Barcelona City Guide

Barcelona City Guide

Barcelona is an eclectic global city on the Mediterranean Sea filled with awe-inspiring art, laughter, food, and fiesta. It is home to several UNESCO heritage site created by the talented Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner. I was lucky enough to live here for two years. 

Here are some of my favorite spots that you won’t want to miss. 


Cotton House

Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 670, 08010 Barcelona, Spain

Cotton House is my favorite home away from home in Barcelona. The hotel is beautifully decorated and restored. I  love the comfy beds and quiet rooms (I heard no street noise when staying here). If you’re traveling lite - the airport bus drops off in Placa Catalunya, an 8-minute walk from the hotel.  

Casa Bonay

Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 700, 08010 Barcelona, Spain

Casa Bonay is in a cool historic building. I love this hotel because of its trendy eateries and proximity to just about everything by walking and transit. If you’re traveling lite - the airport bus drops off in Placa Catalunya, a 12-minute walk from the hotel.  

La Papa, Barcelona

La Papa

Eat & Drink

La Papa 

C/ d'Aribau, 92, 08036 Barcelona, Spain

La Papa is my favorite brunch spot - there is ALWAYS a line, and for good reason. The decor and food are lovely. 

Can’t miss: Churros La Papa 


Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 692, 08010 Barcelona, Spain

Frizzant is my favorite healthy lunch spot in Barcelona. In addition to serving up great food - Frizzant has great healthy takeaway options, a co-working space, and a yoga studio. 

Can’t miss: Pastrami Sandwich 


Av. Diagonal, 205, 08018 Barcelona, Spain

Tope is a rooftop bar at the top of the Hoxton Hotel in Poblenou. I highly recommend going here for a drink and enjoying fantastic rooftop views. I love this rooftop because the prices aren’t outrageous, there is rarely a wait, and you get a view of all of Barcelona. I think it’s one of the city’s best-kept secrets. 

Can’t miss: Poco Picante


Carrer de Neptú, 18, 08006 Barcelona, Spain

Antúnez is my go-to spot for group dinners and Spanish tapas. The restaurant has a local neighborhood feel and is always packed. 

Can’t miss: Tortilla with sobrasada, brie, and honey and the beef cheek croquettes


Carrer de les Guilleries, 10, 08012 Barcelona, Spain

Viblioteca combines two of my loves - wine & cheese. The wine list has 150+ bottles. I highly recommend booking dinner here - it’s perfect for a group or date night. 

Can’t miss: The assorted cheese plate with jam


The Green Spot, Barcelona, Pizza

The Green Spot

The Green Spot - Diagonal

Carrer de la Reina Cristina, 12, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

The Green Spot has vegetarian food and becomes a fun Thursday-Saturday night party. The crowd is locals and expats - you won’t find any study-abroad kids here. 

Can’t Miss: Pizza Negra

Negro Rojo

Av. Diagonal, 640, 08017 Barcelona, Spain

IYKYK. Negro Rojo is my favorite “Thursday Night” place in Barcelona. Thursday night tables are booked out 3-4 weeks in advance. This is a popular local late 20s/30-something place to go out - the evening starts with dinner and ends with live musical performances and dancing. 

Can’t Miss: The Sobrasada pizza


Gracia Neighborhood 

Gracia is one of the most local Barcelona neighborhoods - it has many popular local spots and an artistic vibe. I recommend having a coffee or tapas at one of the cafes on Placa del Sol. The neighborhood is also home to my favorite empanada shop (L'Empanaderia de Gràcia) and cocktail bar (14 De La Rosa). If you happen to be in Barcelona in mid-August, the Gracia Festival is something that you won't want to miss. 

Hospital Sant Pau

Gaudi made his mark on the city of Barcelona, but many of the Gaudi sites are crowded and plagued with long lines. I recommend visiting one of Gaudi’s lesser-known (and equally Instagramable) sites - Hospital Sant Pau. 

Cereria Subirà

Baixada de la Llibreteria, 7, 08002 Barcelona, Spain

Cereria Subirà is the oldest candle maker in Barcelona - the candles are high quality and reasonably priced. The owners have kept the shop close to its original condition, so it’s a wonderful place to get a feel for Barcelona’s past. 

Playa de Bogatell

Bogatell is the beach of choice for Barcelona locals. It tends to be less crowded and cleaner than Barceloneta. 

 Tossa de Mar

Torres de Mar


Tossa de Mar

Tossa de Mar is easy to reach from Barcelona by bus. This little Costa Brava town boasts beautiful beaches, old castle walls, and charming streets to get lost in. Pro tip - order some local wines from “Emporda” (the Costa Brava wine region) at lunch. 


Penedès is situated just outside of Barcelona. This wine region is best known for Cava (Spanish sparkling wine) but is also home to some phenomenal still wines. Penedès is an easy day trip by train + taxi from Barcelona. You can take the train to Vilafranca del Penedès and catch a cab from the translation to one of the many vineyards in the area. I recommend asking the vineyard to arrange for a taxi to bring you back to the train in advance. For vineyard visits, most require bookings. Some of my favorites are Parés Baltà Winery, Celler Pardas, Cavas Mestres, and Vins de Foresta

X Sarah


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