Complete guide to the Barcelona neighbourhoods

The most popular Barcelona neighbourhoods range from the city’s historic quarters to up-and-coming areas designed with the citizen in mind.

In this complete guide to the Barcelona neighbourhoods, we explore the different areas of the city to take sure you don’t miss out on the culture, history and diversity each one brings.

Whether you’re looking for a jam-packed afternoon in areas bustling with tourists and locals alike or a quiet stroll along the beach, Barcelona and its neighbourhoods have something for everyone.

El Gòtic or the Gothic quarter

Arguably the most historic of the Barcelona neighbourhoods, here you’ll feel as though you’ve been transported back in time. Discover the origins of the city and its Roman ruins at the Museu d’Història and get lost exploring in its charming medieval streets with artisan stores and hidden bars and cafés.

The true heart of the city is also home to Barcelona’s stunning cathedral in Gothic Catalan style, the Pont del Bisbe bridge – one of the city’s most photographed spots – and Plaça Reial, a stunning square and popular nightlife spot. Discover our one-day guide to the Gothic quarter here.

Our modern three-bedroom Macca apartment is located in this Barcelona neighbourhood steeped in history and is a perfect choice to explore it.

Barcelona Neighbourhoods - Gothic Quarter (Barri Gòtic)
Barcelona Neighbourhoods – Gothic Quarter (Barri Gòtic)

El Born

El Born is one of our favourite Barcelona neighbourhoods and if you’ve read our Born guide you’ll know why: picturesque squares, thought-provoking museums, traditional bars and innovative eateries, not forgetting its alternative boutiques.

If you’re looking for things to do in El Born, we’d recommend going to a concert at the Palau de la Música concert hall to experience this modernist gem in all its glory. The Basilica Santa Maria del Mar is one of the city’s oldest churches with stunning stained glass windows, and makes for the perfect afternoon plan.

Barcelona neighbourhoods - El Born
Barcelona neighbourhoods – El Born

Eixample Dreta and Eixample Esquerra

This expansion district has become synonymous with Barcelona. We can’t get enough of its stunning architecture, wide avenues and sophisticated vibe. This Barcelona neighbourhood spans north of Plaça de Catalunya, encompassing Passeig de Gràcia – with either side being referred to as ‘Right’ (Dreta) and ‘Left’ (Esquerra).

This extensive neighbourhood has something for everyone, from shopping for the latest luxury brands, discovering art at the Fundació Antoni Tàpies, or marvelling at masterpieces by Antoni Gaudí – including Casa Batlló, La Pedrera and the Sagrada Família.

You can discover more about this beautiful area our complete guide to Eixample here. And if you’ve fallen in love with Eixample Esquerra, we’d recommend staying in our romantic ArtBlue penthouse with two bedrooms.

Barcelona neighbourhoods - Eixample
Barcelona neighbourhoods – Eixample

Gràcia

One of the most charming of the Barcelona neighbourhoods is Gràcia: once the holiday destination of those who lived in the centre of the city, this small village was eventually engulfed by the metropolis and now forms part of it.

Explore this Barcelona neighbourhood on foot to soak up its village atmosphere and enjoy its pretty squares. It’s also home to Gaudí’s first project: the summerhouse of Casa Vicens, and it’s also within walking distance of the marvellous Parc Güell.

Barcelona neighbourhoods - Gracia
Barcelona neighbourhoods – Gràcia

Barceloneta and Port Vell

Once the fishing quarter of the city, this Barcelona neighbourhood is now one of the most popular given its seafront location. This urban beach area is also perfect for catching some rays, playing volley ball and exploring its numerous outdoor brunch stops, coffee shops, bars and restaurants.

Barceloneta is also close to the city’s Port Vell (Old Port) at the end of La Rambla, the Maritime Museum and the city’s aquarium, a perfect plan for those visiting with family.

To explore this Barcelona neighbourhood more, we’d recommend our stunning one-bedroom Colonial apartment on Passeig Colom, which combines traditional elements with modern design.

Barcelona neighbourhoods - Barceloneta
Barcelona Neighbourhoods – Barceloneta

Raval

One of the most alternative, multicultural Barcelona neighbourhoods, Raval is brimming with street vibe. Home to cultures from all over the world, this area enjoys great diversity – visible above all in its diverse cuisine, second-hand stores and eclectic bars.

