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Stories | #WhatToDo in Barcelona

#LoveMyHood Barcelona City Guide

We asked Barcelona based fashion blogger Alba Perarnau to share her hotspots with us. Have fun reading her 24h city guide!

Although Barcelona may seem pretty big, I assure you it’s the perfect size to explore on foot. Forget about the subway, buses or taxis and discover its magical streets enjoying lovely walks and eating in some of the best restaurants. One of the main tourist attractions and one of the things that make the Barcelonians proud of their city is Gaudí and his modernist architecture, which can be found all over the city: from La Sagrada Familia, which even though not finished yet is stunning inside and outside, to El Parc Güell or La Pedrera. An amazing morning would involve visiting one of them, so feel free to pick one and enjoy your morning.

Are you tired yet? I don’t blame you, these three places are always packed, so how does the beach sound? There are many nice restaurants in front of the beach, such as the classy Carpe Diem Lounge Club. However, if you fancy something a bit more informal you’ve got some lovely seafood restaurants along the beach, my favourite being El Xiringuito Escribà (obvious hint: order Paella). Too full to get back to walking? Don’t worry, you still have time to enjoy a Gin and Tonic or whichever cocktail you want while you watch the kids play volleyball at the beach.

Enough break! Now start moving towards El Born, a small neighbourhood close to the beach and also close to the Arc del Triomf. The idea is to see both and end up in La Rambla. If I were you I would start by going to the Arc del Triomf, basically because El Born is full of random but very cool shops and as I’m sure you’re going to end up buying something you might as well visit the Arc del Triomf first and avoid carrying the shopping bags around with you. My favourite shop in the neighbourhood is DrBloom. There are also many bars and coffee shops where you can sit and take a break. I would probably tag the AlsurCafe as my favourite due to their amazing cupcakes, cookies and smoothies.

Feel free to walk up La Rambla and enjoy its flowers and liveliness, it is so worth it. Once on top of it, it will take you literally ten minutes to get to one of my favourite restaurants: Bilbao Berria, which is right next to the Cathedral and El Barri Gòtic.

There are plenty of hotels in Barcelona: the W Hotel is known world-wide for its incredible views of the city and sea. But, if you don’t fancy spending the night there you can always have a drink in its club, Eclipse. Another nice hotel which is right in the centre is the Hotel Espanya, it’s got an amazing spa and its location couldn’t be better.

Start your day right! I love shopping, and as I assume you do too, I truly recommend you go to El Portal de l’Angel, it’s a street really close to Plaça Catalunya and it is literally heaven for us shopaholics!

Has your morning been productive? I reckon you’d really like to sit down in a quiet restaurant and eat in peace, however, it won’t be the case today: go to  El Mercat de la Boqueria, which is in La Rambla. You’ll see it is such a cool place full of juice, meat, fish and vegetable stands, take your time wandering around. The best thing about it is the restaurants. They are always so busy that you hardly ever get a seat, but don’t worry, you can eat while standing, it may not sound too desirable but I promise once you try the food you’ll understand why going there when in Barcelona is a must.

Take the metro if you’re tired or walk if you still feel like it, and head to Plaça Espanya. It is lovely, just walk around and enjoy the views and the weather, maybe sit down and enjoy a refreshing shandy too? If you have time, you can also go check out Montjuic, it’s a lovely place on a hill with a great view.

Last meal of the day: Tapas! Of course you can’t come all the way to Barcelona and leave without having had Salted Ham and some Tomato Bread. Although it may sound slightly weird, salted ham on tomato bread is a very Catalonian thing. You may also want to order the typical Spanish Omelette, and some fried squid.

Eager for more Barcelona insights? Follow Alba on Instagram.