Barcelona Blog – Tips, culture, things to do, restaurants and much more

Our Barcelona Blog is here with the complete guide to one of Europe’s most coveted destinations.

We’ve got you covered for your next visit to this wonderful city, with tips about what to do, where to stay, restaurants, and much more. This guide is curated by locals to ensure your stay is simply unforgettable.

So whether you’re planning a city break, a summer getaway, a business trip or a family holiday, here you’ll find everything you need to know, and in one place!

So, let’s dive in!

Barcelona blog

Barcelona Blog: What to See & Do

We agree that it can be a little overwhelming planning what to see and do in a city that has so much to offer.

Barcelona is steeped in historical heritage. If you’re dying to find out more about the Roman past of Barcino, check out our guide to the city’s old quarter, known as Ciutat Vella.

No visit to Barcelona is complete without a visit to the masterpiece that is the Sagrada Família. Our Barcelona blog boasts tips about your visit (such as booking in advance), the history of the monument and interesting facts that we’re sure you didn’t know. Read on here!

If you’re a Gaudí fiend, why not explore some of this modernism architect’s lesser-known pieces scattered around the city?

If you have 48 hours or less in the city, we recommend you tick off the city’s top 10 attractions including its famous bustling Les Rambles and Camp Nou – the world’s third largest football stadium.

What’s more, we’re in the midst of one of the best times of the year to visit: it’s summer! This Barcelona blog can recommend a plethora of outdoor plans.

Why not hit one of the city’s nine beaches to cool off and top up your tan? Our other favourite outdoor plans include discovering the Montjuic mountain, relaxing in the natural park Colserolla and catching some amazing views of the skyline from the Carmel Bunkers.

Finally, if you love wandering the streets of a new city and taking in hidden delights away from the most popular tourist spots, why not explore our Barcelona blog area guides replete with local tips.

Discover the colourful and cultural Raval, the majestic district of Eixample, and the beautiful Born home to the Picasso museum and the Palau de la Música music hall.

Palau de la Música - Things to do in Gothic Quarter
Barcelona Blog – Palau de la Música Catalana

Barcelona Blog: Where to eat

When on holiday, knowing the best places to eat can often be an odyssey. That’s why our Barcelona blog has got you covered!

If fine dining is something you’d like to try, you’re in luck! With an array of Michelin-star restaurants, you’ll find something for all tastes and budgets. What’s more, thanks to recent food trends, many a new veggie spot has popped up in the city. Our Barcelona blog recommends our favourite vegetarian restaurants from its famous Teresa Carles to its family-run L’Hortet.

Our Barcelona blog also recommends you try Catalan cuisine on your visit here. Discover the best places to order pà amb tomàquet (toasted country loaf with garlic and tomato), springtime calçots (grilled long sweet onion) and butifarra amb mongetes (Catalan sausage with white butter beans) here.

With its all-year-round wonderful climate, outdoor eating in Barcelona is one of its best attractions. Whether you fancy a beer and tapas with friends, a long lunch or to unwind with a book and a coffee, the city has many a beautiful terrace where you can pull up a chair and relax. Discover our top 10 Barcelona terraces here.

LA Panxa del bisbe - barcelona blog
Barcelona Blog. La Planxa del Bisbe Resetaurant

Barcelona Blog: Where to stay

When it comes to finding a place to stay, why not check out our Barcelona blog for our guides to the best areas and information about long-term and short-term rentals in the city’s best locations.

Discover our modernist Dandi apartment with a terrace in the opulent district of la Dreta de l’Eixample – only one block away from Passeig de Gràcia. Or in the upcoming LGTBQI-friendly l’Eixample Esquerre – voted the coolest neighbourhood in the world by Time Out – you’ll find the romantic KissMe apartment.

In the heart of the old quarter find our spacious 3-bedroom MACCA apartment a stone’s throw away from La Rambla. Or if peace and quiet is on your mind, our Jollie penthouse boasts a sun-drenched terrace in the residential area of Les Corts.

Find our Barcelona blog complete guide to the city’s best locations, a low-down on each neighbourhood and the best apartments here.