Raval is also home to MACBA – the Contemporary Art Museum of Barcelona – which celebrates the most up-and-coming artists with regular exhibitions and workshops. This wonderful neighbourhood also runs parallel to one of the most famous streets in Barcelona – La Rambla. Our three-bedroom Parsifal apartment is just off the La Rambla and steps away from its Liceu Opera House, which opened in 1847.

Barcelona Neighbourhoods - El Raval
Barcelona Neighbourhoods – El Raval

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Is it Worth Visiting Barcelona in Winter?

A getaway to Barcelona in winter could be the answer to your January blues! If you’re thinking of visiting Barcelona in winter but you’re not sure if it would be worth it – perhaps you’re wondering if it will be too cold, or if there will be things going on – we’ve got you covered.

We’ve put together this short guide to Barcelona in Winter with a range of plans for all tastes, so you don’t miss out on this beautiful city during the colder months of the year!

Barcelona in Winter
Barcelona in Winter

Mild temperatures in Barcelona in winter

Although it might not be sunbathing weather, you can still expect average temperatures of 15 degrees during the day and lows of 6–8 degrees at night. These mild winters attract tourists looking for a cheaper break and comfortable temperatures to explore the city.

We’d recommend packing layers so you can wrap up during cold spells and enjoy the warmth of the afternoon on a terrace with a coffee or beer.

Enjoy Barcelona in winter without the crowds

Another advantage to Barcelona in winter is that you can explore the city and its main attractions without the long queues of the peak seasons. Ever wanted to take a selfie in front of the Sagrada Família without crowds in the background? Now’s your chance!

We also recommend enjoying Barcelona’s most popular neighborhoods – el Born and Gòtic – by taking a stroll with the streets almost to yourself!

Sales season

A trip to Barcelona during January is the perfect time to hit the post-Christmas sales. Head to the shopping areas of Portal de l’Àngel, with big high street names such as Zara, Mango and Pull & Bear. There’s also Passeig de Gràcia where the majority of luxury names can be found. We’re sure you’ll find more than a bargain or two!

If it’s a bit chilly outside, we also recommend visiting the city’s biggest shopping centres: l’Illa Diagonal and La Maquinista, filled with shops and restaurant options out of the winter cold.

Visit the museums

Another way to enjoy Barcelona during the cooler months is to explore its many museums. Despite the winter temperatures normally being mild, there is the odd cool day where you’ll want to keep warm inside. So why not explore the MACBA – the city’s eclectic museum of modern art, or the CCCB contemporary culture centre – with thought-provoking talks, debates and exhibitions on the latest technological advances, culture, innovation and more.

There’s also the stunning MNAC – the city’s Museum of Catalan Art. Steeped in history, this hub of culture is perfect for those who want to learn more about the art of the region and enjoy the stunning views over Plaça Espanya.

Veganuary in Barcelona in winter

If you’ve decided to give up meat or animal products after Christmas and start the New Year with a health kick, Barcelona has a plethora of vegan restaurants with tasty non-meat alternatives.

Check out our list of Barcelona’s top veggie restaurants with vegan and vegetarian options to care for your body inside and out this winter.

The Palau de la Música

One of the most magical places on a chilly winter’s day is the modernist emblem that is the Palau de la Música Catalana. This concert hall’s programme is packed with live performances, classical concerts and contemporary musicians.

Check out the programme for this winter here to find something for everyone.

Festival Llum BCN

The Festival Llum BCN brings light to Barcelona’s Poble Nou district. From February 4–6, you can visit a myriad of outdoor light and music installations by established and upcoming artists. The event is one of the most-awaited completely free plans in the city, and is a must-see.

We recommend you wrap up warm and take your camera. Find more information about this ground-breaking light festival here.

The Carnaval de Sitges

A mere 40 minutes from Barcelona by train, Sitges is the perfect place to spend the day. This picturesque town is known for its undeniable charm, winding streets and beautiful seafront promenade. But what’s more, in winter it hosts its very own carnival – which has been running for more than 100 years.

This year the Carnaval de Sitges will take place from 16 February to 22 February. Visitors can expect grand parades, colourful costumes and parties well into the night. We hope to see you there!

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The Barcelona Calendar 2023 – Holidays and festivities to plan your year

Here is the Barcelona Calendar 2023, with everything you need to plan the upcoming year, with a total of 14 national holidays to which local councils can add up to four additional holidays.

