We love exploring the destinations we visit and sharing our insights with you – our members. These destination guides will give you plenty of inspiration about what you should – and could – be enjoying, whether it will be the first or the tenth time you’ve visited. From exciting activities, tips about where to head for luxury shopping and even things that you may find a little bit quirky, you’ll find something new and inspiring to try. Explore Barcelona.
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Live like a local
Where to begin? No visit to Barcelona is complete without seeing Gaudi’s iconic, unfinished cathedral, the Sagrada Familia, or a walk through Parc Güell, filled with his sinuous, unique designs. Las Ramblas – the city’s most famous boulevard, filled with buskers and street stalls – is essential, as is wandering the lattice-like streets of the Gothic Quarter. Hop on a sightseeing bus to grasp the scale of this vibrant city, ride the cable car up to Montjuïc and gape at the views, before chilling out at a chiringuito – open shacks on the city’s sandy beach selling some of the best seafood in the city and cocktails to match.Find out more
Barcelona is a culturally rich city with museums on every corner and regular fiestas, when it feels as if the whole city has come out to party. On the Feast of St John (23 June) there are bonfires and firework displays all over the city, while the Festa de Sant Roc, in mid-August, sees the city’s bohemian Gothic Quarter host a giant street party. In summer, Musica als Parcs is a lovely programme of free concerts – jazz and classical – in the city’s parks, while the annual Pride festival is the ultimate proof of its party credentials, lasting for 10 days.Find out more
There’s more to Barcelona than sightseeing – the four miles of beach make it great for watersports and there are schools offering surfing, kite-surfing and windsurfing lessons, as well as kayaking and paragliding. On dry land, the city is backed by nine hills, meaning that you can walk or hike into the countryside pretty much from the centre of the city. Tibidabo mountain is the highest peak – the walk up takes you through tranquil wooded areas, and there are great views of the city from the top.Find out more
With the kids
Barcelona is that rare thing, a child-friendly city with plenty of family-themed attractions. The Museu Blau is the city’s equivalent of the Natural History Museum, where a vast whale skeleton welcomes you at the door, while L’Aquarium has an 80-metre underwater tunnel with sharks and rays gliding by. The city’s parks offer plenty of space to run off excess energy, and the Parc de la Ciutadella has rowing boats to take out on the lake. Lunch at a pintxo bar, where all manner of snacks are threaded onto cocktail sticks, is delicious and will go down a treat.
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Thankfully, Barcelona’s shopping scene remains on its wide, sunlit streets rather than in covered malls and soulless shopping centres. Polish up the credit card for a spree on Passeig de Gracia – the city’s equivalent of Bond Street, or head to Portal de l’Angel if you’re looking for more affordable high-street names. Browse the vintage treats at the Encants Vells flea market – originally established in the 14th century, making it the oldest market in Europe – and for culinary treats to take home, don’t miss La Boqueria Market, filled with every type of food imaginable from Spain’s best producers.Find out more
Food and drink
Forget the idea of sitting over a three-course meal; in Barcelona food is bite-size – tapas and pintxos, taken at a succession of bars, washed down with glasses of ice-cold fino or cava. Choose your barrio carefully; the Gothic quarter caters mainly to cruise crowds, while the fish restaurants in Barceloneta can be overpriced. Head to the narrow alleys of El Born, where many restaurants offer an authentic menu del dia, or head to Gracia, where tapas bars share the charming streets with more upscale restaurants, offering dinners to linger over. To eat as the locals do, order fideuà – a noodle version of paella.Find out more