Apartment-Zona-Alta-Barcelona-Ferran-Batik-Barcelona blog
Ferran Batik Apartment

Barcelona Blog: day trips

Last but not least, Barcelona boasts a prime location perfect for exploring the surrounding region of Catalonia. With sprawling beaches, beautiful mountains and sleepy fishing villages a short journey away, taking a day trip from Barcelona is the perfect complement to your trip.

A few hours from the city lies Cadaqués in the province of Girona. You’ll fall in love with its stunning promenade, whitewashed houses and the cobbled streets of its historic centre.

Another unmissable day trip is to Sitges. Known around the world as a top LGTBQI destination, don’t miss its nightlife, beautiful beaches and museums, all only a 40-minute train journey from the city.

You can discover more of our favourite simple day trips from Barcelona here.


We hope our Barcelona Blog complete guide to the city comes in useful on your next trip! You know where we are.

Day-trip-to-Cadaqués
Cadaqués – Barcelona Blog

Best Pa de Sant Jordi recipe step by step

Pa de Sant Jordi is a typical type of bread eaten on the day of Sant Jordi, a very important date in Catalan tradition. It is enriched, in alternating bands, with cheese (which is usually Maó cheese) and with sobrasada.

The Origin

Sant Jordi is one of the most eagerly awaited days on the Catalan calendar. This year the great literary event will be celebrated like this.

Why not try your hand at baking one of our favourite Sant Jordi recipes? What better way to enjoy your favourite books than with the smell of freshly baked bread floating through your home?

We’d like to share with you the recipe for Pa de Sant Jordi (Sant Jordi bread), which was first made 25 years ago by a famous baker in Barcelona, Eduard Crespo. Normally sold in bakeries across the region, with this traditional yet simple recipe that even the youngest members of the family can help with, you can recreate the colours of the senyera (the Catalan flag) at home. Enjoy!

Pa de Sant Jordi ingredients

500 g of strong flour
– 80 g of grated emmental or Parmesan cheese
– 80 g of Mallorcan sobrasada sausage 

– 40 g of walnuts or mixed nuts
– 8 g of yeast
350 ml of lukewarm water
– 2 tablespoons of olive oil or butter
– 1 teaspoon of salt
– 1 teaspoon of sugar

Pa de Sant Jordi method

Please note: Remember to wash your hands thoroughly and any work surfaces before starting to bake.

Finely chop the nuts and put them to one side. Take the Mallorcan sobrasada out of the fridge.

Next measure out 350 ml of lukewarm water. Add the yeast and stir making sure there are no lumps.

Measure out the flour and add it to a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle and add the water and yeast, the salt and the olive oil.

Mix together and knead slowly until the dough no longer sticks to your hands or to the side of the bowl. If necessary add more flour. Cover the dough with a cloth and put it aside for 30 minutes. 

Next, divide the dough into three equal parts – one for each of the flavours.

Add the room temperature Mallorcan sobrasada sausage to one, the cheese to another and the chopped nuts to the final part. Mix each section of the dough together with its ingredient and knead well for ten minutes. Cover with a cloth and leave them to rest for one hour.

Now it’s time to shape the bread. Shape four strips of sobrasada mix and five of strips of cheese mix. With the nuts mix make one longer and thicker strip, which will act as the frame of the flag. Stick the strips together in the form of the Catalan flag using wet fingers if necessary.

In a pre-heated oven at 190 degrees, cook the bread for around 45 minutes. It’s really important not to open the oven during this time to ensure the bread rises properly

Once the bread is golden brown, take it out of the oven and let cool on a rack.

The Final Result

Serve with your favourite book!

We hope you enjoy your Pa de Sant Jordi from home this year! It’s a fun experience and it’s deilcious!

PA-DE-SANT-JORDI - RECIPE STEP BY STEP

Other articles about Catalan gastronomy and traditions that you need to check before you visit Catalonia:

Pa amb tomàquet delicious recipe step by step (only 5 ingredients)

Here is a really easy recipe to make “Pa amb tomàquet” (Catalan tomato bread), one of Catalonia’s most typical dishes! It’s very easy to do and it’s delicious.