So whether you’re planning a New Year’s getaway, and Easter break or a summer holiday, don’t forget to check our Barcelona Calendar 2023 to plan your trip in advance and enjoy some of the local festivities the city has to offer.

Barcelona calendar 2023

Sunday, 1 January: New Year’s Day

Happy New Year!

The first day of the Barcelona Calendar 2023 is normally a family affair – think a large meal or recovering from the night before.

We recommend checking your favourite bars and restaurants in advance to confirm whether or not they’ll be open. If you’re looking for some local recommendations, check out our favourite Catalan restaurants in Barcelona.

Working day? No

Will shops open? No

Friday, 6 January: Three King’s Day

Three King’s Day celebrates the arrival of the Three Wise Men in Bethlehem, bearing gifts for baby Jesus, also known as the Epiphany or Twelfth Night. This day is celebrated throughout Spain with gifts, roscón – a sweet brioche-like pastry seasoned with orange blossom and topped with candied fruit – and a local procession, or cabalgata on 5 January.

Check out our article on Three King’s Day in Barcelona to make sure you don’t miss out on the festivities!

Working day? No

Will shops open? No

Sunday, 12 February: Santa Eulàlia

Santa Eulàlia is known as the daughter or second patron saint of Barcelona. She is also the patron saint of sailors and is said to protect against droughts and provide safety when travelling via sea.

Working day? No

Will shops open? No

Thursday, 16–22 February: Carnival

The dates of Carnaval, or Carnival, change every year as this holiday takes place seven weeks after the first full moon after the winter solstice. Join in the celebrations in Barcelona!

Working day? Yes

Will shops open? Yes

Sunday, 2 April – Saturday, 8 April: Holy Week

Holy Week is celebrated throughout Spain and is a huge event on the Barcelona Calendar 2023. The kids are off school and the city welcomes processions, a range of events and activities, plus exciting sweet treats!

Holy Week starts on Palm Sunday and ends on Easter Saturday.

Friday, 7 April: Good Friday

On the Barcelona Calendar 2023, Good Friday is a national holiday. You will come across Easter processions and shops will be closed.

Working day? No

Will shops open? No

Sunday 9 & Monday, 10 April: Easter Sunday & Easter Monday

Two of the biggest holidays on the Barcelona Calendar 2023 are Easter Sunday, a national holiday throughout Spain, and Easter Monday, a holiday in Catalonia. Be sure to get your mona de Pascua in a local bakery – these chocolate eggs come in various forms, from animals to popular characters from films and books.

Working day? No

Will shops open? No

Sunday, 23 April: Sant Jordi (St George’s Day)

Sant Jordi is one of the most cherished holidays in Catalan culture. This eagerly awaited festivity fills the city’s streets with books, roses and romance.

The city’s main streets are lined with book stalls and many book stores welcome writers for book signing events and more.

Working day? No

Will shops open? Yes

Monday, 1 May: Workers’ Day

International Workers’ Day is a holiday in many countries around the world, supporting the rights and fair conditions of all workers, and celebrating achievements in employment law.

Working day? No

Will shops open? No

Sunday, 28 May: Second Easter

Second Easter is also as the Pentecost and is celebrated fifty days after the resurrection of Christ.

Working day? No

Will shops open? No

Friday, 23 June–Saturday, 24 June: Sant Joan (St John’s Eve)

Sant Joan celebrations start on the eve of this holiday, on Friday 23 June. Expect bonfires on the beach, fireworks galore on what will be a night to remember!

Working day? No

Will shops open? No

Tuesday, 15 August: Feast of the Assumption

In mid-August this much-awaited holiday often coincides with many local festivities and festivals, namely the Festes de Gracia in Barcelona. Find our Top 7 Tips to Celebrating the Festa Major de Gràcia here.

Working day? No

Will shops open? No

Sunday, 24 September: La Mercè

This festivity on the Barcelona 2023 calendar is to commemorate Our Lady of Mercy. Although the official dates are yet to be confirmed, in the week running up to this holiday, you can expect a plethora of live music events on stages throughout the city.

Working day? No

Will shops open? No

Monday, 11 September: The National Day of Catalonia

Known in Catalan as the Diada Nacional de Catalunya, this special day celebrates the defence of the right and freedom of the Catalan population.

