The complete guide of Barcelona written by locals

I share with you a complete guide of Barcelona with local tips when you go for a weekend or holidays; hotels, restaurants, terraces, vermut, bars, etc

A lot of people have asked me to send them my list of tips for Barcelona. I completely agree that its much better to have recommendations from locals than to read city guides or browse around internet without knowing where to go. Soooo today I will give you my personal tips of the city when you go for a weekend or holidays. Barcelona is an amazing city, there is a lot to discover and see, I recommend that you to walk around and let it be. This is a city where you go with the flow, enjoy the good temperatures, try the vermut, eat a good fideuá by the sea and some tapas in Borne or Barceloneta, get lost around the charming streets of el Gótico and fall in love with Gaudí´s architecture. Regarding the restaurants and hotels I recommend that you to check their websites to get a better idea on their prices.

So, here we go! If you have any questions please let me know or write me a private email, I would be very happy to guide you around my city. Ah just to clarify the order of the places do not imply any ranking so just browse around and feel free to pick the ones that inspire you the most.

The places do not imply any ranking so just browse around and feel free to pick the ones that inspire you the most.

 

RESTAURANTS

Bocagrande restaurant. In my opinion one of the best fish and seafood restaurants in Barcelona. Designed by famous architect Lázaro Rosa-Violán. All details are thought through and the setting is wonderful. When there don’t miss to visit the bathroom where the DJ Booth is located and finish of the dinner at the Boca Chica bar on the first floor. Book table around 2 weeks in advance. www.bocagrande.cat
Succulent. Excellent food and atmosphere in the middle of Raval; So delicious that you want to dig deep in the plates…   http://www.suculent.com
Font: blogs.lavanguardia.com/por-amor-al-ocio

 Font: blogs.lavanguardia.com/por-amor-al-ocio

 
Carlota Akaneya, Genuine Japanese cuisine. Find it at Pintor Fortuny, 32  www.carlotaakaneya.com
El Jardí. Hidden away in the alleys of Raval this beautiful terrace is perfect for a beer and some tapas on a romantic warm summer night. www.eljardibarcelona.es
La Cuina d’en Garriga. First quality products with great ambiance and where you can also buy cuts of meat, breads and fruit that they use in their menu. www.lacuinadengarriga.com 
la cuina d'en garriga barcelona
El Nacional , 4 culinary areas and 4 specialized bars to choose. The new meeting point for the locals in the city. www.elnacionalbcn.com
Surya Barcelona . The best Indian food of the city, cool atmosphere and excellent service. Ask for a Mango lassi! www.suryabarcelona.com
surya barcelona indian food
 – Pepa Tomate in Villa de Gracia. You will find tomato in all the dishes, lovely spot and terrace in the Villa de Gracia. www.pepatomate.com
Maka Maka – Beach burgers cafe!  Great location next to the beach , burgers and drinks… What else do you need?  www.makamaka.es
makamaka restaurant
Ikibana. A unique and creative Japanese/Brazilian fusion restaurant with two locations in Barcelona, Borne and Paralelo. Remember to book your table and try its delicious deserts!  www.ikibana.es
Rasoterra. Vegeterian bistro. Love their Manifesto: Food is an act of love; and love needs to continuously reinvent itself to live and grow.  www.rasoterra.cat
Botafumeiro, if you want to go to a traditional Spanish top restaurant this is the place. With food and wine from the region of Galicia your tastebuds will be delighted and you will dine in style. www.botafumeiro.es
One Ocean Club Restaurant. Stimulate your culinary senses and relax at a table overlooking the marina while Executive Chef Llorenç Valls conjures up exceptional dishes made from fresh, local produce. Also enjoy its marvelous terrace and dreamy cocktails.  www.oneoceanclub.es
one ocean club restaurant barcelona
 
Cafe Kafka and Bananas restaurant, Trendy bustling spot in a great location in El Borne. Enjoy a variety of great food, good wines and drinks combined with some people watching. When you are ready to go Bananas go to the bar of that name next door and grab some drinks, or just head there directly for more of a party dinner.