Pa amb tomàquet - Pa amb tomaquet recipe step by step

Ingredients to make “Pa amb tomàquet”

  • Bread (If you can order Pà de Pagès (farmhouse loaf) even better)
  • Ripe tomatoes
  • Peeled garlic
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt

Preparation

  • 1) Cut the bread into slices.
  • 2) Toast the slices
  • 3) Rub the toast with the garlic
  • 4) Cut the tomato in half down the middle
  • 5) Rub the tomato into the bread

The final touch

Season with oil and salt and eat immediately so that it does not soften.

When to eat pa amb tomàquet?

You can eat it with any meal as a side dish. For example in Catalonia is very typical to order the main dishes for each person and always to have it as a side dish to share. It can be accompanied by cold cuts, cheese, anchovies, omelette, etc. It’s also used on sandwiches (only in Catalonia, in the rest of Spain if you want pa amb tomàquet in your sandwhich you have to specify it).

Enjoy and bon profit!

For more typical Catalan food check here the following articles:

6 ways to enjoy the culture of Barcelona from your home

Although life as we know it has changed these past two weeks, you don’t have to forgo the wonderful cultural proposals that Barcelona has on offer.

From virtual museum visits, talks, shows, concerts and more, we’ve put together this list that will lift your spirits and ensure Barcelona’s cultural soul stays strong during this time.

So, this evening instead of watching another Netflix series, why not gather together with your family or housemates, and check out some of the Catalan’s capitals brilliant cultural experiences from the comfort of your sofa. 

Virtual visits to museums

Despite the city’s museums having closed their doors during this period of confinement, you can still explore their corners with these virtual visits. From the Picasso Museum, the Barcelona Museum of Design, the Catalonia National Museum, the Museum of Modern Art and much more, pick your favourite and get lost in their diverse collections. Here you’ll find a list we’ve put together with links to access the virtual visits.

Barcelona e-library

The libraries of Barcelona have opened their shelves to the public during this extraordinary time to share their collections online. There are more than 100,000 titles available in Catalan, Spanish, English, French and German that you can lend virtually. Enjoy e-books, magazines, films, audiobook, documentaries and much more with your Catalan library card. Find out more here.

VIDA Festival live

If you’re like us, you’re already thinking about those long summer nights and outdoor festivals. We recommend checking out the “Vida at Home” cycle of concerts. The festival – which is scheduled to be held in Vilanova i la Geltrú this July – will be streaming live performances every day this week at 19h on their Instagram page. Enjoy acts from Ferran Palau, Enric Montefusco, The New Raemon, Núria Graham, and many more. 

Virtual Gaudí

If you were planning a trip to Barcelona and are craving the city’s masterpieces, here we have your Gaudí pick me up. Check out these virtual visits of La Pedrera and Casa Battló. These 360º tours are almost as good as the real thing! Get up and close to two of Gaudí’s masterpieces and discover the history of modernism in Barcelona from your home.

Opera in your living room

The Liceu theatre has launched a special initiative to bring its latest opera extravaganzas straight to your living room. Normally you have to get dressed up to go to the opera, but not any more! Don your favourite pyjamas and get ready for an evening of Madam Butterfly, Aida, Normaor Rigoletto. All you need to do is register at this link and enter the code ‘OperaEnCasa’ (OperaAtHome).

Science, art and technology

The Open University of Catalonia and the libraries of Barcelona have come together to offer a series of five videos that explore the relationship between art, science and technology. Put together by the OUC professor, Pau Alsina, this conference raises questions that have been explored throughout history to help us to understand more about the world around us and how we, as humans, create within it. Discover the conference here.

Find more exciting ways to spend your time at home with this programmeof cultural initiatives you can enjoy from home, put together by Barcelona City Council’s Institute of Culture.

Let us know, how have you been spending your time at home? 

Latest corona virus measures in place in Barcelona (14 March 2020)

Two days ago, the Barcelona Local Government in coordination with the Government of Spain, announced a lockdown that applies to the whole of Catalonia.