If you’re planning a trip to Barcelona around these dates to truly immerse yourself in Catalan culture, find out the best location to stay here.

Working day? No

Will shops open? No

Thursday, 12 October: The National Day of Spain

This day marks the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas.

Working day? No

Will shops open? No

Wednesday, 1 November: All Saints’ Day

All Saint’s Day is a national holiday throughout Spain, and is a time of reflection and remembrance of those who are no longer with us.

On 31 October, the region celebrates La Castanyada – a traditional family event where panellets, roasted chestnuts and sweet potatoes are on the table of every home.

Working day? No

Will shops open? No

Wednesday, 6 December: Day of the Constitution & Friday, 8 December: Day of the Immaculate Conception

These two holidays are often grouped together for the perfect pre-Christmas break. Many schools and businesses close on the days in between the two holidays, so be sure to check opening times before planning your visit.

Working day? No

Will shops open? Yes (although double check as some businesses may close)

Monday 25 & Tuesday, 26 December: Christmas Day & St Stephen’s Day

Christmas is calling, and what a year it’s been! We can’t believe it’s over but we’re grateful for everything this year has brought us. Now it’s time to celebrate with our families.

Working day? No

Will shops open? No

We hope you find this Barcelona Calendar 2023 useful! Here’s to our best year yet!

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Everything you need to know about Three Kings Day 2023 in Barcelona

Three Kings Day 2023 is almost here, and soon the streets of Barcelona will come alive with music, colour and of course, the biggest parade on the calendar – this year with a new route!

We’ve put together this article to bring you the best that Three Kings Day 2023 in Barcelona has to offer, to make sure you don’t miss a thing. So be sure to keep this short guide handy when you going to see the arrival of the Three Wise Men in Barcelona.

Three Kings Day 2023
Three Kings Day 2023

When is Three Kings Day 2023 in Barcelona?

Three Kings Day is one of the most celebrated holidays throughout Spain and takes place on 6th January every year. This date is also known as the Epiphany of Twelfth Night. It’s common for families to get together and for children to open the gifts brought to them by the ‘Reis Mags’.

As is custom, the Three Kings, or Three Wise Men – Melcior, Gaspar and Baltasar –arrive in Barcelona the day before the Epiphany, on 5 January 2023, after a long, tiring journey from the East.

After docking at the Moll de la Fusta, they will arrive in Portal de la Pau at 4pm, where the mayor of Barcelona will welcome them. She will offer the Three Kings bread and salt as a sign of hospitality, before giving them the keys to the city. It is thanks to these keys that they’ll be able to deliver their gifts to all the children in Barcelona.

The Three Kings Day 2023 Parade

Then, from 6pm onwards, the Three Kings and their entourage will begin the Three Kings Parade 2023, known as the Cavalcada del Reis Mags in Catalan.

This year due to construction work taking place on Via Laietana, the parade will take a different route, passing by Passeig de Colom. The colourful procession will then pass by Avinguda del Paral.lel, Carrer Urgell and Carrer Sepúlveda, before ending at the Montjuïc Magic Fountain around 9pm.

The following times are given as a guideline, but you can check out the complete route here.

6.15 pm – Passeig de Colom

7.30 pm – Ronda de Sant Pau

8:45 pm – Plaça Espanya

9:15 pm – Avinguda Reina Maria Cristina

Expect to see fantastical floats belonging to the Three Wise Men themselves, plus themed floats decorated with toys, and with themes of dreams and sleep, and coal.

Three kings parade in Barcelona – Three Kings Day 2023

Sweet treats this Three Kings Day 2023

You will be delighted to hear that after two years of restrictions, this year the floats have been given permission to share sweets and candy galore with the crowds.

So get ready to catch and collect the sweets tossed into the crowds for children and adults.

Also don’t forget to get your Roscó de Reis – this round brioche-like pastry filled with cream and topped with candy is typically eaten on 6 January. Miniature figurines are hidden inside the cake, each with their own special meaning. Get the king and this may be your lucky year. However if it’s the bean you find inside your piece of roscó, you’ll have to pay for the dessert!

Tips for the Three Kings Day 2023

Although we’ve had a very mild Christmas in Barcelona with record temperatures of 22 degrees, we recommend wrapping up when going to see the cabalgata as temperatures do drop at night in the city. Gloves, a hat and scarf will certainly come in handy!

