This is a list of special places to visit that we’ve discovered during our time in Barcelona. I’ve excluded any obvious touristic spots, since you will read about those in every guidebook and blog post. I try to keep this as up-to-date as possible, however, make sure to double-check that the place is still open. Enjoy your trip and drop me a line if you want to meet!
Bar Mut Beautiful little tapas place on Diagonal, near Passeig de Gràcia. Great sample of both meat and seafood dishes, and good service.
El Nacional Easily the most touristic place on this list, however, it’s the perfect place to sample different kinds of Spanish cuisine. There are 4 restaurants insides, and a seafood bar. Converted from an old car garage, it’s beautifully decorated.
Solo Pizza Hands down, the best pizza joint in town. If you like thin-crust Roman style pizza, you will love this place. Easy to find a spot and very kid friendly.
Can Fisher Great seafood and paella place on the beach. A bit away from the touristic spots, so it doesn’t get as busy. Make sure to book in advance, nevertheless.
Estimar The best fine-dining seafood restaurant in town, tucked away in a back alley in the El Born neighbourhood. You have to book well in advance, especially since they got their Michelin star.
Cocina Hermanos Torres Top fine dining spot in Barcelona. Impeccable service and food that’s tasty and inventive.
Casa Astor Tiny live music venue and bar tucked behind the Sants train station. Very intimate environment and beautiful music.
Curtis Audiophile Cafe Bar with a very decent audio system, where you can listen to some great tunes without destroying your eardrums and enjoy a nice cocktail.
Viblioteca Great little wine tasting bar in Gracia. They also serve food in tapas style. Good place to sample some Catalan wines.
Bar Pietro Super local bar in Gracia. Crowded any time of the day, but you can grab a drink and listen to the locals chattering away in the side alley.
Casa Vicens Gaudí An off-the-beaten-path Gaudi house. It’s a pleasant change of scenery if you are sick of the tourist crowds around Casa Batlló and Parc Gaudi, and it’s just as beautiful.
Museum of Natural Sciences of Barcelona Great little natural science museum. Also, a good excuse to make your way to Parc del Forum, where many locals go on the weekends to get away from the crowds. You can find a restaurant to have a pleasant lunch here.
Joan Miró Foundation My favourite museum in the city. It’s a small building dedicated to Miró. It’s well known, but still doesn’t get very busy. Also, a great excuse to get on the cable car and go all the way down to the beach. If you are going to have lunch nearby, definitely go to Terrassa Martínez.
Out of the City
If you fancy getting out of the city for a day trip, you can easily do this in Barcelona. There are some excellent beaches if you go to Costa Brava in the north or Costa Dorada in the south. You can take a train from Passeig de Gràcia or Plaça Catalunya depending on your destination (check Google Maps), and be at the beach within an hour. We highly recommend doing this if you have a few days here. All of these destinations are within a 5-minute walking distance of the train station when you arrive.
Small town an hour north of Barcelona, with a wide beach. Tends to be less crowded and cleaner. You can enjoy the chiringuitos on the beach, or you can have lunch at the exceptional Restaurant Lasal del Varador.
Sant Pol de Mar
A bit further north than Mataró, this is an even tinier town where the train stops right on the beach. It gets busy during weekends with locals, but it’s still a beautiful place to visit. Book well in advance to eat some scrumptious seafood at the Restaurant Terrassa Voramar.
Platja de Castelldefels
If you are looking for something closer to the city, you can head over to Castelldefels, half an hour south of Barcelona by train. Skip the main train stop in town and hop off at the beach stop right after. Fosbury Café is a good place to have some good lunch.