This article will explain exactly what this means and how it will affect you if you are in Barcelona. These measures have been put into place to stop the spreading of the virus and to protect, above all, the most at-risk populations.

The following measure have been implemented immediately as of 14 March for two weeks:

  • Public transport will be operating only one third of services.
  • The following establishments will be closed immediately:
    • large shopping centres, gyms, leisure centres, ski slopes and other establishments that do not offer basic services or serve food
    • bars, coffee shops, restaurants and other catering facilities
    • libraries and museums in Catalonia
  • All hunting expeditions are suspended.
  • Wakes for individuals who have died from COVID-19 are suspended.
  • With regard to social services:
    • all public social services and centres are closed
    • all activities at occupational centres are closed
    • all visits to Meeting Point Technical Services are suspended
  • All individuals located in Barcelona are advised to stay indoors unless necessary (see information below regarding confinement).

The Barcelona Zoo, Park Güell and the Gaudí House Museum, the Tibidabo Theme Park, Casa Battló and La Pedrera, Barcelona’s 184 parks and gardens, the Sagrada Familia , all museums, art centres and libraries have been closed. Schools and universities are also closed.

You will find the following establishments, among others, currently open in Barcelona. However, the local government advises only to leave the house if necessary:

  • Public health services, such as hospitals, health centres and pharmacies
  • Basic social services
  • Waste collection and cleaning services
  • The Barcelona Urban Guard
  • Public transport (adapted metro and bus service)
  • Cemeteries and funeral services
  • Civil, Properly and Commercial Registries
  • Water, electricity and gas supplies are guaranteed

Also open are shops/supermarkets that sell food and drinks, pharmacies, doctor’s surgeries, opticians and shops that sell orthopaedic products and hygiene products, hairdressers, newsagents, petrol stations, tobacconists, IT and telecommunications equipment stores, pet food stores, internet, telephone and postal service, and laundry services.

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions with answers from the Local Government of Catalonia. (The document in Spanish can be found here.)

What does “lockdown” mean?

  • You can only leave the house to buy essentials.
  • Maintain the safety distance of 1.5–2 metres with other people when you do leave the house.
  • Avoid visiting friends and family unless they are dependent on your care.
  • Postpone medical visits and other appointments unless urgent.

Who should I call if I need help?

For information call 012, if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 call 061. Please remember, call 112 only in the case of emergency.

We imagine that more information will become available in the upcoming days. We recommend you check travel advice from your country’s foreign office regarding travel to high-risk areas and with airlines before travelling.

The following websites provide information in English and are updated regularly with official information: https://www.barcelona.cat/en/  and http://canalsalut.gencat.cat/ca/inici/

6 great reasons to visit the neighbourhood of Gràcia

The neighbourhood of Gràcia has become synonymous with Barcelona and it’s most likely that if this is your second or third trip to Barcelona, you’ve already fallen under its spell.

Located in the northern part of the city, a 20-minute walk from Plaça Catalunya along the city’s famous Passeig de Gràcia will take you into the heart of this charismatic district.

For those of you that are yet to discover its charm, we’ve put together this article explaining just why we love the neighbourhood of Gràcia area of Barcelona so much. From things to see and do, to its history and local traditions, this small guide will ensure that you won’t miss out on a thing.

A plaza in the Barcelona neighbourhood of Gràcia

Its village charm

Gràcia first emerged as a small rural community with three convents and a small population. It wasn’t until around the 19thcentury that Gràcia began to grow, becoming the most important village in the area thanks to its agricultural production.

In 1850 it was established as a municipality with 13,000 habitants, but it wasn’t until 1897, with almost 67,000 habitants, that it became part of Barcelona itself. Gràcia was flourishing yet it still lacked basic services and facilities. Over the years it has become the thriving hub it is today, boasting markets, cultural, sports and historical centres, medical services and schools.

Its cobbled streets and enchanting squares

Despite being located a stone’s throw away from the centre of Barcelona, the streets of the neighbourhood of Gràcia still conserve that charming allure often only found in small villages. 