If you’re going to see the parade with young children, we recommend always holding their hands – above all in the most crowded, popular spots. Be sure to keep an eye on them when they are collecting sweets!

And remember, at all times stay behind the safety rails and don’t climb onto or over the rails into the road where the floats are to collect sweets. Visitors are also prohibited from crossing the streets during the parade for safety reasons.

Bank holiday for the Three Kings Day 2023 in Barcelona

The bank holiday for the Three Kings Day 2023 will be 6 January. All shops and businesses will be closed. We recommend checking with local bars and restaurants before visiting.

We wish you all the best this Christmas in Barcelona. Be merry and stay safe!

10 Barcelona museums that are free on Sundays 2023

Which are the Barcelona museums that are free? It’s that time of year again. Now known as blue week, the middle of January is a rather dismal time: winter is most definitely here, all the excitement of Christmas is over and our bank accounts are still recovering from the festivities of the previous month.

Yet fear not! We’re here to brighten up the bluest time of the year with this list of 10 museums in Barcelona that are free on the first Sunday of every month or, in some cases, every Sunday!

So beat the January blues by delving into all the culture, art and history Barcelona can offer you. And the best thing is, you don’t need to spend a penny! As these are (still) strange times, we recommend checking the websites before visiting and booking your spot online, if necessary.

BarcelonaMuseums that are free o Sundays
Barcelona museums that are free on Sundays

Barcelona museums that are free on Sundays

The National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC)

Palau Nacional, Parc de Montjuïc, s/n, 08038 Barcelona

Capturing a century of art in the region, the stunning MNAC stands proudly at the foot of the city’s Montjuic mountain. It has a fantastic permanent art exhibition dating back to the Middle Ages and also features temporary exhibitions on artists like Gaudí. Don’t miss the rooftop view point!

Entry is free on every Saturday of the month after 3 pm, the first Sunday of the month and on the museum’s open days. You can book your spot here.

Museum of Music

Carrer de Lepant, 150, 08013 Barcelona

Boasting a collection of both ancient and contemporary instruments, the Museum of Music in Barcelona is an unmissable stop for music lovers. The museum is free on the first Sunday of the month (all day), every Sunday after 3 pm, and every Thursday after 6 pm.

Barcelona History Museum (MUHBA)

Plaça del Rei, s/n, 08002 Barcelona

Delve into the history of Barcelona – once known as Barcino ­– at this museum located in the heart of the Gothic Quarter. The MUHBA forms part of a group of essential museums that put Barcelona in historical context, including Bunker 307, Park Güell, and the Temple of August.

The museum is free on Sundays between 3 pm and 8 pm and all day on the first Sunday of the month.

Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (CCCB)

Carrer de Montalegre, 5, 08001 Barcelona

The CCCB has something for everyone: from art installations, round table discussions, activities and workshops especially for kids, cinema, interactive exhibitions, and more.

Admission is free every Sunday after 3 pm but tickets must be reserved in advance. Free tickets become available every Wednesday for the upcoming Sunday and go fast, so be sure to book yours here.

Picasso Museum

Carrer de Montcada, 15-23, 08003 Barcelona

This light-filled museum is home to one of the biggest collections of works by Malaga-born artist Pablo Picasso, and can be found in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter. Visit for free on Thursdays after 5 pm and the first Sunday of the month. We recommend reserving your free ticket before visiting here.

Museu Frederic Marès

Plaça Sant Iu, 5, 08002 Barcelona

The sculptor, artist and collector Frederic Marès donated his entire collection to the city, resulting in this beautiful museum tucked away in a section of the city’s Royal Palace. Entrance is free on the first Sunday of the month from 11 am to 8 pm and every Sunday from 3 pm onwards.

Design Museum of Barcelona

Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes, 37, 08018 Barcelona

This modern museum in Barcelona’s tech district explores different areas of the world of design and offers a journey into the aesthetics of every day life, from fashion, furniture, advertising and graphic art, textiles, and more.

Admission is free on the first Sunday of the month from 10 am to 8 pm and every Sunday from 3 pm onwards.

Maritime Museum (MMB)

Av. de les Drassanes, s/n, 08001 Barcelona

Learn about the important role the sea has played in making Barcelona the city it is today. Don’t miss the full-scale replica ships in this museum that was once the city’s royal shipyard. Admission is free every Sunday after 3 pm.

