10 cool things to do in Barcelona
By Jonathan Owen
Published 16th May 2022
Last modified 8th June 2022
Last modified 8th June 2022
Looking to get lost in Barcelona’s rich Catalan culture, inspiring history, and distinctive architecture? Read on to see what unique experiences our travel insurance team have complied to ensure you make the most of the City of Prodigies.
Spend a morning or afternoon (afternoon might be preferable if you’d rather not be judged for having a cocktail as the sun rises) in the gardens of this stunning summer home Gaudi titled Case Vicens.
If you hate crowds, you should definitely avoid Barceloneta beach. A few kilometres away is the neighbouring Nova Icaria beach where you can enjoy delicious ice creams under rental umbrellas and beach chairs. You can even take a break from the heat on their nearby jetty where you can stop for lunch. 10/10 recommend a Paella from any one of the food stalls.
As a popular tourist destination, La Boquería can get overwhelming very fast. If you want incredible tapas, head straight to Pinotxo Bar. Please have the chiperones (baby squid with beans) – they are an absolute delight. Wash it down with una copa o dos of cava.
If you’re looking to do something a little more low-key, hopping on this bright blue tram is it. Along the route to the Tibidabo funicular, you’ll see several Modernist buildings and waiting at the end of the journey is an afternoon of browsing around cute cafés and shops overlooking the entire city.
This isn’t your typical pastry shop. Not only are the array of pastries made by monks and nuns, but the café also sits on top of what is left of some medieval public baths, complete with vaulted ceilings and moody candles – a rather unusual but unique way to enjoy your afternoon tea.
As you exit metro stop Glòries, you’ll find Barcelona’s oldest flea market sprawling with over 500 vendors selling anything from furniture and antiques to unique vintage jewellery and clothes. Giving Portobello Road market some serious competition, you’ll have great chances of scoring a bargain if you put your Spanish-speaking skills to practice.
Failing La Boquería and Pinotxo Bar because it’s too crowded or the wait is too long to sit and have those delicious tapas that I mentioned earlier, head over to Santa Caterina market. It’s much more architecturally pleasing in comparison to La Boquería and a lot less touristy. Observe what the locals purchase, copy them (but don’t make it too obvious – this is one of the best ways to authentically experience food from a different culture) and eat like a true Catalonian while you wonder through the fresh produce. It’s worth noting that they are closed on Sundays.
For cheap Airbnb stays, fun cafés, and art scene, all within walking distance of La Rambla and the beach, visit El Raval. This neighbourhood is home to one of the best seafood restaurants with a built-in fish monger where you can pick almost any type of fresh seafood or catch of the day that you want to eat for dinner. As one of the more diverse neighbourhoods in Barcelona, you’ll be spoiled for choice with things to explore and enjoy.
Or if vast bodies of water aren’t your thing, find a spot in the shade and set up a picnic with the food items you got from Santa Caterina market. Turns out it’s just opposite the park. People watch, plot on a reasonable enough excuse as to how you missed your flight back home – whatever tickles your fancy. Point is – you’re indulging; eating jamón, sipping on Cava while you soak up the Catalan sun. Could things be worse? Absolutely.
The perfect visit for a classy bridal party, a fun family day out or if you simply just adore chocolate. With various experiences on offer, Museu de Xocolata is sure to have something for everyone. It also serves as a great day date/date night outing. There’s one experience in particular that highlights the beauty of pairing gorgeous Catalonian chocolate with crisp Catalan cava and other delicious wine pairings. There’s no better way to end the day in Barcelona than sun-kissed, slightly buzzed with a mild sugar rush and now properly educated and equipped with justifiable knowledge of why consuming copious amounts of chocolate should be socially acceptable.