Romance in Barcelona

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Romance in Barcelona
Stunning architecture, beautiful urban green spaces, nearby nature reserves, cozy cafés, and charming restaurants make Barcelona a dream destination for couples.
Photo by Rey Madolora
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    Sunrise and Sunset Views
    Sunrise and sunset transform the Catalan capital into a magical place, especially from certain vantage points. The palm trees and deep blue waters extending into the horizon from local beaches are beautiful, and the sweeping views of the skyline make it well worth the hike to Montjuïc Park or Tibidabo Mountain. Bars and hotels with rooftop terraces offer privileged views of the city, not to mention expertly mixed drinks. From the rooftop terrace of Las Arenas, a former bull-fighting ring transformed into a shopping mall, lovebirds can ooh and aah at the Montjuïc Palace fountain show.
    Photo by Rey Madolora
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    Parks and Gardens
    Pack a picnic and wander among the roses, palm trees, and wild birds in Barcelona’s lesser-known parks and gardens. Just a short distance from the city center, these parks—some of them the former private residences of noble families—provide a welcome respite from the hectic pace of life on city streets. At the end of Barcelona’s green metro line, Cervantes and Palau Reial Parks are far enough from the city center to keep away the crowds you’ll find in the centrally-located Ciutadella Park. Cervantes Park is known for its rose garden, where a yearly competition is held, and Palau Reial is an ideal place to spend the afternoon strolling along the shady paths.
    Photo by Chris Ciolli
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    Intimate Alternatives to Tourist Hotspots
    There are many sights in Barcelona that inspire romance, but tourist crowds can dampen an otherwise wonderful visit. Instead of taking the massive group tour of Palau de la Música Catalana, go see a concert and hold hands between applause in the opulent hall. All of Gaudí’s creations are a sight to behold, but the rooftop of Casa Milà by night is about as stunning as it gets. Also known as La Pedrera, you can take the atmospheric Secret Pedrera tour to discover more of the building's idiosyncrasies. And when it comes to Park Güell, save your trip for a weekday morning—the park is likely to be quieter.
    Photo by Shan Shan
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    Dance until the Sun Comes Up
    Couples who love to dance are in luck in Barcelona. From tiny bars in the city center to larger dance clubs on the outskirts, lovebirds can always find a venue with the atmosphere and music they’re looking for. Salsa aficionados can show off their moves at Latin music clubs. Indie, heavy metal, and rock fans will find plenty of bars in Barcelona’s Marina neighborhood. Dancers who prefer soul, hip-hop, or jazz should visit Jamboree, in Plaça Reial, or Marula Café (c/Escudellers 49). In the summer, dance to house music under the stars at La Terrazza in Montjuïc’s Poble Espanyol, or mingle with stars and attractive locals at the Carpe Diem Lounge Club (Pg. Maritim 32).
    Photo by Quim Roser/age fotostock
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    Seductive Secrets in the City
    Monasteries, Modernista buildings, lush green spaces, and historic cemeteries are tucked away in hidden corners around Barcelona. In the city proper, visitors can spend an afternoon snapping shots of gorgeous funerary art at Montjuïc or Poblenou cemeteries. Barcelona’s beautiful Labyrinth Park is hardly a secret, but it’s far enough from downtown to discourage many casual visitors from making the trip. Just outside Barcelona, in Sant Joan Despí, there’s a bevy of Modernista buildings designed by Gaudí disciple Josep Maria Jujol. One of the most noteworthy, Torre de la Creu, is located just steps from the main train station.
    Photo by Chris Ciolli
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    Get Cozy over a Few Drinks
    The Catalan capital has plenty of places to cozy up with your loved one and enjoy your drink of choice, be it a meaty Tarragona red or a café carajillo—the Spanish spin on Irish coffee. Lean your elbows on the marble tables of Casa Almirall, located in Barcelona’s gritty Raval neighborhood and founded in 1860, while nibbling olives and sipping the house vermouth on the rocks. Alternatively, share a bottle of cava at El Bosc de les Fades, a fairytale forest-themed café inside Barcelona’s Wax Museum off La Rambla. With its soft lighting and bohemian ambiance, L'Acensor (c/ Bellafila, 3) is the perfect place to share cava and light tapas in a homey and intimate setting.
    Photo by Juergen Richter/age fotostock
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    Dine by Candlelight
    A relaxing meal is a fitting end to a long day exploring the city. But Michelin-starred and luxury hotel restaurants are not the only options for romantic dining in Barcelona. The side streets are well-populated with charming bistros perfect for a romantic evening out. For an intoxicating blend of historic surroundings and superb cuisine, reserve a table at Casa Calvet (c/Casp, 48), an art nouveau restaurant housed in a building designed by Gaudí. For elegant Mediterranean-inspired dishes in a quiet and intimate setting, pay a visit to El Pla (c/Bellafilla, 5).
    Photo by Jay Cross
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    Escape the City
    Sometimes it’s good to escape the city lights and spend time together exploring. An easy drive from Barcelona is Catalan wine country, where cava converts can spend a day in Sant Sadurní d’Anoia sampling the frothy drink and touring production facilities like Codorníu, the world’s largest cava producer. Sun worshippers will find isolated beaches up the coast along Costa Brava more to their liking than Barcelona’s crowded urban sand boxes. Couples can wander past stone houses and explore charming shops in traditional villages near Barcelona like Rupit and Castellar de n’Hug. Walk in the footsteps of Dalí in his tiny hometown, Port Lligat, and stop off to visit the quirky house museum where the artist spent many of his summers.
    Photo by Susan Mason
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    Romantic Walks
    The city streets are only a starting point when it comes to exploring the Catalan capital on foot. Travelers can follow winding garden pathways through lush greenery in the mid-morning sun at the Botanical Garden of Barcelona. At the end of the day, take a sunset walk on Barcelona’s boardwalk. Browse antique shops and stop occasionally to watch street performers as you stroll the narrow streets of the Gothic Quarter and El Born. Amble hand in hand from one tiny plaza to another in bohemian Gràcia. Outdoorsy couples could spend an entire day in the mountains: The nearby town of Montserrat, with its bevy of hiking, sightseeing, and cultural attractions, is an ideal stop.
    Photo by Patrice Todisco
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    Adventures to Get the Heart Pounding
    Beyond the shopping, museums, and restaurants, Barcelona has a more adventurous side that is perfect for injecting a touch of spice into your relationship. Travelers can spend a day swimming with the sharks at the Barcelona Aquarium. For aerial views of the city, book a ride in a helicopter or a hot-air balloon. Serious thrill-seekers can even sign up for tandem skydiving. In the nearby Pyrenees Mountains, couples can ski, horseback ride, mountain-bike, or hike through the stunning scenery. Out on the water, learn to windsurf, kayak, or work together as a team to help sail a boat.
    Photo by Andoni Canela/age fotostock