Museum of Natural Sciences

Plaza Leonardo Da Vinci, 4-5, 08019 Barcelona

This sprawling museum in Parc Forum makes for a great day out for the whole family. The building itself is a work of art and its contemporary exhibitions are often based on fun and exciting themes from the natural world. Free on Sunday afternoons after 3 pm and the first Sunday of the month.

Montjuïc Castle

Ctra. de Montjuïc, 66, 08038 Barcelona

This modest yet majestic castle dates back to 1640 and boasts spectacular panoramic views of the city. Discover more about this military fortress with free admission on Sunday afternoons after 3 pm and the first Sunday of the month.

So there you have it, a list of 10 Barcelona museums that are free on Sundays. We know what we’re doing this weekend – do you?

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The Three Kings Day in Barcelona

The Three Kings Day is one of the highlights of the Barcelona Christmas Season.  Its name in Catalan is Dia dels Tres Reis d’Orient, and is also known as The Epiphany in religious terms, and happens on the sixth day of January.

It is a major event in the Catholic Church’s Nativity agenda. Three Kings Day marks the arrival of the Three Wise Men of the Orient to the birthplace of Jesus at his stable in Bethlehem.  They came bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh for the newborn messiah, but in Barcelona, they arrive to give gifts to the city’s inhabitants.

For local kids here in Barcelona, Three Kings Day is even more special, as the focus of the day is on them and not really the grown-ups.  Rather like the traditional Father Christmas character in Northern Europe, children only receive gifts if they have been good all year long!  The city’s children also have to write a letter to the King’s Pages ahead of the Three Kings arrival to ensure they get the gifts they desire.

On the 5th of January, the Three Kings arrive in Barcelona with a spectacular street parade called La Cavalcada dels Reis d’Orient – which is a procession to symbolise the arrival of the Three Kings into Bethlehem mounted on their camels, each bearing their gifts for the baby Jesus.

Three Kings Day

This year, the royal entourage sets off at 6.15 pm and will cover a distance of 5 km, from Av. Marquès de l’Argentera (with Pg. Circumval·lació) to the Font Màgica de Montjuïc, passing through the following points at the following planned times:

  • 6.15 pm: Av. Marquès de l’Argentera
  • 6.35 pm: Plaça Antonio López
  • 7.05 pm: Plaça Antonio Maura
  • 7.33 pm: Plaça Urquinaona
  • 7.45 pm: Plaça Catalunya
  • 8.20 pm: Plaça Universitat
  • 8.35 pm: Carrer Sepúlveda with Urgell
  • 8.50 pm: Pl. Espanya
  • 9.10 pm: Av. Reina Maria Cristina

Check here their route.

The Three Kings parade features the Three Kings in their carnival style float among a whole collection of other floats and musical attractions, where the performers are laden with candy and sweets to throw at the children who catch them, normally in umbrellas that are held upside down.

Three kings day in barcelona - Reis Mags
After the parade has finished and before the children go to bed, they have to prepare some food and water for the Three Kings and their camels to take refreshment.  Normally unable to sleep with excitement, contemplating the next morning, the children will eventually settle to sleep and wake early the following morning, when they can see and open their gifts on Three Kings Day.

After the morning’s activities are over, the whole family will settle down for a very special lunch.  It is normally a four course sitting and traditional menus will begin with a buffet of tapas followed by a special soup and then a third course of meat or freshly cooked fish.

Then the pièce de résistance is served – Tortell de Reis (King’s Cake) – a puffy, circular, marzipan sponge cake filled with cream, resembling a King’s crown.  In fact there will be a crown in the centre and the cake is topped off with dried fruits symbolizing a crown’s jewels.

Tortell de Reis - Three kings day

But the King’s Day tradition doesn’t stop there, because inserted into the cake are two objects – a bean and a figurine of the baby Jesus.  Whoever recovers the figurine gets to wear the crown and is called King for the day (also signaling that that person will have a very lucky year) and whoever gets the bean unfortunately has to pay for the cake!

As you can see, Three King’s Day will be a very special day indeed for the city’s children. So why not make your stay in Barcelona just as special by renting a luxury apartment during your stay.  We have a wide selection of apartments to rent all over the city, so why not opt for one on the Three Kings parade route?  See here for our selection of beautiful places to rent during these unique celebrations.

