Tucked somewhere between a beach-goer’s mecca and a foodie’s haven, Barcelona exists, drawing in all types of visitors to its versatile way of life. Whether you’re visiting the Catalan city for the crystal clear waves that crash along the coastline, the out-of-this-world jamon iberico and manchego, or the sprawling gothic streets that whisk visitors and locals hundreds of years into the past, this Mediterranean wonderland has something to offer every traveler. Below, we’ve laid out exactly how to spend a truly unforgettable weekend in Spain’s second largest city.
Where to Stay:
Upon arrival in Barcelona, drop your bags at Hotel SOFIA Barcelona, a luxurious hotel located in the young and affluent Les Corts neighborhood. SOFIA is the ideal option for a few nights of total pampering; between the serene infinity pool and spa to the good feng shui within the rooms and suites and personalized services, a night at SOFIA will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to take on everything Barcelona has to offer. We recommend making your way to Plaça de la Concòrdia, a bustling square packed with patios and bars just a short walk from the hotel. Then, make your way to Finca Miralles Gate, a lesser-visited Gaudi structure that looks almost as if a dragon is emerging from the sidewalks.
Where to Eat:
Barcelona doesn’t really do breakfast, so we recommend savoring SOFIA’s sprawling breakfast buffet (which includes everything from jamon iberico and manchego, to an olive bar and bottomless cava), before heading out on the town. For lunch, head to Ten’s Tapas Restaurant, a modern gastro-bar overseen by chef Jordi Cruz. Expect fresh seafood as well as various elevated takes on traditional Spanish tapas. For dinner, we recommend reserving a spot at Bar Brutal, an unpretentious natural wine bar with international flair. Although the menu changes by the day, star dishes include the likes of deconstructed lemon meringue pie and cheese boards and exceptional oysters and grilled octopus.
What to Do:
While it’s easy to get lost in the streets of the Gothic Quarter and Las Ramblas (which we totally recommend you do), be sure to make time for at least a few hours at the Barceloneta Beach before heading to a show or guided museum visit. If you only have time to squeeze in one cultural activity, we recommend booking tickets to a flamenco show. Skip the touristy shows in Las Ramblas and head to Palau Dalmases Flamenco, the intimate show is tucked into a back plaza and feels like stepping into a medieval wine cellar,that just happens to host 30 guests for a five-person flamenco dancing show. Finally, whether you consider yourself a football fan or not, head out to the Camp Nou, the home stadium of FC Barcelona. A home game lasts about two hours but will be a truly immersive experience if you’re looking to get to the beating heart of the city.