They say it about Paris, but the truth is, Barcelona is also always a good idea.
It’s small enough so you can walk pretty much anywhere, and the more you wander, the more you’ll discover.
No matter what your feet take you, there’s plenty of little streets to get lost in and always something nice to do/see/eat/drink/shop.
Coffee (con leche) and croissant at family-run Pastisseria Escriba (La Rambla, 83) is a good place to start.
With its wonderful & wonky sweet creations and its amazing art deco storefront, it’s the perfect place to ease into the architectural and sensasory overload that is Barcelona… before setting out to explore the real deal!
aka. Gaudi’s wonderfully crazy (crazily wonderful?) creations.
His most famous piece is the Sagrada Familia (which should you want to visit, you’ll to book well ahead – as in, months ahead – of your trip as tickets run out veeeeeeery quickly!), but smaller, more accessible masterpieces are studded around the city.
Including the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Casa Milà (Provença, 261-265)
And my personal favourite, the colourful, ceramic covered Casa Battló (Passeig de Gràcia, 43).
When the sun gets higher in the sky and the temperatures rise, seek shelter in the narrow shaded streets of El Born.
Take your time as your explore.
Slow down your pace, take a peek into small courtyards and go down tiny streets that seem to go nowhere.
You never know what treasures you’ll find, be it incredible street art…
… or some lovely shop (Impossible (Carrer d’en Tantarantana, 16) being quite the textbook example) that’ll make you consider getting a checked-in piece of luggage on the spot!
Make a pitstop for lunch at Can Cisa/Bar Brutal (Carrer de la Princesa, 14), a beautiful, informal bodega-style wine bar.
Pull up a seat at the cosy bar or take a pew at one of the wooden tables.
Take your peak of the 300-something-strong international organic or biodynamic wine list.
(some of which comes straight out of the barrel and into wall-mounted taps!).
And then a few bits to share…
Fruity purple olives, pork rillettes with crisp flatbread, smoky chorizo…
Gorgeous anchovy fillets.
And the most amazing porchetta sandwich there ever was.
Then walk it off while taking in a few more architectural wonders!
Take a look at the majestic Arc de Triomf (Passeig de Lluís Companys).
Explore every inch of orange-tree shaded Parc de la Ciutadella…
Or if you feel so inclined, take it to the Gothic Quarter’s streets again!
Relish into the quiet of the streets and take advantage of locals and visitors being respectively enjoying their daily siesta and turning themselves into a bright red lobster on the beach to tick off a few more sights off your list.
The stunning neo-gothic ‘Bishop’s Bridge’ (Carrer del Bisbe 1) ranks very high on my list.
But then again, not quite as high as the un-missable Palau de la Música Catalana (C/ Palau de la Música, 4-6)!
Stroll slowly down towards to the seafront, stopping at Mercat del Born (Plaça Comercial, 12), a former market-come-city-museum on the way.
One more pitstop at Vioko (Carrer del Sombrerers, 3) for a few scoops of Barcelona’s best ice cream…
Then go bury your feet into the sand at one of the nearby beaches!
When the sun goes down and the sky turns all kinds of glorious pastel shades, it’s almost time for the best part of the day!
By which I obviously mean: tapas!
Now, there are many tapas bars in Barcelona, but my favourite is a little local gem called Jai-Ca (Carrer de Ginebra, 7, 9 y 13), where you can truly feast on the best small plates the city has to offer at a very reasonable price.
Miracle of the century, they also take table reservations. All you have to do is messaging them on Facebook and then make the most of it by ordering up a storm!
Jamon, croquetas, fried artichoke, crispy chipirones, seafood a la plancha… No matter what you go for, you’ll go home really full and very, very food-happy indeed!