La Paradeta – Self service seafood in El Borne Barcelona or Sants neighborhood. At La Paradeta you eat authentic quality seafood in a fun way and at the best price. http://www.laparadeta.com/

La Paradeta barcelona

– Kibuka Barcelona – Sushi Bar restaurant at Villa de Gracia http://www.kibuka.com/

kibuka barcelona

After trying of my best sushi places in Bcn go and have a Kakigori japanese ice cream at Plaça de la Villa de Gràcia, 3.

 

TAPAS AND PINXOS

Ciutat Condal, Rambla de Catalunya, 18. (City center). All kind of tapas, a referent in Barcelona, they have a very nice terrace in the middle of Rambla Catalunya, but inside is also very cool. Well worth the up to 45 minute wait for the table. http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g187497-d1059712-Reviews-Ciudad_Condal-Barcelona_Catalonia.html

La Cerveceria Catalana, C/Mallorca 236. (City center). It’s a classic, same owner and menu as Ciudad Condal. Long lines to get in but extremely recommended. Loads of tapas and very affordable prices! http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g187497-d782944-Reviews-Cerveceria_Catalana-Barcelona_Catalonia.html

Tickets. Avda Paral·lel 164.  (Poble Sec). Bulli’s brothers preparing their own version of traditional tapas in a very sophisticated way. “Haute Cuisine” tapas and hard to get a table so work your contacts. http://www.ticketsbar.es/web/en/

Sagardi. C/Argenteria, 62. (Born). Try the “pintxos”, typical snacks from Bascue country. Get a plate, serve yourself from the bar and pay in the end. Eat in their small terrace or in the bar. Do not forget to order a glass of Basque white wine “Txakolí”. http://www.sagardi.com/?l=en_en

Font: www.guidego.com

Font: www.guidego.com

Cal Pep. Plaça de les Olles, 8. (Born) Little, nosy and messy. Try to get a place in the bar or inside and let them to recommend their tapas of the day. It’s a referent in the city and almost impossible to get a table. http://www.calpep.com/

La Esquinica. C/Fabra i Puig 296.  (Horta). Noisy and messy restaurant in Horta, little suburb in the north of the city. Long lines always but very worth to wait to get in! Try the “choricitos” and the “pimientos del Padrón” you won’t regret it. http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g187497-d877654-Reviews-La_Esquinica-Barcelona_Catalonia.html

– Tapas tour in Barceloneta:

Recommended to start around 19h, get a couple or more tapas in each bar and a couple of wine glasses or beers…, eat in the bar. Speak with the waiters and the locals and have fun!

1. El Vaso de oro . C/Balboa, 6. (long beer glass and foie tapa, spicy tuna mousse)

2. Bar l’ Electricitat. C/Sant carles, 15. (Spanish omlette, bread with tomatoe and Txaka tapas).

3. Jaica. C/Ginebra, 13. (anchovies, fried squids, croquettes and bravas potatoes).

4. La Bombeta. C/Maquinista 3. (meat and potato “bombs” , aubergine cookies and pimientos del Padrón).

VERMUT & APERITIVO
Bar Calders. C/Parlament, 25 (Raval). Wonderful terrace, welcoming atmosphere, good home made vermut and they have vegan dishes in their menu. http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g187497-d2547242-Reviews-Bar_Calders-Barcelona_Catalonia.html
Font: www.drbloom.es

