Ultimate Barcelona Travel Guide

Barcelona is easily one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Known for it’s architecture and art (much of it designed by Gaudi), travelers from around the world flock to Barcelona to explore this vibrant city. I could have easily spent weeks here but with only a few days to explore, I did a ton of research on the best places to stay, eat, drink & play. I put together this Ultimate Barcelona Travel Guide to help you plan the perfect weekend getaway.

Visiting Basics

Climate: The climate of Barcelona is Mediterranean, with mild, relatively rainy winters and hot, sunny summers. Most visitors enjoys the temperatures between May – October.

Language: While many people in the city do speak some English, it definitely helps to learn some basic Spanish. And if you go the extra mile to learn a few words of Catalan, you will certainly be made welcome in this hospitable city. I recommend downloading Google Translate which features a verbal translation tool as well as photo translation tool for signs and menus.

Money: The Euro is used throughout Spain. ATMs are a regular sight throughout the city and major hotels and restaurants will accept Mastercard and Visa.

Getting Around: The public transit system in Barcelona is one of the best I’ve experienced. You can easily get anywhere in the city utilizing the metro, trams & buses. I’d recommend purchasing a multi-day unlimited ride card.

Safety: I felt extremely safe in Barcelona, however pickpocketing and bag snatching is a common issue so do your best to secure your valuables, especially in crowded spaces and on public transportation.

Where to Stay

There are endless options for places to stay, with everything from hostels to luxury. Kimpton is my favorite hotel brand so I opted to stay at the Kimpton Vividora, which is ideally located in the Gothic Quarter within walking distance to tons of restaurants, bars, shops & sightseeing spots.

This boutique hotel fuses contemporary luxury with artistic spirit. Their rooms are chic and comfortable and the suites include a private terrace and luxury bathtub.

Amenities include a full service restaurant, rooftop pool and bar, and complimentary bikes to explore the city.

Where to Eat & Drink

Boca Grande

Boca Grande is one of Barcelona’s fastest rising ‘IT’ restaurants and it’s easy to see why with a mix of yummy Mediterranean and Catalan cuisine in a trendy yet glamorous setting. The restaurant has one of the coolest bathrooms I’ve ever seen and the bar turns into a club in the evening. It’s a must for anyone seeking a unique and unforgettable dining experience. What to order: Seafood Paella and Spicy Paloma

El Cercle

El Cercle is a stylish restaurant with a large beautiful terrace located in the Gothic Quarter. The extensive menu offers classic Catalan cuisine as well as Japanese options. What to order: Sake Avocado Maki and Yakisoba Vegetables

La Alcoba Azul

There is no shortage of tapas bars in Barcelona but La Alcoba Azul was hands-down my favorite. The intimate bar & restaurant features exposed brick walls, wooden furniture and soft lighting. What to order: Tapa of the Month (we tried the Bao bread with prawns and it was delicious) and Rucular Toasts

Bruch & Cake

Brunch & Cake is a popular breakfast venue thanks to it’s Instagram worthy decor and recipes. This cute & cozy French styled restaurant serves up classic dishes with a whimsical twist. What to order: Eggs Benedict

Rooftop Terrace at Hotel Colon

The Rooftop Terrace at Hotel Colon has one of the best views in the city, overlooking the beautiful Barcelona Cathedral. As opposed to the Terrace at Sercotel Rosellón, Hotel Colon does not accept reservations so you have a much better chance of getting a table by just showing up and waiting in the queue (sunset is the busiest time). What to order: Red Sangria


Paradiso was ranked as the Number 1 bar in the world in 2022 and therefore is extremely popular! The bar has a speakeasy vibe including a secret entrance through a freezer door. The flair bartenders are a ton of fun and the extensive cocktail list is the most creative I’ve come across. Reservations are not accepted so be prepared to wait, but so worth it! What to order: Kriptonite and The Cloud


Monk is a fun speakeasy that’s located inside a convenience store in the Born district. Featuring Gothic bricked arches, stone floors and trippy light installations, it’s definitely a unique experience. And don’t miss the second secret room in the back. What to order: Eliasson’s Spritz

What to See & Do

La Sagrada Família

La Sagrada Família is one of Gaudí’s most famous works in Barcelona and also one of the most popular tourist spots. It’s a giant Basilica that has been under construction since 1882 and it’s not expected to be completed for some time yet. The interior is like a giant piece of artwork. Tickets are required and it does sell out days in advance.

Park Guell

Park Guell is a magical park with amazing buildings, sculptures, and tile work designed by Gaudí. The park is located in Carmel Hill and is a must see. Tickets are required.

Mercat de La Boqueria

The Mercat de La Boqueria is a large public market in the Las Ramblas district of Barcelona, and one of the city’s most popular tourist landmarks. The colorful market is home to more than 300 stalls renowned for selling some of the freshest produce—including meats, vegetables, cold cuts, sweets, and seafood.

Barceloneta Beach

Located next to the City Centre, Barceloneta is the most popular beach in Barcelona. It’s a great place to swim and sunbathe as well as socialize at one of the many bars & restaurants .

Parc de la Ciutadella

Parc de la Ciutadella is a park on the northeastern edge of Ciutat Vella. Covering over 70 acres, the beautiful grounds include sculptures, a lake, museum, monumental fountain and zoo. The impressive Arc de Triomf acts as the entryway.

I hope this Ultimate Barcelona Travel Guide helps you plan the perfect getaway to the Catalonian capital. Feel free to reach out with any questions or if you need additional recommendations. And be sure to check out my post on another one of my favorite European cities, Bordeaux!


This post in collaboration with Kimpton Vividora. All opinions are my own.

Leave a Reply