One of the most dynamic cities in Europe
Enjoy one of the most fascinating cities in the world from Hotel Arts Barcelona (www.hotelartsbarcelona.com), a contemporary and elegant hotel which overlooks the seafront. Alternatively, W Barcelona (www.w-barcelona.com) is equally magnificent and situated on the beach just a short stroll from El Born and the famous Gothic quarter.
There are plenty of tourist sites to visit whilst in Barcelona, many of which are truly fascinating. A stroll through Park Güell (www.parkguell.cat) and a trip up inside the Sagrada Familia (www.sagradafamilia.cat) are essential if you’ve not visited the city before.
After the sun sets see the Font Majica (Magic Fountain) at Montjuic and watch the sun set from Tibadabo (www.tibidabo.cat), a theme park on top of the mountain, which is one of the best spots for panoramic views of the city and a somewhere the kids (and you) will adore.
Stroll along the modern marina to see all the yachts and pop into the impressive aquarium. Hire a charter yacht (don’t forget your Champagne) and try deep-sea fishing or if you’re an adventurer you could even try your hand at kite surfing and jet skiing.
If you fancy catching a show, be sure to book in at concert auditorium Palau de la Musica Catalana, (www.palaumusica.cat), another architectural jewel in this wonderful city.
Barcelona is a place best discovered on foot. This is certainly the best way to discover some of the many galleries and sculptures around the city. Eat tapas to your heart’s content, stroll down the thriving La Rambla to see the street performers, then get lost in the tiny streets of the Gothic Quarter. The bustling La Boquiera market is well worth a visit as is El Quim, a foodie stall inside.
For people watching, pick a pew at one of the many cafés on Plaça Reial and enjoy watching life pass by. Pop into Southeby’s on Paseo de Gracia to check out the finest Barcelona real estate.
For sophisticated fine dining head straight to Cinc Sentits (www.cincsentits.com) which is considered to be one of the finest restaurants in the city. Cinc Sentits uses the freshest ingredients possible to create tasting menus with a wow factor. If you prefer something more understated you could try Can Culleretes (www.culleretes.com), which is the oldest restaurant in Catalan and nestled on a street just off La Rambla. If you’d like to sample some of the best tapas in this beautiful city make sure you visit Quimet i Quimet, a lively spot to sample some fantastic local flavours with a glass of wine or beer.
In the evening (and the daytime, too) there are many exclusive and buzzing bars to enjoy. For an experience you’ll never forget visit El Bosc De Les Fades, a fairytale wax museum come cocktail bar just off La Rambla. Take your pick from 50 different fine wines in the Monvinic wine bar (www.monvinic.com) and head to Boca Chica (www.bocagrande.cat) for an elegant, refined and spacious cocktail bar where the coolest people in Barcelona hang out.
Take a break from all the walking with a visit to the beach or one of Barcelona’s incredibly decadent spa and wellness venues. We love Rituels d’Orient (www.rituelsdorient.com), for a place to completely unwind. Here you’ll find Hammam steam baths and the experience can be extended to include massages and exfoliations on hot marble.
The fashion conscious will have plenty to enjoy. For some serious shopping and big name brands like Chanel, Prada and Dolce & Gabbana you’ll want to head to Passeig de Gracia. For smaller, independent boutiques head to Raval and Born where you’ll also find plenty of vintage fashion.
Seems a shame to go just for the weekend, doesn’t it?
Barcelona is home to many wonderful festivals throughout the year. Whether you prefer Jazz, theatre or tennis there is something for you.