Font: www.drbloom.es

– Bar Papitu. Passatge de la Virreina, 1 (Raval). In the middle of the boost of Boqueria ask for the croquetas and calamars)http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g187497-d986443-Reviews-Restaurante_Papitu-Barcelona_Catalonia.html
– Quimet & Quimet . C/Poeta Cabanyes, 25. (Poble Sec). Vermut, tapas and the best atmosphere. You will not be disappointed).http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g187497-d717377-Reviews-Quimet_Quimet-Barcelona_Catalonia.html
Bodega de l’avi Manel C/Consell de cent, 416. (Eixample,City center). Drink its home made vermut  between their big wine barrels. Try their achieves and vegetable fajitas. http://www.timeout.com/barcelona/food-and-drink/bodega-lavi-manel
FOOD MARKETS 
Mercat de Santa Caterina. Avda. Francesc Cambó, 16. (El Born).Traditional market recently renewed with fresh vegetables, meat and fish. It has some really good restaurants and delicatessen shops.  http://www.mercatsantacaterina.com/Index.php
Mercat-Santa.Caterina.
– Mercat Princesa. C/Flassaders, 21 (El Born).Little and cozy market, home made products and delicatessen.  http://www.mercatprincesa.com/
Mercat de la Boqueria. La Rambla, 91 (city center).Biggest market in the city, fresh fruits, fish, meat, delicatessen, exotic products, international and delicatessen. http://www.boqueria.info/index.php?lang=en. Also check out my blog post here: http://lipstickvoice.com/laboqueriamarquet/
– Palo Alto Market. C/ dels Pellaires, 30 (Poblenou). Popular street market, check out the incoming events http://www.paloaltomarket.com/es/home
BRUNCH & BREAKFAST
– Picnic, Carrer comerç 1-3. Get fed, watered & inspired at Picnic in El Born. www.picnic-restaurant.com
Font: www.stylebybru.com

Font: www.stylebybru.com

Federal cafe – Superb food and drinks served by attentive friendly staff in a unique and cosy atmosphere. www.federalcafe.es/barcelona

Milk in C/ Gignas 21. It is wise to get there early as it has become a popular start to the day. www.milkbarcelona.com
Flax & kale, C/ Tallers 74. Love their Instagram account check it out on  instagram.com/flaxandkale – www.teresacarles.com
Mermalade,Conveniently located 5 minutes from Las Ramblas and with a privileged location above the top of La Rambla del Raval, offerts great brunch with a busy terrace next to Macba museum.    www.marmaladebarcelona.com
Mama´s cafe – Ecologic breakfast in Gràcia, Torrijos, 26. They have a beautiful interior garden and . www.mamascafebcn.com

EAT BY THE BEACH

Chiringuito Escribà, Avda Litoral, 42 Barcelona (Bogatell beach).If you want to eat a paella or Fideuà by the beach this is the best place. Good food and beautiful sea views at good prices. http://www.xiringuitoescriba.com/en/index.html#res

xiringuito escriba

Pez Vela, Pasg. Mare Nostrum 19-21. (Hotel Vela, Barceloneta). Menu based on salads and paellas. Fresh space fully opened to the beach. http://grupotragaluz.com/en/eventos/pez-vela-2/

– Surf House Barcelona. Your beach cafe and the new summer place to be in Barceloneta. Love its brunch and summer juices.  http://www.surfhousebarcelona.com/en 

surf house barcelona Captura de pantalla 2015-07-31 a las 15.45.19

Santa Marta, Grau I Torras, 59 (Barceloneta). The “hipster” terrace is in front of the beach. Perfect place for a beer and some snacks like nachos and hamburgers . Be patient if they take a bit longer to serve you, enjoy the views. http://www.tripadvisor.es/Restaurant_Review-g187497-d2096027-Reviews-Bar_Santa_Marta-Barcelona_Catalonia.html

MammaRosa restaurant, Psg Mare Nostrum 19-21.  Would you like to eat great italian food by the beach? They have very good Pizza and pasta; dinner or lunch you can choose, it’s perfect for both! http://www.mamarosabeach.com/en/galeria/

Restaurant Barceloneta, C/De L’Escar 22. (Barceloneta). Expensive and traditional restaurant. Harbor views. Tapas, fish, rice and fideuà. No swimming wear or flip flops accepted.  Beautiful restaurant and great food for a special occasion. http://www.restaurantbarceloneta.com/inicio/# 

 

TERRACES

Hotel Pulitzer Terrace, C/Bergara, 8 (City centre).  Terrace in the top floor of the hotel. Cocktails, live music and very cool ambiance for a perfect evening. http://www.hotelpulitzer.es/en

