Barcelona. In my ears, I hear the voice of Freddie Mercury and the thousands of times I’ve been there. All the times every Italian has been there. Or not? For those who are going for the first time or haven’t been back for a while, we created a mini guide for a weekend in Barcelona: where to eat, shop and make out. Why haven’t you booked yet?
Here some of our independent tips to discover Barcelona in 3 days
- 10 reasons to visit Barcelona this summer
- Events you don’t want to miss from June to September
- Hidden gems in Barcelona
- Happy hour, breakfast, the best gelato in Barcelona
- Shopping time in Barcelona
- Out for dinner in Barcelona
- Rainbow Barcelona: gay, lesbian (even better: GLBTQI)
- Parks, gardens, sport and wellness in Barcelona
- Excursions and trips from Barcelona
10 reasons to visit Barcelona
- It’s always summer in Barcelona. Even in winter.
- There is no need to go for an event: it’s always party-time.
- After lunch, a siesta is a must: the whole city is asleep
- Sunbathing and drinking mojito a La Barceloneta
- You can find gorgeous beaches just an hour away by train
- Having breakfast in Plaça Reial
- Feel hipster. Better, be it.
- Get crazy for Gaudi and modernism.
- Eating fish like there’s no tomorrow.
- Making out under the sunset. And at dawn.
There would be an eleventh: our Barcelona mini guide. But that might well be the last straw to your irrepressible desire to book a vacation, which is a reason nonetheless…
Events you don’t want to miss, from June to September
Cosa succede, cosa succede in città? (What’s Happening, What’s Happening in the City?) You don’t need Vasco to know that there is always something happening in Barcelona: events, exhibitions, happenings, festivals. It’s rare to find a moment of calm in such a sparkling city and boom boom boom boom (I want you in my room).
- a Swing-based evening, the true new fashion in Barça
- live music, drinks and culture at the Summer Nights at Casa Batlló
- a concert, from Ricky Martin to Elton John
- a secret concert in Barcelona, but also in your own city
- Verbena de San Joan Festival , on June 23rd and 24th
- The Pride and the Parade on July 8th
The best way to keep up with what’s happening in Barcelona is to retrieve the Time Out magazine once you get in town. It’s free and in Catalan, but we’re sure you’ll be able to find small pearls among incomprehensible words!
Hidden gems in Barcelona
What to see in Barcelona? You must have heard about that genius that is Gaudì, who revolutionized the architecture of the city making it a flowing of curves and emotions. He is the father of the Sagrada Familia, such a huge cathedral that it is difficult to photograph altogether. Cranes work day and night and it is estimated that sooner or later it will be complete. Meanwhile you can visit it inside. As with Parc Güell, another of Gaudí’s masterpieces, a hillside garden full of voluminous majolics and plumes. Then La Rambla and the city center, to the beach of Barceloneta. Do not forget Plaça d’Espanya, surrounded by the former Plaza de Toros, the bullring arena now become a commercial center with world-famous architectural recovery, two towers inspired by San Marco bell tower in Venice, and a mouth-gaping fountain, reminiscent of 1929 Universal Exhibition.
In our Barcelona mini guide we summarised 4 famous places and 4 curious places, which too often tourists miss out on. But we are not tourists, we are travelers!
Enjoy happy hour, breakfast, the best gelato in Barcelona?
When you travel like an Italian, you know this is the best part: enjoying your time on vacation and making the most out of your trip. We love to discover new places for a snack, a nice breakfast or a hot caffè that can become memorable. When you’ll arrive in Barcelona you’ll be submerged by tourists hordes. Hordes. And the locals, who are really nice, sometimes seem to be exhausted by the mess. And maybe you’re thinking of going to Barcelona exactly to dip in that mess. In this case, don’t miss the Mercado de la Boqueria, righy in the middle of La Rambla. Among the stalls selling fruit and fish at the premises, there are also those from which you can not help but take a juice or a cone of jamón iberico or pata negra. Our idea, though, is to point out where you will find few tourists, where it will be easy to blend with the inhabitants.
Or you can enjoy a nice brunch just outside the hipster district or breakfast between La Rambla and Plaça Reial. These and other tips can be found in our free miniMaxGuide.
Shopping time in Barcelona
Zara, Desigual, Natura… we might like them for one reason or another, but let’s be clear: do we really want to go to Barcelona to buy the same things we find back home (also manufacture in China!)? Naaaaaah. So, if you want to look at chain of stores, you can find them in Rambla de Catalunya (that is not the Rambla that leads to the sea, but a continuation north of Plaça de Catalunya) and in the parallel Passeig De Gràcia. Great excuse to go there is the famous Casa Batllò designed by Gaudì.
If you are after peculiar shops, though, you can either get lost in the narrower streets of Bairro Gótico or walk to Gracia, which is our favorite. In our mini guide, we have made a hyper-concentrated selection of miniature balloons, thousands of travel books and candies that make put you in a good mood even before eating them. All this will come in handy on a Saturday in Barcelona. Let’s say Saturday, not Sunday.
Since most shops are closed on Sundays, you’ll have to enjoy the sea, the beach and the siesta. Life’s hard, uh?
Out for dinner in Barcelona?
There’s no point in hiding it: traveling is mainly about tasting. Barcelona is the city where many culinary cultures converge. Clearly, you can find Catalan cuisine and the one from the rest of the Iberian peninsula, but also international, fusion and ethnic. Since I do not think you can go home without trying the béchamel and ham croquettes, in the mini guide we put a not-touristic dining place. In addition to that, we highly recommend Paradeta: an ideal fish-restaurant for seafood lovers. Or El Nacional, a great themed restaurant dedicated to Spanish cuisine.
Rainbow Barcelona: gay, lesbian (even better: GLBTQI)
If all of Spain is ideal for GLBTQI tourism, in the race between Madrid and Barcelona to the most gay friendly city you can not find a winner. Holding hands on the street, making out or singing out loud Carrà’s songs does not really bother anyone. It’s worth doing so, then.
With the arrival of summer, in just over half an hour by train from Estacio de França station, Passeig de Gracia and Estacio Sants, you arrive in Sitges, Spain’s most famous gay beach.
Parks, gardens, sport and wellness in Barcelona
When it is sunny, everything is easier: from doing sports to siesta in a park. Barcelona seems to have been born to make us more beautiful, inside and out.
First of all, the beach. La Barceloneta is right in the center of the city, just a 20-minute walk from La Rambla. It’s the real place to be. In summer, of course. But also in winter, when on sunny days there are already 15 degrees and being barefoot on the beach is pure joy. And while you are strolling From the statue of Colombo to La Barceloneta, you can’t escape a photo with the giant lobster.
Or, among the Gaudì’s houses and the shopping in the Bairro Gótico, you can take a nap in the shade of the trees in the Parc de la Ciutadella, where the triumphal arc triumphs. What a nice word game! If you enjoy sports you can also enjoy a good run, early in the morning or at sunset. To tell the truth, the whole city is ideal for running and biking – bike sharing is cheap and is everywhere.
Barcellona, in summary
This city is for lovers. For those who loves the sun, the sea, the music and the heartbeats. For those who dance in the street and those who do not sleep until dawn. It is the city where the summer starts in January and ends in December. It is the city for those who are different, because no one is the same. Here, everyone can just be himself.