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Barcelona Guide

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Travel writer may be guilty of throwing around the word "magical" too often, but visit Barcelona's fantastic Gaudí masterpieces or stroll through its historic heart and you'll see that the description definitely applies to Catalonia's capital.
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Carrer dels Agullers, 7, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Stocking more than 7,500 wines and spirits—including a sizable number hailing from Spain—this bodega is the ideal place to discover specialty regional wines. The Vila family runs both Viniteca and the adjacent gourmet grocery, La Teca,...
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Carrer dels Cotoners, 14, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
The independent workshops and boutiques that once thrived in El Born are disappearing thanks to gentrification—but among the survivors stands Cuirum, a killer shop where you can buy handmade leather jackets, bags, and accessories that will...
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Plaça Sant Iu, 5, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
This little-known museum stands in the shadow of Barcelona Cathedral. You'll find dramatic sculptures from pre-Roman times all the way to the 20th century, including religious works from medieval-era Spain. Frederic Marès was a...
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Carrer dels Banys Vells, 8, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Shoppers come to this trendy El Born concept store in search of unique clothing, jewelry, and accessories created by emerging local designers. Look for handmade, sustainable fashion from up-and-coming independent brands like Citizen X (cool...
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Parc de Montjuïc, s/n, 08038 Barcelona, Spain
The Barcelona-born artist Joan Miró (1893–1983) enlisted architect and friend Josep Lluís Sert to design this modern, light-filled museum devoted to his works. Built in 1975 and expanded in later years, the galleries house 200...
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This massive former hospital complex dominates nine blocks of the Eixample district, and it's one of the finest examples of early-20th-century modernista (Catalan art nouveau) architecture. Lluís Domènech i Montaner designed the...
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La Barceloneta, Barcelona, Spain
The city’s old fishing quarter, Barceloneta, is a warren of narrow residential streets dotted with classic family-owned seafood restaurants. The neighborhood is charming, if a bit scruffy, but its biggest asset is its proximity to Barcelona...
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Passeig Olímpic, 5-7, 08038 Barcelona, Spain
The sprawling site of the 1992 Olympic Games is worth the trip to Montjuïc. You will see the Palau Sant Jordi, an indoor sports complex, the Picornell swimming pools, and most famously, the Olympic Stadium Lluís Companys, built in 1929...
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Plaça de Santa Maria, 1, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
While the Barcelona Cathedral may be the city’s more famous church, Santa Maria del Mar is just as impressive, and a masterpiece of Catalan Gothic style. The basilica was built in just 54 years—begun in 1329 and completed in...
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Carrer de Marià Labèrnia, s/n, 08032 Barcelona, Spain
This mirador, or viewpoint, is worth the climb for its unparalleled 360-degree views of the entire city, the Mediterranean Sea, and the rolling green hills of Collserola. Located some 900 feet above sea level, the hilltop was considered a...
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Av. de Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia, 6-8, 08038 Barcelona, Spain
The artwork here is almost secondary to its home: a 1911 former textile factory designed by Catalan architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch and inspired by medieval castles. The sprawling redbrick complex comprises several multilevel buildings featuring...
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Carrer Nou de la Rambla, 175, 08004 Barcelona, Spain
Some 1,400 bomb shelters were built across Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939) to protect its residents from Fascist air strikes. Among the handful that survive, Refugi 307 is the largest and best preserved. Its three...
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C/ Palau de la Música, 4-6, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
This art nouveau gem designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner has been Barcelona’s preeminent music hall since its founding in 1908. Colorful ceramics, ornate sculptures, and busts of illustrious composers—Wagner, Beethoven,...
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08024 Barcelona, Spain
A pilgrimage to this enchanting park is a must for any Antoni Gaudí fan. Located atop Carmel Hill to the north of the city, the park was inspired by English landscape gardens, but its fantastical elements make sure you know it was...
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Ctra. de Montjuïc, 66, 08038 Barcelona, Spain
Constructed in the 17th century but heavily modified a century later, this castle—actually more of a fortress—lords over Montjuïc hill. Its use as a military bastion spans from the 1600s to the mid-1800s, when Barcelona...
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Passeig de Gràcia, 43, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
It’s one of the most recognizable facades on Passeig de Gràcia: a modernist fantasy of undulating stone, brightly colored mosaics, and stained glass—one that could only come from the mind of famed Catalan architect Antoni...
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Carrer de la Palla, 8, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Set among the labyrinthine streets of the Gothic Quarter, this café offers a delicious selection of cakes, tarts, cookies, and other desserts—all baked by nuns from convents and monasteries around Spain. There are truffles from the...