Salt Beach Club (opened from april-october). Psg Mare Nostrum 19-21 (Hotel W, Barceloneta). Creative Cocktails, Californian Style cuisine and DJ’s, making the place the perfect spot to spend a beach day. http://www.saltbeachclub.com/en/beach-club

 

salt beach club barcelona

Grand Hotel Central Barcelona .Via Laietana, 30 (City center). Amazing spectacular terrace on the top. Great views and cocktails. Perfect after 7pm; start your evening here and you won’t regret it! http://www.grandhotelcentral.com/en/

 

– Restaurant Martinez . Ctra de Miramar, 38 (Montjuic). Up on the Montjuic mountain you will find this delicatessen restaurant with a beautiful terrace with and city views. Tapas, fish and rice dishes. It works for lunch or dinner but also if you want to have a special aperitive with oysters and jamón.

http://www.martinezbarcelona.com/

 

Al Aire Barcelona. Psg de Gràcia, 73. (City center).On the top of this classic hotel you will find a design terrace. Cocktails, lounge style and beautiful city views. Perfect to start the night! http://www.condesdebarcelona.com/en/alaire-terrace-bar-1/

  

La caseta del migdia. Mirador del Migdia s/n (Montjuic).   It’s a bit far from the center but extremely worth it! City and sea views from the top of the hill. Perfect place for catching the sunset! Drinks, snacks, barbecue style meat, and       panckakes. http://www.lacaseta.org/veng.html

 

El Terrat del Do Hotel -On the top floor of the Hotel DO: Plaça Reial, El Terrat del DO offers the opportunity to enjoy the best local food, surrounded by the Gothic roofs of Ciutat Vella, Barcelona’s Old City, and with privileged views. Open in the summer months from June to mid October.

Hotel Do terrace Plaça Real

Font: www.splendia.com/en/hotel-do-barcelona.html

 

 

HOTELS & APARTMENTS

Praktik hotels, design boutique hotels of affordable luxury located in the heart of Barcelona. Check out my experience at Praktik Rambla at: http://lipstickvoice.com/praktik-hotel-rambla-barcelona

Hotel Chic and Basic group – In the Born district, Plaça Catalunya or beside Las Ramblas you will find the best chic&basic to fit in with your planswww.chicandbasic.com

Hotel Yurbban, Trafalgar, 30. Charming, modern, centric with an amazing good reviews on Tripadvisor! The hotel roof top pool is stunning http://yurbban.com/

hotel yurbban barcelona

Hotel Om – A classic trendspot that has been around for a while. Great location for shopping and best place to stay in the winter when you can relax in their wonderful lounge next to the fireplace. www.hotelomm.es

Hotel W – You get what you pay for. A little bit more expensive but amazing, best views, best location on the beach, best hotel pool with occasional pool parties and best rooftop bar ( Eclipse). Even if you don´t stay here its worth passing by to check it out. www.w-barcelona.com

Renting apartments & rooms at: www.airbnb.comwww.cocoonbarcelona.com www.bcnapartmentrentals.comwww.rent4days.com

Bed and Beach Barcelona, Less than 5 minutes walking to the beach, it is located in a fully renovated 1902 building in the Olympic Port area. Free bike service for the guests! www.bedandbeachbarcelona.com

 

DRINKS & COCKTAILS

Numero nueve in Borne. Where everybody goes now! A place to have fun, meet people and enjoy with the tourists and locals! Check all their events and details on their Facebook page: https: www.facebook.com/numeronueve –