Stroll along its streets lined with flowering trees, take a break in one of its many squares with a freshly brewed cup of coffee, or explore the Plaça de la Vila square with its 19th-century bell tower and Plaça de la Virreina with its beautiful stone church.

The Festes de Gràcia

Every August the streets of the neighbourhood of Gràcia come alive with locals and tourists alike. The Festa Major de Gràcia constitutes a weeklong celebration in which the streets of this charming area are decorated with recycled materials in every colour.

The residents of many streets and squares in the neighbourhood come together as a community to choose a theme of their own for their respective streets in a fun-filled family-friendly event that cannot be missed. Read more about this tradition in one of our past articles here.

Neighbourhood of Gràcia, a street decorated to look like Moscow Red Square

Alternative stores and independent boutiques

Gràcia is home to a plethora of shops that sell locally made products, ethical goods and gifts galore. With something for everyone, after exploring its streets, why not browse its second-hand book stores with faded armchairs, discover its designer boutiques with clothes designed in Barcelona or choose a custom-made piece of jewellery at one of its many workshops.

Casa Vicens

Opened to the public only a few years ago, many still don’t know that Gràcia boasts its very own piece of Gaudí. Constituting great architect’s first project, Gaudí was commissioned to build Casa Vicens as a summerhouse for the family of the same name. 

This wonderful building will surprise you with its range of influences from far and wide, its varied palette of colours and its spectacular design.

Neighbourhood of Gràcia - Casa Vicens

The history beneath your feet at Plaça del Diamant

On first glance, Plaça del Diamant may appear to be just your normal square, however if you look a little closer you’ll discover the history it houses. 

Underneath the square is a bomb shelter that was built during the Spanish Civil War with a capacity for 200 people. Tickets are only €3 and must be booked in advance. 

Plaça del Diamant - Neighbourhood of Gràcia

We hope you love the area as much as us! Let us know, what’s your favourite thing to do in Gràcia?

Easter Week in Barcelona – 7 days to celebrate

Just like many places around the world, Easter Week in Barcelona is an important time of year at which locals get together with friends and families to celebrate many a festivity.

Easter Week

Easter Week is celebrated across the country, from the largest cities to the smallest villages, yet in Barcelona you’re sure to experience celebrations like no other with a long line of typical Catalan traditions.

So if you’re thinking of spending the Easter week in Barcelona, here are a few useful tips to make sure you don’t miss out on the most typical events and cultural traditions.

Semana Santa (Holy Week) in Barcelona 2021: 28 March – 05 April

‘Semana Santa’ translates as Holy Week and it is an important week in the Christian calendar. Barcelona, as part of Catalunya, is traditionally less religious than other parts of Spain, particularly in the South. However, it still has its fair share of celebrations during this period.

Holy week is the week before Easter and starts with Palm Sunday. It includes Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday but does not include Easter Sunday.

Dates for Easter Week (Holy week)
Year: 2021

Palm Sunday 28 March
Good Friday 02 April
Easter Saturday 03 April

Easter
Easter Sunday 04 April
Easter Monday 05 April

Holy week begins on Palm Sunday, when a procession traditionally takes place around the cathedral with people holding palms. A week of religious ceremonies follows, ending on Easter Sunday.

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday is most likely the most important of all Easter Week in Barcelona. We recommend you head to the Gothic quarter and catch the “La Burreta” (donkey) procession that commemorates Jesus’s arrival in Jerusalem. 

Easter week in Barcelona blessing of the Palm branches

Keep an eye out for the olive and palm branches carried by children to the local churches to be blessed. You’ll also see them hanging from doors and balconies to ward off evil spirits.

Good Friday is another important date in the liturgical calendar. The Cathedral of Barcelona, and many other local churches, will commemorate this day and the Stations of the Cross with a Via Crucis mass.

Typical sweets

When it comes to food, Easter wouldn’t be Easter without its sweet and savoury delicacies. In between exploring the city and its Easter customs, we recommend taking a break and recharging your batteries with the best of Catalan cuisine.

“La Mona” is a local Easter cake typically made from chocolate and decorated with small figures and animals, chocolate eggs and other sweet treats. Today these cakes are true works of art, but they were originally made from a round sweet brioche and topped with hard-boiled eggs with its tradition dating back to Roman times.

