What do you like to do in your spare time? Visit art museums, taste the local cuisine or go shopping for that special little something? We don’t answer to that question. What we do know, however, is that you’re sure to find it in Barcelona, no matter what it is. Even if you’re not searching for anything in particular, you’re sure to find something that will take you by surprise.
Cooking is embedded in the DNA of Barcelona’s residents. Not only is it a pleasure for them to eat, they also like to talk about dishes and restaurants.
Barcelona’s cityscape is brimming with bars and restaurants. More than 7,400 establishments throughout its streets make it one of the cities with the highest number of food outlets per inhabitant. It’s no coincidence that eating out is part of the Barcelona way of life.
The Mediterranean diet is a legacy of the city and dates back to the Roman period. It is based on cuisine made with produce from the garden, sea and mountains. The good climate allows farmers in rural areas to supply the markets with a wide selection of seasonal fruit, vegetables and greens. Every day fishermen bring fresh fish from the open sea, and farmers from all over Catalonia supply local and organic meat.
And what type of dishes will you see on a restaurant menu? The Spanish omelette and jamón ibérico need no introduction. Undoubtedly exquisite, but there is so much more to discover. You’ll see a huge variety of rice from the fields of the Delta de l’Ebre, made with seafood and fish, like arroz parellada, arroz negro or caldereta de bogavante. You should also try traditional cuisine like bacalao a la llauna, a monkfish suquet or confit duck canelons. Plus, you’ll find mar i muntanya dishes—recipes combining fish and meat. And if we accompany them with cava or one of the 11 Catalan wines with designation of origin status, then the pairing will be unforgettable.
And to finish: desserts. Seeped in over 500 years of tradition in the world of chocolate, Barcelona is home to some of the best confectioners and bakers around. Who doesn’t like a little something sweet?
Soak up our way of life. Experience it at the most unique food markets by feasting on some tapas accompanied by a refreshing vermouth.
Places with plenty of flavour.
The markets of Barcelona have a long tradition, and each of them has its own history and personality. The Mercat de la Boqueria is located on Les Rambles and it is the market most visited by Barcelona residents and tourists alike. There is a popular saying that goes “if you can’t find it in the Boqueria, you won’t find it anywhere”. Another well known market, with a spectacular undulating roof, is the Mercat de Santa Caterina, which has colourful ceramic tiles representing the fruit and vegetables found inside. Come in, have a look around these markets and try some of their food bars.
Sharing is caring!
Going out for tapas is one of the best known marks of identity in our food culture. The flair and essence of this kind of food ritual lies in ordering a variety of small portions of food to share with your partner, friends or family. They can be a casual appetiser or a relaxed supper. There is an enormous variety of tapas and something to suit all tastes—both traditional and more creative depending on the hotel or restaurant you go to. The queen of tapas is patatas bravas, although croquettes and ensaladilla rusa are also favourites among Barcelona residents.
Shaken, not stirred.
Fancy going out for a drink?
Barcelona reveals its young spirit and lively side at night. Its people love to go out for dinner followed by a drink in a bar in the city centre or by the beach. Lately, many of its hotel terraces have become fashionable among Barcelona residents thanks to their friendly atmosphere and variety of signature cocktails. At the bar, the master mixologists will make you any drink on the menu, from a classic dry martini to a strawberry and basil mojito—and all to the sound of a chilled-out melody. If you don’t know what drink to choose, just tell them what you like and they’ll make you a delicious combination!
With or without a map, get lost in the streets of Barcelona and enjoy a truly cosmopolitan adventure.
Barcelona is a city brimming with history—both dynamic and innovative—that has been graced by some of the most universal artists of all time. In its streets and museums you’ll see the childlike cubism of Picasso, the surreal universe of Miró, the natural modernism of Gaudí—and even the most avant-garde collections of pop art and minimalism. Artists from every kind of genre and period who have expressed their emotions and particular way of viewing their world in their work.
Barcelona’s open-mindedness and bold character are reflected in many of the buildings along its distinctive skyline. One of them is the radiant Torre Agbar by Frenchman Jean Nouvel, located beside the Museu del Disseny, a modern museum where one of the most interesting collections of design products and visual arts is displayed. Another example is the Palau de Sant Jordi created by Japan’s Arata Isozaki, where important sports events are held and international stars play huge concerts.
Barcelona is also a Mecca for music lovers of any generation. Its calendar features festivals causing a real sensation on the music scene, like Primavera Sound or Sónar, held at the end of Spring. Other legendary concert venues include the Palau de la Música, the Liceu and the Auditori, emblematic buildings with an extensive list of concerts scheduled throughout the whole year.
With museums and activities for children, sports events, popular festivals, Barcelona is a box of surprises where you’ll enjoy once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
Going shopping in Barcelona means wandering about, looking around, having a drink and falling in love with the shop windows inviting us to buy.
An organic cotton shirt, a ceramic bracelet, a bottle of Alella wine with D.O. status, an official FC Barcelona football top… whatever your taste is, you’re sure to find a unique gift for yourself or someone special.
The big companies and brands best known for fashion, accessories, technology and other products are found in boutiques and establishments throughout the different shopping areas of Barcelona. Not a single one is missing!
If you’re looking for something genuine and authentic stamped with the “made in Barcelona” hallmark, you’ll even find that too. And in many shops. Ground-breaking designers, great craftsmen and local producers with talent and charisma are constantly creating original, high-quality clothing, home accessories, gourmet produce and souvenirs of the city.
An unforgettable shopping experience
Discover the shopping destination where something extraordinary happens every day. Just 40 minutes from Barcelona, explore more than 140 boutiques of leading national and international brands along sunny, open-air landscaped streets. Bulgari, Levi’s, Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger, Sandro and many more offer savings of up to 60% on the recommended retail prices – Monday to Sunday, all year round.
Unparalleled luxury shopping
This is one of Barcelona’s main avenues where strolling around and shopping are most enjoyable, because of its modernist architectural relics and exclusive boutiques. The main high fashion and prêt à porter brands as well as other international lines are found here. Apart from fashion, this avenue is home to some of the finest Catalan jewellery stores, spanning over a century of tradition.
Shopping for inquisitive minds
Barcelona is a spontaneous and lively city where there is a multitude of flea markets—open-air and indoor—with locally designed products, both handcrafted and second-hand. The most well-known markets include the historical Mercat dels Encants, found beside the Torre Agbar; and the artisan food market located in the Plaça del Pi in the Gòtic quarter.
Barcelona has 22 shopping areas throughout the city. Each neighbourhood has its own shopping district bringing together all kinds of stores, from family owned and hundred-year-old shops to global brands and unique new businesses. It is well worth paying a visit to the unique* stores in each of these shopping areas.