numero nueve bar cocktail barcelona

Boca chica ( where boca grande is) – Perfect for the first drinks after dinner. An elegant, refined and spacious cocktail & wine bar. It connects Africa to Europe and New York to Barcelona. www.bocagrande.cat/en/boca-chica
Disset graus, wine bar in El borne. Carrer Antic de Sant Joan 3 y Passeig del Born.
Eclipse – Some of my best nights in Barcelona have been in Eclipse on the 26th floor of the Hotel W. Eclipse is the ‘it’ spot for endless nights in Barcelona. Check out the different Events & Parties at www.eclipse-barcelona.com/en
Betty Ford – Shots and cocktails in the streets of Raval. One of my favourite bars when to rock and roll the city in a laid back way. You also can find the Manchester bar next to it. Great nights which always end up in Apolo club in Paralelo.
–  CDLC and Shoko Barcelona – No matters which one first. For the ones who prefer sophisticated nights by the beach in a cool atmosphere. Check out their parties, thematic different almost everyday! www.cdlcbarcelona.com &  www.shoko.biz/club   
Ocaña Barcelona in Plaça real the bar and club for hip and creative people. Bar upstairs and club in the underground usually playing RnB. Creativity.Café, Club, Restaurant,Apotheke, Terrace. Fun guaranteed. www.ocana.cat
Font: dwayne miras

Font: dwayne miras

 

PLACES TO VISIT & ATTRACTIONS

Picasso museum (El Born) www.museupicasso.bcn.cat

Santa Maria del Mar cathedral (El Born)

Gaudí architecture: Sagrada familia, Casa Batlló, la Pedrera and Park Güell

– La Rambla del Raval (Raval) &  Macba ( Art Contemporany Museum) square and surroundings (Raval)

Las Ramblas and Plaça Real. Walk down Las Ramblas and end at the Colombus monument then walk along Barcelona’s harbor.

Olymphic harbor and Barceloneta’s beach. During summer enjoy the beaches and xiringuitos in la Mar bella and San Sebastian beaches.

barceloneta beach

Barcelona’s cathedral. (Gothic quarter)

Plaça Sant Jaume, city hall and surroundings and do not forget the beautiful Plaça Felip Neri where  Vicky Cristina Barcelona was filmed. (Gothic quarter)

neri square barcelona

Villa de Gracia, have a coffe at Plaça del Sol.  (Gracia)

Camp Nou – FC Barcelona football match. Get all your tickets to see Barça at Easyfootballhttps://www.facebook.com/easyfootballandevents

 

OUTSIDE BARCELONA

– Sitges town – only 30 minutes from Barcelona. A part from walking around the old town and the sea do a visit in casa Bacardi, learn more about Bacardi ron and how to make your own Mojito. Or also have a swim at the hidden bay of Cala Morisca.

sitges town

Costa Brava (Begur and Calella de Palafrugell are my favourite villages).

Hotels: Les hamaques, Mal contenta, Hotel Vintage Cap Sa Sal.

Wine tasting at Vilafranca del Penedés – Different options at www.catalunya.com/what-to-do/enotourism/more-wine-tourism-experiences

wine testing Al Penedes

Cava tasting at Sant Sadurní d’Anoia – Caves pep Ventura & Caves Torelló. 

Calçotada at Ca N’ayxelá

Montserrat Mountains

La Roca Village Outlet. They have their own direct shuttle bus from Plaça Catalunya. 20 min away from the city. www.larocavillage.com

And that’s all! To be honest it took to me almost 1 week to gather and select all the info. There is a looong list of wonderful places to go but I have tried to be more specific and give you a little bit of everything to feel all the possible vibes that the city offers. Doing this I realized how much I love this city and how much I miss it, I can get enough of Barcelona… !

Finally I  want to thank you to all my beautiful friends who live in Barcelona to keep me posted with the last and trendy spots of the city. In specially to Paty Aguayo and Anna Corella ♥

 

Thanks with Love 

LV

 

19 Comments
  • Matthew

    March 24, 2015 at 10:50 pm Reply

    Great post and look forward to check out these places when I go to Barcelona in a couple of weeks with a group of friends. I have one question, regarding the tapas route, at what time do you recommend us to do it?

    • Mireia Guix

      March 25, 2015 at 8:59 am Reply

      Hi Matthew, thanks for reading! I think the best time is around 19:ooh on the afternoon, some beers and tapas in each place! 🙂

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