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Carrer de la Princesa, 14, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Natural wines are all the rage these days, but this interconnected wine shop and tapas bar in El Born was one of the pioneers of Barcelona's vin vivant movement when it opened in 2013. You can choose from a lengthy list of natural Spanish and...
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Carrer de Floridablanca, 140, 08011 Barcelona, Spain
You can grab pizza, pasta, and salads here, but most folks come to El Laurel for just one thing: the empanadas. Mix and match among 15 different varieties priced at just 2.20 euros (about $2.50) each. The flavor combinations are far from typical:...
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Carrer de Tamarit, 91, 08015 Barcelona, Spain
The man behind this humble sliver of a restaurant is none other than Albert Adrià, who, with his brother, Ferran, introduced molecular gastronomy to the world at El Bulli. That famed three-Michelin-star spot shuttered in 2011, but the chef...
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Passatge Sert, 12, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Coffee is as beloved in Barcelona as wine and vermouth, but finding a good cup of java is surprisingly difficult. That’s slowly changing, as artisan roasters and brewers set up shop around the city. Nømad, with three locations, is...
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Carrer de Pujades, 187, 08005 Barcelona, Spain
Escape the hordes of tourists and head east of the city center to Poblenou, a quiet, leafy, residential neighborhood that boasts a number of excellent under-the-radar restaurants. Among them is this gem just off the Rambla del Poblenou—a...
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Passeig Marítim, 30, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
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For oceanfront dining, Agua is a good bet among the tangle of so-so restaurants lining the city’s beaches. The Mediterranean menu focuses on fresh, simply prepared seafood, and there’s also a quality selection of Spanish rice dishes,...
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Carrer d'Enric Granados, 147, 08008 Barcelona, Spain
Set on one of the city’s prettiest streets, the café-filled Carrer d’Enric Granados, this trendy bistro is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner—but prime time is early evening, when locals stop by for a drink at the long...
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Carrer dels Consellers, 4, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Craft cocktail culture is still relatively new to Barcelona, and Collage is on the forefront, serving some of the most creative mixed drinks in the city—including molecular cocktails. The dimly lit space in El Born features a small bar...
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Carrer de Sant Pau, 128, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
It’s as much about the atmosphere as the cocktails at this historic confectioner’s shop turned bar, which retains many of the glorious details of its former life. Display windows now serve as nooks for small tables, the long wood...
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Rambla del Raval, 45, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
In the increasingly gentrifying El Raval neighborhood, along the leafy main avenue of Rambla del Raval, a whole host of restaurants, cafés, and bars are popping up. Among them is this intimate bistro from noted Catalan chef Carles...
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Passeig de Gràcia, 24 Bis, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
Tucked inside a renovated former 19th-century factory near Passeig de Gràcia, this temple to Spanish gastronomy is housed in a breathtaking modernist masterpiece, with soaring vaulted ceilings, vintage lighting fixtures, ceramic tiles, and...
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Carrer de la Marina, 19-21, 08005 Barcelona, Spain
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It doesn’t get more traditionally Spanish than tapas and vermouth, and Arola offers a great introduction to both. Reserve a table on the breezy terrace—with views of the ocean and Frank Gehry’s iconic fish sculpture—and...
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Passeig de Gràcia, 38-40, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona’s skyline is on full display at the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona's posh rooftop terrace. Soak up views of Gaudí’s La Sagrada Familia and Casa Batlló while sipping a pisco sour and feasting on fresh ceviche...
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Carrer de la Mare de Déu dels Desemparats, 18, 08012 Barcelona, Spain
Set in the trendy Gràcia neighborhood, this lively, convivial tapas bar is a magnet for hip locals seeking a modern twist on traditional Catalan cuisine. The creative young kitchen staff turn out an array of fresh, inventive, generously...
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Carrer del Roser, 82, 08004 Barcelona, Spain
After a day spent exploring Montjuïc's gardens and museums, this cozy corner restaurant in nearby El Poble-Sec makes for an ideal dinner stop. Simply decorated, with bright green walls, a long wood bar, and a handful of tables, La Platilleria...
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Carrer del Cardenal Casañas, 17, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Restaurants abound in the heavily touristed Gothic Quarter, but few of them are particularly good. Irati is one of the exceptions, a bustling spot popular with locals thanks to its excellent pintxos, traditional Basque tapas served on bread and...
