

Many residents of Barcelona have memories of visiting this park when they were kids. The Tibidabo amusement park is located at the top of one of the... Read More

I strongly recommend a visit to this park, which was founded at the beginning of the 20th century and has the widest collection of plants and flowers in... Read More

A company founded by locals and run by locals, Vaho was the first in Spain to recycle the city’s council banners to make bags, wallets, and all kinds of... Read More

Design aficionados will appreciate the two-storied Vinçon. It carries furniture and decorative objects for every room—except the bedroom;... Read More

This concept is so strange (an art supermarket) that it is unique to Barcelona. The store carries forks, knives, spoons, blankets, lights, paintings, t... Read More

Pick up a Ruta del Modernisme brochure at Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau and amble the Eixample district admiring the mosaics, wrought-iron... Read More

Located near the University of Barcelona, this Eixample corner boutique sits on a stretch of retailers that caters to the young and stylish. Zara, a... Read More

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