Easter week in Barcelona typical Mona de Pascua

Be sure to drop in to a local bakery to marvel at these fantastic creations or pick one up and try it for yourself!

What’s more, as it is Christian tradition not to eat meat on Good Friday, make sure you also try the typical cod dishes served at local restaurants. Our favourite is the salted codfish in a vegetable sauce, bacalao con sanfaina.

Must visit

If you’re spending the whole week in Barcelona, we’d also recommend day trips to the villages of Cervera or Verges with processions that you won’t see anywhere else in the world. From Cervera’s skeletons that dance the “Dance of Death” to the Verges Procession in which the entire village takes part, be prepared to be amazed.

Easter week in Barcelona celebration and processions

Now you know the dates for Easter Week in 2021 therefore, no excuses for a trip to Barcelona! and now that you have decided to spend Easter Week in Barcelona, why not stay at one of our centrally located flats to make sure you don’t miss a thing?

The Best Vegetarian Restaurants in Barcelona

Looking for the best vegetarian restaurants in Barcelona? Whether you’re a supporter of veganuary or a long-time vegan or vegetarian, or simply a lover of everything nutritious and green, Barcelona has a plethora of options for you.

We’ve compiled a list of Barcelona’s best veggie spots where you can care for your body inside and out. 

Our favourite Vegetarian Restaurants in Barcelona

vegetarian restaurants in Barcelona
Flax & Kale – Best Vegetarian Restaurants in Barcelona

The Green Spot – Carrer de la Reina Cristina, 12

Located in the neighbourhood of La Barceloneta, the interior design of this vegetarian restaurant is almost as beautiful as its imaginative dishes. Boasting creative and fusion cuisine that will make even a non-vegetarian’s mouth water, everything is made with fresh and natural ingredients. 

Teresa Carles – Carrer de Jovellanos, 2

It is no wonder that the Teresa Carles restaurant is one of the most popular veggie spots in the cultural hub that is Barcelona. Be prepared to be blown away by contemporary, innovative dishes that take inspiration from Catalan cuisine. We think it will completely change the way you think about the plant-based approach.

Flax & Kale – Carrer dels Tallers, 74b

Just around the corner from Teresa Carles is its sister restaurant, Flax & Kale. Created with the same innovative spirit, this flexitarian restaurant offers something for everyone. Think raw food, super food, gluten-free and vegan. Drop in for breakfast, lunch or dinner or grab a freshly squeezed juice to take away – you won’t regret it.

Sésamo  – Carrer de Sant Antoni Abat, 52

This quaint and cosy vegetarian restaurant is located in the up-and-coming neighbourhood of Sant Antoni. Although the menu is not that extensive, you’ll find roasted vegetables, stuffed pasta and homemade desserts. We’d recommend booking a table to avoid disappointment.

Veggie Garden – Carrer dels Àngels, 3 and Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 60

This vibrant and colourful space is perfect for those on a budget and with a hearty appetite. The daily set menu is extremely affordable and boasts delicious Indian- and Nepalese-inspired options, including dahl, thalis, curries and spiced vegetable dishes. Tuck in!

L’Hortet – Carrer del Pintor Fortuny, 32

A family-run restaurant located in the area of Raval, l’Hortet offers a feast for body and soul. The restaurant opens only at lunchtime during the week and for dinner on Fridays and Saturdays. Get there early to enjoy their delicious daily three-course set menu, with hearty vegetarian creations–from veggie meatballs, soups and stews–and a colourful salad bar. What’s not to love?

Café Camelia – Carrer de Verdi, 79

This light-filled café-come-restaurant serves vegetarian and vegan delights all day long. Choose from curries, burgers, a range of tasty snacks and sweet treats. Located in the quaint neighbourhood of Gracia, Café Camelia is a cosy spot to enjoy a peaceful coffee or tasty meal after a long day sightseeing. 

We hope you enjoy this selection of colourful, innovative vegetarian restaurants in Barcelona 😉

More Barcelona restaurants you will love