I was born and raised in Barcelona and lived there until I was 21. I know the city like the palm of my hand and I get asked about it so often. So finally, I put together a list of my top recommendations!
MUST SEE TOURISTIC SIGHTS
- Casa Mila / La Pedrera / Casa Batllo / Casa Amatller
- Placa Catalunya
- Las Ramblas
- La Boqueria
- Placa Reial
- Palau de La Musica
- Parc Guell
- Catedral de Barcelona
- El Born
- Barri Gotic
- Sagrada Familia
- Montjuic / Magic Fountain
- Placa d'Espanya
- Camp Nou
- Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor
- Port Olimpic
- Palau Guell
- Placa Reial
- Arc de Triomf
- Funacio Joan Miro
- Museu Picasso
- Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (MNAC)
- Pavello Mies van der Rohe
- Salvador Dali Museum (it's outside of the city you need to do a day getaway
Best outdoor shopping:
- Passeig de Gracia
Best indoor shopping:
- L'Illa Diagonal
- Les Glories
WHERE TO STAY
Nice, conveniently located, with tons of restaurants, shops and touristic areas around. If you plan to Airbnb or want to look for a hotel that’s within your budget, I still recommend the same area where all of these hotels are located. So click on any of these, take a look at the location, and look nearby if you want to rent an apartment or find a lower budget hotel :)
- The One
Other hotels I absolutely love but NOT best location to walk.
- W Hotel
WHERE TO EAT
High end / Michelin starred:
- Tapas 24
With A View
- Pez Vela
WHERE TO WORKOUT
If you are there for a while and your hotel does not have a gym (or you are staying at an apartment instead) look for "Anytime Fitness" they have a few locations around the city, they are open 24/7, and they let you pay by the week.
A full month is $40 (which is not bad) and a week is the % of that, so $10, two weeks, $20.
They make you pay an extra $40 for your key card, but once you leave you can return it and get your money back, it's more like a deposit!
WHERE TO HEALTHY GROCERY SHOP FOR SNACKS & FOOD
Check out these two stores, both have a few locations in town!
VERITAS tons of options, including not-so-healthy and more generic brands too (for those looking for more variety and not only healthy focused, but with the tons of healthy options and produce there too!). Here you will also find toiletries and cleaning supplies. And they do also have ready-to-eat prepped snacks and meals for the whole family too.
ATMETLLER D'ORIGEN This one is purely healthy food and snacks, it has a large variety of options and is simply incredible. You will find sugar free & organic baby pouches, fresh juices, and tons of other healthy ready-to-eat snacks and meals, as well as super fresh organic produce and more!
I do recommend going to a local store (weather its one of these or not) during your trip to Barcelona, and grab a few things for the hotel/apartment and on-the-go, ESPECIALLY if you are traveling with toddlers who will want to snack often, and also for the nights, since you probably will wake up hungry in the middle of the night or early morning if you have jet lag, and you won't be able to go out and grab anything then!
WHERE TO GETAWAY
I always recommend getting away to my beach town, Sitges. The village where I grew up vacationing. My family has a house there and we went every weekend & summer. It is absolutely stunning during each season.
It is only 20min car ride / 30min train ride from Barcelona. So you can definitely visit it in a day getaway, but if you can, stay for the night and spend two days at the beach & wondering the village, sunsets there are magical.
Hotel Calipolis is the place to stay, ocean front and by all the stores & restaurants.
BEST SEASON TO VISIT
Personally, I feel like May & early June are the perfect month to visit Barcelona. The temperature starts warming up without being super hot yet, and you can start enjoying the terraces & beaches without the crazy crowds.
Late September is also a good month, temperature is not so hot and humid and the crowds begin to get away.
Plus, you get tons of daylight during these months!
Lots of tourists come to the city in the summer, and it gets HOT, so I would definitely avoid the summer months (late June through mid September). These are months when locals have holidays, so the city gets empty of locals and full of tourists, and it does not give the same vibe. I love to experience a city with locals! You will also find everything extra expensive during these summer months.
Other than that, October through April are not bad months either, you will just need more clothing, but it never gets too cold! The coldest months are typically December through February, but still, you can go during these months and be in the 60F/15C if you are lucky.
TRAVELING WITH A BABY
Barcelona is a REALLY baby friendly city. I recommend bringing a stroller because you'll do tons of walking. And don't worry, it's super comfortable to walk & get public transportation with a stroller, locals do it all the time.
If you don't want to bring your stroller I recommend renting one from Easy Travel Kids. They not only rent strollers (many choices to choose from) but they also rent everything else you can think of, baby equipment wise: car seat, bassinet, pack and play, high chair, toys... And they meet you at the airport or hotel.