The best shops to find your perfect wedding dress in Barcelona

Pronovias

Barcelona is a city known for its exciting boutique and designer fashion, so what could be a better place to find a beautiful and unique wedding dress? Check out these designers with Barcelona-based shops for a selection of original wedding dresses to see if you can find your dream gown.

No list of wedding dress shops in Barcelona would be complete without Pronovias, perhaps the most famous Spanish wedding dress brand. Pronovias started off its life in 1922 as a store in Barcelona that specialized in silk, lace and other high-quality fabrics, and now has stores worldwide. The shop owes its initial fame to designer Alberti Palatchi Ribera, who became renowned for revolutionising the bridal-wear industry with his ready-to-wear gowns. Stylish and classy, Pronovias has something for everyone, with their extensive collections spanning multitudes of themes and designs.

Location: Rambla de Catalunya, 129

Rosa Clará

Since 1995, founded by Rosa Clará herself, Rosa Clará bridal house has been making its beautiful and dreamy wedding gowns. Their goal has always been to create pieces using the best quality fabrics as well as prioritizing style and design. Having become one of Barcelona’s most famous wedding dress designers, their dresses have been worn by worldwide celebrities, including Eva Longoria and Sofía Vergara. Not only this, but Rosa Clará has also collaborated with famous designers like Karl Lagerfeld and Christian Lacroix to create unique and exciting wedding collections.

Location: Diagonal, 409

Aire

If you’re looking for a classic wedding dress, Aire might be the shop for you. With collections that range from the simple to the stunning, all Aire gowns have an air of elegance about them with their gorgeous silhouettes and perfectly placed details and embroidery. If you’re thinking of having a beach wedding, Aire has you covered as they even have a special Beach Bridal collection!

Location: Via Augusta, 32

Yolan Cris

Started in Barcelona, this boutique was created by sisters, Yolanda and Cristina, who have been inspired by their youth when their mum owned a bridal boutique of her own. Since its inception in 2005, Yolan Cris has gone on to design gowns for celebrities including Christina Aguilera, Shakira and Kim Kardashian’s bridal party. The two sisters combine their extensive knowledge of the industry and traditional production methods with high fashion and innovative designs. Currently featuring collections like ‘Boho Chic’ which incorporate an element of 60’s nostalgia into the design, these dresses are not for traditionalists but for those who want a haute couture edge. 

Location: Diagonal 508, Principal 1ª

Otaduy

Another designer to look out for, Carolina Otaduy was inspired to start her wedding dress company when living in New York. Formerly an indie music producer, she takes that creativity into her designs inspired by art, music and film, focussing on the concept of dresses designed for women who want to be themselves on their wedding day. If you’re looking for something unique and handmade, this could be the place where you find the wedding dress that you feel truly encapsulates your personality.

Location: Torrent de l’Olla, 45

Cortana

One of the more popular bridal boutiques in Barcelona, Cortana is headed up by designer Rosa Esteva. Born in Majorca, her designs have a decidedly Mediterranean influence about them, taking inspiration from art and contemporary dance. It’s easy to find those themes in the flattering carefree forms her dresses take, with an elegant, chic and boho feel. You can be assured of the quality of the bridal gowns, as they are all flawlessly crafted in small ateliers throughout Barcelona.

Location: Provença, 290

L’Arca

If you’re a lover of all things vintage and looking for something a little more niche, L’Arca might just be the wedding dress shop for you. L’Arca both carefully curates gowns, as well as well as bridal accessories from all periods of time, but also make dresses to measure – always with a vintage inspiration – and customisable from their current collections. With the inspired idea of bringing the past into the present, L’Arca holds over 40 years of expertise in period designing, having worked with Hollywood directors and renowned designers alike. 

Location: Banys Nous, 20

So now you have your options for just some of the beautiful and unique dresses you can find amongst Barcelona’s streets, why not check them out to see if your dream gown is waiting there for you.

8 Secrets about Barcelona that are sure to surprise you

Ready for 8 secrets about Barcelona that are surte to surprise you? Barcelona is one of the most popular cities for a getaway in Europe. Brimming with things to see and do, not to mention Gaudí’s Sagrada Família and Parc Güell, the destination welcomes more than 27 million visitors a year.

So let us let you in on some of the city’s best-kept secrets: from hidden places to visit, interesting unknown facts and spots off the beaten track, we’re hear to help you escape the crowds and discover something new in Barcelona.

