Barcelona - a classic that never grows old
Barcelona is one of the most popular destinations for a short break and many travellers will revisit time and time again. No wonder, the city is filled with incredible sights that are impossible to get bored of. The culture, architecture, and arts are in a league of their own, but it would be a shame not to spend plenty of time at the dinner table as well.
Barcelona is known for its architectural wonders and especially the familiar works of Antonio Gaudi such as the unfinished Sagrada Familia church, or the whimsical Parc Güell. Gaudi's creations are a must see for anyone visiting the city for the first time.
For a different take on architecture head out to the lively gothic quarter Barri Gòtic where you can marvel at well-preserved examples of Roman and Medieval-era buildings. The focal point of the area is Catedral Basílica Metropolitana de Barcelona. This vast Gothic cathedral is still used for daily masses and other religious events, so check the visit times ahead.
Barcelona is even becoming an interesting destination to see contemporary architecture. The Torre Agbar, a tower-like building designed by French architect Jean Nouvel has become a landmark for the city after its completion in 2005. Another interesting - and controversial - building to see is the Museu Blau by Herzog & de Meuron. It functions as the main centre for the Natural History Museum of Barcelona and is located in the popular Forum Park.
More art than imaginable
Most art lovers will head straight to the see the masterpieces of Picasso and Joan Miró. The Picasso Museum offers a glimpse into the artist's life as well as houses a collection of his work. The exhibition program highlights different aspects of Picasso from various methods of working to partnerships with other artists.
The Fundació Joan Miró showcases the work of one of the most influential artists of 20th century. Even if you are not that interested in art the museum is worth a visit. It's location up on the hill of Montjuïc is extremely beautiful, as are the museum building and the gardens surrounding it.
Also on the Montjuïc you can find MNAC, the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya. It has an impressive collection of art from the Catalan area all the way from Romanesque art to modern pieces. If you want to dive into something contemporary, visit MACBA Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona instead. There you will find a thoughtfully curated collection as well as interesting exhibitions from new and established contemporary artists.
Do not forget your taste buds
Catalan cuisine is a crowd pleaser full of sun sweetened Mediterranean produce, fresh fish, and lots of sweet treats. Barcelona would not disappoint even if you spent the entire trip eating.
Breakfast in Barcelona is usually quite light, a coffee with a pastry. If you want to go traditional choose a pan con tomate, or as the Catalans say pa amb tomàquet. It is a simple tomato toast with lashings of olive oil and salt. On the weekends you might want to have a proper brunch. Locals love Ugot Bruncherie, with a menu full of great egg dishes, doughnuts and French toast and Eixampeling serving modern classics, from pancakes to bagels.
For lunch you could try some traditional Catalan dishes featuring ingredients such as salted cod bacallà, squid and other seafood or cured meats. Local food can be savoured in Can Culleteres that has a very traditional menu or Ca L'Isidre, a restaurant combining classic cuisine with modern influences.
At night you can't go wrong with a round of tapas. Some of the best can be found in the bodegas, that both serve and sell wine. A cosy option is Bodega Quimet on Carrer de Vic offering tapas alongside local wine and vermouth. For lovers of cava the best option is El Rincon Del Cava, where the sparkling wine is great but the tapas is even better. For hearty, nearly meal-sized tapas such as tortilla and croquetas head out to Palosanto where you can also find some lovely cocktails.
Do not miss the desserts and sweets either. Most would have tried crema catalana, a custard pudding covered in a layer of caramel. This time you could instead taste mel i mato, a dish made of soft cheese and honey or menjar blanc, a super soft almond pudding. If cakes and pastries are more your thing, try the traditional Pastisseria de la Colmena or the very hip Cloudstreet that alongside sweet things makes some of the best sourdough in Barcelona.