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Carrer del Poeta Cabanyes, 25, 08004 Barcelona, Spain
Forget Google Maps: You’ll quickly locate this venerable tapas bar in El Poble-Sec by the line out the door. With standing-room-only space for just 20 people, this sliver of a spot fills up fast—and stays that way until closing time....
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Plaça de la Rosa dels Vents, 1 Final, Passeig de Joan de Borbó, 08039 Barcelona, Spain
It’s got trendy cocktails, DJs, and a fashionable crowd, but the real reason to head to this swanky lounge is for the views—of the sea, the sky, and the whole of Barcelona below. Located 26 stories up, on the topmost floor of the...
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Carrer de Marlet', 5, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Head to the Gothic Quarter—once home to Barcelona's storied Jewish neighborhood, El Call—and look for the Sinagoga Major (Major Synagogue). The museum, built on the site of the city's oldest temple, is only two rooms, but it...
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Moll d'Espanya del Port Vell, s/n, 08039 Barcelona, Spain
Love underwater creatures but not up for snorkeling or scuba? Barcelona's aquarium, located in the port area, may be your solution—and for travelers with kids, it's a great indoor option on those rare rainy days in the Catalan capital. Kids...
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Plaça dels Àngels, 1, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
This modern white-cement-and-glass building designed by Richard Meier houses art by Spanish, Catalan, and international artists, particularly from South America and Eastern Europe. Check out abstracts from the 1950s and European pop and...
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A longtime favorite with Barcelona vintage and bargain shoppers, Encants Vells is one of Europe's oldest flea markets, dating from the 14th century. Recently it moved a few blocks away from its historic location to a shiny new modern market packed...
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Baixada del Monestir, 9, 08034 Barcelona, Spain
This Gothic monastery houses collections from Barcelona's City History Museum, but if you've got only an hour or so, skip the exhibits in favor of a walk around. Founded by King James II of Aragon in 1326, the monastery (or monestir in...
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Av. de Rius i Taulet, 1, 08004 Barcelona, Spain
Who cares if it's a Barcelona cliché. Give in to the urge and get to Plaça d'Espanya to see the Magic Fountain show. It's always crowded, but everyone should see it at least once, and it's free. The show is especially gorgeous during...
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Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 373 - 385, 08015 Barcelona, Spain

Originally an early-20th-century bullfighting ring, the building fell into disuse after the final bout in 1977 and was converted into a shopping mall in 2010. Take the elevator or escalators to the rooftop terrace restaurants—the...

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Rabla de las Flores, s/n, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
Amble down La Rambla, stopping to admire fresh flowers, original artwork, and Barcelona souvenirs at your leisure. Watch living statues come to life when you drop a euro in their cups—most will pose with passersby, for a price, of course....
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Pla de la Seu, s/n, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
One of the best places to wander in Barcelona is the city's charming Gothic Quarter, right off the famous La Rambla. A highlight is the area's beautiful Gothic cathedral, one of the few interesting buildings in the city that was not designed by...
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Carrer de la Marina, 253, 08013 Barcelona, Spain
The art nouveau buildings of Antoni Gaudí, the 19th-century architect whose works are some of Barcelona’s most iconic sights, can be seen throughout Catalonia, but Barcelona has the best examples of his genius at work. Former...
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La Rambla, 91, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
As you enter Barcelona's famous Mercat de Sant Josep de La Boqueria from La Rambla, one of the first stalls you encounter is Tocineria Marcos, purveyors of Iberico ham and a stunning array of other cured, cooked, and fresh meats. It's just one of...
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Plaça de Catalunya, 14, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
At Barcelona's iconic Corte Inglés in Plaça Catalunya, shop for high-end clothes, shoes, housewares, and accessories. There's a souvenir section at fairly reasonable prices, and the gourmet grocery area has amazing eats from all...
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Carrer Montcada, 15-23, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Make a mandatory stop at the Picasso Museum in Barcelona’s El Born neighborhood. The museum houses more than 4,000 of the prolific artist’s works, many of which were made in Barcelona itself. As you view the large collection of...
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Carrer de la Diputació, 249, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
This ultramodern space—part wine bar, part restaurant—has a daunting wine list with more than 3,000 labels, plus a rotating list of 50 that you can try by the glass before committing to a full bottle. Skip the iPad and put yourself...
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Passeig de Gràcia, Barcelona, Spain
One of Barcelona's most exclusive streets, Passeig de Gràcia is home to modernista masterpieces like La Pedrera and Casa Batlló as well as the massive luxury storefronts of brands such as Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Mandarina Duck, and...