If you’re travelling to the city for the second or third time or you’re simply looking for a new experience in Barcelona, be sure to keep this list of secret spots handy!

1. Barcelona’s Bomb shelters

During the Spanish Civil War, Barcelona was subjected to repeated bombings and attacks, with over 1,400 bomb shelters constructed to protect its citizens.

One of the best preserved of these shelters is that of Plaça del Diamant in Gràcia, featuring around 250 metres of tunnels with space for around 200 people, which was rediscovered in 1992. There’s also the huge Refugio 307 in Poble Sec, with capacity for around 2,000 people.

Read more about the city’s air-raid shelters and how to visit them in our complete guide to Barcelona’s bomb shelters here.

Bomb shelter in Barcelona -secrets about barcelona
Bomb Shelters – Secrets about Barcelona

2. Laberint d’Horta

Passeig dels Castanyers, 1, 08035 

One of Barcelona’s oldest gardens is in the neighborhood of Horta Guinardó. Entry is free every day from 10am to 8pm and we recommend visiting in autumn or spring to get lost among the maze and enjoy the pleasant climates these seasons bring.

A perfect magical spot for a stroll, a picnic or an Instagram photo shoot. For more beautiful lush green spots in Barcelona to get a breath of fresh air, visit our article here.

Parcs in Barcelona- Laberint d'horta
Laberint d’Horta – Secrets about Barcelona

3.  Cementeri de Poblenou

Av. d’Icària, 204, 08005 Barcelona

Some of Barcelona’s best-kept secrets can be found in this fascinating cemetery, which dates back to 1819. This peaceful spot is brimming with stunning statues and marble monuments. There’s a guided route at the entrance to make sure you don’t miss the graves of some of the city’s most important figures of the 19th century.

There’s also the impressive Petó de la mort (Kiss of death) by Jaume Barba in which a skeleton with wings leans over to kiss a young man on the cheek.

Secrets about barcelona - el peto de la mort poblenou
El Petó de la Mort – Secrets about Barcelona

4. La Biblioteca Arús

Passeig de Sant Joan, 26,

Did you know there’s a Sherlock Holmes collection in Barcelona? The Arús Library is one of Barcelona’s best-kept literary secrets. This magical library looks like something straight out of Harry Potter and is one of the hidden spots in the Eixample district.

With walls lined with books floor to ceiling, it’s the perfect place for book lovers to get lost and browse for hours. Check out its website for the opening times, guided tours and activities.

Biblioteca Arús

5. The unicorns of the Catedral de Barcelona

Pla de la Seu, s/n, 08002

We’re sure you’ve visited Barcelona’s stunning cathedral, and some of you may have even spotted its gargoyles, but did you know there are also unicorns on its façade? If you’re taking a stroll through Barcelona’s Gothic quarter on your trip, be sure to look up when you reach the cathedral.

They say unicorns are symbols of power. If you look closely you may even spot some other animals on its facade from cows and dogs to elephants!

Unicorn in Catedral de Barcelona

6. Trajano Columns

Carrer de Paradís 10

Seeing as you’re in the area, we have another secret to tell you. Drop into the Centre Excursionista de Catalunya in the Gothic quarter and you’re in for a fantastic surprise. This was once the highest place in the city and here you’ll find the ruins of what was the Temple d’August.

Unfortunately today only 4 columns remain from this temple that dates back to 1 BC, of which there were originally 66!

Muhba temple d'august - Roman tour in barcelona

7. Jardins de la Tamarita

Passeig de Sant Gervasi, 47, 08022

These gardens are tucked away in the neighbourhood of Sarrià-Sant Gervasi. Here you can enjoy almost two hectares of open green space – with centuries-old toweing oak trees, stone fountains, hidden pathways, and all types of exotic plants – in what once were the private gardens of the Craywinckel family.

Jardins de la Tamarita

8. Bobby’s Free

C/ de Pau Claris, 85, 08010

Because a list of secret places in Barcelona wouldn’t be complete without a secret bar. From the street Bobby’s Free may look like a barbershop, but actually this clandestine space is a 1920-s themed cocktail bar. Indulge in its speakeasy feel and order a signature cocktail or one of the best gin tonics in town.

What better way to finish off your tour of Barcelona’s secret spots!

Bobys free barcelona
Bobby’s Free

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