24 Hours in Barcelona

I recently returned to Barcelona after many years, a city that absolutely blew me away the first time that I visited. It has an energy all its own, and truly feels light years away from the rest of Spain. Because I’d been before, I’d already crossed big destinations such as La Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, and Casa Batllo off my list, so I focused on exploring more new and unknown locations through the city over the course of 2 nights and 1 day. Read on for my guide to the best weekend in Barca.

 

Friday Evening

Arrive in Barca and check into the W Hotel. With recently redone rooms and the most incredible view of the city, you can’t miss this cooler-than-cool spot on the water. It’s a completely do-able walk to the main part of the city, and its proximity to the fantastic Barceloneta neighborhood is excellent as well.

Head to the Boca Chica cocktail bar for a speakeasy-style mixology creation. The decor here will knock your socks off. Then walk over to Bar Mut for dinner. You’ll want to call ahead here – they have 2 nightly seatings at 8pm and 10pm. There is no menu here, so you’ll be told the nightly specials based on what was fresh that day and you can order away. Highlights were an excellent bottle of Spanish pinot noir, squid ink croquetas, fresh scallops, and suckling pig.

 

Saturday

Wake up, throw open your blinds, and gaze out at the Barcelona harbor. Then stroll over to La Roseta in Barceloneta for an excellent coffee and their take on the freshest avocado toast.

Spend the morning hiking up through Montjuic, the hillside area in the south of the city. Montjuic is the home of the 1992 Olympic park, and you can wander through the stadiums and get a great view of the city. End at Poble Espanyol, which is an outdoor museum that houses exact replicas of some of Spain’s most historic and well-known buildings. It feels like walking through a new Spanish town every few minutes.

Settle in for a seafood lunch at Terraza Martinez in Montjuic. Order a glass of rose, some jamon and oysters, and don’t miss the lobster paella. Sit out on the terrace and enjoy the scenery.

Meander out of Montjuic and get lost in the tiny, winding streets of the Gothic Quarter in the afternoon. Don’t forget to stop for a glass of cava at Orvay, where you can sit in the window and people watch.

For cocktail hour, head to the incredible wine bar Bar Brutal, which features a lovely selection of natural wines. Walk over to Bar Canete at 9pm to put your name in for dinner. They don’t take reservations, but you can sit at the high-top in the front and get started on your bottle of wine while you wait. You’ll sit at the bar overlooking the kitchen for dinner, so you truly feel like you’re in the middle of the action. Don’t miss the bombas, grilled octopus, beef tartar, fresh prawns, and steak with foie gras.

 

Sunday

Depart Barca with a full heart (and full stomach).

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